That’s the way it goes, dads have house rules that everybody has to abide to. One or two may fall under the “no compromise” category but in the case of lawyer Jose Dumagan, Jr., or Daddy Jake to his five kids: Justin Jon, 26; Moira Monina, 17; Maxine Monina,15; Juris Jon, 12; and Joaquin Jon, 11, “Everything can be subjected to negotiation in the house.”
The other lawyer in the house, Maria Mercedes or Mamer, couldn’t agree more. Jake’s compañera is more than just his peer but his other half. Yes, there are two lawyers in the household.
Get to know this dad who juggles his time efficiently as a father to his family, a lawyer and a government employee.
How are you as a father?
If I answer this, that would be self-serving. It’s best to ask my kids. But as a father, I try to provide for their needs. But more than the financial provision, I give them advises based on my experiences in the past. I tell them not to follow what I did wrong, but do good and emulate what I did and doing right. I am also a very protective father.
How do you deal with your kids?
I talk to them. I scold them whenever the situation calls for it. I discipline them, not too strictly though. I deal with them as a father, a mentor and as a friend. I’d like to make them feel that that they can open up to me and tell me everything.
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
When I lost in the 1992 election for Board Member of Surigao del Sur, where the winners were either lawyers or doctors, I decided to take up law. It would take so much time to become a doctor.
You and your wife are both lawyers, does anyone from the brood showing signs of a lawyer in the making?
For now, I think it would be my daughter Moira who’s in third year in college now at San Pedro College taking up Psychology.
You mentioned you practice somewhere else, why not in Davao?
My official station as a government employee is at Butuan in the Caraga Region. If you are in government, you cannot refuse when you are assigned anywhere in the Philippines. It’s part of your commitment when you enter government service, unless your appointment is site-specific.
And what does work as a lawyer in a government agency entail?
My work as Regional Director of NCIP-XIII entails a lot of coordination with other government agencies, field work, consultations with our IP leaders and members, meetings with politicians, decision-making, planning and financial management. In addition, NCIP is the primary government agency mandated by law to process the indigenous cultural communities’ application for the issuance of a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title. I see to it that this mandate is carried out.
Sounds like a lot of work, how often do you get together with family and what’s bonding time like?
We are always together except during workdays when I’m in Butuan. Just staying like home and watching TV, visit our Samal house on some weekends, but mostly, watching movies almost every week.
When we are complete in the dining table, we talk about what happened to us during the day, what is the latest on the news, latest games for their x-box, some anecdotes and jokes.
Sometimes a simple haircut in our favorite barbershop is bonding for us boys, and waxing, mani-pedi in their favorite salon for the girls.
So grooming is also a family past time. How important is grooming to your career?
Very important. As a government official, one needs to be well groomed because that would readily make an impression on your colleagues, clients, etc. Besides my father was very strict when it comes to grooming being a military man. Growing up, he was a very big influence in my life.
You’re a Rocky’s Barbershop loyal client, you said. How often do you go and when did your Rocky’s tradition start?
I visit Rocky’s every other week, and this started when it first opened its first branch. Then lately at Big Tom’s, the sister company, in NCCC because its near our residence.
Lastly, what do you say is the Dumagan tradition?
Movie-watching. (Laughs). Both sides of the family were in the business of cinema.
But seriously, even if my wife and I are lawyers, we do not expect our kids to follow in our footsteps. We give them the freedom to choose what they want to be, who they want to be. But whatever their choices may be, we always tell them to be the best at it.
1996 perfume, from Rocky’s new fragrance line, is available in all Rocky’s Barbershops at Victoria Plaza, Abreeza Mall, GMall, SM City & SM Lanang Premier in Davao City, and Centrio Ayala Mall and SM City in Cagayan de Oro City.
[Information and pictures from Rocky’s Barbershop]