My essay bearing the same title was originally published 3 years ago at a Military Newsletter “KANLURAN” as a contributor.
“Of Steels and Butterflies” was originally dedicated to soldiers who was deployed all over the Philippines to safeguard the peace, leaving their children behind, and spending Father’s Day on some secluded spot, often without any means of communications, not sure if that was the last time they’ll say goodbye.
During a Medical Civic Action Program on a mountain with my unit, (I was a Broadcast Program Producer/Writer and Civil Military Operations Specialist for the Philippine Marines at the time) I was touched and inspired by a Marine Medic checking up babies and giving medicines, while his own 4-month old baby was sick.
When I asked why did not he filed a leave of absence to tend to his own child, he said that instead of spending a lot of money to go home to his province (about P20,000 in a round trip ticket) he opted to just send it through money courier to be used for the hospital. He just can’t hide all the feelings in his eyes.
Last night while re-arranging the content of my overstuffed cabinet, I found the magazine again. While reading it, memories and thoughts came flooding by. I was thinking how our Fathers are very like our own personal warriors who will fight for our survivals , the strong guardians who will do everything to keep us safe, the thoughful provider who will give us more than what we need, the teacher who wants us to learn by facing our own fears and find our own strength, the fashion critic who will not let you out of the house for wearing such revealing clothes, but encourage us to be ourselves, unique from all the world, our very own adventure guide in life, the master advicer, the great strategist, the handyman, the awesome cook, personal driver and motivator.
In my case, i am my father’s grestest fan.
He is a writer and a very awesome photographer. His works express passion, dedication and pure talent, one which i tried to imitate but failed to come even close to half.
I followed (tried) on his footsteps. I took Journalism and took units in Photography to make him proud of me. He is my harshest critic in all things, though he always said the words in gentle manner, that to my sensitive ear always sounds the loudest.
He is the type of man that is pure steel outside. He doesn’t always show emotion and had an amazing control over his feelings. But when he do, he is not afraid to cry.
I hope one day that i can tell you the full story of his life. For surely what he endured will break a weaker heart and soul. But he came unscathed and even stronger than before. It will be a story i would be proud share to the world when the time is right.
I love that man greatly.
Happy Father’s Day from my little island in the West Philippines.