This is my uncle, but I call him ‘Aki’ and everyone else in the family. Why is that? When I was a child, I cannot articulate the word 'uncle’ properly and ended up saying 'Aki’ instead. That’s the story behind the name.
While my classmates during primary and secondary years were having hotdogs, corned beef or fried chicken for lunch, My sister and I always had freshly cooked lunch like pinakbet, sugpo, nilagang baka or inihaw na bangus complete with the best sawsawan in the house (He makes the best sawsawan!) soy sauce, onions, calamansi with siling pula. He cooks really good! When I go back to my classroom, my classmates were drooling with envy when I tell them what my lunch was. This was also what he did, when a distant family member got sick. He will cook lunch and bring the food to the hospital everyday.
While my elementary and high school classmates were breaking their backs because of heavy school bags, I enjoy going home after class because Aki used to pick up my morning set of things from school.
Mom told me that there was a time, when I was a few months old that she can’t afford to buy my milk (because a huge can of milk lasts only for few days not even a week! haha), Aki would hand over money for my milk.This was also the same thing he did for a relative who was just starting a family.
Every Friday, my college classmates and I would go malling after spending a week in the dorm. While they were carrying their huge luggages full of laundry, my hands were free from these because Aki picks up my bags before I step out of the dorm.
He was the eldest among his siblings. He may not be the eldest among his cousins, but he was the go-to person. His opinions mattered to everyone. He was our strong-hold and we thought he was invincible.
But he got sick really bad last year. He was affected, I know he was. Well he didn’t show that much because he thinks he should not be that we should not see it at any extent.
But amazing things happened. People whom he has done something came over, help was pouring from all places. My cousins who are thousands of miles away got the next available flight the moment they learn of the situation.
The relative who was given money for the milk of her children shared the payment for the bills and expenses.
The relative whom he used to bring food for lunch offered to be his cook to serve healthier meals rather than the hospital food.
The relative whom he offered his house when she was just young and raising a child offered her house in the province to be his temporary home while he recuperates.
I saw all of that from the first day in the hospital up to now that he has fully recovered.
I’m sharing this because I realized that let us keep doing good and share kindness to other people, big or small. Because these things will always find a way of coming back to us when we need it the most or least expected it.
The photo below, is Aki and a 5 year old boy. This kid is calling him lolo. And I’m quite resistant about it because it should always be 'Aki’. So am I getting jealous now? Haha.
Aki is unstoppable! He continues to look after to another generation. He remains to spread goodness and kindness.
Shall we too?