Today I am so inspired to write a story of a man I knew eleven years ago. The memory of him is still vivid. I remember our first meeting – we were sitting on a long couch in their huge and empty living room. His story about life and learning experience about hard work, and his endeavors in life had motivated me as I entered in corporate world of construction industries. His name is Aniano “Aning” Dalida – Andrade his life story was quite incredible when he started dreaming big and chasing his dreams to make it did come true.
“Someday I will travel around the world and make it to the golden gate bridge.” – Daddy Aning
All dreams can possible do come true if we have the strong will to pursue them no matter how big our adversity in our lives. Some of us believes that troubles and obstacles make us stronger and somehow strengthen our will to dream big and survive.
Perhaps, most of us quit dreaming after trying so many times and ended up failing. We heard people saying “I hate dreaming, because dreams don’t really do come true. It is impossible to reach my dreams because I am helpless, I don’t have money I can’t afford to go to school or I am not really good enough.” There are so many excuses and sorry alibis that hold us back from keep going. But the questions are: Did we ever at least try doing something? Did we ever step out from our comfort zone to follow and reach our dreams? Did we really face our greatest fears such as rejections and failures?
“…We do not achieve our dreams instantly, sometimes it really takes time. It will never come to you if you just wait, you need to chase them. ” – Daddy Aning
I have heard so many inspiring stories about different people succeeded in life despite of hardships they encountered – but the story I am going to share is something different. It is full of trials, ups and downs, very rewarding and fulfilling.
Let us hear from his son Mark Anthony as he talks about his father life story. He will take us to the past as he unraveled his father’s secret how he made his dreams came true.
What was your father’s best personality?
My Dad is selfless when it comes to his family, he makes sure that Family is First in everything. His ultimate dream for us is to see his children successful in their lives. He would always tell us this, “Live within your means” He was also a very religious and God-Fearing person.
Tell me his earlier life?
My dad was born in Camanci, Batan, Aklan from a broken family, but he went to Mindanao to finish his High School. At a very young age he already worked at Construction site (tagahalo at tagahakot ng semento) as a hauler and a mixer of cement. He lived with his boss named Ninong Miling who helped him to get a job in EEI. (one of the largest Construction Company in the country)
Later on, he decided to study at night in Mapua Institute of Technology and continued to work in Construction site in the morning.
He completed his Mechanical Engineering course and took up additional units of Metallurgical Engineering. He had his specialty training and corporate training both in ESCO CORP. from Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. He also had a Dale Carnegie Training from New York as he aspired to be a Manager of the company. His journey to US led him to see the Golden Gate Bridge so close to his eyes, a dream that he never thought it would come true.
I remembered my Dad once told to himself -staring at the picture of Golden Gate Bridge on his writing notebook when he was a kid- that someday he would reach and cross on that bridge.
Wow, that was amazing! Who would have thought that he made it!
What was his greatest accomplishment?
I think when he became a Manager of Foundry Division of EEI, it was a Division for Manufacturing of Steel. Then later on he was able to save money, to build a house in his hometown- and the best part of it, when his parents got back together. My Dad also sent some of his nephews and nieces in colleges. He loved helping, and he took that as a responsibility.
I couldn’t really imagine what he had been through and how he did it. That was really incredible ! I mean from an ordinary construction worker he became a Manager. It is really rare for anyone to have that courage and strong determination to support themselves and became successful. I’m telling you, even myself couldn’t do that.
What was the happiest thing ever happened to your Dad’s life?
Well, I guess when he met my Mama and they got married in 1979 in their hometown- that was considered a grand wedding of the year. The food serving was as great and abundant as fiesta. They got a lot of roasted pigs (lechon).
My Mother was a teacher and some of her students were my Dad’s nephews, that’s where their love story started. They build their own family and finally blessed with two children.
Wait a minute, are you telling me that your parents met and eventually get together because of your Dad’s nephews help? Well, match maker thing sounds interesting though…! I can really picture out their wedding in my head. Probably there were local bands playing such a beautiful music, and the food they served were all mouth watering. Yum! Yum!
Well, when you had those Principal Sponsors who were Congressman, Governor and Mayor, then I supposed you would do the most grand preparation too. That was the story I heard from my grandparents, and that’s what I remembered. hehehe…
Wow, that was great!
