Tomorrow, June 18, 2017 is Father's Day. A recent near fire incident this morning at our neighboring Shell gasoline station made me recall a courageous act done by my father (God rest his soul) many many years ago. I was in my early twenties then and my younger brothers Wilson and Ollie were in their teens. My mother had passed away some two years ago, leaving my father alone and us her children to assist in the meager family business in Cotabato City. Our two-pump gasoline station com sari-sari store (convenient store) was located at the corner of Mabini and Villaeron Streets fronting the Rio Grande River. It is called "Teksing" now a days. Our business catered mostly to Muslims: those pump boats plying the delta, the fishermen and people from the near-by river banks. The store opened early in morning and closed around six in the evening. But the lorry truck that filled our gasoline pumps would come in the evening, most of the time late at night.
One particular day though, it came earlier around 6:30 or 7 in the evening. It was already dusk and the store was about to close, but we stayed on to wait for the lorry to fill in our gasoline supply. As we prepared for it, my two younger brothers as tasked, went up to the truck, opened the lid to measure the content of the fuel. I sat as cashier. The store was half closed and I could not see from the inside. Two sale girls were also with me, while my father went out to oversee the fueling. Suddenly there was some kind of a loud sound (busuk!), then I saw my father running hastily inside the store. He quickly took the big fire extinguisher on the center post and ran outside to quell some fire outside. After sometime, he came back with an empty can and a screaming fire truck soon arrived. It did not take long for the firemen to investigate the incident. They talked to my father and my brothers. Since my brothers were on top of the lorry truck, they saw everything...... While they were preparing for the loading of the fuel, some Muslim kids at the far end of the vicinity were playing talang (lucky nine perhaps). Since it was getting dark, one of the kids lighted a small candle. In an instant the fueling hose sucked up the flame. The candle was extinguished but the flame was perilously transferred to the hose. When my brothers saw the hose on fire, they quickly jumped down from the lorry and ran towards the river, to save themselves in case things got worst. Not so far away though, they saw my father coming out from the store carrying the big fire extinguisher by himself and single-handedly hosed down the flame. Thank God, the fire was contained. Thank God! He saved us from great harm that evening. That same night, the firemen and policemen found the candle and playing cards at the far end of the vicinity accordingly. My father had to do some reporting to the police station the next day though.
But to my brothers, my father confided. That when he saw the fire and saw my brothers running safely away, in a brief moment he was tempted to let the fire burn and collect the insurance. But on second though he knew how many other lives would get lost instead, In an instant second he chose to brave the fire himself, and so he went hurriedly to take down the fire extinguisher and responsibly braved the peril himself.
My father Francisco Ledesma was not religious, but for this single heroic act of courageousness, I believe the all knowing God has absolved him. I believe my father is now in heaven with our Almighty God who is all good, kind and merciful. It is just so timely that I am able to think about this single incident and remember Papa and his courageous deed just before Father's Day tomorrow. I love you, Pa! Happy Father's Day!
Friday, June 9, 2017
I went to Manila last May 22, 2017 to repaint my second home. In fact to repaint the room of Roy and Emil to be exact. To date, I have been repainting one room per visit and here are the results:
Aside from overseeing the work at home, I spent time and enjoyed walking at the park with Martha, the house-helps and Kiba (Martha's dog).
Orange for Lucas' and mine room. Hehe.
Soothing green for the library/study.
Blue for the boys room
It was for walking of the dog primarily. Hahaha
Tetet and Kiba
Karen and Runa helping Martha walk the crazy dog.
In Manila, I also met up with my siblings (sorry no pictures here) and ate out with Martha several times. One high light dinner with my daughter was a buffet at Shangrila Fort. We ate from 8 in the evening up to 10:30 closing time. I carefully chose what I like best and since most of my children were allergic to shellfish and we didn't cook them at home, so my first choice was to eat a plateful of the crustaceans first. My favorites were of course the lobsters and shrimps. The crabs and crayfish were kind of disappointing, but I used a lot of lemons for flavorful dipping. I went for second and third rounds. Hahaha. Another favorite was the peking duck. I asked for more slices of duck meat and went for another helping. Their siopao was also good. I ate few slices of yellow fin tuna, salmon and mackerel. However at the end, I opted to skip the cakes and pastries, instead I had lemon sorbet for my dessert and topped it with plentiful of big fresh strawberries. Lemon sorbet and fresh strawberries were perfect blend. It was such a wonderful dinner. I could not however eat that much and so heavily everyday. This was just a special night I randomly planned with my daughter Martha. What a lovely evening!