This year’s Father’s Day Celebration, June 17, 2018, coincided with several milestones for the Bautista clan. My father Jose C. Bautista can be proud of completing a lifelong dream: seeing the Pope during the Neo Cathechumenal Way’s 50th Year Celebration last May 5th,in Rome, Italy.
During the same trip he was able to complete a brutal schedule from May 1-12. We visited about 3 churches / landmarks daily and averaged 3-4 kilometers of walking per day.
This is no small feat for an 86 year old my mom Linda on the other hand is 79. Consider Meghan Markle’s dad in his late 60s couldn’t make it to the Royal Wedding due to health reasons. So we’re all really proud of Joe and Linda grateful our prayers were answered for safety and health through out the trip.
We are all ever grateful to my brothers Timothy, Donald and George who sent financial support that made this trip possible.
First Great Grandchild
By the end of the same month of our trip (May 29, Theo Daniel De Villa Bautista was born to JY and Linnell Bautista, Joe’s first great grandchild. This also makes my brother Timothy and his wife Joy Bautista proud grandparents. Jay and Linnell got married last March 2, 2017. Linnell gave birth naturally at Mount Sinai West Hospital in New York to a strong bouncing baby boy 7lbs and 3oz strong. Mom Linnell was walking about just days after delivery.
First time and proud grandfather Tim treated his father Joe to a Father’s Day celebration, June 17, 2018 at a Japanese Restaurant. Long time family friend Ramon Castañeda, who was there with us, is also a New Yorker.
Tanduay Limited Edition
Since I was on a tight budget, I had to think hard of what I wanted to give my dad. I happened to see Tanduay’s Superior Blended Rum Limited Edition, which was issued 2017 in celebration of the Year of the Rooster. I was also relieved to know it was only P280. That’s tremendous value, so I thought of buying that. But didn’t buy it on the spot thinking I just lived nearby.
3 days before Father’s Day I went back to buy it and found out every single bottle had been sold out! I was in panic mode going through several liquor outlets and supermarkets but eventually found last 3 bottles in another supermarket. So if you do seethe Tanduay Limited Edition on a shelf, do yourself a favor and buy one. Special occasion or not, its a perfect gift or treat for yourself. If you can’t find Limited Edition just go for the Tanduay Superior 12 Years, which is also tremendous value.
He may not know this but my third brother Noel is actually one of my idols as a father. (As I have yet to be blessed with a child of my own) In the late 80s, throughout the 90s I remember being a little bit taken aback at how devoted he was as hands on father. He was able to change diapers of eldest son Nigel, feed him, put him to sleep and generally care for him. Even with his later kids Nicole and Brent.
Noel may not have been the wealthiest or the most financially successful among my brothers but definitely he was the most caring. That affection and care he gave them wasn’t something they could remember because they were babies or toddlers. I’ve never personally seen any other dad care for his children the way that he did.
Fast forward to our trip in Italy this May. Noel’s eldest son: Nigel Paolo Emmanuel Bautista, Nigel for short is now working for Arcadia Group, the conglomerate that runs giant clothing brands TOPSHOP, TOPMAN, BURTON, OUTFIT, DOROTHY PERKINS and many more. Nigel works in their main office in London as a Software Specialist evaluating the company’s apps for phones and devices.
While we were in our last few days in Italy, Nigel decided to join us. He had a brief weekend trip to Paris then flew in to Rome. We had not seen each other for 5 years or so. I was thinking of how proud Noel must be of Nigel having grown and achieved so much at a young age.
Just a few days ago June 25, Noel’s youngest son Elijah Brent surprised us with a visit here in Manila coming all the way from Wellington, New Zealand. He is currently working as a staff of NZ’s Member of Parliament Priyanca Radhakrishnan. Brent shares with us that he is able to relate to Prianka as an Asian who spent some growing years abroad but has studied University in NZ and now lives there too. Some of Prianka’s advocacies include ‘immigrant rights and women’s right women survivors of domestic violence, and migrant workers who have been exploited’. From Labour Profile.
Brent is also working as tutor at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Victoria University and is also taking up a Master’s Degree in International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington. He hopes to work in the diplomatic field in the future. Brent shares his father’s and grandfather’s good looks too. He is in town on a holiday to Coron, Palawan.
To this day Noel remains to be the biggest fan of his kids. Even when they are grown up and have their own lives hestillposts theirpics and praises them on facebook. He lovingly refers to his daughter Nicole as Ganda (Beautiful in Filipino) and Brent as Bunso (Youngest child).
From Noel’s fb birthday greeting to Brent:
‘NOTE TO MY 30-YEAR OLD SELF. Hate to break it to you Noel, but you’re gonna drink too much, eat too much, and be a lazy bastard the rest of your life. Any potential you showed your 20s, so far you will waste. To make it worse, at this point you won’t do much about it. Your saving grace? You’ll have great kids, not the least of which is this guy Elijah Brent, who’ll be true to the promise, outdo himself in school, work and in life. SO FAR, SO GOOD. Thanks for making your old man look good, anak. Happy 23rd birthday, we love you to bits!
My dad’s patron saint as his namesake is St. Joseph who is self sacrificing, humble father happy to let his son, Jesus and wife Mary take center stage. That’s whySt. Joseph is the epitome of fatherhood. No wonder Joe shares the same attributes; he always lets my mom, his children, grandchildren get a lot of attention. But throughout our lives he’s been there supporting us consistently, quietly.
Fr Paolo Benetton, the brilliant mind and organizer behind our successful trip, brought us to his hometown of Trevizo, Norhern Italy. He showed us the Church a corner away from the house he grew up in, incidentally Parocchia Di San Giuseppe – Parish of St Joseph. He introduced us to his dad who waved at us and smiled warmly but preferred not to address the Filipino crowd.
Fr. Paolo’s mom on the other hand gamely engaged the visitors speaking in Italian while his son translated, “I can never forget getting a call from his first communion teacher ‘your son is so naughty I don’t think I can teach him anymore.” Getting howls of laughter from us– as Paolo became a priest. When we were leaving their home I wasn’t surprised to see the mailbox:Rafaella is the name of his mother, Giuseppe the name of his father (the Italian version of Joseph).
Going back to my gift there’s a nugget of wisdom at the back of the elegant label of the Tanduay Limited Edition,
“…Chinese New Year is considered to be the most important festival for the Filipino Chinese Community in the Philippines and is celebrated in hope of attracting prosperity, closer family ties and peace.”
Although it is way past Chinese New Year, we managed to have some measure of prosperity, closer family ties and peace from our Father’s Day Milestones.
Linda with grandson Brent; Paco, Manila, June 25, 2018. Photo by Jude Bautista