Hello there! My name is Alvin. I’m the gorgeous-sexiest man alive-smells great- husband of Kate. (This is how my wife often introduced me so imagine the pressures I’m dealing with my life..)
I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by my wife to write something about Father’s Day for her blog.
It’s a privilege to spend my life being a father to my two angels- Pinky and Joshua. I wouldn’t trade my life for any comfort in this world without your giggles and laughter that takes away my weariness every day.
And also I got the chance to honor my very own dad, Enrique ‘Ike’ Fabian Sr. publicly. I wanted to express my admiration for him because he will always be a part of who am I now as a father. That my love for him grows deeper each day and how I wish he could have been playing and bonding with my children.
My dad went to heaven when I was 20 years old. Though our relationship has been cut short when he passed away, my father has shown me unconditional love, support, and generosity in so many ways. I would like to share to you the legacy my father left behind as I started to establish my own fatherhood through his principles and insights.
1. SURPRISE YOUR KIDS WITH ACTS OF KINDNESS
When I was starting out to play Table Tennis in high school, I will never forget the time my father bought me a top of the line Table tennis racket and shoes. I wonder how much money he’s saving up every day with his average income as a factory worker, raising 4 kids. So imagine how mad I was when my racket and shoes have been stolen. I was already expecting that I will never going to receive favors from my father again. To my surprise, he bought me another pair of shoes and a racket. He did not withhold his generosity and kindness towards me. My father planted that seed of kindness into my heart and I’ve been encouraged to do the same thing with my children.
In our family, it has been a practice over the years to be kind and generous to one another. It doesn’t need to be as expensive as brand new shoes, but little gestures will surely warm the heart of your loved ones.
My daughter appreciates the little things we give her like school supplies, french fries, milkshake, pizza. When she’s 8 years old, my wife and I surprised her when we took her at Taylor Swift’s first concert in Manila year 2011. It’s a wonderful feeling to see her smile as she expressed her gratitude. And now our daughter is learning to express her love for us by doing thoughtful things like offering massages to her mom, doing the dishes, or take home doughnuts for her little brother.
2. be your kids number one coach and supporter
Without my father’s encouragement, I wouldn’t be involved in sports. I may be one of the teenagers roaming around the streets with the gang squad or vandalizing the neighborhood. The result of his generosity has helped me to reach my potential as an athlete. One of the best memory of my father was when he showed up for the first time in my tournament. As expected for a reserved man like him, he’s just sitting quietly during the game. I saw the look of deep pleasure and affirmation from afar. It’s not the medals he’s proud of but for the hardwork that I put forward to create my own identity.
Summer of 2013, I’ve been accepted as a Table Tennis coach at a private school during the day while working full time as a Technical Representative at night. This same school where I teach has opened its door for my daughter where she acquired a varsity scholarship for 5th and 6th Grade. The combination of prayer, hardwork, and determination has paved the way for me and my daughter’s dream to attain the best education from one of the best schools in the country. Now in her middle school, my daughter Pinky is currently playing for University of the Philippines Integrated School (UPIS)!
3. SEEK THE REFUGE OF THE GREATEST FATHER of all time
Then I met Kate- the woman of my dreams and we got married. I was so excited to be a father because we waited to get pregnant for 2 years.
The hardest and saddest point of my life was to begin the journey of starting a family of my own without father on my side…
I miss my father so much…
Right after my daughter was born, life has thrown a curved ball on me left and right. There were people who tried to bring me down. I was so overwhelmed with our financial challenges that were results of multiple previous jobs that didn’t went well. My family came to a point of drowning from bank debts. Didn’t know where to ask for help.
I miss my father so much…
If only he’s been with me in this time of fear and uncertainties, I could have made a good decision. He could have been assured me of the best things in life are on its way. That it will never be stolen from me again. He could have told me that he’s still proud of me despite of many setbacks… But he wasn’t here anymore…
I miss my father so much…
Through my father’s memory, God reminded me to trust THE GREATEST FATHER OF ALL TIME. That with His everlasting mercy and grace, I can overcome even the most painful obstacles of my life.
My father may not be around with me anymore, but I can still hear the echo of his voice saying: “Alvin, take heart. You can do this. You can do greater things. Success is within your reach, you just have to put on the courage that is already inside of you.”
4. FIND JOY IN YOUR COMMITMENT
When Pinky turned 8 years old, she would always look at my athletic medals saying that she also wanted to follow my achievements. Impressed by my daughter’s aspiration, I decided to train her in Table Tennis. It became our bonding time and an opportunity to mold her with godly character through sports. But God has been working more on my character than my daughter’s.
My daughter gave me a definition of father’s love in a whole new level… That being a father doesn’t start and end by putting food on the table, drop them off at school, sending kids until college, or teach the teenagers how to drive.
Being a father means consistently find joy for every mundane things just to be with your children whether you’re hunting for bugs, flying a kite, or playing rock, scissors, paper. (The most hated game of my daughter coz she’ll NEVER EVER win.)
By investing quality time with my children I get to know their strength, their weakness, their passion, and what makes them annoyed or what makes them smile.
I believe that God is not yet finished on refining my character. I’m praying for more patience so that I can learn to gracefully deal with tiny nuisances around me. It is also my prayer that God will continue to guide my fatherhood and fulfill the same commitment that I saw from my dad.
5. Fathering By Heart
Then finally, one big answered prayer… Our son Joshua Immanuel was born on June 21, 2013,
Joshua or “Coco” (his nick name) has different personality compared with his sister. Pinky is compliant while Coco is strong-willed. Taking care of Coco is very challenging for he has special needs but God is commanding me to look at my children as distinct and special from each other. Through the difficult times of raising a teenager and a challenging son, God assured me of His unwavering love towards them. Despite of our son’s learning disabilities God will still carry out His plan for him. We just have to release our son into God’s hands knowing that He is in control and has full access to his life.
My father used to remind us that we have no right to treat ourselves superior from the other. He immediately opposed the comparison between siblings. He believed that each has its own God-given talent and parents’ job is to develop and support the child to strive. Praying for our children is the first step towards making a difference in their lives.
6. BECOME THE best teacher about love and marriage
Of course, I wouldn’t be a father without help from my lovely wife, Kate. God has put together our different insights, working as a team for the sake of our family. Sooner or later my children will raise their own family. The way I treat their mother will create either good or bad impression to them about marriage.
I am not perfect or ideal husband and never will be. There may be highs and lows in our relationship but I always make sure that my children will learn humility from me. Through the years, I hope they are able to see how I work on winning their mother’s trust and love each day.
I want my kids to understand that the principle of marriage is not about being perfect to create a perfect marriage. It is about loving our spouses because God commands us to.
There may be shortcomings from our own father, but God will help us live in forgiveness, healing and restoration. We don’t have to do the parenting alone. Rely on God’s Word and Wisdom so that we can have clear directions on how to do a responsible fathering. I also suggest that you seek a positive influence from a trusted mentor, a friend, spiritual leader. In my case, I got my inspiration and encouragement from this book Championship Fathering: How to Win at Being a Dad by Carey Casey with Neil Wilson. His practical tips can also help you like it did to me to navigate the journey of fatherhood.
LASTLY, I DEDICATE THIS FATHER’S DAY TO THE FALLEN PHILIPPINE SOLDIERS, POLICE OFFICERS, AND CIVILIANS WHO DIED IN MARAWI SIEGE.
OUR PRAYERS ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU…
Read the Best Quotes from Championship Fathering: How to Win at Being a Dad by Carey Casey with Neil Wilson