The Philippine Star

'How else can I love you Pop-C?'

- by BÜM D. TENORIO, JR. ( For your new beginnings, e- mail me at I’m also on Twitter @ bum_ tenorio and Instagram @ bumtenorio. Have a blessed Sunday.)

When Harvey Angsanto got married last year, his father Robert took his hands and wiped them with his ( Robert’s) handkerchi­ef. “Relax,” he told his son, who was waiting for his bride. Later, he gave Harvey a tender pat. Harvey reciprocat­ed by fixing his father’s tie before giving him a tender hug. “Love you, Pop- C,” Harvey said. Robert hugged back. Tears threatened to well in the father’s eyes.

It’s not an uncommon scene for father and son to display their affection for each other. They have always been together. They have fought battles hand in hand and watched each other’s back. Some battles they lost, only to find out they still won because they have each other. Where Harvey is, Robert is there. Where Robert goes, Harvey follows him. Or, at least, many times, have him followed.

“I can’t live without him. I can’t leave him,” said Harvey, who is in his early forties. “Where he goes, I go. Where I go, he can’t escape, because I have him in my hand. That’s the kind of relationsh­ip we have.”

“My only complaint is Harvey does not allow me to drive on my own. He always provides me with a driver. I’m only in my seventies. I can still drive,” Robert told me two years ago at the shoot for Volvo where both father and son were tapped as ambassador­s of the premier car brand.

Robert is a mechanical engineer who founded Powerlite Marketing, a company that designs and manufactur­es containers, frames and other similar items for a good roster of local brands. Harvey is the owner of steel fabricator company HAC Steel Fabricator. In between their busy lives, both father and son would drop anything for each other in moments of need. “I worry for him,” Harvey said. “And I worry for Harvey, too, when he comes home late at night.” “We check on each other.” “I have the right to treat him like a child because he is my child.”

“I just give in. There’s nothing I will not do for my father. I only have one,” said Harvey, adding proudly that “there’s nothing wrong to be mushy about displaying affection for parents.”

When the Volvo photo shoot ended, Robert could only scratch his head because Harvey gave a stern instructio­n to his driver to bring his father home.

“Love you, Pop- C,” Harvey told his dad, winking. Robert, with a wide smile, nodded at Harvey. “How else can I love you, Pop- C? Tell me,” he told his dad as the driver started to rev up the car. “Come home early. Love you, son.”

*** Robert taught his son to drive. At 11, long before he could have a license, Harvey took the wheel. He would go out of his way just so he could be of service to his son. He never left his side — to this day.

Harvey grew up sharing his friends with his father. Robert also shares his best buddies with his son.

Soon, he has started to take charge of taking care of his dad. Now, it is his turn to take his father to dinner. When it is just the two of them, it is inevitable for Robert to treat Harvey like a child. “So, while we are on a father-and-son date, he rattles off the same things he tells me every day: never skip a meal, take care of your health, drive safely, come home early, take extra care always.”

Harvey’s grateful heart remembers that when he was just a child, it was his dad who was there to guide him. It’s now his turn to return the favor.

*** Due to complicati­ons, Harvey’s father is now in and out of the hospital. Every night, Harvey asks his dad: “How else can I love you, Pop- C?” Robert only gets his son’s hands, caresses them. Kernels of tears run down his face. “Thank you, son.”

“My father has a ver y st rong personalit­y. Every night, ever since he got sick, we hold each other’s hand until he falls asleep. I kiss him in the forehead. It’s my turn to tuck him to bed,” said Harvey.

Ever y single day, despite the challenges confrontin­g his father’s health, Harvey and Robert still hope and pray for the best. They have faith.

And they have each other.

 ?? Photo by MAU AGUASIN ?? Robert and Harvey Angsanto prove that father and son can be best of friends, too.
Photo by MAU AGUASIN Robert and Harvey Angsanto prove that father and son can be best of friends, too.
 ?? ?? A father-and-son date in Tagaytay.
A father-and-son date in Tagaytay.
 ?? Photo by BÜM TENORIO ?? At Harvey’s wedding, Robert is not only the father of the groom but also the auxiliary ‘Best Man.’
Photo by BÜM TENORIO At Harvey’s wedding, Robert is not only the father of the groom but also the auxiliary ‘Best Man.’
 ?? ??

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