The metaphorical phrase ‘pillar of the household’ is often used to give us a clearer image of a father’s essential role in the family. The patriarch is expected to protect his brood under a canopy of sturdy human principles such as in leadership, sustenance, and loyalty. But fathers aren’t blameless. They also make mistakes, sometimes to the point of almost shattering the home they’re supposed to nurture. But no matter how imperfect, what matters is a father’s willingness to own up to his faults and repair the ‘home,’ just like what Fernan (Joey Marquez) of Pamilya Ko did.
While his illicit affair is undoubtedly as a serious crime, it is just hard not to acknowledge how much of a dutiful father Fernan is, despite his imperfection as a husband. There was a time when he pulled off a surprise homecoming for the family’s quadruple feat – three of the Mabunga kids’ graduation and one birthday celebration.
Moreover, Fernan is one of the sweetest and most sentimental daddies on earth. He can be overly dramatic in the most mundane moments. Sometimes, a simple glance at his growing kids could already make him teary-eyed, and he wouldn’t mind jumpstarting a cheesy exchange. He didn’t even ask anything for his birthday than spending time with his ‘fruit salad.’
However, marital woes almost crushed the Mabunga household. Luz (Sylvia Sanchez) and the children’s anger ultimately challenged his strength in keeping his family together. During those trying times, Fernan decided to always choose his family and to never stop until things fall back into place. He would move heaven and earth just to keep the Mabungas perfectly sweet again.
Despite being alienated at some point and living outside his kids’ abode, Fernan kept on trying to rebuild the connection, the love, and their home.
The Mabunga siblings did not harbor ill feelings towards Fernan for too long despite feeling upset and betrayed. It helped that all they had with him in the past were nothing but blissful memories. So, the kids themselves bridged the gap between Fernan and Luz. There was a time when Pongky (Raikko Mateo) requested Fernan to spend the night at home. The longing father wanted to but he still can’t, instead, he told the loving boy, “Nandito lang ako sa tabi, nagbabantay.”
Fernan’s fatherhood story reminds us of the power of love and forgiveness in a family. Even fathers, who we often look up to as heroes, can also make mistakes. But, what holds more importance is the courage to man up and love his children wholeheartedly, because one day, this love will be returned and it will serve as the most powerful instrument in making reparations.