A Good Fight of Faith: In Loving Memories of our Tatay

Three months when I did post about the SAVED Festival event and I got very excited then. I had many attempts on buying tickets for me and my Ate (eldest sister) but I never did since our Tatay (father) was not in good condition since late September of this year.

I already marked and saved November 26, 2011 in my planner for the biggest Christian concert in the Philippines but to my surprise, that day would be the burial of our father. Obviously, I was not able to attend the concert, that's why I do not have any follow-up entry for the said event.

He passed away last 18th of November, Friday, and it was also the final night of our favorite local show – 100 Days to Heaven. I remember, I mentioned to tatay to finish the show since he also loved it plus the Korean hit – Big Thing. 

Last July 2011, he was diagnosed with cancer, stage 4. Medical specialists believed that it started in his stomach or lungs then it scattered to his upper body until it reached his brain. Four tumors were found in his brain thus he could not undergo chemo, radiations and other surgery procedures. Since then, we prayed for God’s will be done for we’ll never understand His knowledge but we know He loves us and He will never leave us nor forsake us. [see previous post here]

What happened that week of his death?

From November 14-17, tatay just regained his strength. From being bed ridden, fed through tube, breathing with help of oxygen tank to starting to talk again and tell some stories about him and places he went to. He recalled his favorite show – Big Thing and he told us he wanted to watch and that he would get up. He kept asking for water for he was so thirsty but since he’s not able to drink anymore, I would dip some wet cloth to his lips or let him sip some water from wet cotton buds. We still prayed together every night and told our I LOVE YOUs. And we hoped for more miracles. But during that week we finally witnessed him screaming in pain for his head hurt so much.

Our Tita (aunt), who’s also a doctor, ever since we left the hospital took care of Tatay. It’s like we’re having our private ICU at home. Nanay's (mother) in charge with the medicines and food for tatay while I had to monitor the amount of dextrose and with injecting other medications. While ate Elaine (our distant relative from Visayas who stayed with us for 2 weeks before Tatay's death) and other friends and relatives who stayed in our home for some days were helping us change clothes, diaper, bed sheets for tatay. We were really blessed for people used by the Lord to assist us since I have a job and also, nanay and I won’t be able to handle all the sleepless nights to watch over tatay, even during the days Tatay’s confined at the hospital.

We’re also thankful that my Ite (older sister) made to go home from Sweden and stay with us for a week. At least, tatay’s still strong then though he could not recognize her several times. Our tatay and I also had moments like this. This felt like we were casts in “the Notebook” novel. Tatay would ask where I am and what time I would go home although I’m already facing him. I would never forget him smiling despite of his condition and times He still managed to tell jokes and stories.

Until Friday morning when Nanay asked me and ate Elaine, to check something’s coming out from tatay’s tube. Nanay thought it’s blood but I did not agree since it’s just a little pink to be a blood and I noticed something like that some days ago but not as many as what we were seeing that minute. I left the house and went to work then our tita-doctor checked tatay. Before lunch time, I received a text message from nanay asking me to get home ASAP and saying that tatay’s not in good condition that day. I replied, “I can’t. I’m tasked to prepare the clothes for fitting and comments”, but before going to work, I actually had in mind to request for a longer vacation/emergency leaves so I’d have more time to take care of our tatay but I had lots of absences in October and November this year. Then Nanay did not reply anymore. But I sent a message to  Ate to assist our mother if she’s available. Ate went to our house quickly.

We started our session/meeting at the office until I returned to our room to get something and I heard my phone ringing and my officemate even mentioned that somebody’s calling me for several minutes. I did not answer my phone right away but I felt nervous, with bubble-thoughts in my head...
“Is this it?”,
“What if......?”,
“Is he dead?”.

I went back to our meeting and back to our room again, my phone’s still ringing and I had to pick it up. And there I heard Nanay’s voice asking me to rush home after the meeting, I asked what’s happening but she won’t tell. Until few minutes later, I received a SMS from her – saying that

Tatay’s running out of time.

I tried not to cry upon reading it, I waited until our meeting’s over and it’s already 5PM and time to go home. Then I cried and called Nanay on the phone and she just said, “go home, fast... wait, try to talk with your tatay”, I heard tatay’s voice but his words were not clear, I told him to wait for me.

