Obet and Rey enjoying an ice cream break at Michigan State University.

A tale of two fathers
Argie C. Aguja (The Philippine Star) - June 17, 2017 - 3:00am

Having a father-in-law is almost like having a second dad. For married couples, it becomes part of familial duty to build a strong relationship with the father-in-law and make him feel loved and valued too. After all, there is more to being married than just getting along with your spouse. Finding ways to create a great relationship with your spouse's parents is a big plus, a worthwhile endeavor that will benefit everyone for years to come.

Such is the story of Dr. Rover 'Obet' Rubio's relationship with his father-in-law, Dr. Regalado 'Rey' Zamora. These two dads share the same love and dedication to fatherhood, as pillars of their own families. Father-in-law Rey and mother-in-law Agnes have finely brought up their kids, Christine and Raymond. Obet is currently raising a growing family with Christine.

Obet and Christine with their son Tommy.

While Obet and Rey became fathers in different generations, both agree on a number of interests; one of which is the fondness for technology and music. Obet shares, "My father-in-law is nearing 70 but is very much tech-savvy; he always asks me to teach him to use new technology.  At his age, it is amazing that he is always up-to-date with new stuff. On a deeper note, I think we have many similar traits. We are both good-humored and easily get along with people from all walks of life." Rey also agrees to this observation, "What pops into my mind is our love of gadgets. We would consult each other on which phone, tablet or computer to get, the latest and cool gadgets. We also love to watch movies at home. I guess we are both home buddies in a way. Oh and by the way, we also have the same disease. We both have gout! So I guess I am lucky that my son-in-law is an anesthesiologist, who has the same disease. I get immediate consultation and fast relief every time."

When Christine got married in January 2008, both her husband Obet and father Rey shared the spotlight as the two most important men in her life. They are buddies today, far from what they used to be during their first encounter. Obet says, "My first impression of him was that he is a very serious person but a very cool one. He is a very cool guy. He loves sports, particularly tennis. He never gets tired of traveling especially now that he is retired." Meanwhile, Rey revealed there was an initial feeling of uneasiness between them, but  that it was quickly overcomed. "I can't really remember my first impression of him, but I don't know who was more uneasy, Obet or me, when he was introduced to me. Maybe it was Christine who was the uneasiest. I remember the feeling I had when I found out that Christine's boyfriend was her classmate from Med school. I was kind of happy, because I have always wanted my daughter's husband-to-be to be a medical doctor also," he admits.

Years later, Obet now boasts of gaining quite a few memorable times with his father-in-law Rey. Obet recalls, "Most of the time, we travel with my wife's family so there are a lot of treasured memories. When I first got my US visa, I was interviewed with my father-in-law. Then when I first had my US trip with them, it was always my father-in-law who would drive interstate. But on our last trip, it was already I who drove around. My father-in-law is a great teacher and I am so blessed to learn a lot of things from him." Rey concurs, "We have lots of good memories, every trip of ours is very memorable. But I guess, the most significant memory of ours is when Obet and Christine got married. I cried like a baby when I walked Christine down the aisle."

Traditionally, it is the father who take the role of alpha male in every family. But for Obet and Rey, both men understand their responsibilities in the extended family. Obet reflects, "My father-in-law is very loving and never gets tired of supporting us any way he can. It's as simple as fetching my wife somewhere if I suddenly receive an emergency in the hospital, or driving from Los Baños to Manila just to pick up my wife and son if l am stuck in the OR. He is also very loving toward my son, Tommy. I guess majority of grandparents are spoilers." Rey states, "Obet is a thoughtful and caring husband. Being a doctor, his work is not structured, but whenever he gets home, he sees to it that he has time to play basketball with his three-year old son. Even though he is very busy, I can see that he makes sure that he gives his family quality time."

For Father's Day, both men express their gratitude and appreciation, while also taking pride in each other's contributions to the well-being of the clan. Obet speaks, "I can't thank him enough for all the love and guidance he has shown us. We also want to say that the whole family is very proud of him. We wish him more healthy years ahead so that we can continue building awesome memories, and for him, to continue making legacies." Rey then concludes, "I am pleased that Christine found a good husband. I see that Obet is very hardworking and takes care of his family really well. He would do everything to make his family comfortable and happy. I am at peace knowing my daughter and grandson are in good hands."

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