On March 19 we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph as a family man. On May 1 we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph as patron saint of workers. St. Joseph is primarily known to be a carpenter. Manang said that St. Joseph is the inspiration for the parables/stories that Jesus shared with his apostles/followers. But St. Joseph was not just a carpenter, he was also a fisherman and farmer.
I think one of the most beautiful vocations is being a carpenter. The will to create something is a concept that makes it beautiful. But that something is not just anything, it is something with a purpose. Take a house for example, it provides shelter for a family. I guess it is more complicated now.
If we listen to the stories of our grandfathers, we can understand the importance of having skills in carpentry during their time. Now we proudly hold on to these old sturdy cabinets made by our Lolo’s with their own hands.
Sometimes the downside of moving forward is forgetting the importance behind the simplicity of these vocations. People nowadays are hooked up with all the titles they can add to their names. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m vying to have that 4letter abbreviated word before my name. But it is these thoughts that I want and need inorder to stay grounded. Lest I forget the Good I am gearing for.)
It is good to be surrounded by them. It is good to be reminded by the stories they bring with them.
This is Nong Entong. He has been with us (on and off) for about 15 years now. His real name is Nestor and he is turning 50 this August.
Nong Entong is originally from Cagayan de Oro. Technically, he’s not a carpenter. He started out as a mason (cement mason) in 1979. His first assignment brought him to Cebu, Manila, and Iloilo. He worked for the same contractor for several years. It was when they were working in Iloilo that he met his wife, who is from San Fernando, Antique. (I asked him how he ended up in Antique). They were working on the highway going to Passi and his wife was the checker of the warehouse. This was in the 1980s, probably Marcos time.
His job mainly consisted of doing cement masonry. It was when Mutti asked him if he could install shower enclosures that he started expanding his line of work. At first he told Mutti he didn’t know, but Mutti good naturedly insisted saying “man-an mo ra nong a!” So he took on the challenge and was able to install four shower enclosures. Listening to the rise and fall of his voice when he told me this story, I’d say he’s mighty proud of himself that he did and thankful for Mutti for unknowingly teaching him how to improve his craft. He also learned the art of installing granite slabs for kitchen counters, which I’ve heard to be an exacting task to do. Now he does a bit of carpentry- well just the basic cutting of wood, painting, and other little tasks Vati asks to be done.
So this is my feast of St. Joseph the worker story.