[A touching FATHER-AND-SON bonding–as Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista tightly pressed Race’s left shoe’s toe box and outsole together, to insure that the foot-gear would not conk out once again. This unwanted snag happened  while Race and his Legit Status Dance Team were doing some practice backstage as they were awaiting their call on stage as they were excitedly intent to display their terpsichorean skills at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum  in November 2015. And this was following their bagging the FIRST Runner-Up WIN (Varsity Division) at the 2015 WORLD HIPHOP INTERNATIONAL CONTEST in San Diego, California in August 2015.]

It is good that in the ATENEO, a Jesuit-run educational institution in the Philippines, particularly in its Grade School and High School classes, a Father-and-Son bonding (which usually is a whole day affair) would invariably be held, once at Grade School and another in High School. Such practice indeed has tremendously helped the fathers in connecting with their sons.

During one Father-and-Son bonding affair which I attended with my son Anthony during his HIGH SCHOOL stint at the Ateneo in Loyola Heights, Quezon City; my friend Francis Lim, who eventually became Managing Partner of the top-caliber ACCRA Law Office and thereafter, President of the Philippine Stock Exchange; served as Lead Parent-Moderator.

[Photos of my son Anthony; with the top right photo together with me]

And one session during that whole day affair is for the sons to describe their fathers. I do not know whether it was really part of the program or an insertion maneuvered by Francis, to add humor and fun to the affair. And amidst the laughs of the sons and the guffaws of the fathers, certain fathers were described by their sons as uxorious husbands who are so fondly submissive to their wives, while seeming hecklers among the more rowdy fathers shouted in unison: “TAKOSA” (i.e. the term TAKOSA is a corruption of the Japanese term YAKUZA, which denotes an intrepid and plucky member of a mafia-like organization in Japan; while TAKOSA actually is an acronym for “TAKOT SA ASAWA”, roughly translated in English as: “AFRAID OF ONE’S WIFE”]


[Here is a photo of the suave and debonair looking Atty. Francis Lim of the topnotch law firm ACCRA, who with his gracious wife Eddy (my former colleague at ALLIED BANK), dotingly love their children. ]

Back to this FATHER-AND-SON bonding thing. …Indeed, many father-son experiences are at times fraught with inelegant and uncomfortable silence or of antagonistic arguments and truculent bickering.

However, every father and son deserve quality time together, which is why certain striking episodes of FATHER-AND-SON bonding ought to be displayed and narrated for eventual emulation by others.

And here is my story…

Race Matias is one of the most skilful hiphop dancers of the Legit Status Dance Team. In fact, it was Race who I think skippered the SILVER MEDAL win of the Legit Status-Varsity Team when it competed in the 2015 World Hiphop International Competition (“WHHI”) held at the Harrah’s Resort in San Diego, California from August 1-9, 2015. I am much attached to the Legit Status Team as it is being coached by the innovative and skilful terpsichorean, Vimi Rivera, my eldest daughter’s (i.e. Shayna) beau. It was also the team which my THREE (3) daughters [i.e. Shayna, Cheska and Alee] joined particularly the Legit Status Megacrew Division Team  which competed in the 2015 WHHI, landing thereby as 4th Runner-Up in a field of over 57 participating nations.



Research shows that an average dad spends just 56 minutes a day with their son. And with work pressures and the race for financial independence “crescending”, half of modern dads believe that father and son bonding is becoming a thing of the past.

It was good that during the preparations for the 2015 WHHI, the parents of the Legit Status team organized themselves together and worked hard to raise funds to finance the trip of the 45-boy-girl team to the U.S.A. The methodical and masterly orchestration done by my hardworking friend Zaldy delos Reyes who was elected to become the Over-all Coordinator, proved truly opportune. Indeed, Zaldy marshaled the combined resources of all of the Legit Status’ parents into approximating the group’s defined goals. And one among  the most supportive parents were Mayor Herbert Bautista and Eloisa, Race’s Dad and Mom.


But what truly amazed me was that in one performance where Race together with the Legit Status team displayed to the Philippine audience (after their 2015 WHHI trip) their award winning hiphop dance routine, a heartwarming father-and-son bonding scene happened.


It turned out that Race’s foot gear, perhaps wearied and tired due to too much leaping, springing, hopping and jumping; literally conked out, as the toe box and the out-sole got disentangled from each other. And the shoe actually Race’s left shoe seemed like a hungry puppy with its mouth gaping as the toe box and the out-sole created an ugly rift which was slowly inching unto the mid-sole.

And Mayor Herbert Bautista, the amiable and ever-helpful alderman of the erstwhile capital city of the Philippines; and who is Race’s loving Dad, proved not only as a helpful mayor but even a more helpful father.

Thus, using a roll of masking tape, as time was then of the essence, the dance performance time inching near; the benevolent, supportive and ever-helpful Mayor Herbert Bautista sprinted unto the venue’s backstage and quickly maneuvered to fix Race’s left shoe.

Truly, indeed, we are all a busy type of people, but no matter how packed one’s schedule is, it is important to set aside time to be with one’s son.

We all know that raising children is the central experience of life, the greatest source of self-awareness, the true fountain of pride and joy, and the most eternal bond with a partner. We know that being a father is life’s fullest expression of masculinity and nurturing one’s son is a further profession of one’s own masculinity. And bonding time with one’s son must never ever become a thing of the past.


 [Race with his Legit Status team mates, composing the LEGIT STATUS VARSITY TEAM which won the SILVER MEDAL at the 2015 WHHI, dancing the night away at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.]

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