April 20, 2014

Functional fathers

It was Father’s Day yesterday and so part of our celebration in our radio magazine program over DYHB RMN is to invite fathers who can speak about being a father on two things, happiness and hardship.  So we were honored by Board Member Patrick Lacson, Ben Solilapsi of Abang Lingkod-1DSWD and Kagawad Tukoy Decatoria of Barangay Ma-ao, Bago City.  My partner Serge Santillan entitled the role of our guests as father in politics which refers to Board Member Lacson, father in the community in the person of Solilapsi and Kagawad Decatoria as father in the barangay.

All the three guests yesterday have their own personal view of being a father.  My friend Board Member Lacson said that we need to develop the culture of happiness, which to my understanding is the same spirit we need to develop as a people in order to move forward.  Patrick pointed that we possess that spirit of negativism that to become a father its simplest form is to scold and command our children.  He admitted that he also has disagreements with his father but he has learned from them as his children are also growing.  Though he is a politician, Patrick believed that we need to be appreciative of little things in our lives and develop that positive outlook.

Another guest in the person of Mr. Ben Solilapsi has a wonderful view of his being a father.  To him fatherhood is very hard.  But he said that a father should have multiple functions in the context of family especially in the lives of children.  These roles according to Ben is rolled into one.  The most interesting he said is being a father and a friend to his children.  Fathers should also take note according to Ben that not all the time whatever fathers will command will be followed in the house especially in times when conflict would set in among family members.  When this happens according to Ben, fathers should take a break and reflect if what he stands for in the family could help solve or worsen the conflict.  In the end of his interview, Ben left a message in the form of a joke that fathers should continue to be responsible to only one family under one roof and not create a splintered one.

In the barangay level, Kagawad Decatoria has his own view of fatherhood.  His work in the barangay requires him to be both a father to his five girls, which is in contrast to Ben whose children were all boys.  His policy is also lenient because it is not too heavy guarding the girls for the moment. His guiding message is that fathers should continue to be responsible and support their family.

At the last part of our radio program, Kagawad Decatoria joined me that while it’s father’s day yesterday, we are not suppose to wash clothes and dishes.  Instead we should be treated to a nearest restaurant for a dinner and resume the obligation to wash and cleaning of the house next week.
More than anything else, it is true that it is hard to understand the role of fathers, if not exactly their behaviors.  This is because fatherhood is so important as a role that it assumes the core of family as a unit of society.  With that role, a typical father is put into circumstances where he encounters the hardships of finding for the needs of the family, while at the same time sitting at the table to instill order inside the family and balance among family members.

I agree not all fathers are functional.  There are fathers who are a shame instead of becoming an asset for the family.  Hence, we can’t blame that it affects their children.

But how fatherhood is played in the personal level of the family plays a role  in the larger arrangements of society.  A functional father may create a functional family and a functional family may form part of a functional and balanced society of ours./WDJ

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