Tatay Rogelio’s story of passion without limitation
On May 8, Jestel Canlas decided to post for the first time on Home Buddies.
She has been a member of the fast-growing online community of home enthusiasts since April 19 but couldn’t find an interesting topic to post about until then.
“I just want to share my lolo’s work for his clients,” Canlas declared. She continued in Tagalog that her grandfather Rogelio Mamita has “done many cabinets, bunk beds, stairs and more that we were unable to document.”
The 20-year-old showed a picture of her 74-year-old grandpa together with photos of his handiworks. The external link on Canlas’ post leads to yet another, in which she reveals that it was actually her dear Tatay Rogelio’s birthday.
Mamita might as well consider the greeting an early Father’s Day gift, given that both posts accumulated some 34,000 reactions, 1,200 comments and an avalanche of inquiries (“10 inquiries in just 1 minute” at one point).
It can be hard to believe that a person in his 70s still has the dexterity to make furniture and the drive to make his hobby a business. (Mamita works from a shop in Hulong Duhat, Malabon City.) But, it’s possible. One of Canlas’ motivations for posting on Home Buddies was “to inspire people that no matter how old they are, they can still do their passion without limitation.”
“He can actually just retire [from furniture making] but he really wants to keep going,” Canlas said. Before ending his stint as an overseas Filipino worker in his 60s, Mamita sent all four of his kids to college. Canlas’ mom is the second child of Mamita with his first wife, who died eight years ago. He has since remarried.
As an OFW, Mamita also saved up for retirement. But, when he came home, he insisted on picking up his tools and building furnishings. He doesn’t only do it to occupy himself or earn income, but also to avoid expenses at home. Canlas revealed that easily 95 percent of all their furniture at home—from beds to stairs—are her grandpa’s creations.
“I can’t even remember us buying furniture,” she quipped.
Mamita’s youngest son, now working overseas as an architect, inherited his craftsmanship, Canlas added.
The patriarch would also be happy to note that all his grandkids have his creative spirit. Canlas, the eldest, is taking up Fine Arts and also works as a part-time photographer and editor. The younger ones have a flair for arts and music, among others.
Mamita leads a close-knit family and that may be the reason Canlas chose to share a proud post about her Tatay Rogelio.
“We are so close to lolo because he and our family have lived in the same household for over two decades now,” she said. “We are all very close [as a clan]. Whenever there is a celebration, we celebrate together.”
Canlas shared that watching her Tatay Rogelio fulfill his passion for furniture making ignites a fire in her: “I always think that someday, I will also do something that I love and would continue to love until I’m old.”
Other than creativity, Canlas says she also got her grandpa’s determination and desire to pursue a passion. Her dream to be a lot like her lolo shouldn’t be such a challenge for her then.
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