My Dearest "Tatay" Passed Away on All Saints' Day

11:32 AM

"Life is about change, sometimes it's painful, sometimes it's beautiful but most of the time it's both."

This is by far one day I wouldn’t forget. If there’s anyone who truly believed in me, it was him. If there’s anyone who does not question what I could do, it was him. It was only him who never doubts in saying I could do many great things at my age. I grew up knowing that he is my “Tatay”, and yes I call him “Tatay”. I grew up knowing that in every hair that I could pull out of his chin is worth one peso (here's a sidestory post from last year). I grew up knowing that in every morning I have someone to ask for a baon. I grew up knowing that when I ran out of good shoes, he’d let me borrow his and in the end of the day he’d just laugh at me when I return them as if I’ve walked for thousands of miles. He is the Tatay I would ask permission first wherever and when I will go to some place. The Tatay, I would first greet when I return home. That very strict Tatay who I’ve been always scared of. The protective Tatay who kills cockroaches with his magic tsinelas. That grumpy old guy who gets angry when (we as children) plays hide and seek inside the house. That guy who always reminds me to switch off the light in the restroom after use. That Tatay who gets mad at me whenever I fail to close the back door. The guy who doesn’t like most of our cats except for SnowBell, Chippy and Puss. The only reason why we always go to the beach in the month of January (except this year).That guy who always ask me to buy only a “lion-tiger” katol. The Tatay who always ask when I will be graduating. The Tatay who’d give me a pack of peanuts every time he arrives home after watching movies on Tuesdays. That great Tatay who I truly love. And I can’t believe that one person who’s there when my day starts and end is now leaving me.

Where else have you heard about spending Nov. 1 at home because somebody just died in the family? Bad Timing they say. Well I certainly believed not. My Tatay is a strict grandfather to all his grandchildren. He’s the kind of guy who weighs things that could become beneficial to all of us. “Tatay, you must be kidding me”. Up to the last point in his life, all he might have been thinking of is us. Yes, us. My Dad is jobless and my uncles don’t have any stable jobs either, and yes I’m shouting to the world that I came from a poor family.Yesterday, he asked my grandma if there’s anything wrong if there’s going to be a wake on All Saints Day. My Grandma got bothered by the question and answered him, “Maybe”. Apparently he knew he’s going to bid goodbye to all of us. But now I realized that he weighed things out all before his death. In a way or another I know he did. He must have thought of something like “If I die tomorrow, it’s going to be memorable since its all saints day. My death date is going to be significant and II won’t be forgotten. And they won’t even have to spend that much.”

He was rather being practical considering that his children especially my Dad has nothing much to shell out when anything happens. He did not even want to go to the hospital. Yesterday, he was complaining about the cold, and my Uncle even kidded him “Should we call 911 or take you to the hospital now?” He took it seriously, gave an excuse and refused to be treated in the hospital. Yesterday, he prepared his entire Identification cards and asked my grandma to keep them all intact in one place. He buckled the belt on his pants which he hanged on the wall. He asked my little sister to pluck the hair aroundAgain, he knows it was his time. Funny how we didn’t notice those were the signs. Pretty obvious and predictable when heard, very touching when realized. That is definitely how to say Goodbye.

If I only got the chance to talk to him yesterday I may have been able to connect the dots. From the statements I’ve said above, you might be wondering why I didn’t have the chance to talk to him. Haha. All of those were just stories I’ve heard from my Lola. But where was I? Where had I been yesterday? I was at home. It was just an ordinary day. I wake up around 12 noon. That’s the problem with me, I wake up too late. Then around 2 pm or something, I together with the rest of the family members (mother’s side) went to People’s Park to have fun and all that. I didn’t really have so much fun yesterday to the extent that it’s worth replacing with tears. I believe no fun moment should equal to cries but they have this sort of kinda warning or something that after fun and laughter, sorrow comes. We arrived home around 7 pm, and I slump on bed as I reach it and slept until 1 o’clock. So that gives me “no time” to talk to him at all, Yesterday. Well I saw him though; when I went to the bathroom to take a bath I passed by him while he’s watching TV.