What was the biggest challenge in your Dad’s life?
My Dad, took an early retirement in 1986 and decided to go back in Aklan. His plans after retirement was to do farming in Camanci- his home town. He harvested at least 120 sacks of rice for just family consumption. He got a small truck that EEI gave to him that he used for his Buy and Sell business of bananas. They were usually loaded to a big boat going to Manila.
We had money problem back then, life was really difficult for us. We struggled in our daily needs, my Dad’s farming didn’t really work well, and my Mom’s salary from teaching wasn’t good enough. I saw my Dad how he really worked hard and took charge to sustain and provide everything that we needed.
I see… If I remember it right, you mentioned to me before that your Dad started up a Virgin Coconut Oil Business. How did it go, I mean what happened to that business?
Yeah, my Dad and my cousin put up that business, they had a buyer in Manila that sell those products. My cousin bought that machine for manufacturing Virgin Coconut Oil that we transported to Manila. I helped my Dad ran that business. I remember I was making a pamphlets of Good life Virgin Coconut Oil; detailing the process of production and health benefits to the body. However, their major buyers lost all their revenues and shut down their business. Since we lost our major buyers my Dad decided to downsize the production of VCO, we only make few bottles containing 330 ml. When I came abroad my Dad stopped making those products.
Oh, I am really sorry to hear that. You know what, putting up such business is usually quite risky. There are people who succeeded and some are not. Your Dad must be really sad when you left. Of course he was old and he could not do the business alone.
Let’s talk about your decision of studying a course of Veterinary Medicine, how did your father influence you on taking those options?
Can you tell me more about it?
Actually, my Dad wanted me to continue his farming and also to manage a livestock. That was his biggest plan! But, honestly I didn’t like my course, I had no interest on it. My priorities back then was to get a shorter course and work right away. Enough for the term papers !!! It was just a head ache though… hehehe!!!
So one day I decided to leave the town and started following my own dreams.
I understand… but you know what, you may not fulfill his dreams for you at this time but one thing is for sure someday you will.
Our Almighty Lord God took my Dad, at the age of 71, this was his second stroke after his first stroke in 2007. I was out of the country when this event happened. I really missed my Dad and I wish he still lives so he can see what I have become and how I chose to live my life according to every word he said.
I was saddened to hear about your Dad’s death in 2008 (June 14), he was really in my thoughts and prayers. It was an honor meeting him in person and having an exchanged thoughts with him.
I still remember what he said.
“If you wanted to be a great writer someday, you can really do it. As long as you believe in yourself. Remember, all of us has the Power to make our dreams come true. We do not achieve our dreams instantly, sometimes it really takes time. It will never come to you if you just wait, you need to chase them.” – Daddy Aning
If he is seeing me right now from heaven, I want him to see that I am beginning to make my dreams come true. I started chasing my dreams. I want to be a writer and inspire people.
It was really nice of him to really get along with you for that first meeting. For me I would never talk nor share my stories to a complete stranger. hehehe… I didn’t have that kind of quality. My Dad was different. He would talk to any person and he would make you feel comfortable.
He was actually a great conversationalist. I liked the way he talked – very persuasive . The only thing that I didn’t get was why he didn’t like me to kiss his hand? (mano -Filipino traditional way of greeting or showing respect to an elder person). This thing has really bothered me for a long time. hahaha…
I actually asked him the next night why he did it. hehehe
He simply replied. “My hands aren’t clean”. hehehehe
That’s all? Well, that was really funny of him. Anyways, thank you for sharing me your Dad’s story. It’s really an honor.
You’re welcome! It’s a pleasure talking to you too. Oh don’t mention it. I love sharing his story. As his son, I am very proud of what he had done to his life to attain all his dreams.
I am truly grateful that for more than a decade of friendship, Mark Anthony has told me a lot of things about his Father’s journey in life. Well, some of it I still remember. It took me years before I finally completed my first draft. Since, we barely talk due to his busy schedule, so I could only sneak some questions about his father when we chatted in his free time. At first I don’t want him to know the real reason why I was so interested asking about his father’s life story. However at the very last minute I had no choice but tell him my real intention so he could help me out send the pictures I needed for this article.
