The Wheel and Axle

Remembering Daddy

by on Oct.24, 2011, under My Life

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When I was a young, I was somewhat sickly. I wasn’t asthmatic, but I had regular bouts of what seemed to be like symptoms of asthma and bronchitis. It was a good thing, then, that my maternal grandfather, “Daddy,” was a chest doctor. Daddy would always be the one to check up on me. Later on, when I became a healthier person, Daddy was still my main go-to person if I needed a check-up (or an excuse letter for school, heh) until he retired.

In the 80’s, he had built a small clinic behind our ancestral home in Taytay, right in front of the lush garden and the fish pond. I vaguely recall how excited I was to walk through the new and freshly-varnished clinic. The x-ray machine fascinated me, and all the medicines available were intriguing to me. Daddy inspired me to want to be a doctor. I almost did – later on finishing my degree in Biology as a pre-med course even if I took a different path afterwards.

People later started visiting the clinic, and I was proud of Daddy for being a doctor, one of the most distinguished in town. Even the mayor went to Daddy, but what got to me most was how much Daddy helped the poor who went to him for healing. Dr. Ignacio may have been married into one of the most prominent families in Taytay, the Gonzagas, but he built his own name and solid reputation by sheer skill and compassion. Yet Daddy did all this with great humility. It was a testament to his influence and humility that, during his wake, many people spoke of how he helped them (many times apparently pro bono), and none of the family even knew. Daddy embodied what a true healer should be – compassionate, loving, life-giving.

Daddy had a lot of dogs. And I mean, a lot. Throughout my entire life, he probably went through almost a hundred dogs – not counting any dogs he may have had before I was born. He loved his dogs so much, we joked he loved them more than us. During gatherings at home, he would sometimes start picking and preparing food for his dogs even while the rest of us were still at the table eating. When we ate out, he always made it a point that the waiters packed a literal doggie bag of leftovers; the dogs probably enjoyed it every time we went to the original Max’s in QC because it would then be veritable fiesta of bones for them. He may forget to take out food for himself and the family, but the dogs always got something. Most of his dogs are still buried in the garden of the ancestral home to this day.

During our birthdays and special occasions such as Christmas, Daddy would bring us to Angel Love – the landmark family emporium named after my special brother and situated at the first floor of the ancestral home; if it were Sunday and Angel Love was closed, Daddy would bring out the keys and open it for us. He would ask us to choose what we wanted as gifts. My cousins and I would almost always inevitably choose from the toy section. I believe I managed to complete my “Ghostbusters” Series 1 collection because of Daddy. We were spoiled by Daddy, probably to the chagrin of our parents.

Daddy loved the Lord. He and Mommy always went to Church, and when they couldn’t, they worshipped together at home. Younger generations would be ashamed by the love and dedication my grandparents had for the Lord. I believe they were never late for Church, and they always sat near the front, energetically participating in praise and worship at all times. At all times.

Daddy enjoyed seeing all his children, grandchildren, and later on, great-grandchildren together. Sunday lunches were always a celebration even without occasion, and it was always a feast. More importantly, it was about family. When Daddy later on got sick, going in and out of hospitals, he was always happy to see us when we visited him. Even when he was bedridden and can barely speak, you can see his face light up when any of his brood would come into the room after he hadn’t seen them in a while. It was the best smile anyone can ever see.

This past weekend marked the 40th day since Daddy went Home. He was 91. As a Methodist Protestant, I didn’t know we observed the 40 Day practice. Well, as it turns out, we don’t really – but it never hurt to get together with the family to commemorate Daddy. There was no service or anything, just a family gathering for a triad of reasons: Daddy’s 40th day, my Mama’s birthday on the 19th, and my brother Angel’s birthday on the 23rd. Even for my cousins and uncles who are out of the country, the get-together is felt because of, well, Facebook. We were all together, and it was a celebration of life.

And I’m sure Daddy would be happy to know we still got together for that.

Dr. Quirico V. Ignacio, 91 years old, 01 July 1920 – 12 September 2011.

We miss you, Daddy.


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