A father’s wisdom
While less visible than their female counterparts, ballet dads play a silent but reassuring role in the lives of their dancing children. Often watching patiently in the shadows, they feel the pain of every fall, the embarrassment of every misstep, and the pride of every triumph. More importantly, our beloved ballet dads offer much-needed words of wisdom and emotional support as young dancers find themselves facing challenges that would not only impact their growth as artists but shape their character as human beings.
In honor of Father’s Day, we asked members of Ballet Manila to share the most important lesson that their father taught them.
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde (Artistic Director and CEO) on Cesar Macuja
When making decisions, think long term. How your decision will affect you 2, 5 or 10 years from today.
Osias Barroso Jr. (Co-artistic Director) on Osias Barroso Sr.
The best lesson I learned from my father is being close to people who are less fortunate. My father was a very simple man with simple friends. He dedicated his life to my mom and to us, his children. I became close to him when I got sick in 1999, a few months before he died. We shared a room together in the hospital and we bonded.
Katherine Barkman (Principal Dancer) on Peter Barkman
My father's greatest lesson to me was when he would tell me "nothing worthwhile is easily attained". My dad is one of my closest confidants. I go to my father for advice in all areas of my life. He has always instilled in me that whatever I wanted to do with my life, I could accomplish. But if it’s truly valuable, it won’t be easy to reach. My dad is a role model to me and I am so blessed to have a strong and loving father as him.
Joan Emery Sia (Soloist) on Edgar Sia
My dad is and was always big on self-improvement. He said that the best way to improve and grow in anything is to compete with yourself. When I was younger, I felt easily discouraged and insecure when I had tough competition in school. That’s how he reminded me to keep fighting.
Mark Sumaylo (Soloist) on Antonio Sumaylo
The most unforgettable lesson that my father taught me is to learn how to stand on my own two feet. I realized when I was much older how important that is.
Violet Hong (Company Artist) on Hong Fook Kam
My dad always taught us to be patient and to not to give up easily because people who are patient are more likely to gain a fruitful outcome. A humble, modest and thoughtful person, he would say that we should listen more and talk less so we’ll able to we live much more peacefully.
Shaira Comeros (BM2) on Toto Comeros
My father taught me that if I really want to pursue something I am passionate about, I need to be able to deal with the difficulties that come with it – with determination, discipline, and perseverance.
Jillian Villanueva (BM 2) on Jimmy Villanueva
There’s a quote that my father would always repeat to me that I won’t forget. He told me, "Find a job you love and you will never work for the rest of your life." For example, at work, even if the salary is not a lot, it’s fine with him. What’s important is that he loves what he is doing and he enjoys it. Money is just a reward.
He also said it’s important to be positive in all things even if everything that’s happening is negative. He said that there’s a reason why everything is negative at first. In the end, better things will come.