I left the office at 5:30PM; traffic’s heavier than ever! And I reached home at 7:10PM. I saw him wearing a mask for oxygen this time, short of breath. I changed the mood of my voice to a happier greeting and saying I Love You. He mumbled, tried to answer back. Ate’s at her side with face so downhearted, nanay’s anxious and Ate Elaine’s not ok too. Our tita-doctor’s there too and openly told us to get ready but she did not want to remove any life support from tatay. She wanted tatay to stop willingly for she mentioned many times that our tatay’s a fighter and he’s really trying to overcome cancer. And so she even asked my mother to buy some new medicines and us to monitor tatay’s blood pressure and supply of dextrose.

After Nanay and tita left our house, blood started to come out from tatay’s mouth. Ate hurried to remove and clean it and after several minutes, blood stopped coming out.

Then my nanay arrived and Ate told her what happened. Of course, she panicked then asked us to pray over. Ate thanked God for Tatay’s 62 years here and gave him to be our father. That we surrender tatay’s life and our all to Him and that He would take care of tatay. After that prayer, I believed I heard tatay said Amen too, it was 8:45 in the evening.

Nanay got back to check the medicines she bought.
Ate was to drink her coffee.
Ate Elaine stepped out from the room...
and I just noticed blood in tatay’s mouth again! I told my Ate about it and she got up to get some gauze.
I removed his oxygen mask, I touched his chest and I could not feel him breathing. I did not cry at once... I tried to check his nose and mouth if there’s air coming out, but there’s none. And before my Ate touch Tatay’s chest and get rid of the blood again, I told her “di na sya humihinga” (“he’s not breathing anymore”).

She cried and I did too. She hugged Tatay and she called out our mother. She went back to their room and so was Ate Elaine. We were all in tears and I texted our tita-doctor about Tatay’s death. Then lots of people when to our house, they also cried but they gave comfort.

We thank God for the wisdom He gave to Ate; for she already managed the services needed after the Lord take Tatay’s life.

Wake and funeral services for Tatay started last Saturday-Friday (November 19-25) at King Funeral Homes in Marikina City. Friends and loved ones; tatay’s sisters and their husbands flew home to the Philippines. And some Pastor friends were invited to speak. Our churchmates were also present and helped out in serving snacks. Many were also shocked to know he passed away already and asked what’s his sickness and how long he was suffering for some even had a chance to talk with Tatay before July, and Tatay’s still strong then.

Map to find King Funeral Homes easily

It was Friday again and the last wake for tatay. We had a short worship service and necrological program. I made an AVP while Ate and her daughters, and Ate Lani (her in-law) and Nanay sang “Mighty to Save” by Hillsong. Before we, immediate members of Tatay’s family, gave out our speech... we asked some friends and relatives of Tatay to share something about their experiences with Tatay.

Many mentioned about Tatay’s being so hardworking, funny, and positive most of the time. They remembered his beautiful voice and their videoke sessions.

But we remember him being so LOVING to our Nanay and LOVING to us, his children. We were really blessed to have him and raise us with such discipline and dedication. We love him so much and it still hurts to remember his gone. However, we are grateful for we know he is in the Lord’s hands. He’s happier than ever!

Tatay had a good life and he fought a good fight of faith.
Also in heaven, there will be no weeping, no hurt nor pain and no suffering.

And according to my Ate’s post at Facebook: To all who empathized with our family ..Thank you so much...Let our good God bless you and keep you..no exact words to describe how much we appreciate you all..Even at my father's death, he was able to minister to you the gospel of the Kingdom of God proclaiming that truly Jesus who died on the cross is our only Savior and Lord..."we cannot bring him back, but we can follow him" ( 2 Samuel 12:23)

So again, I would like to thank everyone who helped and comforted us. Thank you for your prayers and love. May the good Lord bless you all. And let’s treasure every second we have with our loved ones. Don’t delay saying your I LOVE YOUs and showing them how much you care.

 we'll be ok... we have the Lord...
the Father to the fatherless, the defender of widow / Psalm 68:5
we had white balloons at his burial (Forest lawn Memorial Park, Rodriguez/Montalban, Rizal


  1. rejoice! he came back to where he came from.
    we 'almost' had the same experience about the frantic calls. mine was back during Thesis Orientation. at least andun na mga erpats naten.
    wala na silang problema sa buhay. prayers lang kelangan nila.

    aja! aja! fighting! *bear hugs*


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