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My Exceptional Tatay

Sarah L. Rucio

· Volume I Issue I

Have you ever say “thank you” or even “I love you” to your father? Most of the times, we always take them for granted since they are working 24/7 to earn a living outside their homes. They are sometimes underrated for we more valued our mothers who gave birth to us. But our fathers are equally essential as our mothers for they served as great providers on our family.

A father’s love cannot be measured. The sacrifices he can do for his family are limitless. How much more if your father is physically handicapped? Does it mean that he is not capable of doing his responsibilities as a father? This question of mine was answered when I met my pupil’s father who provides everything for his daughter despite of his condition.

His name is Tatay Rodel, a parent of my grade four pupil name Rain who often visited his daughter in school personally to give her baon. Out of many parents who did the same thing, Tatay Rodel caught my attention since he went to school riding in his customized automatic wheelchair that he designed and developed by himself.

His daily travel to school from his house was not easy journey. Almost 30 minutes ride along the rough and unfinished way was an added burden to him. Along his way were those narrow minded people who usually bullied him because of his condition. Some of them called him “pilay” or “lumpo” even in front of his daughter. Never had he fought back against those people. Not even single word came out of his mouth to express his anger against them. He just continued his way to school. The way he controlled his emotion over those people earned him my respect. He is really a father figure who was a good example to his daughter. Not even the most painful criticism would stop him in fulfilling his obligations as a father.

He arrived in school at exactly 9:40 in the morning, just the time of her daughter’s recess. You will see both on their faces the excitement of being together while sharing their simple snack and chatting with each other. These are the moments that are priceless and worth remembering. No matter how and painful Tatay Rodel went through, everything was worth it! A smile on her daughter’s face is enough to ease pain and burden he has been going through.

One important lesson that I learned from Tatay Rodel is that being a father cannot be stopped as long as you are determine to do your obligations. In his case, despite of his condition, he is still performing his tasks of being a father and mother to his daughter since her wife left them. He never let his condition and frustrations hindered him to become the best father for Rain. It lead me to his conclusions that Tatay Rodel was way better than those fathers who only think of themselves and failed to become providers to their family. May God bless Tatay Rodel a longer life, so he may serves as a good example to all fathers.