Barako Mama | Thoughts On Father’s Day

Issa Bacsa as a toddler with her dad

The whole world celebrates Father’s Day today and here are my random thoughts about it.

I can say I’m Daddy’s Little Girl. Not because I’m the only child, but also because my Dad and I are much closer than I was with my Mom. I grew up under the care of my uncle, Mom’s eldest brother, because she went to the U.S. when I was three. My Dad, at that time, was a full-time agriculturist in Tarlac. So I grew up seeing my Dad only every weekend, that turned into every two weeks, into every month, into every quarter, and I don’t know anymore. However, that didn’t stop me from being close to him.

You see, there are a few things that I got from my Dad aside from the last name. My fondness of highlighting text on every paper, every magazine, or every book that I read, is number one of them. I remember the first time I saw him reading the newspaper, with a red ballpen and a ruler on each hand. I asked him why and he explained about highlighting the important points on what he was reading.

I also learned from him how to use both hands on a typewriter. He showed me how to position my fingers on it using the T and Y as my guide.

There were times that we would discuss politics, current events, and social issues — topics that I don’t usually deal with. But talking with my Dad (or even with my husband) turns out to be both a good conversation and a learning experience.

He’s also resourceful. He could think of ways on how to make an object work differently from what it is originally for. No wonder he keeps so many things inside the house which I sometimes consider as junk.

He’s simple, not flashy. Your typical kuripot (spend-thrift), but practical.

Remembering My Uncle Aciong

Actually, I grew up with my Uncle Aciong. The late Ignacio Villamor Nasis was my mother’s eldest brother. He was a good guitarist, violinist, horseback rider, truck driver, and served in World War II as a radio technician. He told me that after the war, his job was to look for MIA soldiers across the country and had met Princess Tarjata in Mindanao. That was the first time I’ve heard of a Filipino princess.

I grew up under his care until he died in 1993. He was strict, imposed upon me a military discipline. Yet I’ve learned a lot from him which I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Sad to say, he died a bachelor and with no known issue. People say that they consider me as his only “daughter”.

My Husband, Voltaire

And since I already mentioned my husband earlier, I remember my husband and I talked about how we are similar to our respective in-laws.

He and my Dad have similarities when it comes to how they keep things in the house (They maintain this kind of mess that they know where something is placed but would not find if I organized them.); and how I and my mother in-law are similar in cleaning and organizing things inside the house. So we concluded that we somehow married someone like our parent. Funny but it makes sense. Because there are qualities that you would like to remember your parents by that you unknowingly found in your spouse.

My husband and I share a lot of things, ups and downs, trials and tribulations. For 14 years, we’re still as close like we were before and much more.

Let me take this opportunity to greet my Dad and my husband a “Happy Father’s Day!” and here’s wishing long, fruitful life. The same greeting goes to all fathers out there, and to my Uncle Aciong (wherever he is) as well.