Dios Ti Agngina

Thank you in Ilocano

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Dad

Growing up my dad ran a tight ship.  He was stern and strict with my brother and me.  Many times I was at odds with my dad.  I just couldn't understand him.

One day I started to understand.  When I was in the second grade I realized that school and good grades were very important to my dad so from that moment I set out to do all that I could to make my dad proud.  I started befriending the smart kids in my class and making at least the honor roll every quarter.

When I was about seven years old I asked my dad why he had so many lines on his forehead.  He simply said, "Because I care."  Dad expected order and obedience from his children.  Being in the military it was a part of him and that's how he ran the household.  Now that I am a parent I have more appreciation for his perspective.

My dad is from a generation known for its sacrifices, dedication to hard work and family, old-fashioned values, and quiet wisdom. Years ago I sent this poem to my dad on his 55th birthday.  It represents my dad and how he raised us.  It is my favorite poem.  To me it sounds like the sea when read in Spanish, so calm yet dramatic.

 


Tú eres el capitán, padre

 

La cuna, la madre y el padre

están en el rincón del cuarto

La cuna es un barco de papel

que flota en una poza de lluvia

Sueña...

Del barco varonil entre dos patrias

Pasando en el río

Y las olas ondulantes contemplan

Es el sacrificio para la tripulación

que continua  el espíritu eterno

Tú eres el capitán

Heroico y grande como el sol paternal

Y las piedras de tantos obstáculos

no pueden luchar contigo

El relámpago y el trueno se enojan

¡Silencio!

Pasa en paz

Para oír las olas profundas y aprender mis hábitos

Tú eres el capitán, padre

Eres la fuerza atada del mar familiar.

 

You are the captain, father

 

The cradle, the mother and the father

are in the corner of the room

The cradle is a paper boat

that floats in a puddle of water

Dream

Of a manly ship between two countries

Passing in the river

And the undulating waves contemplate

It is the sacrifice for the crew

that continues the eternal spirit

You are the captain

Heroic and great like the paternal sun

And the rocks of many obstacles

cannot fight with you

The thunder and lightning get angry

Silence!

Pass in peace

To hear the profound waves and to learn my ways

You are the captain, father

You are the tying force of the familiar sea.


 

Happy Father's Day, Dad!  You truly were the captain of our lives growing up and you still are.  You steered us during calm, sunny days and steered us clear from danger.  Love from all of us -- Elaine, Martin, and Constantine.

 


You are the captain, father