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THOUGHTS ON TATAY

By JUDITH MIADO- FRESNIDO


Mayad nga hapon kaninyo nga tanan. Ako si Judith Miado-Fresnido, ang
ikaduha nga bata ni Alfonso Miado.
When I was a very young girl, I had this concept that my father was a big
man. In my mind, he could do everything, make things happen. With the
coming of age, I had seen that he was not as big as I first thought. Indi
manigar, putot gid man si Tatay. But in other aspects, my awe and
admiration of him have never diminished, only deepened. Indulge this
daughters random recollection of her father.
For us his children, Tatay personified the consummate family man-husband
to Nanay & father to us all. In their almost 65 years of marriage, his love and
devotion to Nanay and to us have been felt in small and big matters. We
witnessed how he had traversed the long hike to and from Layug to be with
us everyday. We saw how his eyes shine everytime we made milestones in
our lives-graduations, promotions, marriages. Also his real and concrete
support when we failed and in crisis situations. He walked the talk.
He has a special lullaby for each of us to put us to sleep when we were
babies. In our deepest consciousness, our signature song is echoed. Maybe
that made us connect with him- in our deepest needs we turn to him. He
listened, didnt dictate but supported us I all our causes and advocacies,
oftentimes not so popular and practical. With Nanay, he was our greatest
cheerer in all our endeavors.
In times I was allowed to tag along with him to Layug, he would use the time
to teach a 4 year old math by telling me to pick a stone everytime we pass a
river. I would count the stones when we reach our destination. I questioned
why the last time it was 20 stones, then later it would be less. He would then
explain to me that in dry months, the river dry up and there would be no
water. I would later learn that there were actually 2 rivers (Tagum & Salog)
and they just crisscross in our paths.
He would also slow down his pace to accommodate my slower walk and
allow me to pick flowers along the way and answer my endless questions
about the wonders of nature. It was our traditional bonding. It must have
cost him a lot because I was told later he would time his walking to 45
minutes, but with me it would double his time.

He would tell me that he was a farmer at heart. He loved plants and animals.
How we have enjoyed the fruits of his exotic fruits like sweet santol, lemon,
grapes, Davao pomelos, lanzones, rambutan, golden papayas, chesnut and
countless other plants. His trademark wherever he was assigned was the
plants he left behind. We hope you will remember him as you enjoy these
fruits.
I had a running battle with him against his cats and dogs he loved so much.
Popeye, Brackstone Chickie and Rambo were just some of the dogs that
were part of our family life.
In our family, education was a given. With Nanay, Tatay had a vision that his
children would finish their chosen courses, no question about that. With the
meager salary that they had they unfailingly supported us with our
schooling. We scrimped on other things, like luxuries, but we had never
experienced having to suffer on paying for tuition. They basked on the fact
that they had produced 3 mechanical engineers, one accountant, one
architect, one doctor, one agriculturist, now economist and a college
professor. What we made of the opportunities they opened for us depended
on us.
The work ethics he had left to us are things we live in our daily life. Love
your work, he would say, it is the only constant in the ebbs and flows of
fortune. Money is important but never an important consideration in making
our decisions. In everything we do in our profession, we are guided by this
rule of thumb: Can we tell Tatay about this with pride? That is our guiding
principle. How Tatay glowed when an acquaintance will tell him: Your son
took care of me when I was hospitalized, when I made transactions in the
bank, when I need help in this or that. Those were his greatest pride.
His legacy will leave on. We, his children and grandchildren, had been taught
by a man who has dedicated his life to making us human beings with deep
fear and love for God and fellowmen. Thank you, Tatay and may the Lord
reward you with eternal peace.

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