He is a popular artist in our hometown, inventor, craftsman, servant of God. A loving husband, good father, the best grandfather, a great friend. He was a genius. His level of intelligence i can only dream of attaining. His memory, so sharp, he rarely forgot anything. In spite of all these, he was a humble person. Everyone knew him as a gentle and jolly man - one who rarely gets angry. He believed that every conflict can be solved by kind words and earnest prayers.
When i was born, he was one of the happiest people to welcome me into existence. I can imagine the tears he shed when he heard me cry. Those tears were both tears of joy and sadness. Tears of joy for having a grandson, tears of sadness because i wasn’t normal - i had a gaping hole right under my left nostril. My parents cried for me because i might not be able to speak normally. Despite all the uncertainties, they had me fixed. During my operations i know he prayed for me.
As i returned home, he wasted no time teaching me to speak. He told everyone, "I will never stop until he speaks perfectly." He took care of me when my parents were at work. He taught me how to sing, he even made me memorize the cabinet members at that time. I grew up in his house with him as my mentor. He gave me toys that he himself made. Being the inventor that he was, this was no big task. He made those toys with things found around the house. I was so happy whenever he emerged from his shop holding a new gadget for me. Growing up in his house made me his favorite grandson.
He suffered a stroke when i was about to enter grade school. He never recovered from it. This, however, did not hinder him from his duties to the Lord. His mind was still as sharp as ever. I enjoyed talking to him more than playing my Nintendo Family Computer. He was ans still is my inspiration in attaining a higher level of intelligence, though i may not attain his level.
When he passed away, i knew my life would never be the same again. I had hoped to show him my achievements. I wanted to show him my future wife and i wanted him to hold his great grandson from me, but this is no longer possible for he has now gone to his rest. But this is not the end, i know for sure he will rise again on the second coming, for her is the most faithful man i have ever known. One who has experienced miracles in his life, and a lot of them for that matter. Like the mahogany tree that lost its leaves, i know new ones will sprout in its place..its just a matter of time.
I can proudly put him at par with the greatest minds this world has ever produced. But one thing he had more than them is his faith in God. His ideals in faith will live on in me. This will be my tribute to him. By God’s grace, i will do all i can to live as he showed me, and to pass his teachings to the generations that come after me.
"Daddy, I will see you soon on that bright morning when Jesus returns."
A tribute to the greatest man i have ever known - Otilio A. Manzano Sr.