PIECES OF ME - A Little More of Him in Me

By the time I publish this post Father's Day would be over so let me first greet every father out there:

 Belated Happy Father's Day!

I don't usually talk about my family here on the blog but since it's Father's Day (or it was), let me share things about my Dad.

First the basics:

My Dad's name is Francisco Torres Jr. But everyone, except old relatives, calls him Jun (because of the "junior"). Our old relatives call him "Boyet" since when he was young, he was small (little boy = boyet). He was  born and raised in Pasig (True Blue Pasigueno!) and studied in UP Diliman. He works for the government, at the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, as an aquaculturist. Don't expect me to explain what is that because I have no idea. But I do know that his research is used to make fishing more efficient and productive and to keep the aquatic ecosystem at balance.

My father loves to watch TV. There must be countless times when I caught him watching TV and then falling asleep. And every time I turn it off, he wakes up. It's like the sound of the telly is his lullaby. But he really likes to watch anything. I do love watching TV too but I only watch a few programs or if I follow certain shows, but him, he can watch anything! From National Geographic, to news programs, to basketball games. Sometimes he watches on the Food Network or on Syfy or CNN. The bottom line is, he loves to watch TV.

My Dad likes to cook heavy breakfasts. When we were young, he is usually the one to tell us that breakfast is the most important meal since it gives you energy throughout the day. He is the one in our family who usually drinks milk or hot choco. in the morning. He also likes to eat fried rice for breakfast. He'd partner it with fried "tuyo" or "Daing" or my favorite luncheon meat (though I rarely eat luncheon meat since I gave up eating rice).

My Dad is a comic fan. It was in his influence that I grew up watching X-men and Batman. I remember one time, from UST, I went to his office in Quezon Ave. so that we could go home together. When I got there, he said "Nakadownload ako ng encyclopedia." And I asked "encyclopedia ng?"  and his reply was "Encyclopedia ng Marvel!".  He really took the time to search and download something so trivial but he knows we will both like. That's how he is. Also, on my 7th birthday, we watched Batman and Robin after he picked me up from school. He knows Batman is my favorite superhero and he went out of his office early just so we could watch it.

My Dad has this one corny joke. He usually doesn't tell jokes but he had this joke that I secretly hope he won't remember because it was so..(I can't find a non offensive term for the joke). It goes like this: "Sino ang kapatid ni Jollibee? Edi si Sam Milbee!" I swear, I would go berserk if I ever hear that joke again from him.

One thing I got from my Dad is probably his observation skills. He usually is quiet but listens to what people say. He knows what you like because he heard you like it or he's seen how ecstatic you are when you have something you like. Like, when he knows I like using the blue water glass for dinner because he's seen me change my glass to the blue one every dinner. Or when he knows what we don't like to eat or what we love to eat. Or when he know things that I thought no one notices. But he does. He's that sensitive.

My father and I had this weird relationship. We think alike but we do not like the same things. We bth do things out of habit but we don't like doing the same things. We act similarly but are reactions are not similar. Weird right? This is probably the reason we bicker and disagree with each other most of the time.

I admit I am not that close to my father. I admit we do not have the relationship that most fathers and sons have. We rarely talk about stuff concerning ourselves or stuff that really matters. We bicker at the slightest disagreement (we are both hot headed). But one thing I would always admit is that I know how much he loves us.

When I was in the fourth grade, I learned my father got offered a job in Malaysia. He was working for an international research company that was based here in the Philippines at that time. He works as an Assistant Manager for Research. The company will be moving to Malaysia since it probably finished its research here. My father was offered a position in Malaysia and they said he could bring his family with him. The company would send his children to an international school (shouldered by the company) and housing benefits were also included. But here's the catch: he could only bring three more persons with him. That means, one of us will be left behind. For a parent, sending your children to a good school and  having a stable job would be enough. But if you are offered a more rewarding job and you can send your children to a better school, but with the risk of leaving someone, what would you do?

My father, without question, declined that offer. I know, how hard it must be for him. Not only does it mean he's letting go of a career opportunity but also letting go of a learning opportunity for him. There are times that when I remember this story, I find myself secretly wishing that his previous company could have accommodated us. However, one thing that prevails in this story is that my father gave up a huge opportunity for us to be complete. We've all heard stories of people giving up something for someone, but this is something different since I know the person in the story and I was part of those who have benefited from the sacrifice. Whenever I remember this particular story, I can't help but love my Dad so much more.

He probably is not going to read this since he doesn't know I blog and he doesn't have Twitter (God forbid that my parents discover Twitter). But just in case he does: Dad, I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son!

Here's a song to all the father's out there who loved their families so much and to the sons and daughters who  sees a little more of their father in them.

I wish that I too would see a lot more of my father in me.

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