Worldwide, we celebrate Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day on the third Sunday of June and the second Sunday of May, respectively. Although not as popular here in the Philippines as the first two, Grandparents’ Day is also celebrated in other parts of the world on the second Sunday of September. The idea is to be able to express by word or by deed our appreciation for these special people who have been or continue to be part of our lives.
Although past the season, I received this touching special tribute from my son-in-law. I am just so glad to read it now – while I am still up and about. I would not be able to appreciate it during my wake.
I guess what I am trying to say is whatever good you want to do for another, do it now. Whatever, nice thing you would like to say to another, say it now.
So let me share what my son-in-law, Atty. Jose Ferdinand “Joy” Rojas II (who is married to my daughter Trisha), wrote:
For many people, fathers-in-law have come to mean an additional challenge to overcome because of difficult relationships with them. But I am blessed that this is not the case with me and my father-in-law, Atty. Ignacio Bunye.
Few men are fortunate like me, whose father-in-law is also a father figure, offering the wisdom of experience and a shoulder to lean on during tough times. As my father-in-law is himself a seasoned public official, lawyer, leader, and executive, I find in him a reliable and wise counselor, an inspiring model, and a warm friend.
He has a very rich experience in public service and governance arising from the years he served as Mayor of Muntinlupa City, Chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Authority (now MMDA), Congressman, Press Secretary, Presidential Spokesperson, and Monetary Board Member of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Wisdom indeed comes from experience, and this is true for my father-in-law.
He plays a unique role in my life and in our – Trisha and me – life as a married couple. He makes every family gathering more lively and more delightful in many ways. So we make sure that time with him and the family is always valued and cherished. There is no doubt that he is the one who binds us all with his affection and warmth.
As someone who has experienced life with all its ups and downs, I give so much value to his ideas and his words, to his advice and opinions. I am awed by everything that he has achieved in the field of government service, banking and management, and the legal profession – his achievements are truly impressive. Being in his family gives me absolute pride and joy.
He inspires us to be hardworking as he himself used to be a working student and a diligent worker who climbed his way up to the success ladder through sheer determination and his many abilities.
Through his achievements as a news reporter and war correspondent in Vietnam, he inspires us to be courageous, too.
He teaches us to serve our fellowmen and love our people through his actions and decisions as Mayor – transforming Muntinlupa from a fifth-class municipality into a highly urbanized, business-friendly community – and through his work in Congress during his time as a lawmaker.
I admire his versatility and talent. From mastering law and management to serving the Bank of Philippine Islands as an Independent Director, from writing his numerous columns to authoring books on banking and history – he is truly a man of many gifts and expertise.
The highlight of our relationship as in-laws is, of course, his daughter whom he loves so much and who is the light and inspiration of my life. She was raised by her parents to be the amazing woman that she is, and this is what I appreciate most about my father-in-law. I celebrate the role that he has in the life of my spouse, in her development and success, in the beautiful blossoming of her character and personality. Of course, this is partly due to the father’s influence and guidance, for which I will always be grateful.
It is never too early to do or say something good for your in-laws!
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