My Tatay, My Hero

I found this in one of my freshmen folders and I thought that it would be such a waste if I just leave it there since I am very proud of the person who inspired me to be the topic of my Speech 136 class assignment, “My Hero”. (and yes I memorized this whole speech by heart and recited it to class.)

Last week, we were faced with the matter of identifying our hero. If I had it my way, I would have had a long endless list of family members, friends, even celebrities and fictional characters that had greatly influenced my life. But then I pondered for a long while who I would be talking about as my hero in front of all of you and I’ve finally decided that it would be my Grandfather – the man who I fondly call Tatay.

Tatay was a Police Lieutenant back in Aklan. He owned a small restaurant together with Nanay – my grandma. He is the father of my mom, aunt and uncles. He was a hands-on and proud dad, he was always there for his children. He cared so much like a mother and protected like, well, what a father would normally do. He was present in all his kids’ school activities and applauded in all their plays, contests, and commencement exercises. He would willingly help them in their homework whenever Nanay is still not home because she used teach back then in another town.

Tatay was the type of father who would come home late from duty but still manage to sneak into his children’s beds with simple midnight snacks like barbeque, balut, and well, you get the picture. He was the type of dad who would bring his kids out for ice cream, pizza or just a walk in the park whenever they’re feeling down. He was so close to all his kids that they would even play pranks on each other and just laugh at it in the end like close buddies. He had great fatherly instincts and he knew his kids’ heart by heart; he was a very doting and respectable dad. I wish I could sum up everything about him but unfortunately, I can’t. He was always more than words on a paper, more than just a topic for speech. I wish I could find the right adjectives, the right metaphors to describe him so that you guys could also see the way I see him.

I chose him to be my hero over a long list of equally deserving individuals because he played a huge part in molding the people whom I love unconditionally. I could not imagine what type of person my mom and her siblings would be without him. He taught them a huge chunk of Faith, Values, Humanity and Independence. He was the most significant person in my mom’s life, my maternal uncles talk fondly of him even when they reminisce of the times when they got scolded for being too stubborn and my only maternal aunt used him as her source of strength and inspiration in graduating successfully from Nursing School. It is through them and their stories that I met Tatay –Why? Because he left our world long before he had any grandchildren. He died at an early age of 52 because he started smoking at an early age of 16. My mom and her siblings watched him struggle with his lung cancer for years until in late 1992, he finally said goodbye. It was a bittersweet goodbye because of course, he will be missed so much but then everyone is also tired of watching him undergo therapy, take countless meds and go to numerous check-ups all for false hopes because his body was slowly giving up. He may have left a long time ago but his influence and legacy of love and kindness with the people around him remains forever.

My hero doesn’t have any superpowers nor save the world from evil things or fly around the globe saving lives – but he did touch and change the lives of others. I’d give up anything to meet my hero.

I’d rather endure the pain of losing him than not having to meet him at all.

But there is nothing else that I can do now except to pray for his good soul and hope that he is happy wherever he is right now and that he will forever be remembered and loved.Featured image

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