By Irah Marie Tan, Jessica Asprer, and Thea Andrea Magueriano
Fathers and father figures — through their advice and stories, and how they sometimes translate their affection in ways we don’t always understand — are often the ones who discipline us and teach us to play the cards we’re dealt but also step out of complacency and live for more.
We may not always wrap our heads around their silly dad jokes, but their words of wisdom are something we can live by.
Put family first
Family nurtures and develops us. Victor Labao, a student, shared with Manila Standard what his father instilled in him about family.
“Family comes first over everything else. Family is always there for us through good and bad times,” he said. “We must never put them second because they are the people who made us who we are today.”
This, he said, was not only limited to our blood relatives but also to the people we call family.
Value your friends
André Chavez grew up in a home where openly expressing emotions to one another was quite unusual. This was common for Filipino-Chinese households, he pointed out.
For the 22-year-old mechanical engineering graduate, it was not always easy getting along with his father, but in time, rough patches were soothed; long, hearty talks during their drives to their lola’s house in Olongapo and genuine conversations over their beer sessions were to credit – although Chavez said he wouldn’t mind swapping the beer for Johnnie Walker sometimes.
The bit of wisdom he learned from his father is about the value of people. “Minsan mas magandang maging mayaman sa kaibigan kaysa mayaman sa pera,” his father once told him.
His business owner father, he shared, was a former PBA and PBL assistant coach for the Tanduay basketball team, winning three back-to-back championships back in the day.
“My dad is the chillest person I know. Always wants everyone to laugh. A great people person. And arguably the person with the most friends I have ever met,” Chavez shared.
Everyone deserves to be respected
Respect plays a big role in our everyday lives, and it starts within the family.
“The first lesson I learned from my father is to respect my parents because parents are our first guide in knowing what is right and wrong,” Alvin Ruiz, a rider, said.
He added, “Respect is needed especially this time. I am a father and I teach my daughter to have respect for us and for everyone, not just only to older people. Everyone needs and deserves to be respected.”
Do your best
Eli Seludo’s father, Raul, is both his mentor and best friend.
“He makes sure that he is always available,” Seludo shared. “He lets you know that he really listens to your stories.”
Both electrical engineers, Seludo, 24, has learned much from his father from following in his footsteps: giving his best efforts in everything he does, being accountable, and upholding integrity through it all.
To his father, whom he counts as a blessing, he said, “Thank you for being a good role model and for always walking the talk. You don’t know how many lessons I have learned just by looking at how you live life.”
Work hard, be money-smart
Dan Arreola learned the importance of slowly achieving goals and the value of money from his father.
“I learned from him to always work hard and to always work towards my dreams… and to budget my money,” shared Arreola, a horse veterinarian.
As hard as fathers work to provide their children with a comfortable life, they also want us to be able to survive the world they have no control of.
There may be uncertainties on whether working smart or working hard is the way through life, but knowing and seeing the fruits of hard work, the 24-year-old also wants to pass the same lesson to his future children.
The best lesson Maureen Grace Avestruz learned came from a mentor she considers her father and calls “Tatay”. “His best advice [is] to always choose to be honest, no matter how painful it is,” she shared.
The nurse had learned much of her work ethic from him, and part of that is to “never settle for being second best, be better and continue to learn along the way.”
Tatay is a health care professional and frontliner who shows her how to be generous and selfless. Tatay would empty his pocket full of candies and chocolates every time he comes home, Avestruz shared.
“[I am] so proud to be part of his pack,” she enthused.
Trust is earned
Children are taught not to talk to strangers, which boils down to the importance of trust.
Camilo Bien Medina tells kids to not easily trust others as his father used to say, “mahirap nang magtiwala”, referring to those who cannot be trusted.
Like respect, Medina’s father believes trust is earned. While learning the importance of trust, throughout his 25 years of existence, Medina was also taught how important it is to choose friends.
The influencer marketing officer at Smart Communications, Inc., shared, “Ever since he told me this, naging mapili ako with my friends, tinanggal ko mga toxic people sa buhay ko. That made my life much better with healthy people!”
Crying is not a weakness
Dharla Silva’s father ingrained in her that crying has no gender and everyone feels pain.
“My father has a soft-hearted personality, he [is] never ashamed of crying,” she shared.
The 21-year-old student learned that crying is no sign of frailty, but rather a medium to express one’s pain and to gain a sense of relief.
With his father setting an example, she realized earlier on that “[I] don’t need to be strong all the time, that I can cry whenever I want.”
“I want to share this life lesson with my future sons and daughters for them to acknowledge that crying is not a weakness.”
God above all
“My father taught me how to give glory to God in everything that I do and make good choices,” shared 26-year-old Marie Dominic Castillo.
Aside from faith in God, the architect’s father also taught her that everyone has the capacity to do a lot of things, “but not everything that you do will be beneficial”.
Castillo continued, “I always keep this lesson in my heart to be mindful of the life I live.”
Kindness is not just being kind to the people who are good to you but to everyone, even if they are not your cup of tea. That was the first basic lesson Bea Lagman learned from her father.
She shared that her father also taught her that the right thing to do when you are being challenged is to always look at the bigger picture before reacting to the situation.
Lagman uses this lesson to guide her. She always calls to mind what her father taught her to better understand the situation. She said, “You’ll think that ‘hey there’s a bigger story here,’ hindi lang kung ano yung nakikita mo.”
She takes inspiration from how her father lives a life that is genuinely compassionate.