Text by: Kimmy Baraoidan
Photos by: Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan
“Si Tatay Dagsa daw nasa UPLB. Nakatambay daw s’ya sa UP gate (Tatay Dagsa says he’s in UPLB. He’s staying at the UP gate),” said my friend Chris in a text message. As luck would have it, I was just around the area, on my way to the bank near the UP gate. It’s been a little over a year since we last saw Felcon Rivera, a.k.a. Dali Dagsa or Tatay Dagsa.
I made my way to the UP gate and immediately saw Tatay Dagsa from afar. He was standing in the shade of one of the trees near the gate, wearing his white katsa shirt with the words “Share the road” on it and his nickname “Dali Dagsa” on the right sleeve. His native hat was full of stickers that were from places he’d been to or that were symbols of his advocacy, which is sustainable alternative living.
He was talking to a man, which I assumed was another friend of his that he met during his travels. As I approached, I called out to him and he immediately recognized me, gave me a big smile and welcomed me into his arms. His positive energy was contagious, and I felt the sincere warmth emanating from him. It felt like he had just gotten home from a long journey. He excitedly introduced me to his friend Ome, who turned out to have several common friends with me. Moments later, Chris arrived, and Tatay Dagsa greeted him with the same warmth that I received.