Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Happy Birthday, Dad!

The look of love from a father to his baby.
Dear Daddy,

Happy birthday! You would've been 71 today. I miss you every day, but now more than ever. I am getting married to my high school sweetheart in a few months, and I would give everything to have you walk me down the aisle.

Do you remember our deal? That I wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend until I was 18? I'm sorry I broke that. The good news is I'm getting married at 30 years old, to my first and only boyfriend. I bet you thought I'd get married at a young age. A relative said I'd get married before I was 25. Look at me now.

Dad, as I'm about to change my name, I would like you to know that it was an honor being your daughter. It still is. What a privilege to have you as a Dad, to live with you in the same house, to see you be a stern leader but a loving father, and to receive from you the immeasurable treasure of our faith.

Thank you for all the time you chose to spend with us. Thank you for being there for our special occasions, but also for the everyday ones. You were the busiest person, overseeing a region, even the whole country, hosting a TV and radio show, and yet you made sure we will always have dinner together as a family. That is why food and meals are important to me. Going out and eating together was our thing. I looked forward to our conversations, even your teasing. Back then there were no smartphones and internet to distract us, you made it a point we shared with you our days, and you shared with us yours. When we were together, you were really there, and because of that we'll always have fond memories of you.

At my grade school graduation, before you gave me my medal.
Memories of you and me driving together to Greenhills so I can buy a scientific calculator. You and me having milk and pan de sal at midnight. You and me hugging in my bedroom with Nanay watching, a few months before you left. You and me climbing the steps to ATC and you telling me you could buy me new clothes also, without knowing that was your way of saying I shouldn't be swayed by material things and false promises. I'm sorry I didn't realize it then, Dad. That remains my biggest life regret, but I'm trying to move on now. Even if all the money and possessions you left were stolen wasted spent taken, we will always have the love and time you had with us. That is ours. So thank you.

Thank you for your sense of style. You were always the sharpest man in the room. Not a hair out place, no screaming designer logos. Just well-tailored shirts and suits, pressed slacks, and a watch. Maybe a ring now and then. But you had swagger. Even when wearing house clothes, you looked dignified. A friend sent me a photo of you attending a wedding, you were probably a principal sponsor then. Look at that suit and tie! Oh Dad, I'm sure you would have been so handsome at my wedding,

Who can top a double-breasted suit?
Thank you for passing down a love for photography, and for capturing our moments. Because of you, I have thousands of snaps that chronicle my life. But I wish we had more pictures together, you were almost always behind the camera.

Thank you for capturing this moment during my 5th grade holiday presentation.

You always asked us to take your photo in this profile pose. Hehe!
Thank you for setting the bar high on the love I deserve to have. Being the best father to us made me realize the importance of having a family that doesn't shy away from expressing their love, a family that sticks with you no matter what, one that doesn't let distance or work get in the way of maintaining connections. Thank you for instilling in me that people can claim to be busy, but if they want to spend time with you, they will make time.

Thank you for showing me that friends are the family you choose. You told me this long ago, "Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are." I had reservations and wild reactions then, but I understand now where you were coming from. Over the years, I've met a lot of your friends and my heart is filled with stories about you, about how you were proud of us, about what a good person you were. And just recently someone told me a story about one of your closest confidantes and revealed how sometimes the people most concerned for us and lend a helping hand are the ones we least expect.

That face. Love you, Dad!
Most of all, thank you for being gentle with us. Dad, I am proud to say that I met a man who has never raised his voice or lifted a finger to harm me. He may not be the typical ideal guy for many, but I believe he is the one God intended to accompany me in this journey. He's hardworking, patient, makes me laugh all the time, and most importantly a man of strong faith.

Dad, thank you for setting that example. You were tough at work, but completely different at home. Ours may not have been the normal family setting, but I wouldn't trade those four years of living with you for anything. I can only pray that when I have children of my own, that I can give them the same love and security you gave me, and if I'm also going to leave the world before they do, that they will have more than enough memories to tide them over in this cruel, cruel world.

I love you.



  1. your posts about your dad always make me cry. :')

    1. Aww, seems I made a lot of people cry with this entry. But hopefully they're tears of love. :) Thank you for reading my blog, Evyan!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for reading, Imelds. Huuuugs! <3