What I didn’t asked my father

FB_IMG_1430573225986I grew up in a small village somewhere on the northern part of Philippines, in case you’re curious as to what it looks like then it’s simply a household of probably around a hundred or less. We didn’t have much in that community and farming is our main livelihood which is sometimes depressing often when storm comes quite a lot during the year round and destroy all our vegetables. I have a big family, our neighbors are mostly my mothers’ sisters or a close relative and I have six siblings. Growing up, we didn’t have that much. Luckily we have a bungalow house with three rooms and I don’t know how we fit in that. We didn’t have T.V. so my sisters and I would sneak into our aunt’s house sometimes just to watch. I was the third child and when I was about eight or nine, my mother received a gift from one of her cousins, an old Motorola mobile phone which we all use. We are poor as they say and as a child I also weighed it based on our possessions which we rarely have. We commute, we hitch hike, we borrow our books, share them or pass them to our younger siblings. We don’t have a bank account nor a health insurance and my mother was accustomed to borrowing money from people she knew. My parents don’t buy us clothes, they’re mostly given and passed on again but they were decent so to say. We only have a few penny as our allowance so to say but we never went hungry though we don’t get to eat sumptuous meals.
I wasn’t a smart child that I cannot speak Tagalog- our national language- nor English fluently so when I move to the city to attend college I was really anxious. Apart from that, I was so ignorant when it comes to technology, I don’t own a mobile phone or knew how to use a computer or a telephone. I had to learn them eventually and with the support of some relatives we all went to college and at least four of us already had a degree. Sadly, as we started to work abroad, we left our parents and our two younger siblings of which one was staying with our parents and the other will attend college soon. If I would be again asked for the last time why I choose nursing, all I could say was because it was a humanitarian job that would as well give a bright or say wealthy future for me and my family as most of the people had also advised me yet I guess I was wrong. I’m always enthusiastic on helping other people but when it comes to being a nurse, I highly doubted myself and I always knew that I wasn’t meant to have this job. Still as having that better life is concerned, I ended up being a nurse in another country and at that time I found the answer as to that something my mother once told me years before.
My father was an undergraduate agricultural student and in their earlier years of marriage someone offered him a chance to go abroad and train for working as a farmer in Japan, lots of money was involved and it would certainly ensure a good life for us. However, he declined and stayed toiling under the warm sun day and night to provide for us. I wanted to ask him why he choose to stay and work hard rather than going abroad and earn more money then perhaps we could’ve afforded a T.V. on our own, a car, a mobile phone for each of us, good new clothes, nice bags, etc. I never had the courage to do so and I just shrugged it off my shoulders ’till that time I choose to do what he didn’t, leave. I had my first job, I had my first pay and for the first few months I was spending on the things I thought I wanted so I bought a laptop and a tablet. Months later and my obsession of dieting got me spending more till the time I learned about blogging and when it became more important for me to write about anything that I have noticed how much I changed. I had closer relationships to my principles, I allowed myself to learn more and improve in English and especially I found answers to those questions I long seek and one of them was that of what I wanted to ask my father. He taught me one of the valuable lessons I should have realized years before and that is gratitude and how to live simply. I had money, I had some material possessions, nice clothes, good food but they don’t ask me why I’m sad, they don’t listen to my problems, they don’t give me love, they don’t protect me from harm, and lots of stuff. My father just wanted to share his morning coffee with his children, carry us from the garden at noon as we walk home, build our stars at Christmas season, march beside us on our graduation and be proud, and a lot more simple thing I missed to notice.
I wouldn’t say that the desire for a wealthier life had broken our family since we indeed had a T.V where we watch something the whole family enjoys, a phone to text our loved ones while we’re away, a laptop we share and a lot more, only because we valued more not the material itself but as to what it offers us and what experience will we gain from it. As I write this, I am counting the months I still have left before my contract ends and I can go home to hang my white uniform, start a new career and spend more days with my family. I don’t know what will happen to my future but I am certain that I wouldn’t regret making a choice to stay with my parents and teach my child what I learned as well as to help other people at the extent of whatever my hands can do.

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