Our Tatay: Our Unsung Hero #HusayAtMalasakit

When people ask me about my family, most of them would assume that I am a typical Daddy’s girl. Being an only girl and the middle child at that, I wouldn’t blame them if they would immediately conclude that I get some sort of special treatment especially from my father. I would love to be a Daddy’s girl, the princess of our household, but it wasn’t the case with us. And I’m OK with that.

You see, my father was an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker). He decided to work abroad because he felt that it was the only way that he’ll be able to provide a comfortable life for his family. He grew up in a big family, with six other siblings (all of whom are boys) and at times, they can barely make ends meet. I guess this was one of the factors why he decided to work abroad. He willingly took on the sacrifice of being away from us for long periods of time because this will mean that he will be able to provide us with all our needs, make sure that we get into good schools and help his parents and brothers as well.

He would be away for two, three years straight and then come home for a few weeks vacation. We were already in high school when he decided to quit working abroad. The time he spent away from us was one of the reasons why we didn’t really have the time to build a really close relationship with him. Although we communicate with him regularly, we would write him letters and send him voice recordings (no FB or Skype at the time and long distance calls cost a lot), there are still times when we would feel awkward when he’s home, not knowing how to act around him.

The many years he spent working in a foreign land, being away from us, his family, is a something that we never took for granted. We, his children, never felt bad about the times when he was not able to be with us during the many milestones of our lives (holidays, birthdays, graduation, and even simple celebrations). We knew that it is part of the sacrifice that we all have to make. But even though he was away most of time, he never failed to show us just how much he loves us. For all the love he has shown us, for all the life lessons and for his sacrifices, he is the perfect Tatay for us and our family’s unsung hero.


Our Tatay passed away last December, five days before Christmas. We miss him terribly and I still think about him everyday. Even if we still get heartbroken because he is no longer with us, we take comfort in the fact that he is with the Lord and that he is finally reunited with our mother, the love of his life.

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Unilab: Developing a Culture of Excellence and Compassion

Undergoing surgery can be quite a frightening experience. As a patient, being well-prepared is important because it will have an impact not just on the procedure itself but also on how well one recovers from it. When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few years ago and was told by my doctor that surgery is inevitable, I knew that I have to do my part to ensure that everything goes well. For someone like me who hasn’t been confined in a hospital before, undergoing a major surgery can be terrifying. What made it easier on my part is the fact that my surgeon is considered as one of the best in his field. He is very competent and has shown great compassion throughout the whole process. He was always ready to answer any questions that I may have and made sure that I have all the information that I need that will help me prepare for the surgery. The competence and genuine concern of the hospital staff has made my recovery an even more pleasant experience. Even when I was told that I had to undergo two more procedures (a complete thyroidectomy four months after the first surgery and an RAI Treatment a few weeks after) I was confident that everything will go well because I have highly competent and compassionate people on my side and that after all the treatments, I can only look forward to an improved health condition.

The whole experience has made me realize that as long as people practice excellence and compassion in anything that they do, whatever sector in society they may belong to, they can bring about a positive change to another person’s life and they can contribute greatly to the progress of the community. Having the core principles of excellence and compassion is what makes individuals and companies achieve sustainable success. This does not apply only to professionals  who hold important positions in major companies but also for any individual who want to create a positive impact and make life easier not just for himself or his immediate family but more importantly, to the people he interacts with.

Image source : smarnad at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When we became parents, my husband and I made sure that we will do everything we can to provide the love and care that our children need. We know that nurturing them properly will be instrumental in how well they will develop as individuals. We always make sure that their needs are met (this includes making sure that they receive proper nourishment and that they receive proper guidance during the early stages of their physical, mental and emotional development). I have read countless books and articles and have talked with older relatives and trusted friends that can provide us with sound parenting advice. I also keep myself updated on the latest in child care and nutrition as well as effective parenting techniques.

We still have a long way to go; we know that parenting is a continuously evolving process. What we know for sure is that as long as we continue to do our best and continue to hold on to the core values that we have, our desire of becoming ‘successful’ parents is possible.

The belief in the power of excellence of compassion can also be found in Unilab’s latest advocacy campaign and this is something that I would like to share with all of you. Why? Because I believe that we, Filipinos, as individuals and as a nation collectively have Husay and Malasakit (Excellence and Compassion) as our major core values. We always strive to do our best in everything that we do regardless of how trivial or significant we think they may be. Whatever role we play, be it an entrepreneur, an office employee, a healthcare provider, a teacher or a parent, we make sure that our excellence and compassion are evident.

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