But today, November 1, 2010 marks one significant time in the years that I will be living this planet. As what I’ve mentioned above, I slept around 7 yesterday and woke up around 1 o’clock. I wake up that early because I didn’t feel comfortable sleeping. I don’t know why, it must have been the goddamn 4 years old electric fan. It just can’t reach me – It just can’t. Then I decided to go online, updated my Facebook account, gave my crush a hint that I had a crush on her via Plurk, did some link building for another movie blog, tweaked the php’s of my wordpress themes, did some css to increase the ctr of my adsense on blogspot, written one tech article – I wasn’t really that productive,Haha! But around 3:30, I started having this weird feeling. Not that it gave me any hint that something’s going to happen but with Badat (our dog - nevermind the name :p) started barking out loud.Err. I did not feel comfortable at all.I was writing then so I almost snapped a nerve and would have gone out and made him shut up until my grandma shouted “Edwin”. My Dad’s name. I startled, I instantly got this heavy feeling that something just happen. My Dad immediately wakes up and went downstairs to check what the problem is. I stood up as well and followed my Dad. I was on the door, when I heard the noise the door downstairs generates. And I thought, maybe Grandma’s going to open the store or something and she needed some help. But when I got on the stairs, with a slight surprise, grandma said my grandpa’s Dying and that he was calling my Dad when she noticed my grandpa catching his breath.

You might be wondering why my “Tatay” did not call my Lola’s name and instead my Dad. It’s because when he needs to do something, like go to the bathroom, he’d ask my Dad to take him there. He can’t walk through the bathroom because he has to climb up two blocks of cement before he could reach it, the way is quite narrow and he walks like a robot(I’m not kidding) so it’ll be hard for him if he’ll do it all by himself. That’s why he needed a strong man to assist him because he’s really one tall guy and heavy too. It was my Dad, which I think was his favourite.
Because of all his children, it was only my Dad and us, who stayed and lived with him. The rest, separated houses, started their own family somewhere and all. So if there’s going to be anybody or anyone who’d cried out in as much as my grandma did, it was us – but so far my Grandma and I are competing for the most of number of bucket-of-tears But honestly, I’m a really touchy person. Even some awful Filipino movies could make me breakdown into tears at times. In fact, I was the first one to cry. It was my first time to see a dying person, and not only a person but a very loving person have I called “Tatay”.
“Tay, wake up! Wake up!” I cried.
“Lord, please don’t take him away from us just yet.”
“God, why?”
“Tatay, *sobs*, Tay, Tatay”.
“This is not happening *washes his face* Noooooohhh”.

Then my grandma told me to call my Uncle nextdoors. When I returned, my Lola was pumping his chest hoping that he’d still be able to survive. Then my Dad went right next to him, checked his pulse, firmly grasped his shoulders and said “Wala na si Tatay” (Tatay’s Gone).

Then I started to put off a melodramatic scene which in my mind was like one of those crying-to-someone-who-just-passed-away scenes from Teleseryes (TV Shows). This time it was real and it was me who quickly hugged my Tatay and shouted “I love you Tay, I love you Tay, you take note of that. I love you and I’m so sorry for everything, I love you Tatay. Tay Please come back if you still can”. Shouldn’t it be my grandma who’s probably saying that but she was so quite while watching me breakdown into tears. My Dad cried and so did my Aunt, my Uncle, my Mom and my Grandma and then the rest of the children. I hugged her, wanted to comfort her because just the thought that you lose the one you love (that someone who she spent most of her life with through all the obstacles in life) is killing me. How much more with my Grandma?

After that, I was tasked to contact all the relatives. I went outside to check if there’s any nearby store open to reload but there was none. So I walked a thousand steps from home until I reach a convenience store, downtown. Yes, I just walked together with my sis. Then I made it, I was able to contact our relatives except for my Lolo’s family back from his Hometown in Pavia, Iloilo.

Ramon Cabrera, age 77, was born and raised in Pavia Iloilo. He went to different places around Mindanao and found his one true love, my Grandma, Dominga de Guzman Cabrera. Got married and got settled here in Davao City. Had 6 children, 17 grandchildren and lived a life miles away from his parents, siblings and the rest of his Family back there.

He was that brave, that strong to have stood up on his own and created his own family. He was that man, the tallest in the family, the strongest and perhaps the most disciplined.
So what I did was I tried my luck and sent a personal message to everyone with the surname, Cabrera, Limoso who lives in Iloilo via Facebook. So far I received no response! My aunt sent a message via LBC though so we’re hoping to hear from them ASAP.

The sun came out but the sky seemed to sympathize with us and shed some tears....I couldn't write anymo
Here's something for you Tatay!!

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  1. A nice post to remember your grandpa. Condolence bro..

  2. @The Photoblogger: Yeah, I wrote that full blown.(kaya maraming errors) Anyway thanks for reading - Thanks Bro.

  3. mark condolence ...

    i have read it...
    crap it seems that it was full of emotions...

    I pray that God gives you and your family the strength to face
    this tragic moment...

    God bless bro

  4. @Jhunrex:
    Thank you very much Jhunrex!
    God Bless din sayo Bro.

  5. condolence makoy., nice post.,

  6. Thank you for reading..

    And to all that I've said thanks! Hindi sa binabawi ko but just allow me to continue as far as this -> (Filipino Superstitions) post is concerned - Thank you for the support and care!!