Friday, September 23, 2011

Pops and the triumph of the human spirit

My sister Sr. Lita, me, Inang and Pops proudly displaying
our collection of academic medals. Pops has always encouraged
us to excel in school.
I missed watching the Miss Universe 2011 coronation night. My gosh!  Where in the world was I? While millions of people around the world were hooked on their TV sets cheering for their countries' bets, I was obliviously busy at work in front of my computer.  A day before I read  in one of those online newspapers that it would be Miss U the next day.  Oh, well, I totally forgot!  Thank heavens, for the internet...and facebook, that's where I saw my friends' posts that Miss Philippines made it to top 5. Yay!  I hit "Most Recent" and then came the big news-- Miss Angola was crowned Miss Universe and our very own Shamcey Supsup was 3rd runner-up.

If Pops were still here (and healthy the way he used to be), I (we) wouldn't have missed the Miss U. He loves watching beauty pageants and he'd have his own bets too, aside from our country's very own candidate. He's also fond of watching awards shows on TV. He would even stay up late at night just to finish a local film fest awards night every December. In the morning, I would ask him, "Who won?", he would simply give us a rundown of last night's winners.

Pops was an avid sports fan, too.  It's a routine for him turn on the TV at 4:00 in the afternoon to watch basketball, volleyball or boxing.  International sports competitions such as the summer Olympics, Asian Games, SEA Games, and boxing title fights, especially Manny Pacquiao bouts, were in his mental calendar of events to watch. And he would remember those dates!

April 1988, our V-day. Our family graduation picture. 
Looking forward to and watching beauty pageants, awards nights and sports events was his way of celebrating the triumph of the human spirit.  As I see it, while watching these shows, he was reminiscing the days when he himself was rejoicing over the victories of our family. He'd never miss school recognition and graduation days.  Many of our old photos would show Pops pinning our ribbons or medals during those special events. He has always encouraged us to excel  and actively participate in school activities. 

My parents, Pops and Inang, ordinary employees that they were, told us that education is the greatest legacy they could give us. It was their ultimate dream that we all finish our college education and become degree holders.  We'd been through hard times but we all endured. In April 1988, their dream became a reality. My youngest sister Lita and I graduated from college! To capture our family's moment of triumph, we went to a studio and had our graduation picture taken. A big framed version of it is proudly displayed in our home. :-)

Beauty pageants, awards nights and sports events...more often than not, I'd miss watching them.  But the one who I would always miss the most is my Pops.


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