All His Children
Arturo M. Tolentino loved children. He was blessed with seven children of his own, four girls and three boys. He loved all seven of them and helped his children no matter what age or situation. If any of his 14 grand children and his 11 great grand children needed his assistance he was ready as well.. If he could help in anyway, he will not deny them even at his late age. If it’s about money and he can afford it - there’s no way he will say no. I am the second eldest among his children and I have seen his generosity in more ways than one. To the extend that when it comes to spending a lot of money on himself, I have personally seen him decline. Once I said, “Daddy go ahead, you deserve it”. His answer was, “ it’s alright, I am old already.” I was trying to encourage him to travel to the places he wanted to see because although he was in his early 80’s already then he was still very healthy and attending conferences and traveling for the Philippine government. He will spend any amount he can afford for his children or grand children but when it comes to spending for himself, he made excuses. That’s my father that I will always remember. He had given so much to us but he deprived himself of so many things.
I remember many years ago, I was with him in the car, it was raining. A woman carrying a baby under a year old was begging and of course exposing the baby and herself to the cold rain. My father opened the window of the car to give her money but at the same time he scolded her and said, “I don’t believe that the baby is yours. You will not be going around in the rain endangering the baby’s health if he is your own.” He was really very upset to see that somebody could do that to a baby.