Plucking Leafs from My Tree of Memories Ch.10
I with my Tito Jun in his late 30s, mounted on a carabao; in the early 70s, in Mati, Davao, Philippines. I was about three years old.
The carabao (kalabáw in Filipino) is a domesticated type of water buffalo (scientific name: Bubalus bubalis or Bubalus carabanesis) found in the Philippines. This type of water buffalo is highly associated with farmers, being the preferred farm animal for pulling the plow.
The Philippines' national mammal, the carabao has become a symbol of the Filipino people's hard work and industry.
Education and Hard Work
Tito Jun (Conrado A. Vera Jr.) is my mother's first, eldest brother, born on June 4, 1936; married to Tita Norma (Faylona-Vera). He now lives in California, United States, with the family of his eldest daughter, my cousin Leah.
Since childhood, my sisters and I have always looked up to Tito Jun chiefly because every time our mother would teach us about the value of education and hard work, she never forgot to cite Tito Jun as a prime example. Tito Jun, despite experiencing the difficulties and harshness of life as a child during World War II, still managed afterwards to finish higher studies and rise on his own to provide a very comfortable life for his own family. And according to Mom, Tito Jun's chief weapons in doing that were education and hard work.