OCTOBER 10, 2007. The day when I met the man who I never thought would become my lifetime teacher, counselor, mentor, a friend, and later on became my Tatay. At first, I don’t get the idea why everyone in the office addressed him as “Tatay”. It was maybe due to a ripe age or simply he was a fatherly figure to everyone. I think he was a bit of both. Each one who knew him has its own share of story and I have my own as well. To write about his life, however, is a very daunting task, because he is very close to my heart. But I would like to write simply based on what I knew, what I have learned and what I understand. That writing his story is like writing my own.
After college, I embarked on a journey in the proverbial land of milk and honey: Metro Manila. Since then, I came to know more about him since he was conspicuous in the office one could’ve ever known. I had met him a year before my graduation but I never thought I’ll be working for the company he was running. I remember the first time I arrived in his office. I thought he was just an ordinary employee seating in the table waiting for the clock hits 5. But I was perfectly wrong. He was a busy man!!! He interviewed me and my answers were flying everywhere. And before I can utter another guessing answer to his questions, he handed me “Pandesal” instead. Hahahahah.
I know in my heart that he helped and rescued me in ways I have never imagined. That words of the mouth will never be enough to express how thankful I am to have been blessed by his company. He is a very passionate speaker and practices what he preaches. He is always the last man in the office making sure that employees never forget something. Hahahha. He is simply proper and organized. But if there was one thing that I commend him for doing so is that he has never made me feel I was different from others just because I am his “friend” and he treats everyone as if his adopted sons and daughter. Tatay should be voted as the next CNN Hero, I thought up to this writing .
This is the story I have known and kept in my heart for 6 majestic years now from that fateful day back in October 2007. For this is the story of kindness I believed in; that you don’t need to have the same family name to be a part of one’s tatayhood. Of greatness too; that dreams can be achieved not through wealth, or popularity, but by perseverance reaching your dreams and by becoming a man for others.
By his example, I have been truly inspired to help others in ways I can and extend my horizon in the call of giving. Because of him I dare to make a difference, break ground, and stand up for my own convictions and advocacies to reach out for others not for personal gain but to be someone worth following in my lifetime.
To you Tatay Jes, as you celebrate your birthday today. May you be reminded that you had lived a great life. Your words shaped my life and I learned a great deal from you. You’ve told me once that we are not a product of our circumstances but a product of our very own choice. That I can choose my own destiny and live a life of abundance. To this day, that is what I lived by. I hope that someday, like I promised to myself and to all who have ran a mile for me, that I could do something that would make you proud of me, and worthy of the honor of having been mentored and molded by Jes Andresen. Happy Birthday Tay!