Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Papa's Legacy


My dad died on February 29, 2016. I delivered this eulogy to honor my Papa.



It is hard to capture in a few sentences about Papa’s legacy. His sense of humor is a given. But there’s more to him behind the jokes. I don’t remember about Papa’s gifts to me when I was a child except for a few books. But what he gave me was more valuable than toys. I had a rich and happy childhood. One of the legacies that Papa gave me was quality time. Papa invested in experience. Papa made it a point to make it a family tradition to have road trips every summer, whether it be in Hidden Valley in Laguna, White Rock in Subic or Camp John Hay in Baguio. Our bonding moments could just be biking in CCP or watching a Ginebra game in ULTRA. We would often have family lunches at Pizza Hut, Alex III or Moon Palace. It was in those enjoyable experiences where I saw how Papa lived life to the fullest.

Papa was Mr. Congeniality and Mr. Hospitality personified. He opened the doors of our house to our Australian balikbayans. He would gamely volunteer to pick our relatives from the airport and offer to tour them around. Even though, we only had a small station wagon, he would still try to accommodate our balikbayan guests. Papa also helped a lot of my cousins in their schooling. He adopted them into our home and treated them as if they were his own children. Papa made sure that they graduate from school and helped them to get jobs.

Papa has been very influential in my major life decisions . During my fourth year in high school, I passed both UP and La salle. My dream school was La Salle. I had a heart to heart talk with Papa. He said, “Wag ka nang mag-Lasalle, mag-UP ka na lang.” I told him that I will pray about it. In my prayer time, I tried to cut the Bible and it opened in Proverbs and said, “Listen to your father, without him, you would not exist.” How could it be more direct than that? And so I obeyed him and went to UP. That has been one of the best decisions in my life because it is in UP that I joined UP Christ’s Youth in Action and met my closest friends. Indeed, God spoke through my father.

One of the biggest lessons that Papa has taught me was on forgiveness. When I was still a new driver back in college, I tried to take out the car from the garage. I made a huge mistake of putting down the hand brake while the door was still open. The car moved backwards and the door hit the gate and made quite a damage. I was expecting a good dressing down from Papa and being grounded from driving the car again. To my surprise, he didn’t get angry at me when I apologized. He just accepted my apology without a fuss. He taught me that it was better to be loving than correct. He chose to be merciful.

Papa came from a poor family and that is why his heart is very close to the poor, especially to the Tahanan ng Panginoon members. That is one of the things that I admire about him. He was able to connect with them through his stories and words of wisdom. He was well-loved and respected because he was really dedicated in serving them.

The best legacy that Papa gave me was the gift of community. What was his secret in bringing us to community? He walked the talk. He evangelized us through his actions. Every laying of hand inside their bedroom made an impact on me. We would celebrate the Lord’s Day encouraging  us to say our own thanksgiving prayers. Papa’s Men’s and Women’s group became our second family. For him, community is family. Community is a habit. Community is a way of life. It was easy for us to be integrated to community because of his faithfulness. He loved Ligaya so much and that was evident in the way he served the community with joy.

Papa, I just want to say thank you for bringing me up and leading our family to the Lord. You taught us well. You fought the good fight of faith. You always had that never-say-die spirit in you. Team Juanta would not be the same without you but we take comfort that you are in God’s loving arms. Rest assured, we will take care of Mama. I love you and I will always be grateful to have a great father like you.

 

Woman Behind A Teacher's Odyssey

My name is Miracel Juanta and I write ATeachersOdyssey to help students and teachers create better English. I have been in the teaching profession for more than 10 years. My field of expertise includes ESL,IELTS,TOEFL,Business English etc. If you have questions about English, feel free to email me at msjuanta@yahoo.com or add my twitter @msjuanta.