If there's one word that would best describe my Daddy, it would be Generous. My Dad was a very generous man.
Generous with his blessings. He was always ready to share his blessings with everyone who needed his help. A relative who needed to buy medicine or needed to be hospitalized. An employee who had a family emergency. A friend in a tight situation. The children being cared for by the Rotary. Hindi niya pinagdamot ang blessings niya. Daddy would tell us all the time to share, to give, to help, because God will give back everything a hundredfold.
Daddy generously gave good advice. During the first few days of his wake, some of the visitors would tell me - ang dami nilang natutunan kay Dad. They appreciate all the advice my Dad gave them, advice sa family, advice sa business. It was my Dad's way of showing people that he cared for them. Genuine concern. Genuine love. Hindi niya pinagdamot ang mga nalalaman niya. His knowledge and skills, the things he learned from many years of experience, all those he wholeheartedly shared.
One advice from Dad that I will always remember is this: sabi niya sa akin, always put God first above all else. Before heading for work, Dad would stop for a few minutes in front of the BF church to start his day with a prayer of thanks. If he wasn't in a hurry, he would even go inside the adoration chapel. "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all shall be given to you." Yun ang turo ni Dad. And that's why everyday I would pass by the Church first before driving to work, and pray for guidance and protection.
Also another advice na hindi ko malilimutan is when he saw my credit card bills and discovered that I have a bit of a spending problem. He talked to me without judgment, without making me feel small or terrible. Tinuro niya sa akin what to do, the meaning of miminum payment and finance charges. For me, honestly, it was like confessing my sins to God, and He listened and forgave without judgment or criticism. Yun ang pinaramdam sa akin ni Daddy during that time. And I will never forget that, Dad.
My Daddy is generous with his time. Every week, inspite of the weather or any circumstance, kahit puyat or pagod, he would drive to Pampanga for his weekly Rotary duties. You should see my Dad's daily schedule. It's packed with things to do and things to accomplish every single day. May alarm pa yun to remind him of important things or deadlines. But despite his very busy schedule, he finds time for important things outside AICS, like the Rotary. He joined all the meetings, the programs, the conventions, etc.
But most importantly, he always had time for family. I don't recall a single moment when he had no time for us. He was always there for me and my siblings, and especially for my mom. And I think, in order for one to become a really good husband and father, you give your family not a huge amount of material things, but a huge amount of time and attention.
Daddy was generous with his smiles and laughter. I think all who knew him would agree na laging naka smile si dad, always ready to crack a joke, always ready to do a funny face pag wacky shot. And pag nag joke siya, kahit corny, bentang benta pa rin kasi pag tumawa na siya, matatawa ka rin. His favorite lines - Whattaheck! Or Ketchup to you. Yung mga saleslady automatic ang tawag niya "Stephanie " or "Balbina." We were at Enchanted Kingdom once. Nakapila kami sa bump cars tapos may mga batang sumingit. He pointed at them and with his booming voice said, "Psst! Get out!" And takbuhan yung mga bata. And then nung pumipili sila ng colors ng bump cars, my husband said "wag yung yellow. Pambakla yan." My dad replied, "oo nga pambakla yan!"
Then when we rode the carousel and all our horses moved up and down except for his horse, siya na lang ang nag up and down movement with his arms wide open while shouting, "yahoooo!"
If you haven't seen that funny side of my Dad, sayang. Ang saya kaya kasama ni Daddy. His laugh was contagious.
And lastly, my Dad was very generous with his love. Ask anyone who knew my dad - people from Aics, people from the Rotary, relatives and friends - they would say ang bait sa kanila ni Sir Asis, ni Manny, ni Boy. Bakit? Kasi mahal niya kayo. He gave his love away without expecting anything in return. Kahit mga taong sinaktan siya, inaway siya, binetray siya, he lovingly forgave and embraced. Because my dad was full of love, not hate or resentment. Sa totoo lang, ako pa ang mas galit sa mga nanakit kay Dad. Napatawad na niya, ako hindi pa. I guess I have to work on that, Daddy.
But he is a man who radiates with love. And I cannot even begin to tell you how much he loved his family. There's a popular quote that goes, The Best thing that a father can do for his children is to love their mother. And sobrang mahal ni Dad si Mommy. Even after four kids and one grandchild, HHWW pa rin sila. Holding hands while walking. You'll always see them holding hands, magkatabi, magkayakap, minsan nagsasapakan... but in a playful way of course. Minsan nagtatampuhan, pero laging nagmamahalan. Dad has painted for us a beautiful picture of how marriage should be, how a family should be. He was the perfect example of a really good family man. He loved my mom so very much, and when you love your wife incredibly, that already speaks volumes about how much he loved his children. He loved us so much, and raised us well. If you want proof, just look at me and my siblings. Ayan. Ang gaganda namin. :)
But seriously, as the Head of the Family, he built the foundation with love that is so strong it continues to stand the test of time. Our family is so close and tight-knit, not even death can shake the very core of this foundation that my Dad built. Our family is built on Love. Because my Daddy was full of love.
And that's why, kahit ngayong wala na siya physically with us, with you - he will forever live in our hearts and our memories because he has touched our lives in such beautiful ways. Napakaganda ng remembrance na iniwan niya sa ating lahat. And at the same time, we filled his photo album with happy memories that I'm sure he's sharing now with the angels there in heaven.
We will never forget the incredibly generous man that was Manny, your friend, your best friend, your boss, your mentor, your tito, your brother, your Kuya, Aria's most favorite lolo, my mommy's labiduds, and my Dad. We love you, Daddy! We will miss you every single day of our lives.