Tatang must have been the first one in his family to have gone to college; for they were of peasant stock. He was among the early teachers in Pampanga during the American Colonization. In the process, he inspired many of his nieces and nephew to go to college as well. He must have pretty much impressed himself by what and how much he has accomplished in his life. I could feel his surge of pride seeing all his children finish college and pursue successful careers of their own. I am certain he will be amazed, happy and totally proud to see his grandchildren today. And his great grandchildren? Oh, he would absolutely adore them. Tatang was a man whom the Master would praise for what he had done to the talents he has been given.
Tatang was smart with a strong streak of playfulness. We were not of the affluent class. But with the smarts of Tatang, we had enough to live a comfortable life. And during times when there was not enough (and they were quite often), his playfulness would made the little we had look like fun and we would get by. I saw him strive and struggle to invest the talents he received not on himself but on us his family and children.
Life is a bundle of talents that we receive, undeserved, from the Master. A life well-lived and pushed to its fulness and potential is what we give back to the Master when he comes back.
Mula sa iyo ang lahat nang ito
Muli kong handog sa iyo
Patnubayan mo’t pagharian lahat
Ayon sa kalooban.
Mag-utos ka, Panginoon ko
Dagling tatalima ako
Ipagkaloob mo lamang ang pag-ibig mo
At lahat tatalikdan ko.
“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.”