As a writer, I wanted to give life in every details and create wonderful emotions in this kind of story. I believe this story is worth remembering and it really touches not only my heart but also my soul. His experience was a great inspiration to every individual out there who wanted to achieve their dreams despite of so many obstacles. He grew up very poor coming from a broken family -yet he still managed to make his life better. He chose to be different and proved that there was no impossible dream to reach.
Daddy Aning was a man with great principle, and he stood by those principles. If ever he still lives I know he is really proud of his children, Annie Luz and Mark Anthony. He would be so fond watching his adorable grandson David as he grows up completely great and God -fearing child. I wish I had the chance to go back in the island to see him before he left, so we could talk again and I myself could actually conduct this one- on- one interview for this article. I told myself that one day I am going to write a life account of this man. A man who really worked so hard for his family. A man who had something that not everyone had- he had a “big heart” to comprehend what other people need; he helped his relatives achieved their own dreams. He was the kind of man who believed real success wasn’t based on the amount of money you have, not by having a huge house nor a luxurious car- for Daddy Aning “Real Success” is about achieving something that really makes you whole.
Indeed, the most exquisite dreams he had once was having his own family and to be loved by them wholeheartedly. His teachings, words of encouragement and the story of his life will forever dwell in his families’ hearts, in my heart and to everybody’s hearts who are reading this story.
Below are the photos of his achievements in life. Let me tour you back from where he started all his journey.
This photo was taken when he was attending an evening class in Mapua Technology of Institute. During day time, he worked at EEI as construction worker. It wasn’t easy life but for Daddy Aning life was full of test, for you to get to the next level you need to overcome all those tests.
“Never let life impede on your ability to manifest your dreams. Dig deeper into your dreams and deeper into yourself and believe that anything is possible, and make it happen.” – Corin Nemec
A moment worth remembering for Daddy Aning was meeting and talking with different people coming from different parts of the world sharing the same dreams were quite interesting. A dinner with his fellow Carnegie trainees was a symbol of hope towards right leadership and great management.
“The more closely you get in touch with your dreams, the more able you are to make them real. The more vividly you consider how you want your world to be, the more real and effective tools you will have for making it so.” –Ralph Marston
When he became a Manager of EEI Foundry Division, Daddy Aning became so dedicated for his job. He was an Engineer and at first he had no idea how to manage and lead his people-so he decided to take another steps to fulfill his dreams he had undergone those specialty and corporate training abroad.
“Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not cliches but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path.” –Phillip Sweet
“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” –Anais Nin
“Hopefully, young people will see that you can be young and make the sacrifices to follow your dreams.” –Tinie Tempah
“If you want to achieve your dreams, you must follow them, and the best way to follow them is not to think about wanting to be very rich, but to think about doing something that you really want to do.” –Jackie Collins
“Follow your dreams. If you have a goal, and you want to achieve it, then work hard and do everything you can to get there, and one day it will come true.” –Lindsey Vonn
“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” –Mark Victor Hansen
“Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”– Napoleon Hill
He had proven that there was no impossible dream to reach as long as you have the strong determination to achieve it no matter what it takes. He came back to his Alma Mater after so many years and became a lecturer to shape minds of young people- he wanted to share not only the knowledge and skills he acquired from the academe but also the hard-works and lessons he got from his journey. Dreaming is only a beginning because the real fight takes effect only when you are at the battlefield struggling and making it through for the win.
Another additional photos taken during his wedding with the beautiful Miss Luzviminda Jacinto – Bolivar. Their wedding invitation is so beautiful and I really fell in love with those exchanging magical vows between Daddy Aning and Mama Minda.
“I didn’t come seeking for you But God gave you to me. May I in turn give myself fully to you? May I love you the way you have ideally loved and tamed me; With you I shall be happy to traverse life in whatever direction it may take us…” – Daddy Aning
“I give you my hand! I give you my love more precious than anything. I give you myself before our Lord. Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me? Shall we stay with each other as long as we live…” -Mama Minda
We heard how their love story started. Sometimes, LOVE is worth waiting for. As Plato once said, Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods.
I can’t thank enough the family especially Mark Anthony for allowing me to write his father’s life story, and for sending me these photos as attachment in this article. This story is a tribute for his Father’s upcoming birthday this 27th of December.
I will end this story with a beautiful quote from Robert Fulghum that says:
“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” ***—***