My father is Simeon Barros Naelga, and he turned 80 recently. He is the son of Felix “Ingge” Quilang Naelga and Concolacion Barros. He said that he was a man of all trades, and I agree. To me, he is a driver, technician, carpenter and farmer in that order.
He loves music, and music loved him (his version of All of me and Hello Dolly are the best)
He can play guitar, ukulele, banjo and harmonica with all-time favorites or his own lullaby.
He is funny and can draw laughter out from everything good or whatever. Politics his forte and economy; I am amazed how a second year- high school can talk and absorbed global complicated issues (no pun intended,)I was told grade six graduates before world war 2 can teach, whew! education that time must be different then(but that is another issue to tackle with). He loves medicinal wine though he said but I doubt if it is “Fighter” (with all the red horse)under the bed.
But he is a father best even if his children fail him at times.
His life story that I can reminisce:
On weekends, he is a vocalist with the neighborhood band or the “Tumba baso” at Evangelista Street with Nato Sanches in the banjo, him at the guitar, Iyo Mading Abellanosa and others whom I forgot their names and faces clouded with time already. Iyo Andres Sanchez hanged around but not part of their band. It was simple life then for him as long as the store of Iya Puring Pacheco was opened.
Then a strike at PPC that he joined and ended jobless despite the help of Mrs. Bibanco upon off course of my Nanay prodding of my mother to keep his job. That is where he started farming with repolyo or tomatoes and some camote (sweet potatoes). My growing years is with my father as “NATAY” as mother was working with PPC.
He told me he never regretted joining the labor strike; he said it was an expression of support, and a man should stand by what he believed was right. He toiled every day. He said that a man’s honesty was measured by the callous of one’s hands.
He debates with passion and only loses if the opponent is my mother. He mentioned once that his favorite cousin was Tio Cosme Ejem at Mojon (May his soul rested in peace.H e is also a favorite uncle his face is a smiley)
He is very good in numbers; actually he was my first teacher in Arithmetic (Apologies to Mr. Ray Abejo) First lesson was to remember multiplication table by heart. And true enough it is from him I learned in life like a carpenter, we have to measure twice and cut once. He is good in math’ proof he always wins in “masiao”. Masiao is a number games, he said every week he won. While working in broadcast station he always asked “hearing” and he consults his “computation” and true enough he wins. Never mind his winning the PCSO lottery; it would prolong my tribute (lol).
Now that he is alone as my mother went ahead home, and I am far from him I missed our talks.
It is with fondness that I remember my father Simeon Barros Naelga today.
He is poor but rich in character and spirit; he who taught me the University of Life.
Happy father’s day Tatay!
author: susan dennis
(Note: paumanhin po, Ms. Susan, naligaw po ito sa draft kaya hindi po nakita agad. Next time po sa “pending review” n’yo po ilagay. ^__^ Saludo po ako ke tatay Simeon!)
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