Lapu-Lapu Police Chief Banzon: Father’s Day is every time spent with family
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Every quality time with family is Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Parent’s Day.
Piled papers to check and sign to, various conferences, meetings, and activities to attend to, calls and messages every now and then to respond to, flexible time at work wherein family time could be postponed for urgent needs and duties at the office, time for seven months now surely is limited for such a busy person like Police Colonel Arnel Banzon, the head of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office.
Police Colonel Banzon, who has been a police officer for 27 years, also grew within the walls of his father on the same profession he is engaged with right now.
Banzon, in his uniform, is known to be open and stern with his staff, but how is he as a father at home?
Nothing different though, he said.
Banzon with his two sons and his wife simply live in their humble abode in Cebu City. He always makes sure that discipline will be observed both at work and at home. His eldest son is a Grade 12 student while his youngest is in Grade 5. Banzon said that his sons are Papa’s boys, especially the youngest one.
“Kung makaya nako nga makauli og balay, muuli gyud ko. Just to see my kids, just to check and kumustahon sila. Before, kadtong na assign kog Negros, lisod pero ingun ana man kay trabaho man. Right now, dia ko sa Lapu-Lapu unya naa sa Cebu City akoang residence, so at least makauli-uli na, pero dili permanent,” he said.
(If I can go home, I will go home. Just to see my kids, just to check and see how they are doing. Before when I was assigned to Negros, it was difficult but that is what it is because that is my job. Right now, I am in Lapu-Lapu and my home is in Cebu City, so I can go home every now and then, but it is not a permanent arrangement.)
“Even though ingun ana na siya, I see to it nga matawagan nako akoang pamilya, especially akoang mga bata, labi na ang ikaduha nako nga Papa’s boy. Di matulog kung wala ang papa. With the technology karon, pwede ra man maka video call dili pareha sa una nga wala gyud,” he said.
(Even though that is the situation, I see to it that I can call my family, especially my kids and the youngest, who is really a Papa’s boy. He would not sleep if his papa is not there. With the technology today, we can video call unlike before when we cannot do this kind of thing.)
How can a busy person like him still fulfill his responsibilities as a dad?
Banzon shared that his communication with his wife and sons was the main reason why he managed to sustain their relationship as a family. He is not a perfect dad, he misses important events in the student life of his sons particularly in his eldest one. However, they understood it. They understand the occupation Banzon has, which made his life lighter despite heavy responsibilities tagged to him as the city director of Lapu-Lapu City Police Office.
“My wife is also very supportive kaayo, siya pod mupasabot sa akoang mga anak,” Banzon said.
(My wife is also very supportive. She is the one who lets my kids understand [the nature of my job].)
At work, he is also the same daddy figure toward his staff. He leads them, he supports them, he attends to their needs at the same time having clear boundaries on when to be open and considerate and when to be stern and strict with a purpose. He also rewards them if they too comply with the duties as personnel of Lapu-Lapu Police Station.
With this being said, he said that quality time with family does not always mean to be expensive such as dining out and having a vacation. On this Father’s Day, as he hopes to have spare time to spend with his family, he will surely go home, spend time, communicate, and have time with his family, do fishing, and eat at home.
Fully armed, trained to be tough at all times, does a brave police officer also have fears like any other person?
For now, Banzon said that he does not have fears for himself.
What he only has is for his family, their safety. He fears that if he is too busy, too focused on his own career, he will fail to supervise them. He would not want to fail as a parent and let his children suffer. He believes that it is the responsibility of the parents to provide for the needs of their children. It should be a priority to provide them the comfort of being in a family.
“Tungod kay I was so much to my career, nakalimot ko nga mu supervise nila then akong bata magpabadlong na. Mao na akong gikahadlukan. Mao bitaw nga nitrabahoo ko para nila and then karon mapasagdaan na nuon nako?” he added.
(Because I was so much into my career, I forget to supervise them — my kids if they are naughty. That is what I fear. That is why I work for them, and then how I might neglect them?)
His position entails the power he has over things. However, he said that he disciplined his children enough to not take for granted whatever privilege he has right now as the city director.
“Dili mag abusar because we are protecting our family name. Di sad maayo nga naa kay saligan kay imong papa ingun ani (with position) kay sa tinuod lang kani ang akoang rank, akoa ani. Kung gusto ka, you have to earn it,” he said.
(They should not be abusive because we are protecting our family name. It is also not good to do because you have a father with [this position] to fall to because in reality, my rank is mine alone. If you want it, you have to earn it.)
“Not necessarily nga gusto respetuhon ka because isog ka, but gusto ka nga makita nila nga firm ka sa decision nimo but not necessarily nga manghadlok ka,” he said.
(It does not necessarily mean that you want to be respected because you are brave, but you want to be seen that you are firm on your decision but not necessarily that you had to sow fear.)
Banzon admitted that he knows how it feels to be away from his father and mother. That’s why as much as possible, he does not want him and his family to be in that situation. As a dad of his own family and the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, he reminds everyone to be responsible and take on the responsibility on the profession that each one has chosen and decided for themselves.
He said that sometimes, as you take on your responsibility with zest and vigor, things might not fall in place but you will surely have a purpose to keep on moving forward.
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