Today marks the 8th year of my mama’s passing. She left a mark in her friends and most especially to us her family and we terribly miss her. But this post is not about mama. It’s about the person who was left broken when she left — my father.
Prefers to be called Leon. He was born in 1964. A father of two girls (a.k.a me and my best friend, ate)
He is the founder of the Flag Society of the Philippines. Loves history and a true patriot.
He accomplished the following:
March from Manila to Imus, Cavite with flags raised high on Independence Day when mama was still alive.
Organized students in Dr. Albert Elementary School to wave their flags as one. (covered by Marc Logan)
Organized talks on the history of the Philippine Flag.
Visited different barangay districts to change old Philippine Flags with new ones.
Actively participates in Independence Day celebrations.
He has recorded songs, some of which are:
Nakita Kita and Iwagayway Mo Pilipino
He composed the song Ikaw Lang by Rockstar 2 Joseph Aldana
(Produced by Silver Taff, Arranged by Elmer Blancaflor)
Video through this link: Ikaw Lang by Rockstar 2
I was 12 at that time when he started being passionate about producing flag stickers, flaglets and wrote fiction mirroring Philippine history. And to be honest, I was indifferent living in my shallow about-to-be-a-teenager world. My parents preferred out-of-town trips to Bataan, Corregidor or Cavite to visit historical sites on holidays. I didn’t understand what message he wants to send across then. But I think that’s what make him admirable. Being different and having a different passion than most people isn’t bad, is it? He taught me my first piano piece. We used to call it “Lilo Lilo” because of the melody, you’ll soon learn why. I wasn’t very close to him because he used to work as an OFW himself, a seaman. They were usually given vacation after 6 months of stay on board. And that was the only time we get to see and bond with him.
The only person who supported him all his life even though a lot of people didn’t understand, shaking their heads thinking how much wasteful it was, was my mother. She jokes about it when papa’s not around saying how expensive his passion was but she supported her anyway. Trust me, til the end she did. My sister and I would often get annoyed by few stopovers in Manila before heading home to Valenzuela to seamstress of his flags or flaglet suppliers. But mama would shut us up saying it would only take a few minutes and reiterated how important it was for papa. I miss this woman. I bet she’d do the same with what I’m passionate about.
He makes it look easy to unite Filipinos with his aspirations. He uses his music, his art, his words to make things easy to imagine. The Philippines have been faced with a lot of challenges that make it hard to love it but really, what’s not love about being a Filipino? There’s so much beauty the rest of the world needs to know about and continue to care for. So many artists, especially independent ones be heard, be known and be appreciated. So many hidden treasures we need to learn about and take care of.
My mama knew in herself the gift papa has. So much has happened in those 8 years, even to the extent that ties would already be broken. He struggled since then. But here we are, mending what’s broken, choosing to move forward. And now 8 years after his supporter passed, my sister and I aim to let the world hear his words. 🙂
Umaapaw na Pagmamahal,