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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Pulumbarit

What would Daddy do?

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

“What would Jesus do (WWJD)?” Bishop Socrates Villegas said we should always ask this question to ourselves.

I have been keeping this in mind and I also ask myself: “What would Daddy do?” This seems a good way to give glory to God and honor our late father — to make decisions and live in a way that would please God and our Dad as well.

Our Dad, Lauro Diola Velarde, passed away on August 17, 2007, a day before his 65th birthday.

His death came as a shock to us as we were preparing at that time to celebrate his landmark birthday. Sadly, he suffered a heart attack and a day of joy turned into a day of sorrow.

Dad was the former head of the Ford Philippines plant in Mariveles, Bataan and later, also in Sucat, Paranaque. After leaving Ford, he put up Lidinver Farm, growing mangoes and raising cattle.

Dad's death was very painful for us. Every day for over a year, I woke up at 2:30 a.m., the exact time when he passed away.

I read that this can happen when we experience something traumatic.

Dad's death was truly painful and traumatic for us. It was painful that only Mom was with Dad when he died. It was painful that none of his three children were at his bedside because things happened very unexpectedly.

Many people who knew Dad also did not expect him to pass away so suddenly. Dad was always energetic and sprightly that many did not know he had been suffering from a heart ailment for 17 years.

A few hours before Dad passed away, he experienced deep chest pain. He asked the driver to bring him and Mom to the Philippine Heart Center where his doctor was. My brother Fernando and I were supposed to meet them there; our sister Melissa was already living abroad at that time.

However, Dad's condition suddenly worsened and he had to be brought to the nearest hospital, where doctors tried but failed to revive him. It was sad not to be able to kiss or hug him before he passed away.

We are only comforted by the thought that he is with God. For Catholics, death is the most glorious moment of our lives because it is when we come face to face with God.

Daddy, we love you. We have never stopped remembering you and praying for you each day. We miss you very much and we long to see you again. We believe that we will, in God's time. For now, please keep watching over us and praying for us.

[My story about our Dad on GMA News Online: The pain of losing a father]

Some things I learned from Dad

Dad loved to talk and I loved to listen. In college, we had long chats whenever he would pick me up from UP Diliman and drive for about four hours to our house in Bataan. After college and when I was already married, we still had long chats whenever we would come home to visit them. We talked about everything, even about science, stars, and planets, or about diseases like AIDS or dengue, and sometimes also basketball, music, or showbiz.

(1) Don't be afraid to speak up and stand up for what is right, honest, and just.

(2) Respect everyone equally. Every person, rich or poor, deserves to be respected.

(3) Don't dwell on your problems. Think of at least two solutions to your problem but the simplest solution is the best one.

(4) Don't complicate things. Do things simply and efficiently.

(5) Always give your best in everything you do. Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary?

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