Loving the way I felt for them were making waves of intimate feeling that they’re longing for a long time. The reciprocal relationship confirmed that I will stay for them, love them and lead the way for their future.
The nightmare that I experienced with my friends changed to a very beautiful feeling not to be found from other people, only on my beloved family. It’s with my loved ones that triggered the most valuable essence of my being. It was with them all throughout, but I cannot see when a shroud of material things covered my entire self.
“Anne Rose, I heard from your brother that you’re working with the Philippine government new project?”
“Yes Daddy, that’s true….a joint venture of the American government and our country. It’s a new project….and it’s confidential in nature. I asked my leave of absence because I wanted to meet you here Dad.”
“I love you baby….be careful always and don’t forget to pray to God the Father.”
“Yes Daddy, I’ll do that…and thanks. You know about Kent Daddy?”
“He’s aiming to work at Malacanang Palace; he’s number one in BAR exam Dad and really a politician.”
“Anne Rose, please call them; John, Danny and Christine.”
Anne Rose called them up at the other end of the hall and came back with her three brothers and a sister.
“Dad we’re here…all of us.”
“Take your seats facing me…all of you.” I said looking them all seriously. “Well, you are all my children and today, I just know all your names and some of your behavior but deep inside of me, I didn’t know what kind of individual are you…in mind and heart. Forgive me for not knowing this before, yes that was before when you’re all still young then. As I struggle my life from other countries, I know, that I left behind to know your true self which are the best essence of being a father. All of you, as I observed this past hours, that we decided your schooling at home because of me. Since I gave your independence to study outside, you molded your personality the way you wanted it to be. On this regards, please allow me to know that and your ambition in life. So that, I could love you as my sons and daughters; and love you as what you intend to be. Can you do that for me?” I seriously looked at them on their eyes, one by one with the feeling of knowing their true minds and hearts; to know them better as their beloved father.
“Daddy, I’ll start the ball rolling and I’m your eldest daughter. Well, Dad, as I’ve told you a while ago and this is my job. I’m ready and interested for it. As of now, I’ve got used to physical, emotional and intelligence training. We’re trained by American experts. And as I said, some are confidential in nature. For loving someone, not yet and I love what I’m doing now. Dad, what can you say?”
“You’re the best baby Anne Rose! I have trust on you to carry on with your chosen field. I know you can do it excellently. One thing I’d like to ask for you, take good care of your three brothers and especially the youngest princess. You’re the eldest and that’s your responsibility for them all. All of you, do you understand? Keep your attachment to your eldest sister whatever you’re doing with your life.”
“Okay very good Anne Rose. Next, Kent Ian?”
“Yes Dad I’m here. Well, just graduated from college and a topnotch of the BAR exam. Dad, actually, I’m gaining my footing from the political world and really love my profession. You know what Dad, my hidden ambition….to become President of the Philippines. Are you with me Dad?”
“Yes Kent Ian, lovely and I’m really proud of you. All I can say is that, be aware always of the people around you, or friends, especially some politicians. You know our political system here in the Philippines, right?”
“Yes Dad and thank you.”
“Also, don’t forget to pray and call HIM when you needed help.”
“Yes Dad, I’ll remember that.”
“How about love my handsome son?”
“Dad, with regard to loving someone….not now Dad, maybe later on.”
“Well, John Philip, your turn now.”
“Dad I personally thanking you… and as for me, I’m still in college, got the chemical engineering course, but I’m planning to take some other science course too. Dad, you know what, I’m running for a cum laude of the Engineering Department. And, I really loved doing some other things that interests me. Well, for love….later on…I think so...”
“Good…very good John…keep the good work…I admire you my son!”
“Thank you Dad!”
“Danny…your turn?” I said looking at him.
“Dad, I want to be like you….a billionaire! What can you say Daddy?”
“Well, Danny, thank you for making me proud of my accomplishments but my life story is very different from yours. Besides, I came from…” I stopped and looked at him…all of them.
