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Me, age 4, and my Father/Dad/Tatay, Vicente/Vincent, in the backyard of our first house. I'm standing on a table.

A Tribute To Dads And Those Who Have Fathered Us

Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday. And, just like Mother’s Day, it can be a true celebration honoring our loved ones who have fathered us (including ourselves), a bittersweet holiday, or a trigger of memories wanted but lost.

However you celebrate it on Sunday, we all have the masculine aspect of our being that has fostered us to be who we are today.

Similar to my mother, my father and I have spicy personalities! Perhaps it was due to the fact that I was so much like him. From both sides of my family, I come from a long line of ancestors who were strong-minded, proud of where they came from, and didn’t skirt around the issues. My parents, and my father, in particular, has always exhibited these pragmatic traits, and has a very practical side, as well as an artistic one.

He grew up in a poor town in the Philippines, and dreamt about being a farmer. His father, on the other hand, had other plans for him, and enrolled him in medical school. He came to the United States for his residency, where he met my mother, and I came into the picture! In the backyard of our first house, he ended up creating the dream of his vast garden. That was my first exposure to organic produce! Those snap peas were the bomb.

I’ve learned so much from my father. A few of these things have been:

  • Teaching me, through his life journey alone, the power of manifesting what you want.
  • Instilling pride of where I came from, even giving me books on pre-Hispanic Philippines to learn about indigenous traditions. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, “In Honor Of Mothers And Mothering”, this knowledge of my roots came in quite handy, being the “one of a kind” gal that I was in the neighborhood we lived in!
  • Teaching me to block punches with his version of “sticky hands”. Again, very helpful when being a one of a kind gal in the neighborhood I grew up in! Thankfully, I never had to use what he taught me. Little did I know that I would later be inspired to learn Filipino Weapon Fighting.
  • That it is possible to nurture, and develop, more than one aspect of being at a time. He was an accomplished Western medical doctor (now retired), but he always took pride in being a scholar who didn’t want to boast too much about what a wonderful poet he is.
  • How to persevere. He encountered a lot of challenges growing up, and went through a lot to establish himself as an integral practitioner at neighborhood hospitals in our city. His determination helped him build a thick skin towards things that were not assets in his life, allowing him to attain what he’d set forth to do.

For this, and many other reasons, I am grateful to my Father.

I am also grateful to myself for nurturing father aspects within myself, such as:

  • The yang, masculine energy of fostering a healthy drive within myself to improve my life, to move up and out, like fire.
  • Continually, and consciously, expanding in my ways of thinking. Shifting patterns that I’ve always had can be hard to do, but it can be done!
  • Owning that I, and everyone else, encompass a good dose of both masculine and feminine, yin and yang, and know that one cannot live without the other.
  • Making sure that, instead of internalizing intense emotions, to choose to express them outwardly, and channel them in healthy ways, so as not to allow negativity to fester and clog up precious energetic body real estate!
  • Asserting myself into this world, and not playing small, since that serves no one.

To close, I want to share a brief letter my Dad wrote to me a few years ago. It turned out to be more like a poem. It is especially precious to me, since he is now recovering from a mini-stroke he experienced after his brain aneurysm surgery on New Year’s Eve 2013, and doesn’t write as much at the moment. I originally posted this in my previous blog post, “Kale and Maitake Mushrooms: A Recipe for Detoxing and Immune Building”:

Dear Mita –
I am glad
you are trying to be like
the bamboo
that moves, trembles, sways
with the pains and tribulations of ever-changing winds
and yet
stays rooted to the ground.
Better that
than an oak tree
that takes pride in its strength and yet
is brought to the ground by the whirlwind.
Dad

How do you honor the fathering aspects, or people, in your life?
How have your fathered yourself?

Honoring the Divine Masculine within you,

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