In a family, the most celebrated parent-to-children relationships are that of a mother to her son, and a father to her daughter – hence the idea of a mama’s boy and a papa’s girl.
Most men who prefer to keep a macho image veer away from discussing their relationship with their father.
In reality, though, the topic could make even the toughest men cry, especially on Father’s Day, when they can soften their macho act and delve in the emotions of a heart-to-heart conversation between father and son.
For Sen. Sonny Angara, who poured his heart out in his Father’s Day message, this Father’s Day felt a little weird, as he had not yet gotten used to being without his father, former Senate President Edgardo “Edong” Angara, who died on May 14 due to a cardiac arrest.
“Pa, this is our first Father’s Day without you. We all miss you,” the senator said in a tribute which was posted on his official YouTube page.
Education is everything
Based on the senator’s message, Edong, like most Filipino parents, considered education as the greatest inheritance he could give his children.
It was only fitting that Edong – who pushed for several key measures on education in the Senate – would emphasize the importance of studying.
“Pinamana mo sa amin ang pinaka-magandang biyaya sa lahat, ang magandang edukasyon,” his son said.
[You gave us your most beautiful blessing of all, which is a good brand of education.]
The incumbent senator also revealed the strict nature of his father, which he claimed eventually drove them to be better.
“You were our greatest supporter, but also our biggest critic, holding us to very high standards, which you also held against yourself,” he said. “You were tough on us, but never without reason, never without care, and never without a desire to see us excel, to become the best that we can be.”
Edong had a lot of accomplishments.
Aside from being a senator and Senate president, the Baler native was the president of three institutions – the Philippine Bar Association in 1975, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in 1979, and the University of the Philippines from 1981 to 1987.
He served as agriculture secretary from 1999 to 2001 and executive secretary during the term of former President Joseph Estrada.
He also founded the Accra Law Office, one of the country’s top law firms.
His son said that millions of Filipinos were able to achieve a better life because of the Free High School Act, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Health Insurance Act, Senior Citizens Act, among others – things his father campaigned for.
“Kaya ka nagtrabaho, para bawat bata ay makapag-aral, para bawat miyembro ng pamilya ay pwedeng magpagamot tuwing nagkakasakit, para gumaan ang buhay para sa ating mga lolo’t lola,” the senator said about his father.
[You worked so that every child can study, to give provide medical attention to every family member when they get sick, to make the lives of grandparents easier.]
A father, first and foremost
“Iba ang pakiramdam na walang tumatawag o nangungulit sa amin,” the senator said in a two-and-a-half-minute video showing photos of Edong in different roles – as a public servant, a father, and a grandfather.
[It feels different when you don’t call or pester us anymore.]
The senator is proud of everything that his father has done. But for him,the most important thing that Edong did was being the patriarch of the family.
“While you held the nation’s hand through very trying times, I will always remember how you held my hand when I was a child,” the senator said.
“People know you as a lawyer, column and book writer, university president, agriculturist and farmer, banker, legislator, and finally diplomat. Pero para sa amin, ang pinaka-importanteng papel na iyong nagampanan ay bilang ama sa amin, at lolo sa inyong mga apo,” he added.
“We love you Pa. You will always be in our hearts, salamat sa lahat,” Sonny said to end his tribute. /atm
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