A Politician and His Son

I never knew my father that much. His job’s very demanding that we’re even lucky to talk to each other at least once a week. I only see him when he’s sleeping, which is about 4 am in the morning, when I’m getting ready for school. He comes home very late, so we really don’t get to chat that often.

That’s why I cherish the little moments we get to talk about different things. His favorite, and mine, I suppose, is on politics, law, and current events. When he was still a councilor, I remember vividly how we used to talk about politics even during dinner time. When there was no one to drive me to school, father would wake up and drive me himself. We would talk about our dreams for Cainta, how to make her a better place to live in, how to make better the lives of its citizens, how to make her a city…

Despite being his son, I am my father’s critic. I tell him straightforward every time I chance upon him that we need to change for the better, that complacency on the system will only serve to deteriorate the quality of life of every citizen, that there is still hope for a better tomorrow. My idealism sometimes clashes with my father’s realistic views, yet I won’t have it any other way. It’s how I came to know the father of my hometown.

I never knew my father that much… He would always be away doing his duties as the vice mayor of our town. It’s a painful life that I’ve grown to hate, yet I’ve learned to accept. He never saw his son grow up into a man. Sometimes he would even forget my age! Yet I knew he loved me as much as he (and I) loved Cainta. Yet his love for her was the greater good, and I yielded to that. We all yielded to that greater good: “Bayan muna bago and sarili!”.

I was not alone of not having a father. My mother sometimes wishes he didn’t run for public office, so he can be a father to his children, and watch them grow into men. I too, once wished he didn’t run and at some point, lose, so that I could finally have a father who would help me with my problems, who would be there to see me do my best, who would drive me to school every now and then.

Wish granted… Yet I regret such a wish, for it was a selfish wish. What is the greater good but the good of all and not one person?

Politics takes away a father, a mother, away from his/her children to do the work others would refuse to do, to take the blame for all the nasty things happening, and to realize that one day, one painful day, that they never saw their children grow.

I realize now how noble my father’s profession is, even though people would consider it the dirtiest job on the planet.

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