The name Danilo M. Favor rings a bell to many Filipinos based in the United Kingdom, especially those in Sussex, England. He is the first elected Filipino councillor and deputy mayor in East Grinstead,
Working as a nurse for years, he has also successfully initiated several health-related charitable programs that continue to benefit the Filipino community in the UK.
For many, Danilo, or Danny as his friends and family call him, is a committed public servant and a passionate health worker who has helped and made Filipinos proud. However, if it’s his family you’d ask, Danny is first and foremost an amorous father.
This side of the newly elected deputy mayor is unknown to many. This is what we at Yes Philippines Newsmagazine explore as we pay respect to all Filipino fathers in the UK this Father’s Day.
A Serendipitous Love Story
“He is a loving and caring husband and father”, Maribel Favor lovingly describes her life-long partner. Maribel and Danny’s story goes a long way back. They met each other in 1982 as colleagues at the Makati Medical Centre and soon parted ways when they both took their chances to work abroad.
As luck would have it, their paths crossed again in Jeddah in 1985, where they worked at the same hospital. Sharing the same interests and values, the two of them had an instant connection and became friends. After a year, Maribel and Danny tied the knot and started their own family. Shortly, they got their first blessing.
First Pregnancy: A Wonderful and Difficult Experience
“We were both very excited when we learned that I was pregnant,” Maribel recalls the moment they got the good news. As elated as the couple was, the first pregnancy was extremely challenging for the both of them. However, the young couple made it through together.
When Maribel would have days of excessive morning sickness, Danny proved his love for his wife and unborn child. He did all the chores, cooking, laundry, and ironing. Always nauseated, Maribel required constant assistance at the time and was served breakfast in bed as advised by her OB.
“Truly, I had enjoyed him caring for me and perhaps had taken advantage of it”, the wife reveals while recounting the difficult yet beautiful moments of her first pregnancy. In July 1987, the young couple welcomed their firstborn, Mark Daniel, and their youngest, Kristoffer, 5 years after. Raising Kids in a Filipino Household.
The brothers are now already living independently. Although raised and educated in the UK, they grew up getting exposed to Filipino culture and values, speaking Tagalog at home and giving respect to adults by giving “mano”. After graduating from Kingston University, the two of them have made their own paths, Mark as a computer software engineer and Kris as a coach and personal trainer.
Whatever and however different the roads they take, the brothers help each other and bring the values imparted to them. Maribel and Danny made sure of this. Because like every Filipino family, the Favors always observe respect, humility, openness, empathy, and, above all faith, love and devotion to our Almighty God.
The Family’s Mutual Love for Public Service
Public service is one thing that the Favors share. In their 15 years of living in East Grinstead, Danny and Maribel remain closely involved with various community groups and organisations, spearheading charity and voluntary works and fundraising to help less fortunate families and individuals. After all, for Danny, one of the responsibilities of a father is to set a good example and teach the kids good moral character.
Mark and Kris have witnessed this since they were young. Back then, when time allowed, they would help their parents with their free health service and wellbeing activities in the community.
On Being a Father
“For me, being a father is all joy, happiness, and fulfilment..”, Danny confessed. He was overjoyed and proud when he learned he was becoming a father. Since then, he has been dedicated to raising his children to become better and responsible persons.
When asked what his parenting style is, Danny said he is rather an authoritative yet supportive parent. He has always expected that his sons will be good, if not the best, men as they are meant to be.
As we talked with Kris, we’ve found out that Danny’s efforts didn’t go to waste. “Seeing my father inspire other people and motivate them to achieve bigger has given me that spark to do something similar”, the youngest of the Favor brothers told Yes Philippines NewsMagazine. Aspiring to become a life coach, Kris wants to be able to look at people and inspire them the way his father has done to him and her brother.
Not a Perfect Father
Danny does not claim to be the ideal father for his sons and family. However, he did his best to support and guide his sons, especially when they were little ones. After all, when it comes to fatherhood, it is not a question of whether a father is perfect or not. And while one can never gauge a father’s worth, for Kris, there’s no man more fitting than Danny to lead the Favor family. In his words: “I could not have wished for a better father than him!”