Ang Tatay Ko, Iyaken…

tatay ko

It’s my Tatay’s birthday tomorrow.  I tried calling him on his cellphone this morning.  The maid answered my call.  She said Tatay went out of Ate’s house for his daily routine of pagkakalat ng lagim.   My Tatay is turning 70 tomorrow and is suffering from prostrate enlargement, arthrithic joints and a few complications caused by his diabetes.   Still, he has time and energy to spare for all sorts of kalokohan in Ate’s neighborhood, the kind of kalokohan that often lands him in baranggay hall’s complaint desk.   He always wanted to call me but he again forgot how to use the features in his cellphone  (years ago, he’d text me the wierdest messages I’ve ever received).  I thought of calling him too but I don’t own a cellphone  (the seminarians in our congregation are not allowed to own one).    Or maybe, I just don’t feel like talking to my Tatay.   Why?   Because Tatay always cries on the phone.   This is the same Tatay who once scolded me for being such a cry-baby.   Ate Rinna reported that Tatay cried buckets again when he learned of my future assignment in France and that he laments the fact that I can’t visit him in Naga before I leave this July. 

Inay, during her lifetime, had the habit of documenting the times Tatay cried for me:  The day I was born, the day I was first rushed to the hospital, the day I was rushed to the hospital the second time, the day I graduated from highschool, the day I graduated from college, the day I swore as a licensed chemist, the day I left for Bacolod on my first provincial job assignment, etc…   And yet, I only knew three instances where I actually saw him cry:

  • The day Tatay and I had our first fistfight (New Year’s Eve, 1999).  The Christmas of 1999 was perfect because for the very first time, everyone in my family is there in our old house in Batangas.  But the New Year was plain hell.  My parents and I were the only ones left to celebrate it at home.  For some reasons, my parents picked New Year’s eve to be the auspicious date to have a quarrel.  While this has been a regular feature in my household, the wordwar that day just got out of hand.  My father, already drunk, became a bit too physical.  He doused my mom with cold water while she’s cooking and the he started hitting her.  Hard.  Come to the rescue naman ako.  Surprised, he turned his fists on me.  But since he’s gin-soaked, his aim sucked and always missed me.  I hit him back.  Sapul sa panga.  My father was stunned, not because I’ve got Mammy Pacqiao’s brunt but because his pacifist son just threw a punch on him.  Andrama, kasi no one is moving for about 30 seconds.  Titigan lang ang lahat.  As if on que from a bad soap opera, my father’s tears slowly but visibly rolled down his cheeks before he walked away.   Me, I went to the porch and lit kwitis for New Year, remorseless.  Si Inay, she scolded me for hitting Tatay.   I left the house the following morning to spend my own birthday with my friends.  Remorseless.
  • The day I entered the seminary  (May, 2000).   Tatay and Inay brought me to the Provincial House of our Congregation (more like the head office, in common parlance).  When they were leaving, Tatay was already weeping as he took his place on the driver’s seat and said to me in quavering voice, “Magbabait ka doon!” before slamming the car door.  Inay, sitting at the backseat, rolled down the car window, to report to me in a very amused tone, “Ang tatay mo, iyaken!” 
  • The day Inay died (December 2003).  Now, this is a story I’ve already told in Bluep’s blog.  What I haven’t told yet is how, one dawn during Inay’s wake, I caught my Tatay opening Inay’s casket to touch her face and hold her hand… and then cry like a baby.  I just watched and cried quietly from where I was peeping.  Full of remorse.

There’s a lot to love about my Tatay.  There’s even a lot more to hate too.   But tomorrow, on his birthday, nothing of those mattered.  He is, after all, my father.  Just for his birthday, I might as well call him again and might probably cry it all out.  So he’d know his son hasn’t learned anything from him and is still a cry-baby.  Very much like his father.  Yep, tomorrow, I’d call him again.  That is, as soon as he’s back from tormenting the neighbors.


