Ex-Navy, but still navigator in life
(The Freeman) - June 16, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  A father’s role is like that of a soldier. Every day, he has his own battlefield to conquer, he has to make sacrifices and take risks to win daily struggles. In an ordinary life, one’s trials as head of the family may come in the form of financial crises or fatherhood problems.

For Buenaventura Rodriguez, a retired Philippine Navy official from Barangay Tangbo, Samboan, Cebu, the struggle continues even after he has retired from the service. He may be out of the Navy, but he is still the navigator in the lives of his children and grandchildren.

Even though he said it may appear his family is well-off, he said there are times when they also fall short in finances at times, especially since he still supports in some way his seven children, all of them adults. He is also supporting his three grandchildren who are living with him and going to school in the area.

In his 30 years of service in the Navy, his family became his only treasure. He said he never experienced leisure because he wanted to earn money to provide a better future for his family rather than waste time in unproductive endeavors.

He said it was his strong will and his being a disciplinarian that molded his children who are now all professionals, for him education is the best legacy he can give to his children since no one can take that away from them.

Aside from education, he said he also taught his children hard work. For him being happy-go-lucky will not cut it, this is what he often admonished to his children when they would sometimes stray from the straight path.

“Sa usa ka bulig nga lubi naa g’yud molahi pero dili man pud pwede nga magparihas ang tanan kay lain-lain man ang ila purpose sa usag-usa.

He is proud to say his family never hungered, and he was also the first in their area to build a house with his own money.

"Ako dili ko showy sa ako pagmahal sa ako mga anak, pero patas ako pagbati nila bisan usahay nga adunay mga higayon nga masakitan ko ug ako pud makapasakit nila gumikan sa lain-lain nga mga kinaiya og prinsipyo, apan wala nagpasabot nga dili nako sila mahal isip mga anak,” he said.

He added that even among the closest families sometimes feelings will get hurt because of conflicts and misunderstanding, and it happened in his family a lot.

“Bisan paman ug lahi lahi ila mga kinaiya apan isip amahan ako nag-awhag kanila nga mag sinabtanay ug magdinawatay kay sa kaulahian sila ra gihapon ang magtinabangay walay mga silingan nga motabang nila," he added.

The advice he offered to children struggling through life is to always love and help one another.

“Kamo pagminahalay nga mga managsuon sa ulahian kamo sa gihapon ang magtinabangay.” — Zesusita Belarmino, CNU Comm intern/BRP (FREEMAN)

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