Maalaala mo kay

May 9, 2017

Dear Charo,

This is one letter I should have to keep it, but by reasons that I love it also to be a good lesson to others, I persisted into my mind to send to you, hoping that it will be given some life in your TV program. I love TFC and ABS-CBN, Specially, MMK. We are an avid follower of you, Madame Charo Santos.
In our family, we are five, and our parent were all dead already, but my memory is still fresh in my mind, what had happen during those days that we were still together. Yes, I am retired now, and I am also the youngest. Four of us are male and one single female sister.She also died already in 2011, at the age of 70. Some of the events that happened were all told to me by my brothers and also some of friends of our family, and my personal experience with my family.
My parent were married in 1939, and by the next year 1940 they had their first child, and they name it Adolfo; it was World War two, and there were chaos all over. So, for safety reason they migrated to Dumanjug, just one town away from our place Barili, which is part of the province of Cebu. It was at that time, my mother realized that she is married to a true blue gambler or they called it in our language as a Sugarol. My father was a workaholic, but most of his money, are spent more on gambling. One time, It was fiesta time in our barrio Patupat, and my Grandfa, budgeted him 150. pesos, to buy pig and goat to be slaughtered for fiesta time, but due to his greedy desires of gambling on a Toss coin, or hantak, all the money was consumed and nothing was bought. They almost got into a deadly fight with my uncle, Marianing. But due to some cool headed friends and also my grandfa, it was pacified. Although, it was war time, during the Japanese regime in our country, he was able to find a job, in the government in the Bureau of Fisheries, as a janitor. There he learned how to type, and was some sort of an Assistant of the agency head. At that time, his salary was too small, but due to less personnel in their agency, he was trained to inspect fishing boats. As a good worker, fishing boat owners, give him tips for his good work and demeanor to them. And tips is much bigger than his salary. My mother was thrifty, and save money for the construction of a house, but my father which is hooked with gambling,will take it back whatever savings she had, and if my mother would not give in, there was a big trouble, and what is bad is that he will beat my mother with a piece of guava branch or Belt, and my mother cried so much because of pain and humilations. My sister and my other brother were born and it was in 1944 already, when war was about to end. My mother suffered battery so much in the hands of my father, but she persisted to stay because of the family, and maybe, she love him and us also. You know, sometimes he won, and he is very happy, and enjoyed with us in his celebration, But being a pathological gambler was his sickness. In 1945, my third brother was born also, and the war was already ended. My father was able to get an item in the Bureau of fisheries, and he was designated as a fishery inspector, and his territory became so large, because at that time, mindanao was a part of his responsibility. He was earning well, but his gambling also became so worse or severe, and whatever property my mother bought, it is just nothing, because when he lost and has no more money after a big bout of Monte Gambling,he can not slept but has to come back to the gambling den, thinking to retrieve his loss,and then, pawned our property, or sell it.My mother had bought a five hectares of agri-land and a carabao, but my father sold it for his capital in gambling, and he lost it too. We were also hurt or affected, when we will see our mother crying, we also cried. But he was so strict and a desciplinarian also. He wanted us not to follow his footstep. We know that we had the gene already, and everyone of us except our sister felt the happiness of Gambling too. In spite of our parents antagonism, we played cards already with some of our classmates,and even in the basketball court, we will not play with out betting. And when he heard that we are in gambling too, he will beat all of us. He is fond of Cockfighting also, and on my age of eight, we have 32 cocks,and each one of us has 8 cocks to handle, feeds and developed into a good and physically able for a match. We trained it and brought it to the river to swim for 1 hr, and those cocks ready for a fight, weregiven a rest period of two weeks. Everytime we went to the cockfighting arena, we were also tacitly betting. in short we were already gambling My mother was forced also to side with him, or else there will be big trouble. We had a house, but had never been completely finished. We dont have money in the bank, and we live on rents on our stay in the City, or just meal of three times a day. But what is good with my mother is that , she never fade away in her task to let all of us went to school. My sister finished as a Chemical engineer and was licensed, and had found a job. Thereafter she was helping us in the family. But my father continuous to be drowned by his Gambling vice. He played mahjong for three days in our neighbor in the city,without proper foods, just only for a coffee. I also remember, that he bought a bicycle at home in Barili, and he used it for his travel to the town especially when he has an appointment of mahjong derby. It took only a month, because when, in one instance, he went for a mahjong match, he returned home with his two hands in his pockets, walking and whistling with no bicycle anymore. He lost everything. And maybe the end of his ordeal soon came, when he had a skin infections, and it did not heal. It became so swollen, and accumulate so much pus. So, we brought him to a doctor. It was found out, that he had already diabetes. His sugar was so high. He was now on diabetes treatment, after his boils was debrided. But, maybe due to his rabidity in his vice, he felt he was fine, and go back to his gambling. He was still working. My brothers find jobs, one became a policeman, one worked in the laboratory, but it never change so much in our life. One day, my father after a bout of three days gambling, was fainting, and we rushed him to Perpetual succor hospital. his family Physician told us that he has full blown diabetes and it has already affected his kidney. The damage is already so severe. It was referred to a Kidney specialist. The Nephrologist told us, that his kidney has a bad prognosis, and he has also a gastric ulcer. And it is not an easy thing to treat. But almost a month in the hospital, he was discharge. it looked like he is okay. But his gambling had never been stopped. He forgot his meal,and his coffee and smoking became so grave and severe. He will never listen to any advices , he ate whatever foods. And the day came, that he was again having an attacked , his two doctors summoned us for a conference and unfortunately telling us that his kidney reached the terminal level, and it is now god’s miracle that can save him. he was transferred to a government hospital. The last word I heard from him, ” kamaayo rang i adto sa jai Alai ah !”(At this time, i should be in the Jai Alai now if not this problem”) and after a week, he died at his young age of 53. I was second year Medical Student at that time. but sadly, we were all around him when he stopped his last breath. We love him, and We know that he is a good man also in some other aspect. yes he was a gambler, but at least, with moms helped, we finished schooling. I pray for him until now, for his peace in eternal life.

Sincerely Yours,

Julito Tigley.MD (retired)
4-87 brybeck Crescent, Kitchener
Ontario Canada, N2M 2C5
My email address: julito5604@yahoo.ca

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