31 Responses


    anubayan bro utoy. naiyak rin ako. may soft spot talaga ako sa mga ka-batch ni mahoma. my own dad would’ve turned 71 this year.

    at “tormenting the neighbors” pa man din ang sinabi.

    marami talaga tayong mga kwento sa buhay pero the best iyong mga ala-ala na kasama ang mga mahal natin sa buhay.

    tulak ka pala patungong pransiya? good luck sa iyong paglalakbay, at sana’y maging makabuluhan ang pag-uusap at pag-iiyakan ninyo ng tatay mo. happy birthday sa kanya! God bless!

    ewan ko ba sa tripping ng mga superior ko’t ipapadala ako dun eh hanggang ngayon eh barok na barok pa rin akong mag-french.
    si tatay naman, as if on que, umiyak sa phone. haay…

  2. Maaga Father’s Day natin Bro Utoy. Tagos sa laman talaga pag father-son soap opera. But you’re right – in the end none of those petty fights mattered. Fatherhood, in all its quirky sides wins, kahit gaano pa kalakas yung uppercut mo sa kanya…

    aksidente lang talaga yung uppercut, pramis. reflex kung baga. pero it had it’s interesting effects. anyhow, i love my tatay.

  3. ayo ko magcomment hehe medyo mahina emotion ko pagdating sa tatay and nanay tear jerkers…

    I had a similar post which I published last year which really made everyone cry.. jut want to share with you tol…

    common to sa religious life: may issues on father figures. hehehe… nice post, kapatid. brought out the iyakin in me.

  4. they say crying is therapeutic, so ok lang umiyak as long as huwag lang parang toddler na nagtatantrum hehe…im sure when Tatay gets to read your post maiiyak din yun.. send our birthday wishes to Tatay as well. God bless.

    *handsome ni tatay 🙂

    thanks, sexy admin! I hope to know you more. God bless!

  5. happy birthday to your dad. ganun talaga, bro. kahit anong pagbabaliktad natin ng mundo, our dad is still our dad. the bottom line of everything is to love them no matter how they are to us or to everyone else.

    same as your dad, i saw my dad cry only once. it was during the funeral of my lolo (his dad). other than that, wala na.

    teka, teka, teka… maiba lang ako. how long were you assigned here in bacolod and when was that? i am from bacolod and i know people who work in SMC. hihihi! small world!

    I was at the QA department of SMB Bacolod, sa may Sta.Fe. I was there from January 1999 till March 2000. I used to rent a room sa isang subdivision malapit sa planta but I usually spent my weekends with the Carmelite Fathers sa Jaro, Iloilo. how about you?

  6. happy birthday po sa dad mo.
    love na love ko din si papa ko.
    at iyakin din siya.
    ilang beses na rin kami nagdrama ng aking erpat. hahaha

    regards din sa dad mo! sana ang tatay ko, ibili rin ako ng camera. hehehe…

  7. bruder utoy,

    send my greetings to ur itay (at least in your prayer…)

    i can reflect a lot of mensons in your stories, but yours is far more interesting…

    if not for ur long-missed Inay, it would have more difficult then..i guess thats why they were there both there for us/you…to give love out of receiving..

    inspirational share..i’ll surely dig more of you…regards..:)

    thanks, AJ. lumalaki na ang ulo ko sa mga praises mo, tol. hehehe… God bless!

  8. * they were both there for us..

    as per the photo, that retro/broken type was intended for this story, yah?

    tatay ko yan, kapatid. Grad pic nya nung college.

  9. maligayang kaarawan sa tatay mo bro!!!

    ganoon lang talaga siguro mga tatay, mukhang astig tingnan, pero umiiyak din lalo na kung usapang pamilya na…

    the best part? yung sasabihin mo sa erpats mo na, “Tahan na, Tay!” hehehe…

  10. Bro Utoy, talaga naman maski reality o fiction ang iyong mga sulat talagang very entertaining. Para akong nanood ng pelikulang pinoy. Hataw sa setting – new year with putukan at sapukan.

    Seriously, though, it is very nice that you can write about your life so openly. Kung iba ito, malamang eh naitago na sa baul ang mga ganitong pangyayari sa pamilya. I think it helps you recover and heal, though.

    Ang sarap sana magkaroon ng perpektong magulang no? Kaso wala namang ganoon eh. Napansin ko lang eh, despite all the flaws of your dad, mahal na mahal pa rin niya kayo. Minsan hindi lang talaga niya alam kung paano ipakita ang pagmamahal.

