Though it broke his heart, he had to endure everything just to give a good future for his family. He had four children all studying at that time. Two were in the secondary and two were the Tertiary level pursuing various degrees. With his small salary in the Philippines as a government employee he could not send the other two more in college as one was a graduating senior student at the secondary level. His wife tried to help augment family income by selling homemade cassava cakes and other delicacies. The couple had a small piggery and poultry so as to earn more money to support their children in college. At that time the children had been very conscious about their spending. They would rather walk on the way home from school just to save their fare for other expenses in the future.
But things have changed when Kuya Ramon worked as a company supervisor in one of the Saudi Arabian firms in Dubai. He sent a lot of money for his family that’s why his wife Conchita was able to replace a hundred thousands pesos (P100,000) separation fee which kuya Ramon deposited in the bank for their future. Kuya Ramon’s firm had been earning so much at that time so he was also benefited with a lot of bonuses. He saved some for himself and the rests of his income went to his family.
His four children who were already in College at that time were living like sons and daughters of the rich and famous. Elsa, the eldest became a campus beauty queen and graduated cum laude in Communication Arts. Soon they hired her as a bank employee having been impressed with her beauty and talent. No happier father than kuya Ramon with the success of her daughter Elsa. But Philip an engineering student dropped out from school because he pursued other career–motorcycle racing. He was on his fifth year of engineering when he became a champion of a regional motorcycle racing and started to compete in the national level. Kuya Ramon got frustrated and told his wife not to give anymore allowance for Philip until such time he will continue with his studies. Philip however was already on his own at that time. He was representing a motorcycle company and had been given fat allowances. He also won a half million pesos prize for becoming a regional champion courtesy of a very rich and influential politician. His success however further broke kuya Ramon’s heart. He wants his son Philip to become an engineer like him too. Philip success went further, he became and product endorser for motorcycles and other energy drinks. He became a productive salesman of motorcycles and soon landed in a supervisory position in marketing. But still he is a college drop-out.
Kuya Ramon’s dream to have an engineer son was placed on the hand of Tanya his intelligent daughter. But Tanya has a heart for the poor so she wanted to become a teacher or a nurse. None of said daughter’s ambition was kuya Ramon interested. “Sinasayang mo ang inyong talino (you are only wasting your intelligence). They forced Tanya to pursue a course in Engineering. Against her will the child complied. But soon she was kicked out from the College of Engineering because she failed to satisfy the average grade requirements to continue. Kuya Ramon was so frustrated that he instructed his wife to discontinue sending Tanya to school. Tanya took the challenge, she applied for scholarship in an NGO and pursue a degree in Social Work. She finished the course as a Magna Cum Laude and later passed the board examination to become a community organizer. A single Canadian community volunteer spotted her and after a year of courtship they got married.
The incident changed the heart of kuya Ramon. He learned his lessons not to interfere with his children’s ambition. All that is left for his is Renato “Ato” who wanted to become a Civil Engineer just like his father. Kuya Ramon was so grateful about it and started to pamper Ato with higher allowances and a car to go to school. Ato was already in his sophomore and soon take up major courses in Engineering. But Ato having a car and so much weekly allowance his number of friends grew. Soon he missed his classes just to be with his friends in the malls hunting for girls. A once happy father expecting to have an engineer son was all grief himself when he learned his son was kicked out from the college of engineering due to failing grades. Ato was not really that bright to finish a course in engineering. When Ato’s car was sold by his father to an uncle and Ato’s friends started to diminish one by one, he had no option but stay at home and helped his mother attend to their poultry and piggery business.
It is here where he met Laura a lady Christian missionary. It was love at first sight so he pursued Laura. Though Laura has a feeling for him she did not fall just like that. She convinced Ato to take up a Course in Philosophy and Christian Education and became a minister later. His life had changed when he became a born again Christian and he started to find his niche in life being a Christian counselor. He inspired the live of so many young people who had been hooked with drugs and alcoholism and transformed them become good children of the Lord.
The Lord rewarded him with Laura and two beautiful Children. His father, kuya Ramon is now a Christian. He was inspired how the life of his son transformed. It was him to taught him how to love unconditionally.
But kuya Ramon is sill in the Middle East. He has save a lot and there’s no need for him to be there. But kuya Ramon has to return the favor of the so many blessing he received from the Lord. He decided to go back to the Middle East to work in the desert in order to inspire Filipinos enduring the hard life of labor and isolation just to support their families in the Philippines.
Since he has no other children now to support, he decided to give half of his income to support his son’s Christian Ministry for the youth. He is still strong and physically fit at sixty and he has been a blessings to so many lives he transformed while working in the vast deserts of the Middle East.
Oh yes, his son Philip suddenly realized he was the only child in the family who was a college drop-out. He took a leave of absence in his company and finished his engineering course in a year. He has a change of his career path and now he is a lead consultant in an engineering firm.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Happy Valentines to All!