Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It’s the blazing month of April, and while summer means sand and sea-side party to most of us, to some it means grieving.

Today, allow me to write about my father for the first time in this blog. Also, this story that took place almost two years ago in a summer like this, when a three-year old boy Franco braved the waves of Mindoro’s waters then forever left with only his smiles and dreams to remember now.

I would’ve called my father’s car “DB’s car” if it was here, but his car trails the foreign roads of Bahrain and I only heard about it over countless telephone conversation, the same way young Franco called his father’s Innova “Franco’s car.”

Unlike the boy who would grow up to become the Desole Boy, Franco rose to be a delightful and mischievous kid, a very expressive one. A bright sunny day and you could hear him say, “I’m happy” and the days when he couldn’t play to his delight would mean, “I’m sad.”

Unlike DB’s dad, Franco’s dad loves him so much, he said he’s willing to exchange his life just to allow his son live.

It was supposed to be Franco’s first big family trip. They took a boat from Batangas port to Puerto Galera, a ride that little did Franco’s dad know would take away the life of his beloved son.

Twelve people, including 3 children and a Japanese tourist, were killed after a large motorized outrigger capsized near Mindoro Island on Saturday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

Chief Supt. Luisito Palmera, police chief for Region 4B (Mimaropa), said in a text message to reporters in Manila that the MB Commando 6 sank at about noon near Verde Island, 85 miles (135 kilometers) south of Manila.

Palmera said the boat sank when one of its outriggers broke.

The victims were identified by rescuers as: Beta Berdin, 2, Sta Mesa, Manila; Albino Pablico, 55, Sta Cruz Manila; Gregonia Pabliko, 58, Sta Cruz, Manila; Anton Cruz Eugenio, 2, White Plains, Quezon City; Franco Eugenio, 3 years old, White Plains, Quezon City…

-report from GMAnews.tv, “12 killed as motor ferry sinks off Verde Island” May 23, 2009

Young Franco probably said “I’m happy” that day. It was sunny after all and he got his whole family with him. His father pumped the little boy’s chest for breath, for hope, for life.

“I’m sad,” Franco’s dad said. “I’m very sad.” His Franco died.

Many times I should’ve died like Franco. How many times have I missed death? Twice, thrice, I couldn’t count anymore. All I know is that there’s no father beside those hospital beds I’ve been to, no weeping father praying for Death to spare me, no father feeling sad at the very least. The only thing that came is money; money to pay the hospital bills and meds; money to buy his presence and bribe for a wife who took all the pains.

Helicopters are another favorite of Franco. His father said Franco always dreamed of riding one. Now Franco got his wish.

Franco’s dad held his son’s lifeless body when the helicopter took off to bring them back to Manila. “Franco, here’s your helicopter ride,” his dad said. Only it was too late. Too late for Franco. Too late for his dad.

How many times had I watched my father left in an airplane. Always, I waited for that airplane to come back, that airplane that would bring a father to our household. But it never came. And I'm already tired of waiting. I don’t wanna hear the line “here’s your airplane son” anymore. It’s too late. Too late for him. Too late for both of us.

When Franco’s dad finished telling the story, he said “remember Franco…remember this, and hold on to your Franco.”

“Pa, I am your Franco.”


In memory of Franco Eugenio and all other Francos out there... like me

part of this post based on Patricia Evangelista's interview of Franco's dad

9 reaction(s):

Papa Jay said...

My father's not physically absent. Just emotionally stunted. While it's not exactly the same thing, I know how it feels to be disappointed by the very people you wish you could rely on.

And while it's sad, just choose to pick yourself up and be thankful that despite all the seeming lack in your life, you are still who you are. And that's not something anybody can take away, or add, should they come back.


Mu[g]en said...

My dad was absent most of the time during my growing-up years. But it doesn't matter. In his absence I had my freedom, and in my solitary wanderings - without his control - I've learned the lessons life ought for me to learn.

canonista said...

I was separated from my dad when I was 5 years old until I was a teenager. It was a forced separation because my parents did at that time, my mom tagging me along with her. I grew up believing that I don't have a dad anymore, but I have one, he was working at the middle east at that time.

Hopefully your dad will finally come home when he plans to retire from working over seas. I know how it feels to long for a love from an absentee parent. It is only recently that my and my dad are getting to know more of each other. I used to have only a father, but now I am knowing my dad more.

I pray for your unification, as father and son.

Alter said...

better days will come. be strong. ;)

Spiral Prince said...


at least your father shows signs of returning, DB. ;)

be strong.

Guyrony said...

Is this the story of a prodigal son or a prodigal father?

green breaker said...

this is one of those expressive shots at a subliminal feeling of longing. i wish i could relate to your feelings but even if our dads are similarly on the same thing, being away, i still consider the thought that one day, we'd be close to each other.

just got nudged, sorry.

soltero said...

I'm sure your dad feels the same way too...having missed lots and lots of years, years when you were just growing up....

It's a sad reality - maraming ganyan ang naka experience sa buhay.

midnightorgasm said...

And so the memories of my parents flashed. Something worth not remembering. Some people are lucky to have them, some people are not.


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