“We understand Dad…know your life story.” Anne Rose said.
“Dad, you know me…want to be a businessman with my own way. And for love, well, I can’t say for the moment. Promise Dad, I swear!”
“Okay Danny, like your vision and I salute you for that.”
“Thanks Dad! You know what Daddy, your little angel wanted to be an international model and actress,” as he presented Christine Mae in front of me.
“Are you sure Christine my angel?”
“Yes Dad, I can afford isn’t it?” Christine performed her killer stance in front of us. “See Dad, I can act too…you like sample Dad?”
“No thanks my angel….you’re so artistic and beautiful!” I kissed her and whispered,”I’m sure you can do it because you're perfect in every angle.”
“Yes my dear!”
“Ohhh I love you Dad!” She hugged me tightly and said, “Thank you Daddy.”
“All of you take your seats. What we’re doing right now including the audio, the video are recorded for my files. I want this because I treasure this moment to each of you. Who knows, maybe in the future, I’ll be with you again. With regard to all your financial expenses, allowances and other matters, I’ll assign somebody to handle this.”
“Okay Dad.” All of them said in unison. I smiled and everyone kissed and hugged me.
Still sitting on my wheel chair, they pushed me towards the center of the hall, opened their gifts and gave it to me individually. Very glad for this moment with my children, the thing that I didn’t done for them while growing up. The lost time that I spent as an Overseas Filipino Worker cannot be redeemed by spending a shorter time, but looking the result of their accomplishments and personalitiies as a responsible citizens.
“Thank you so much my children…truly loved your presents to me.”
The group came while we’re at the center of the hall, that my wife, Ayah Isabel hastily embraced me crying.
“Marco, I’m so sorry…hu-hu-hu-hu….please forgive me,” and I said whispering to her, “Don’t worry at all, we’ll talk that later. Do you know her?”
“Yes Marco, she’s beautiful, I talked to her….explained everything. Our children know already about them and Danielle. Let’s introduce her to our children.”
Ayah pushed the wheel chair where the group was sitting introducing each other through the leadership of Edward. I saw Lina Luna but I eluded my mind to talk to her at that moment. I kept my silence I wanted them to initiate the introduction. I looked at them all especially Shaira; smiling and contented to be with the group.
I moved my right hand to Ayah’s hand, tightly fingered her palm, a signal to start the introduction. She squeezed my palm too, an affirmative sign to begin.
“Good afternoon to all, especially our children, Edward and wife, Lina and son, and Shaira. You know, Shaira’s alone now family. She’s Marco’s daughter from Danielle who truly loved him since our college days. I knew, that you already have some knowledge about it through your uncle Edward.” Ayah Isabel stopped and looked at Shaira who’s listening very carefully. “Shaira, come over here,” she said walking to the seat where Shaira’s sitting. They came back to me and Shaira embraced me and said, “Dad thank you so much, I missed you….I thought you left me…”
“I’m responsible for you now…and I love you baby.”
“Yes Dad, I know…we’ll talk that some other day Dad.”
“Okay Shaira,” and I kissed her while I observed my five children are looking intently. “Anne Rose, Kent Ian, John Philip, Danny Robert and Christine Mae, I formally accept and introduce Shaira Gustilo Fernando…your sister and our family member now. Come my children…welcome her....” All of them embraced, welcomed her warmly and I’m glad for this reunion.
“Thanking you all for accepting me here…Daddy Marco…Mommy Ayah…thank you so much!” She cried in front of the group.
As I saw Shaira’s crying…as my children hugged each other…. my tears fall to the book I’m holding on my lap which was given to me by Ayah Isabel as a gift. The title and author written in bold letter:
Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW): This is My Life and Story
By an OFW
“To Err Is Human, To Forgive Divine”
E N D
By an OFW
“To Err Is Human, To Forgive Divine”
E N D