REMEMBERING MY FATHER'S
DREAMS ON HIS 74th BIRTHDAY
My Dad (Remo Centeno Causing) and Mom (Marianita Catolico Cataluña-Causing
My father just finished high school. He dreamed of becoming an engineer.
He is a son of father he only knew after graduating from high school and of a mother he never knew was his mother until he was in high school. All the while, the old man he called "Papang" (Cornelio Causing Centeno) was the one he thought as his father. Papang is a father of his real mother Lourdesita Doctolero Centeno-Deocampo. All he thought then as his mother was Consuelo Centeno Sanz, because it was Lola Soling who sent him to elementary and high school while my father was helping her and her husband Lolo Berting Sanz in their corn buy-and-sell business and in plowing their cornfields.
During his high school, my father would mingle with his younger siblings who are children of Lourdesita with Narciso "Lolo Nacing" Deocampo. He learned photography using his Yashica (box type) cameras and this was his source of income to support his studies and living at that time. He became a student of then pretty Marianita Catolico Cataluña at the Koronadal National High School (now KNCHS), My mother became infatuated with my father. It started a love story between a teacher and a student. They finally got married on June 20, 1964. Until today, they are loving each other.
My father has become a jack of all trades. He was a building electrician, a carpenter foreman, a mason, a welder, a tricycle driver, a photographer, a salesman, and a businessman with his sound system he bought out of the P40,000 loan from Banco Davao. They defaulted on their loan later and our ancestral house was foreclosed for the first time. It was me who bought back the property from Banco Davao when I had already a work as a copy editor of People Journal Tonight (an engineer turned journalist).
While working then, I admit I was looking at myself only. Seldom I did give them money. But my father and mother then were still strong and my Mom was active in teaching in high school while my father had contracts to work for houses every now and then.
I recall at one time that I had a project as a civil engineer and I obligated myself to complete a house although the owner never paid me. I had no money to continue financing the construction. My father volunteered to be the foreman without salaries from me. We completed the house and I was relieved of the obligation. The checks given me by the owner bounced and until now, collectibles in 1993 in the amount of P300,000 has never been collected.
|My mom is so happy with her man of life, my father|
Fast forward, in return to my father's goodness to me, I always remember him. I financed his golden wedding anniversary with my mother and I felt I have returned my payback to him.
Now, it is his birthday again and the only other best thing I could give him is my wish that he has a very happy birthday today and money to spend for his feast for friends, mostly senior citizens of our subdivision.
By the way, my mother told me that I was born a premature baby on December 10, 1964 because she was pregnant when she got mad at my father who on December 9, 1964, was celebrating with his brother Churchill and Joel over cases of beer. My mother said that while she was carrying a case of beer to serve to my father, she slipped and was rushed to the hospital, and, thereafter, I was born.
When I was in high school, my mother wished me to study law. So that in 2001, I studied law as a scholar at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) College of Law and I passed in one take the 2005 Bar Exams.
Now, I know that my father is not only happy because I fulfilled his dream to be an engineer, but more so because I am now a lawyer at the same time.
Whatever happened in the past and whatever it takes, I love you, Daddy. I want you to celebrate a very, very happy birthday. I know you are proud of me, too.