He is known to some as a carefree man, a hardworking and dedicated person in workplace. He is a kind of friend that will stick closer than a brother. His friendly aura and amusing personality never fails to make his ‘kumpare’ and ‘amigo’ laugh with his silly jokes, witty retorts and funny stories but I was left wondering why I never heard him talk about his childhood. It was like a part of him that he just wanted to forget forever, a part of him that he just wanted to bury.
Going Back to Where it All Started
Going back to my parents’ hometown “Aklan” would perhaps feed my curiosity and answer my long been overdue questions of my father’s untold story, words that were supposed to be told long ago but were left unspoken.
His neighbors said that a bright and beautiful future awaits him before he was born. His father was a known politician and a rich haciendero in their barangay; his mother though didn’t study college and poor was a very attractive and fine looking woman. They were madly in love with each other and a night of passion brought forth my father’s existence. She got pregnant out of wedlock. But a twist of fate happened.
A Tale of Two Lovers
His father was also pregnant with another woman. A promise of forever was not only kept to one woman but to two. But only one has the right for his name and his heart. His father though loves her mother more based on hearsay married the other out of convenience and guilt because she threatened to kill herself. That made my father an illegitimate child.
Two lives set apart by a decision, a fate that was sealed and no one can alter. One living in abundance while other in scarcity and scrutiny. One is clothed with love and affection while the other lives under other people’s mercy and sympathy. One was raised in a good and positive environment while the other was early exposed in life’s harsh relity. One has bright and secure future while the other is filled with uncertainty and fear. One has something he calls his home, while the other tries to rebuild what was deprived of him.
For his mother, seeing him is a dark past she didn’t want be revealed. The gloomiest chapter of her life she wished didn’t happen. He is an unwanted child, a mistake she shouldn’t have done.
For his father, perhaps a product of a night of passion with his so called “love of his life” but was soon forgotten. A responsibility he wanted to escape, a son he didn’t care about.
Not repeating the same mistake
He was a victim of his past, but he didn’t allow himself to be a prisoner of it. He married my mom and bore them three children two sons and one daughter (that’s me). Though was a product of broken family, he never, not even once mention about his dark past to his children (I know he has his own reasons why). He strived not to repeat the same mistakes and be a responsible father to us. We grew up in strict discipline and strong value for education. After years of hard work and wearisome labor we all graduated in Universities and got our own job.
Love found in someone else
He is love not by the people who supposed to be overjoyed by his birth but by his many friends and relatives. He is wanted not by the people who are the reason for his existence but by his neighbors and the strangers he met. He is value not by the people who gave him life but by us whose life we owe to him.
Everything happens f or a reason
I tried to imagine different scenarios. How could our lives changed if only his father married his mother and not other woman? He might have experienced a completely different life, far from the tough life he lived when he was young. Is there a chance that he would meet my mother? Would he feel the same way and ask his hand in marriage? If not, would we ever come into existence? Would I be alive right now? Well, my father said that everything is part of an intricate plan. If only one part was changed in his story, I wont be who I am right now. Truly, God has an amazing plan for each one of us long before we were born. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 29:11)”
A Good Name is Better than Great Riches
I remembered when I was young my father used to tell me and my brothers that a good name is better than great riches. He instilled in our hearts that we should never put our family name to shame or do anything that would put it in disgrace. But surprisingly I learned that the family name we’re carrying right now was actually his mother’s maiden name and not his father’s name. Well, I guess it is written in my story that I am a born Feliciano and not Mersed.
My father’s dark past has already ended. Gone was the tears, heartache and rejection. It will just remain a story in the past, a part of history that happens for a reason. His new beginning has long been started.
P.S Its been awhile since I last updated my blog. Well, I’m enjoying my stay here in my parents’ hometown AKLAN and internet connection is not very stable. Watch out for my next post that would tell you more about this beautiful place.