I’m writing this article during the “free time” of our four-day celebration of my father’s 90th birthday! Yes, “Napaot ti biag ti Ilocano!” (Ilocanos have long lives!)
My father, Rufino “Pinong” Litan Fres was born on July 30, 1928 in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. He finished college in Manila to become an accountant and also raised his family in the city together with the love of his life Josefa “Pepay” Guerrero Maquera.
Papang has been a very patient father to his five children and loving husband to his wife of over six decades. He loved to serenade my mom with his favorite love songs. Even with the little that they had starting their family in the city, he never failed to show his love to my mom with thoughtful gifts on her birthday, Valentine’s Day, their anniversary and Christmas. This bracelet that goes with earrings and ring is an example of such sweet gestures and I’m very happy to have this with me now. Come to think of it, this jewelry is now 50 years old! Such a precious piece for me.
More precious than the material gifts were the acts of kindness and devotion he showered our mom with. I remember stories when he would have no qualms at all helping my mom with housework if household help was not enough or not available, during the time when some people frowned at these “not so macho acts of love.” There’s a story of a neighbor asking, “Under d saya ba si Mr Fres?” (Is Mr. Fres hen-pecked?), just because someone saw him washing either the dishes or cloth diapers. While we were growing up, we enjoyed his cooking more than my mom’s. Among our favorites were his Arroz Valenciana, beef steak strips with matching garlic rice and monggo sprouts and carrot strips which we called Sunday’s Delight as he would cook this for lunch on Sundays, Tinapa Fried Rice, and a few more specials.
His corny jokes are also part of the signature Pinong love known not just to us but also to his extended family and co-workers at the Central Bank of the Philippines (now Bangko Sentra ng Pilipinas).
Today Papang at 90 can no longer cook our favorite weekend meals. He hardly cracks any of his corny jokes. He’s usually just sleeping, maybe missing his wife of over six decades whom he married five times – original wedding, silver, ruby, golden, and diamond anniversaries! (Mamang left us last year to join her creator.) Papang has difficulty remembering the names of his great grandchildren, grandchildren, and sometimes even his own children.
Such is growing old. You may no longer remember a lot of things, but if you lived your life as a good father, husband, friend, co-worker, as a good person in general, people will remember you for that. The love you invested while you were young will give its returns now that you’re old in the form of the love you continue to receive. If you’re a parent, the best dividend yield is the love you see your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren give to each other. It is in the family that you have formed and will eventually leave this world as your legacy.
I wish to share with you a short clip of the four-day celebration we had as thanksgiving for my father’s nine decades. Happy 90th birthday Papang!
- Please come to my book signing on August 10, 2018 at Buenavista in Raffles Hotel on August 10, 2018 at 3pm. I wish to meet you there. This will be a fun session because I requested my youngest son, Anton, to join me and ask me your questions about the FQ Book or other matters you may want to discuss there! 🙂 Admission is free. Please register by clicking the link – com/prwf2018 Let’s see each other there.
- Catch me today Wed August 1, 2018 at 3pm on DXMM Teleradyo with Ariel Ureta and Winnie Cordero’s show Todo-Todo Walang Preno.
- I wish to thank everyone who purchased my latest book FQ: The nth Intelligence. If you’re interested to see what’s inside the book watch this FQ Book Preview INSERT YOU TUBE LINK WITH THUMBNAIL THAT’S CLICKABLE. https://youtu.be/N7kd2Bd84_s (Caption under thumbnail: You may now purchase the book in major bookstores, or if you want autographed copies, please go to FQ Mom FB page (click SHOP), or FQMom.com (click BOOKS), or email us at FQMomm@gmail.com
- Want to know your FQ Score? Take the FQ Test Challenge now! Click link. http://rebrand.ly/FQTest
Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook & YouTube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom. Her latest book is FQ: The nth Intelligence.
Image from shona.ie., forum.abs-cbn.com and the author’s family album modified and used to help deliver the message of the article. Video is by Marvin Fausto.