Daddy, my grandfather

Adriano Ricasata
Two photographs of my grandfather, Adriano Ricasata — young and old.

My grandfather, Adriano Ricasata, an electronics and communications engineer, an inventor, a pioneer of radio installations in public utility vehicles in Cavite City, a father, a kind soul, has returned to our maker on the 29th of January 2016.

His wake is at St. Peter Chapel, Kawit, Cavite (near LTO going to Centennial Road).

Piso o bente

I have rich memories of Daddy since childhood. In grade school, my cousins and I would take turns with him swinging us into the air. In his electronics classes we would barge in to ask for recess money right in front of his whole class; he would reach into his pocket to give us coins of up to ten pesos. In his electronics shop, we would find him amidst appliances under repair. Jars of nuts and bolts lined the shelves. Only him on a high chair was lit by a bright lamp soldering and rewinding stuff we didn’t mind because we’d just ask for recess money. We’d demand twenty pesos if a cousin who went in first would brag about the orange bill upon coming out.

Countless of childhood Christmases we spent at A.R. (the school he and grandmother established, also named after him). His old white Mercedes-Benz would be packed with almost 15 kids going to Ligtong (the town where he grew up) to continue the celebration.

The stories of his childhood days, he would retell us tirelessly — his adventures in the rice fields with his carabao; his sacrifices in going to school; his encounter with a ghostly Uncle Sam in stilts by the curve of the road near Lido Beach.

He always had this happy disposition in him. His modest living, despite being in a big property, always intrigued me yet I never questioned why he lived in a small room while my grandmother lived in a room big enough to be a small house.

Ar-Fel Apartment

In 2006, I had the opportunity to live in one of the apartment units they invested in back in the 60s. I remember asking him for a discount on the rent during Christmas of the same year. In turn, I somehow looked after their rental business. We’ve had our disagreement when I refused to pay part of my rent due to a change in management. That’s the first time I heard him curse out of frustration. There at dining table in his unit he poured bits and pieces of his misgivings and shortcomings with his family. A moment which I just had to fill in the blanks to understand deeper the melodrama that constantly ran in our family. He apologized for his outburst — he always did whenever he thought he’s making someone feel uncomfortable.

About 3 years ago, the opportunity to manage the apartment fell into my lap. My main motivation in accepting it was to strengthen his source of income as he was already getting older and weaker. He had retired from being Mr. Fix it all, at last.

To be continued…


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