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       Happy Father's Day, Papa!

Perseverance is what I lack. I crave for many things yet I do not wish to wait. I admit that I do not even wish to work for them. I am one of those lethargic beings who wait but do not wish to seek. Although opportunities have knocked on my door several times, I was still too hesitant to open them. Slothfulness has allowed me in the past months to relax in our humble living room – filled with amazement about life’s possibilities. Yet, I chose to remain silent, choosing to remain inactive. I love effortless wins. The outcome is always my concern by not worrying about the beginning; and not worrying about the process, just the result. But, this should not be my mentality.

To persevere means to sacrifice. Sacrifice means giving up something either for your own benefit or for others. Someone close to me has defined the meaning of perseverance. Teachings straight from his mouth are already unnecessary to tell the rewards of his perseverance. He grew up in a shabby house, together with his family, along the archipelago we all know situated in the Pacific. Both his parents were unable to graduate even the elementary level. So, his father sold fish and his mother sold goods beside the local school. He knew what life would await for him – a life worrying if there would be food on the table, or dreaming of a comfortable bed at night, spending each day wondering when (if ever) fortune would reach their home. He made due cleaning the neighbour’s vehicle, eating sweetened bananas when rice was absent, but he wanted to leave it all behind. So he did.

He packed his few rugged clothes and along with his dreams of a better education and unkind memories, he left home. He flew to the south of the country at a young age with confidence in a blurry dream that he would one day be able to finish his education and provide his family a better life. He served as a housekeeper while he studied, cleaning by daybreak and then attending university when the sun had set. He persevered until finally he was handed that paper – that well deserved recognition in front of a supportive crowd. He fulfilled, with pride and obeisance, his dreams of attaining a diploma and helping his family. He never complained about life’s hardships, feared tomorrow’s surprise, or dwelled on yesterday’s misfortune. Perseverance earns respect. Perseverance is his weapon of success. It is his priceless possession; a treasure no pirate can ever steal.

I should be like him. I should learn to persevere. I should be like this man I called father. Happy father’s day, Papa!

Katrina Castillo is a member of Aksyon ng Ating mga Kabataan.

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