June 17 is Father’s Day, the mass I attended at the Chapel inside Camp Rodriguez was dedicated to all the fathers who were present and culminated with special prayer and blessing them with holy water.
The gospel was about the mustard seed which the homily expounded and relate to life, the priest made a very clear analogy to life and how a person should always strive for greatness and to think only of good things for himself and others which would rippled and redound to the good of the country.
What I liked most in the homily is how he started it with the story of a mother (referring to me) who was reassigned from Manila to Butuan City and who is missing her children badly even if she was able to talk to them on the phone and send text messages (SMS). She was wondering how to make them happy even without her presence but she cannot find anything at Gaisano, the only mall here that would make them happy.
Walking along the streets of the city, she saw a parrot being sold. The owner told her that it can talk, the parrot said, “good morning ma’am”. And it can also sing and dance, the parrot did, singing, “like a love song baby” and “there’s a fire burning in my heart” while dancing. Wow! She said, Rolling in the Deep by Adele, wonderful parrot and she asked for the price. Thirty thousand pesos (US$750) said the owner. Very expensive said the mother, but it was worth it the seller argued until the mother, thinking how it would make her daughters happy having just received her mid-year bonus and increase in salary, she bought the parrot and sent it by special carriage in the Philippine Airlines. The following day, she called her daughters and asked if they liked the parrot, the daughter replied, “yes mommy, the adobo parrot was very good”. There goes the thirty thousand pesos parrot.
After the mass, there were prepared food for those who attended mass and the priest invited us with key officers of the region in his office for snacks, I introduced myself to those present and we had long discussions, still work related. They do not know how to rest on a Sunday. Then the former Deputy Regional Director arrived, he said he was just passing by to say hello to the priest and was surprised to see us all there. He was with me before in my previous assignment, that shortened the introductions since we talked more about strategy management and how we were not able to move fast in the implementation. I got the acceptance of the group from the discussions we had, entering in a man’s world as the only woman and talking sense earned their respect.
When the group had left, the priest told me that I was the inspiration for the homily which I interjected with, “Father, I really want to tell you that I haven’t bought the parrot yet”. He burst into laughter and we with my assistant, the Medico-Legal Officer talked about the sites I should visit, the Soccoro caves, Siargao and Dinagat Islands, and he advised me to start with the near ones, the Tinuy-an Falls (Niagara of the Philippines) and Enchanted River, also the hot springs in Mainit. I told him that I would certainly do that when I came back since I have to be in Manila next week for previous commitments.
Lunch was with former Crime Laboratory personnel who retired in 2005, he said, Ma’am remember, we were together at Crimelab in 1995” which I did. At 63 he is still strong and looks happy with his life, he said he is receiving the same increase that we in active service are receiving and he wants to still help the organization he left in whatever way he can. That’s the cue for me to get his number for future reference, his business is making hollow blocks and I am planning to construct a two-storey building to house the digitized polygraph machine that will be delivered this year and the medico-legal examination room which we do not have as well as conference room for our staff meetings.
Life is good and always beautiful. Happy Father’s day!