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Jun 25th
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Twenty-one Lessons from Filipino Fathers



T oday, being Father’s Day, let us remember some lessons that our Dad, Grandfathers, Uncles and Granduncles might have taught us. (If your Dad or elder imparted to you an additional lesson, please send it to us for inclusion in this list. Or you can post it in the User’s Comments at the end of this article.)


As the writer who compiled these lessons from his mentors for the past 50 years or so, I am not sure as to who told it to me – or heard it from – first. I refer to my some of my mentors in life who have gone to the Great Beyond: my Dad, Dominador S. Reyes, my uncles: Jose S. Reyes, Pedro S. Reyes. Jaime S. Reyes and Dandoy Sesbreño; Dr. Estanislao “Vigan” de los Reyes (my father-in-law), Fred Burce Bunao (my literary mentor), Dr. Perry Calica (my mentor in community relations), Dr. Conrado Pascual, Sr., and others.


1. Expect less from life, loved ones, friends and even benefactors.


2. Give until it hurts. (Personal motto of Dr. Conrado Pascual, Sr.)


3. Free your heart from hatred and/or envy.


4. Free your mind from worry, as worrying doesn’t help at all.


5. Live a simple life and live it according to your means.


6. Never volunteer your help, let them seek it. (Personal motto of the late San Juan, La Union Mayor Antonio Abad Aquino, as told by Alfonso Gaerlan-Aquino).


7. Always smile and laugh long and loud but don’t die laughing.


8. When a kin or a friend dies, grieve, endure and move on. Tears won’t bring back the deceased.


9. Never face solo the problems or travel alone the road of adversity. Surround yourself with, or be accompanied by, whom you love and trust.


10. Do not take guilt trip and never go to where you will feel guilty of anything.


11. Tell the people that you love and/or like and/or respect at every opportune time or moment your love, admiration and/or respect.


12. The most-prized possession in life is one’s health. So cherish it because no amount of money or power, prestige or influence can guarantee good health.


13. Forgive but always bear in mind that forgiveness requires of the person being forgiven to do reparation and restitution.


14. A thing is good only when it can be had (One of the personal mottos of my father, Dominador S. Reyes).


15. Never talk back against your parents, elders and senior officers even if you are right and they are wrong. (A personal motto of Col. Manicito Santos, Sr., as told by his son, Manicito “Fender” Santos, Jr.)


16. Be aggressive in implementing core family values. (A personal motto of Col. Eduardo Borje, as told by his son, Romeo P. Borje, the dean of Filipino-American columnists).


17. Sailing (a sailboat) heals all heartaches and cures all headaches (Probable motto of Florentino Das, who sailed solo from Hawaii to Samar in 1953, and Prof. Alex Fabros of San Francisco, an avid sailor in the Bay Area).


18. It is better for one’s house to be robbed than it is to be burned down. (An adage often quoted by my maternal grandfather, Saturnino Mercado).


19. Nobody can put a good man down. (A lesson from Dr. Estanislao “Vigan” de los Reyes, my father-in-law).


20. Never make enemies out of your political adversaries or business competitors.


21. Birds and bees and all wildlife don’t have Social Security, Medicare or pension funds but they thrive because they live solely on God’s love. (A favorite quotation of my father, Dominador S. Reyes). In short, “Filipinos, Must Start to Live More on Love and Less on Materials Things,” as highlighted in Alan Jackson’ song, “Livin’ on Love,” as found in this URL:


We, the writers, staff members, columnists and contributors of wish all Dads, Granddads and Great-granddads a very Happy Father’s Day! Mabuhay!


(To be continued . . .)


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