    Happy birthday kay Itay!

    the best we can do is try to be perfect parents ourselves. pero hirap din siguro ano?
    as for the story, the fact na matagal na ito made it easier to tell. and youre right, it helps to look back at the past once in a while.
    BTW, umiyak nga si tatay… ako, medyo lang. hehehe…

  11. nakakaiyak sya!
    na carried away ako dun ah!

    sana nagkaron din kami ng suntukan ng tatay ko.. ala lang.. just for the heck of it! bad!

    hayaan mo, di pa naman yata huli ang lahat. pwede nyo pang pagplanuhan yun, parang Father-and-Son Project. hehehe… God bless!

  12. huy, belated happy birthday kay itay! yung tatay ko ganyan din, parehong pareho ang complaints nila sa katawan nila at pareho din silang naghahasik ng lagim, hahaha — uy ahead lang si tatay mo ng one day, kasi ako next day naman ang aking kaarawan!

    happy birthday, Kengkay!!! God bless!

  13. hai nagiging iyakin na rin ako… have a happy birthday kay tatay dear po.

    kuya utoy alis ka?…iiwanan mo na kami at sa bansang Frances ka pa maghahasik ng lagim..

    god bless po

    isang taon lang naman. kailangan lang yata nila ng tagasaing, tagaigib at tagasibak ng panggatong doon. God bless!

  14. bikolano ka paran?! kaya pala nag seminaryo ka (cultural trait natin yun, di ba — ang magkaroon ng isang pari per family?) 🙂

    ang sad but sweet naman yung kwento ninyong mag-ama…

    true-blue honest-to-goodness batangueno ako, bosing. sa lahi namin, ako pa lang ang nagseminaryo na medyo matatag. yung mga pinsan ko, they sowed wild oats along the way so hindi natuloy, hehehe…

  15. muntik muntikan na rin ako mag pari. kaso ang tatay ko kontra.

    once ko pa lang nakita umiyak ang tatay ko. nung naaksidente ako. nung nakauwi na ko dito sa bahay, nagtaka kami bakit nandun sa isang sulok. yun pala umiiyak. hehehe

    kaya simula nun… harhar…. huli ka balbon!

    pero, parekoy, admit it, it felt sooo good na may ganung feelings pala ang mga erpats natin para sa atin ano? hehehe…

  16. nagtaka ako kung bakit mo alam, eto pala at ako din ang nagsabi, salamat!

    kengkay, youre welcome! sino namang mga bisita mo sa debut mo?

  17. Kaiyak ka talaga… napaka senti… babaw pa naman ng luha ko… Wish ko lang i had a similar or close relationship with my tatay but alas the best i got was the time spent withim taking care of him for 2weeks before he died!

    anyways, kailan ka aalis kapatid?

    no date pa. am still applying for the long sejour visa eh. God bless!

  18. sobrang na-imagine ko to:

    one dawn during Inay’s wake, I caught my Tatay opening Inay’s casket to touch her face and hold her hand… and then cry like a baby.

    ….argh!!!! i don’t usually cry but this post put tears in my eyes….reminds me so much of my aunt’s passing last march..

    same here…there’s a lot to hate about my father too…but then sino ba ang perfect di ba…am sure, there are so many thing about me that he hates as well kaya quitslang kami hahahaha

    seriously, na-appreciate ko mas lalo ang parents ko now that I am older…deadma na sa lahat ng palo, gulpi, kurot and hatred…

    really nice post. thanks for sharing bro….and happy birthday to your tatay…and happy father’s day too!!! 🙂

    thanks, malen! happy father’s day sa dad mo!

  19. happy birthday po sa tatay ninyo…

    hindi kami masyadong close ng tatay ko…palagi kasi syang nasa malayong lugar e pero bilib ako sa katapangan at kasipagan ng tatay ko…gud provider at loving husband sya…

    kung ipapanganak ako muli..sya pa din ang pipiliin kong maging ama..=)

    ako, baka si bill gates ang piliin kong tatay. hehehe… nope, syempre, tatay ko pa rin kasi that’s where all my loony genes came from. Happy father’s day sa dad mo!

  20. nakakaiyak naman… a papa’s girl here, i love my father so much…

    pagdating sa usapang tatay, mababaw ang luha ko… don’t forget to tell your father how much you love him pag tumawag ka, happy bday sa father mo and happy father’s day din sa kanya, Godbless…

    I did just that, wifeybee! thanks for dropping by my blag-blagan. i added you na pala sa blogroll ko para i can also visit your blog. God bless!

