My Father, the Techie


I never thought I’d hear him say it, but this morning I overheard a conversation between my brother and my father. I did not catch what Kuya Ric said, but Papa replied, “Ginu-google ko” (I Google it).

I said, “Papa, what did you say?”

He said (in Tagalog), “I Google my favorite newspapers and magazines. When I was in the US last month, I stayed updated with Philippine news through Google. I also read the New Yorker regularly.”

I was on my way to the driveway so I was not able to pursue the conversation but I congratulated him for being so hi-tech.

When I arrived at the office, I saw him online on Yahoo Messenger. I told him to keep the Magic Jack open as my sister from Australia will call him in a while. Yes, we chatted.

Actually the miracle started the day he left for the States, the first time to travel such a distance by himself in all of his 72 years. Mama and I instructed him to call us as soon as he’s checked in. We dropped him off at the airport and got stuck in traffic. We had not even left EDSA when Mama’s cellphone rang – it was Papa, calling from his clamshell – type, hand-me-down, Motorola, laughingly telling Mama that he was already in his proper gate and ready to wait for boarding. We heaved a collective sigh of relief.

Of course, when he got to the San Francisco airport, he had trouble finding a porter to help him with his luggage, and got my uncle, sister, and cousins worried because he was the last one to emerge from the arrival door. He did not want to learn how to send text messages and calling from his roaming phone was too expensive so he just made them wait for an hour while he figured out how to get his luggage.

While on vacation, he also learned to work the digital camera and became a budding photographer. He documented my cousin’s wedding and all the beautiful places he visited.

I hope that he’d soon learn how to text. Maybe I’ll ask him to Google a tutorial.

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