Sunday, June 16 is celebrated in most countries as Father’s Day, a special day to mark the contribution of fathers to the raising of a wholesome family that ultimately extends to the community. Its origins dates back to the early Catholic tradition, celebrated as the feast of St. Joseph, named as the “Nourisher of the Lord.”
The role of the father in a family cannot be overemphasized. Journalist and editor of Detroit Free Press, Edgar Guest (1885-1959) beautifully encapsulates a father’s toil and joy in raising a family in his poem “Only a Dad.”
Only a dad, but he gives his all/ To smooth the way for his children small/ Doing, with courage stern and grim/ The deeds that his father did for him./This is the line that for him I pen,/Only a dad, but the best of men.
Tomorrow, June 16, davaoeño Manuel “Manny” Radaza Garrido, retired Region XI Excise Tax Chief of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), will be among the fathers who will receive this year’s Ulirang Ama awardees from the “Ulirang Ina/Ama” Awards Foundation . He will be conferred the Ulirang Ama Award for Government and Public Service.
This prestigious and highest award is given to an outstanding Filipino father of significant achievement in his respective field of endeavor and/or career combining this successfully with the task of caring for the family. Among this year’s awardees are Hon. Gen. Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr., AFP; PMGEN. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar; Col. Edison L. Nebrija; Comm. Luie Tito Ferrer Guia; and Court of Appeals Justice Pablito Perez, among others. Manny is among the awardees from the government and public service sector.
The awarding ceremony at the historical landmark Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel marks the award’s 26th Anniversary in commemoration with the international celebration of Father’s Day.
Manny is the second child of Atty. Pascual Garrido, a government bureaucrat and Asuncion Radaza-Garrido, a registered nurse. He was born in Cebu on October 26, 1946 but was raised in Davao. After finishing his tertiary education (BS Marketing) at San Beda College, he started a minica business and an automotive shop in Davao City which flourished through the years. It was also in Davao City where he met and married the love of his life, Albertita “Baet” Nazareno, who was a teacher and who came from a family of educators. Albertita’s father owned a school in Bansalan, Davao del Sur which she later managed as a school administrator.
While in his 30s and even when his business was doing good, Manny realized that he did not want to do business all his life. Despite having a profitable business and a growing family, he clearly felt a void. He then felt it was time to pursue his true calling which was government service.
Soon after, Manny left the business sector and became part of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Davao City, Region XI as a Tax Inspector. Manny found his professional niche and through hard work and by being faithful to his official duties, Manny rose from the ranks through almost three decades (29.5 years) of public service. He retired as Chief of the Excise Tax Division of Region XI. Through the years, he received several awards including those which recognized how he consistently exceeded collection goals.
Three years after retirement, Manny lost his wife which he said ‘was the saddest and most tragic thing that ever happened to me.” Manny heavily credits his wife for raising well their four children who are now raising their own families: Charina, married to lawyer Albert Ocampo, is currently the Corporate Affairs Head of Legacy Monsanto Philippines; Christina, married to banker Jose Palileo, is a Commercial Director at Pepsico; May-Anne, married to Lt. Col. Jun Dimayuga; is a State Auditor at the Commission on Audit and Manuel Paolo took over his mother’s work as a school administrator at Nazareth High School.
At age 72, Manny now spends most of his time being active in the activities of the San Beda College Alumni Association (SBCAA)-Davao Chapter where he also served as the immediate past President. He is also a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Gerry Cunanan Mindanao Heart Foundation which allows indigent Filipino heart patients to have access to world-class heart procedures at the Mindanao Heart Center. At one time, Manny also served as a purok leader in his barangay. Manny is likewise a member of the BIR Retirees Association. He also occasionally plays half-court basketball and billiards which are his favorite sports. Moreover, Manny has also been serving as a lay minister at the Sacred Heart Parish in Davao City for more than a decade now. He enjoys being called “Lolo Pogi” by his 12 grandchildren.