• Wayne Manuel

Meet the Parents

My dad, Atty. Marlon Wayne Domingo Manuel I.

We have the fair share of the same name. He's using the Marlon, I'm using the Wayne.

He was just around his mid-to-late 20s when he became a lawyer, hence dubbed as ubing a abogado (young lawyer) by his colleagues. Before becoming the lawyer that he is today, he used to be a tricycle driver while reviewing for his bar examinations. I was born in '96, he passed the bars in '98. After a few years, he decided to run for Councilor of the City of Laoag. I was there ever since, campaigning with him and joining him in his rallies (I was an announcer in one of his campaign vans, shouting memorized lines in Ilokano and sometimes giving impromptu speeches when I ran out of these lines.) At the first try, he didn't get in. He could have given up, but it motivated him more, along with his strong urge to help those in need. The second try got him in the 1st spot out of the 10 elected councilors of Laoag City. Soon he became the Vice Mayor and sometimes the Acting Mayor. I was just 7 years old at that time and he already showed me not to give up on a failed dream.

My dad is very protective of us siblings ever since. I remember around 2004 when political killings were so widespread, I was in Grade 2, he was the Vice Mayor, he made sure I was picked up from school by guards, got in a government car, and always wore a bulletproof vest. He always ensured my safety, but ever since then I developed this view of politics as one dirty field to practice your career in. And if he would ask me if he should run again, he knows that that would be a rhetorical question. He made an exit after his term as Vice Mayor and began to practice the legal profession full-time.

Today, he is the City Legal Officer of the City Government of Laoag, Ilocos Norte and teaches part-time at the Divine Word College of Laoag. (and of course he loves cockfighting! He even asked me to make him a trailer for his farm. Watch it here!)

Candidly shot on a dinner date at a Chinese restaurant in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

Canon M6 + 50mm EF. 1/250sec, ISO1000, f/1.8.

My mom, Dr. Franelia Narciso Caluya.

My grandmother, Francisca, was also a dentist (but mostly spent her life practicing politics in different national organizations). Her daughter, my mom, followed her dental profession. So it's either I follow her path or I follow her path. I really wanted to enter Dentistry even if I was given the will to choose the course I wanted to after high school. One night I thought through possible courses, but I didn't want anything other than becoming a dentist, not even going to law school like my dad because up until now I still have the trouble memorizing lines. Through the years, I have been witnessing how her dental practice is booming. Patients line up to her clinic to the point that even I, her son, cannot even find a seat for myself anymore. And what she has today is what I wanted ever since.

It was around '89 when she graduated from the University of the East. I remember her story that during dental school, she had some trouble looking for a patient for her last root canal case which delayed her graduation for a semester. That is similar to what I have been going through, only the case is I have more. I have always told her about these unfortunate events during my dental schooling, and she always understood because she had been through these problems, too. If ever I feel down about depressing situations like these, she always brings my guts back up. "Look at me now, anak", she always sets herself as an example of a person who always gets to stand even when a raging hurricane passes by.

She is open to everything I open up to her, from re-watching the whole Breaking Bad series up to making appearances in my vlogs. Her cooking is the best! Most especially the tinola and the adobo recipe my grandmother passed down to her. Her very own version of crispy dinuguan (or dinardaraan in Ilokano) is surely a favorite when it comes to family occasions. Moreover, having any of her dishes ran down my taste buds is the only moment I can say "I'm home" and really mean it.

Candidly shot after a home dinner.

Canon M6 + 50mm EF. 1/125sec., ISO1000, f/1.8.