Unsung Heroes. Essay on Family
Tick, tock, tick, tock. Time is fleeting by. For countless days and dragging nights, I sat quietly in front of my laptop, my mind whirling all over the place while watching the insertion point blink, patiently waiting to come up with prompts and ideas to magically configure on its own. Unfortunately, I continued to stare on a blank page. Honestly, I was in disbelief on how stuck I felt at this moment – this feeling of being at loss for words was new to me. But I mustered to decipher and thought to myself, "Do what you have always done: Speak the truth and you will never be astray."
Since the day I was born, my father was already an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and so he has never been constantly by my side. He was always out of the country, enduring all those long working hours, sleeping alone away from his family, and yearning for those hugs he surely missed. But at the back of my little five-year old's mind, she did not completely understand. She thought it was normal not to have her dad around.
Despite the distance and separation anxiety, I have always firmly believed with no doubts and inhibitions that he is the most hardworking father and responsible man I have come to know. But the agony of pain still stung and anguish of torment lingered knowing that he would be physically absent on the special milestones in my life. However, the immense part and significant role that my mother played in reciprocating her unconditional love mended my longing for a father figure.
After years of not being able to talk and see my father, my dad finally came home and decided to stay in the Philippines. This is the best three years of my life I would say. I could still vividly remember how ecstatic I was to hear the ring bell from my school. It meant that my dad would fetch me in my 1st-grade-afternoon class and we would go to the nearest sari-sari store to buy snacks and drinks we would share. The best part is riding the motorcycle with him with my pink helmet. Oh, how I missed these simple yet cherished moments!
I was 13 years old when the day that I have always feared came swift and sudden – sweaty palms, a fast heartbeat, two bulging eyes, and incessant bellows of cries filled me. I waved my goodbye to my daddy at the bus stop once again. This exact moment was a turning point in my life when a growing realization and a sense of understanding snapped back at me. I have promised to make my dad proud in the best way that I can. This pledge that I took has carried me successfully in the course of my stay in Junior and Senior High School years.
I became a join-all-of-the-school-and-even-outside-the-school-clubs type of person. I was elected as a Secretary in the Pool of Aspiring Writers and Speakers (PAWS) club when I was in my 9th and 10th grade and designated as the head of the Publication Committee in scriptwriting and styling communication letters. I was scouted by my previous English teacher to try out the written exam to become a student journalist. I was anxious and apprehensive about diving into this world, but I passed. Being part of The Josephian Advocate (official school newspaper publication) has also paved the way for me to bring honor and pride to my fellow Josephians by competing in the annually held Schools Press Conference.
I also entered the world of hosting when there was a one-on-one audition for girls and boys who would be selected to host the UN/AP Day celebration. I was so timid and shy to try out at first, but I ultimately had the courage and strength to pursue my passion. I managed to balance them, including my other minor school clubs like the Debate Society in 10th grade with my academics and whenever I think back to how I reached the end of my Junior High School, I cannot help but smile and be proud of myself; despite everything – the frenzied and hectic schedules, the gruesome horde of school works, never-ending pile of feature articles to be written and the pressure from insurmountable number of people around me, but I made it.
Lo and behold, I entered one of the most challenging academic school years – Senior High School. All the course subjects forced me to rattle my brain to think and analyze all hidden in my mind's nooks and crannies pushing my intellectual boundaries limitless. But I was able to veer away my stress and relax once and for all – I joined the school's Theater Arts. Much to my content, I wanted to delve deeper into my creative side of writing. Becoming the Senior Associate Editor and Features writer of The Josephian Advocate, I joined individual and group contests which have led our publication in Regionals and Nationals Schools Press Conference. In the immortal words of Albus Dumbledore, ‘Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.' The greatest realization I made as a student journalist was knowing the real power of words as it can change others' lives.
My entire student life has revolved around being active in various English and Filipino essay competitions, joining Scrabble contests during Intramurals every year, honing my speaking abilities through series of hosting stints, immersing myself to extracurricular activities such as the annual cheer dance competition, expressing my emotions and talent in the theater arts dimension by being a screenplay writer and actor, empowering social change as the Associate Editor and Feature writer of The Josephian Advocate, and everything else in between – I am all of these because I value every ephemeral millisecond of life.
I have come to deeper cognizance that I have no single accomplishment nor experience that has helped to define the person that I am now. Rather, I am a strong believer that every predicament, triumph, and obstacles that I have faced, that I have felt, that I have surpassed, and that I have thought of since the day I came out of my mother has made me who I am at this moment. And tomorrow, I may not be the person who I see as a reflection in the mirror today. My senses are wide awake to every sweetness and bitterness of life. I drown in the inevitability of time, endless possibilities and let it shape me into who I am and want to be; free, open-minded, diverse, creative, radical, profound, different, liberated, and revolutionary. Not because I have to. But because I choose to be.
But the ultimate purpose of my fiery determination to excel and to persevere retraces back to my love for my family. As I embark on a voyage full of uncertainties, I want to remain steadfast as I have always been in helping my family by doing my absolute best in getting that degree we have always dreamed of. I want to become a full-fledged registered nurse someday to repay all of my parents' endless sacrifices, undying support, and incessant pieces of advice.
Proving myself worthy of that R.N. at the end of my name means everything to me. Not only does it signify that I will be able to give back to my community, but this rewarding and fulfilling job would also mean that I will be able to dedicate my success and fully honor the unsung heroes of my life with a badge of parenthood. But at its penultimate, the dreams and hopes of my dad coming home to finally settle after almost 25 years would not remain elusive but a reality that I want to see unfold.