75: Diamond love for a rich, incomparable life

Seventy-five: More than it being the digits that scream seasoned and being on this planet for more than seven decades and five summers, this is the most opportune time to be grateful.

This feeling stems from the fact that, by that time, I would still be alive and kicking ass, and a true survivor of personal and domestic battles, health crises, financial boom and gloom, the political landscape, leaders of this so-called democracy — the golden ones and greedy lot, imploding economies and falling regimes, the see-sawing peso, perhaps another pandemic, plus earthquakes, coup d’etats, volcanic eruptions, super typhoons, drought, famine, pestilence, wars, and also digital technology, creativity, the evolving arts and many more.

Seventy-five means being surrounded by loved ones. | PHOTOGRAPH Courtesy of unsplashpatricia prudente


Good old times

Hitting 75 will make me more nostalgic of the good old times, when life was simpler and one had that drive and hunger to realize one’s dreams. It will make me long for friends and colleagues who have been gone to soon, felled by affliction or shocking tragedy, thus allowing me to appreciate lasting friendships and loyalties that are still with me.

I will smile as I recollect the follies of my youth, the trials and triumphs of my adult life and, as they say in a song, “ang mga nakalipas na di na maaari at pwedeng balikan.”

These feelings, of course, also bring some pangs of pain. But I get to appreciate all my experiences, good or bad, happy or sad, because I am what I am by then because of them.

Seventy-five means being surrounded by loved ones — my partner, children, grandchildren, up to the apo sa tuhod and talampakan. The successes of my loved ones are also my success. Their pains I likewise carry, though I do not let them know about it.

The reason I have become successful at this point is because I worked hard on being a good person first. Call me a sentimental fool, but success earned that also destroyed your humanity and corrupted your morality is not my definition of success and being successful. The people I love, those that I hold dearest in my heart and who are with me and surround me now, are the manifestations of the goodness at the core of my success.


Legacy and vocation

Seventy-five also means I have made a name for myself. And it is a name that not only is admired but respected and trusted. Whatever career I had chosen during my wonder years, it is now my legacy and has become my vocation. This name has been a product of blood, sweat and errors, sacrifices and victories. Of sticking to my core values always being kind, fair, honest and sincere, and making people feel good, important and treated with dignity.

Whatever riches I have, I have earned and gained them through hard work, determination, tenacity and passion to be the best in my profession and personal vocation. My name is the most precious bequeathal I can make. When all else fails, I want people to remember me as a man who had a good name, a good heart and made a lot of people feel good.

But 75 also means there are still so many years ahead to be curious, to learn new things, to be naughty if my body still permits it, to share stories, make people laugh, mentor others, teach and exclaim that indeed, life and the world are beautiful and wonderful.

One’s diamond year deserves diamond-caliber love and celebration — for the rich life thus far, and the (hopefully) richer life still ahead.