This page is dedicated to the most honorable man I have ever known, my father Wilfredo D. Arriola. He passed last January 21, 2013 at 5 in the morning after greeting his wife of 29 years a happy anniversary. His last words were “I love you.” His life and death are easily the envy of many.
The Five Promises
Eulogy by Yours Truly
January 27, 2013, 10:15 am
Thank you very much for your sympathies. Actually, I feel kind of guilty because I heard Tatay mention more than once that he doesn’t want a prolonged wake. I guess he just didn’t think so many people would love him this much.
Maybe that’s the thing with the end — you remember all the hypothetical things you talked about at weddings and wakes. They come back to you when you most need it. So, Tatay, don’t worry: there are no watermelon and squash seeds, no cheesy ribbons with names of your family pinned to your coffin and we stopped the funeral director from applying blush on your face.
Tatay hates prolonging the agony, so I’ll try to make this quick. I just don’t know how to express my gratitude and admiration for the most honorable man I have ever met. So instead, I just made five promises — promises that my siblings and I can easily keep.
1. I promise we’ll fatten up Lola. This is Tatay’s frustration because as Lola aged, she sort of lost her thrill for food and eating. But Tatay’s motto is never give up, so Lola, be prepared because we’ll feed you ever so constantly.
2. I promise we’ll take care of our “farm”. With a small patch of land that’s piled with broken hollow blocks and fallen debris, Tatay managed to nurture a handful of fruit trees. Even though there was never really any unifying theme, the atis, guava, banana and the budding papaya and calamansi will be taken care of, I promise you that.
3. I promise to learn how to drive the stick. I remember approaching Tatay and proudly announcing that I can drive an automatic now. He casually replied, “That’s not real driving.” The stick makes anyone pogi, so I’ll make sure to master the stick because all of Tatay’s kids are pogi. Besides, I will need to learn that so my brothers and I can take turns to fulfill the next one.
4. I promise we will date Nanay. Constantly. We will take care of your girlfriend, Tatay. We will do everything so she won’t be sad all the time, so she won’t miss you so much. We will host move on parties together because we know that the last thing you want is for our lives and plans to stop just because you can’t come with us. In fact, we already have a date tomorrow.
5. I promise at all times we will all strive to be good. I know for me this will be such a stretch; I am naturally bitchy. But if there’s something we learned about Tatay this entire week, it’s the fact that Tatay has managed to fill our lives full with simple acts of kindness. We can only hope to be half the man that he was.
If you want to join in our five promises, please feel free to do so. But please, date your own Nanay. Ours is fully booked for the entire year at least.
People kept telling me Tatay didn’t even get the chance to walk me to the altar, or have grandchildren. What they didn’t know was Tatay lived a full life. He took care of his family. He took pride in the work he did. He served everyone he loved. He raised handsome and beautiful smart sexy and talented children. He loved one woman till the very end. He lived the life other people only dream of. A wedding would have been nice, a grandson or a granddaughter, if not all of the above. But our Tatay didn’t need an extravagant wedding or dozens of grandchildren. With all of you, with all of us, he was content.
After all the years Tatay has diligently picked us up and drove us to our destinations, it is only fitting that we do the same for him this time.
Ladies and gentlemen, please give a big round of applause to the most honorable man I’ve ever met, my father, Wilfredo D. Arriola.
A daily photo tribute to Tatay can be found by searching #SirBoy on Instagram. For your personal tributes, please feel free to use the hashtag when posting. Thank you.