The best lessons Dad taught them: Elpidio Magat
From a daddy’s girl who always receives words of encouragement to a son who received “tough love” as a form of discipline. Our Ballet Manila artists have varied stories about how their fathers have raised them, but the goal seems to be the same – so that they’d grow up to be responsible and strong enough to go after their dreams. To celebrate Father’s Day, our dancers share the best lessons they’ve learned from the man they call Dad, Daddy, Papa or Tatay and how he continues to inspire them.
Elpidio Magat, principal dancer
He may not be a man of words but he led by example. He was a soldier, a retired senior master sergeant. My parents are from Pangasinan but he strived to build a life for us in Manila. He worked several jobs to support us. He opened a photo studio, drove jeepneys and vans, learned T-shirt printing, and became a mechanic.
What I love about my father is, he always puts his family first. He is brave in the sense that he explored and maximized his capabilities the best he could, just to take care of us all. Especially since we are a big family.
I'd like to say a special thank you to my father because among us siblings, I am the only one who got to attend private school. That means a lot to me. Being named after him also somehow makes me feel we have this special bond. If wala siya, wala sanang Elpidio Magat na nagba-ballet. (If not for him, there won’t be an Elpidio Magat who’s dancing ballet.) I’m very thankful for that.
Top photo: Elpidio Magat says that his dad, Elpidio Sr., has always put family first.