He was a father every daughter would want to have. A man of few words, yet trustworthy and very dependable.
He singlehandedly saw us -- 6 young siblings -- through college after our mother's sudden death. He took on our mother's style of close supervision, yet gave us enough freedom to decide on our own.
Ours was a bitter-sweet childhood. As a result of Papa's political activism, we grew up practically without him. We went through some un-ordinary experiences, including brief overnights in the provincial jail when he got incarcerated during Martial Law.
In the mid-70s up to the '80s, he worked with PANAMIN and would visit us for a few days every two months. Yet, Papa compensated his absence by bringing us to wherever he was assigned. In summers, he would bring us to mountain adventures in Canlaon. He taught us to ride horses and carabaos. He marvelled at the beauty of nature and would take us for walks in the forests.
He loved the mountains. In fact, when our mother died 19 years ago, he moved to the family's farm in the hinterland of Guihulngan. It was there where he raised our two half-siblings by his second wife.
I don't know what happened anymore after his incarceration. We never talked about his ideologies. But when I started working, I would encounter people asking if I was related to the leftist organizer, Jess Trinidad. Many times, I would hear snide comments that our father was a communist. Yet, more people talked kindly of him for being a principled man.
Communist or not, for us, he was the best father in the world. I have always been proud of him and will always be. He was always concerned of the welfare of the masses. When Negros became militarized in the '80s, he opposed the entry of Cafgu's in our farm in Canlaon.
When he returned to Negros shortly before the Edsa Revolution, he was in the frontlines of rallies that denounced the dictatorship. It made me so proud that while others conveniently closed their eyes to the injustices around us, my father made a stand.
And up to the very end, Papa had the people in his mind. He delayed his check-up if only to ensure that the barangay elections went well. He was concerned that if he was not around, elections would be chaotic.
I praise God for giving us a father like Papa. Even in sorrow, I rejoice knowing that Papa is now with our Lord Jesus Christ.