Cultural Potpourri | Rene and Chona Lizada’s Thanksgiving Celebration

LAST JUNE 11, 2018, Rene and Chona Lizada shared a thanksgiving dinner at the West Empire Chinese Restaurant and Seafood Garden located along J.P. Laurel Avenue, Insular Village, Lanang, Davao City.

I’ve lost count as to how many family celebrations I’ve attended in this restaurant which, indeed, serves glorious Chinese food to make special events a truly memorable one.

“We have a lot to be grateful about. We thank God for all that has been and for what we will be facing in the days to come,” said Prof. Rene Lizada in his brief opening message to welcome all the guests. “This is a thanksgiving for all, especially for my children’s accomplishments which Chona and I are so proud of as parents,” he added. It’s not often that you see Rene Lizada flashing a bright smile.

“Our guests were specially selected. Aside from the family, there are those who have been a part of our lives in more ways than one. They might not have realized it but their presence have touched and enriched our lives. They are family to us,” Chona revealed.

Indeed, I am not surprised that Rene and Chona are all smiles like the proud parents that they are. The eldest son Miguel graduated with honors from the Ateneo de Manila University. Armed with a degree in Literature, Miguel obtained a scholarship grant from the National University of Singapore where he took his master’s degree in Comparative Literature. He is presently finishing his doctorate studies at the Hong Kong University where he is a scholar while on leave from the Ateneo de Manila University where he teaches.

Raphael, who studied at the Ateneo de Davao University from elementary till he graduated in College with a degree in Law, just passed the bar this year. He is presently working for a law firm and is a faculty member of the Jose Maria College’s Law School.

The youngest son, Gabriel, earned his degree in Educational Psychology from the De La Salle University in Manila. A licensed Psychometrician, Gabriel holds a master’s degree in Psychology from the Monash University of Melbourne, Australia. He teaches at Ateneo de Davao University presently.

Raising healthy and intelligent children is every parents dream and that includes Rene and Chona. They are fortunate as well to have been able to give their three sons very good education and training. Like good and conscientious parents, Rene and Chona mustered all the persistence, perseverance, patience and discipline in raising their healthy and bright sons whom they named after the “three Archangels of God who have important roles in the history of salvation.”

When I asked Rene how he would describe himself and Chona as parents, he replied, “Ang hirap naman ng tanong na yan. We are strict when we have to be but as much as possible, we let our sons be. We tell them what is right and wrong and we trust them enough to discern. Of course our children know there are lines they cannot cross; and there are certain things we will never tolerate. If there is a way to describe our parenting style, it would have to be nurturing. We let our sons be what they want to be and we just support their dreams. That is why they do what their hearts want to do. Miguel as a professor, Raphael as a lawyer and Gabriel as a psychologist,” informed Rene as he added, “We try not to be judgmental in our sons’ choices in life and careers…We do not judge them according to what we want. It is their lives after all.”

“I always tell our sons to follow and believe in their passion; and do what they love. To be of help to others in every and whatever opportunity they can. The most important thing is to do everything for the glory and service of God. Blessings and money will always follow. This is a true and tested formula,” advised Chona.

“Black sheep? Well, we have never tried to judge anyone. The ugly duckling became a swan. The black sheep can turn out to be a magnificent ram. You never know. You just let them be. And most of all, our children see that we are prayerful. We trust God in everything. Amazing things happen when you trust God. You can quote me on that,” answered Rene when asked about black sheep in families.

That night, the Lizada’s family, relatives and friends feasted on West Empire Chinese Restaurant’s soy chicken with seaweeds, sweet corn and crab meat soup, sepo guisado, boneless pata with veggies, sweet and sour fish fillet, yang chow fried rice, and lechon. For dessert, delicious cakes and pastries came from the Lizada boys’ special GFs.
God bless you, Rene, Chona, Miguel, Raphael and Gabriel Lizada.

Posted in Lifestyle