  21. […] HOW BROTHER UTOY FAILED SALVATION HISTORY Started on March 2008 […]

  22. nakakaiyak naman to! =) But seriously, this made me appreciate my dad more. Kahit na tumanda na ng husto, hindi na maalala ang pangalan mo, maging makulit o anuman, you will always find ways to understand and love your dad. =) very inspirational post. =) I’ll add you in my blogroll ha? =)

    thanks, callcentergal! I’m adding you up also. very informative ang blog me eh. God bless!

  23. marami akong tanong sayo…marami din akong gustong malaman tungkol sayo. salamat sa pagdalaw. totoo, ganun din ang nangyare sayo? haays, buhay nga naman…may plano ang dyos… 😉

    dalaw ka ulet,


    yup, ganun din ang nangyari sa akin. medyo may ibang ingredients pa na mapait at maaanghang. pero tama ka, may plan ang Dyos.
    syempre, dadalaw ulit ako, yas.

  24. brother magpa france ka pala ang sarap naman, buti ka pa marunong magfrench nag-aral ako nyan dati when i was working in hotel ang hirap…

    nakow, ang hirap talaga. maiba lang ng pronounce, iba na agad ang meaning. di ko pa alam kung masarap nga dun. balita ko, katiting lang kumain ang mga pranses. lagot ang katakawan ko nito!

  25. Such a touching post about your tatay… you truly have a gift for beautiful words, Bro! Am sure hindi lang tatay mo ang maiiyak pag nabasa ito…

    So you are off to Monsieur Eiffel’s land pala! Galing! Good luck at pakitaan mo ang mga Pranses na madami ding alam ang mga Pinoy tungkol sa bayan nila bukod sa French fries, French bread at French kiss – hahaha! 🙂 Ingat, kapatid!

    ang hirap lang talaga ng language. you’ve been there na rin diba? how was it? sabi kasi sa internet, parisians are the most rude people in Europe…

  26. Bro. Utoy, may hawig kayo ni Tatay Utoy. 🙂

    Naantig ang aking damdamin habang binabasa ko ang post mong ito, nakikita ko sa tatay mo ang larawan ng aking sariling ama.

    Naaalala ko noong papunta na akong dubai, pagkababa ko ng sasakyan ay niyakap niya ako agad at bumalik na siya sa driver seat. Alam kong umiyak ang tatay ko noon, palagi naman siyang umiiyak pag may umaalis sa aming magkakapatid.

    Ngunit ang pinakamalupit na iyak niya ay noong nalaman niyang mayrrong leukemia ang kaunaunahan at nagiisang apo niya. Gusto ko rin umiyak noong niyakap niya ako noong malaman niya ang balita, ngunit kailangan kong maging matatag para sa kanya gaya ng pagiging matatag niya sa panahon na kami naman ang nangangailangan ng masasandalan.

    Ang ganda ng post mo Bro. Utoy… 🙂

    parekoy, naiyak din ako sa kwento mo (pero patago, baka kung anong isipin ng mga pari dito). you have a way with words. partida kasi comment pa lang, may kurot na agad sa puso!
    I’m praying for your pamangkin at syempre for your job-hunting. God bless!

  27. Bro, sa tanong mo kung rude nga ba ang mga Pranses… sa palagay ko, wala nang mas ru-rude pa sa mga New Yorkers!!! Beep-beep na lang po sa mga masasagasaan… So you should be fine 🙂

    Balitaan mo na lang kami pag andoon ka na ha?

    thanks, Pinky! pangako, magkukwento ako ng mga sasapitin ko doon. hehehe… God bless!

  28. slowly catching up with your posts. ang bittersweet naman nito… you’re a great raconteur, brother utoy. kwento ka palagi 🙂

    thanks, tin! God bless!

  29. […] orchard or taniman ng mga punong kahoy.  Sa bahay namin, puro V ang start ng name namin, at Tatay ko ang pangunahing salarin dito.   Victorino kasi ang ngalan nya.  So ang mga kapatid ko eh sina […]

  30. […] HOW BROTHER UTOY FAILED SALVATION HISTORY Started on March 2008 […]

  31. […] makapagbigay ng input sa mga bagong salta tungkol sa breviary. 6. Madalaw ang puntod nina Inay at Tatay.  Tabi na sila ngayon!  Correction, magkapatong pala sila!  Ang halay! 7. Makakain ng lutong […]

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