A TRIBUTE TO “TATAY”
Sun, June 20, 2010 3:34 pm
(This article was published in The Freeman on June 7, 2010, by Melanie Marie Ypil-Lachica, who works at the U.N. Headquarters and is the wife of the Philippine Consul to New York, lawyer Leandro Lachica. I just thought today being “Father’s Day,” it may be just fitting to post this eulogy which Melanie delivered on June 5 at the church service in honor of her Tatay, Prudencio R. Ypil, from Looc, Danao City, and former municipal secretary of Liloan, Cebu . Prudencio who was fondly called “Dodong”, by friends and relatives was the elder brother of my good friend and high school classmate, Ben Ypil, now in Indiana. Dodong and I worked in the same building adjacent to the Cebu Capitol Building, he was with the Provincial Development Office and I was with the Farm Systems Development Corp) in the ’80s during Gov. Gullas’ administration. Monching)
On behalf of our family, we would like to thank you for being with us here today and for your comfort and prayers during this difficult and painful time. Yes, he was my Tatay, but he was not only just my Tatay but a Tatay to so many of us here today. Tatay was a good man, a simple man and a humble man. While we mourn his loss, let us celebrate a life well-lived. God, in His great goodness, blessed our lives with Tatay’s presence as a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a grandfather, an uncle, a colleague and a friend. Each of us here has a story to share about Tatay.
One of the things I will miss most about Tatay was his inimitable sense of humor. He never failed, as I’m sure is the case for all of you here, to make me laugh. I’m positive that he wouldn’t want us to be sad, but rather to remember the happy times with him with a happy, nostalgic smile.
His humor was only surpassed by his immense heart for others. I’m sure that Tatay has not only helped, not one, not two, but the entire community of Liloan. He never refused anyone who came to him for help. Tatay served the public diligently and honestly throughout his years in government, and armed only with his wit and genuine care for the people, he always delivered. In his own humble way, he has helped this town to be a better place and we are all the richer for having had him in our lives.
While Tatay’s efforts went unnoticed, he was not to complain. He never complained. But it gives me great comfort and solace to know that during the wake, time and time again people have come up to me to relay how, in one way or another, Tatay has helped touch their lives. But that was the quintessential Tatay.
A humble man who did not seek nor need recognittion. Truly Tatay was indeed valued and appreciated by so many and Tatay’s passing is not just the family’s loss, but the community’s loss as well.
Tatay’s love was an unconditional love. He loved wholeheartedly, without any conditions nor reservations, no matter the consequences. Tatay did not have a mean bone in his body and was ever ready to forgive and let by-gones be by-gones. When he was hit by an overspeeding motorcycle driver, the driver was caught and put in jail. But Tatay decided not press charges because the driver has several children to support and he did not want to further burden the man.
As my Tatay, he never failed me. More than a source of strength, he was my inspiration of love who asked nothing in return. I remember when I was in college in Manila, I fell ill and had to be hospitalized. I was admitted late at night and when I woke up he was the first person I saw the very next morning.
I will also miss his cooking. He knew my favorite foods and everytime I came home to Liloan, he always had my favorite shrimps or ‘pasayan’ at every meal without fail. Though we will crave for his home-cooked meals in the days to come, we will be soothed by the knowledge that Tatay has already filled us up so many times over with his unconditional love and I take comfort in this knowledge that Tatay will live on in my children and in my children’s children.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Ypil family for their outpouring of love and support. As you know, I did not grow up here and did not have the chance to know my uncles, aunts and cousins from my Tatay’s side of the family. But Tatay, in his own unique way, painful the circumstance may be, brought us all close together.
I thank Tatay for giving me the chance to discover and appreciate the truly wonderful people that they are. Needless to say, my cousins from Nanay’s side of the family have been a pillar of strength during this difficult time as well.
When I was a little child, Tatay used to sing the song “You are my Sunshine” to me. Tatay, I want you to know that “YOU” are my sunshine. As sure as the sun rises each day, I know that you will be watching over all of us to brighten our lives and comfort us in the days to come.
I couldn’t be more proud to have you as my Tatay.