Photo by Coricks Ibarra
MANILA, Philippines - My first wife accused me all the time, “Manang-mana ka sa tatay mo (You really take after your dad)” every time she saw me flirting around with lady friends or strangers.
While there is some truth to it, I consider it a personal trait that emerges spontaneously.
But the truth is I cannot recall being with my father when I was young. Almost all my memories of him are from images taken outside of the country; him wearing a nice outfit, a great smile and with a stature that made people notice him whenever he walked into a room.
Some of my memories of him were stories told to me about his ability to deal with strangers, with people on the street and his ability to get away with stuff by just having a conversation with anyone. The image left in my mind growing up was that he was a good people person with a personality that easily made people comfortable with him in a second.
I was also told that he was passionate about everything he did and took full responsibility for his actions all the time.
Later in life, I found out that my father had another family with children older than us. When we first met and shared stories of our lives, I found out that we inherited the same traits from our father. Most of us got involved in sales and people relations, are passionate about our work and always take responsibility for everything we do.
It is unfortunate that our father never saw us growing up with traits people said came from him; traits that are valuable in our careers and passions. Nonetheless, I am sure he is proud of our accomplishments, wherever he may be.
I am trying to impart the same traits to my adopted son, Eugene. I told him to remember names, say thank you and be nice to everyone; (to) always focus on the task ahead and be responsible for his actions.
I also told him to be nice to and respectful of women and taught him how to cook so that his girlfriends will not forget him — an important trait to have, among other things.
Photo by Coricks Ibarra
Last Mother’s Day, he cooked a great salmon dinner for his mother. I was a happy father beaming with joy, not only because of his ability to cook but also because I know he is using the people skills I shared with him when he was young.
He does not have the genes of my father, but somehow manifests some of the traits I inherited from my father.
Our family was informed that my father passed away in Thailand 10 years ago, and that we have a half brother and sister that I still have to meet. I want to discover if they also the traits of the old man.
I am a documentary photographer, and that is a project I have to do. - Rappler.com