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  • Writer's picturePhilip Niño Tan-Gatue

2019 In Review

2019. What a year it has been! I have been so preoccupied with personal matters that I have totally not been able to write at all. In fact, I have had to cancel speaking clinic days and speaking engagements simply because I have been too busy taking care of sickly parents. Yes, that is parents in the plural form.

2019 made me reflect, a lot.

In fact, I can say that it is only now that I truly understand what filial piety really means. It is indeed one thing to contribute to taking care of elderly family members. It is a totally different ballgame to do so with love. My parents have both been sickly for the past three years. Admittedly, the emotional burden had been taking its toll on me.

I would now like to reflect again on how my father in particular helped shaped me. Not a physician, he was nonetheless a professional himself. My dad always taught me to always try to be better. He always taught me to never get suckered into shallow bickering with bashers. Dad always taught me to always respect others no matter how hard it seems.

But most of all, he taught me to be myself yet be the best version of myself. Dad always told me that people can always sniff out someone with slippery tongues. He never pretended to be someone he was not.

My father could do that because his true self was already worth emulating. His colleagues called him the consummate professional. Those whose lives he touched called him one of the kindest people they had ever known.

He epitomizes a description from Doctor Who: “Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind.”

2019 for me was all about thinking back on all the time we spent together and all the things my dad taught me.

It is with this renewed commitment that I look forward to 2020 and what the new year brings.

Thank you, Dad.

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