Where do I begin? There are so many things I want to write about fathers and the role they play in the family, society and the future of their children.
First off, let me say that a father does not become one by virtue of DNA alone. A father can be someone who took the role of rearing up a child, even if he did not need to.
A father is a selfless soul who toils hard to provide for his family.
A father is someone who tends his own garden to bring fresh produce at home.
A father is someone who cheered on for his children's dreams.
A father is someone who carried you on his shoulder because you got tired of walking.
A father is someone who straps you on his back so you can reach a branch and get that bragging rights to have climbed a tall tree.
A father is someone who would carry you to sleep at eight years old because you were afraid that a bug or a snake might bite you when you lie in bed.
A father is someone who makes you a glass of milk every single day of high school because you do not have time to eat breakfast anymore.
A father is someone who knocks on your door incessantly because you will miss your school bus if you do not wake up, right that minute.
A father is someone who nags at you every morning because you are very inconsiderate waking up the whole house just because your shoes isn't shined or you cannot find your comb or your necktie.
A father is someone who insisted that you be given extra allowance for bowling sessions because you need it for PE.
A father is someone who beamed at you when you received your diploma.
A father is someone who is never big on words but looks at you with proud eyes because he knew that you'll make it in the world.
A father is someone who makes you soup when you're ill thinking you had fever but inwardly you knew that he knew that you were just hungover for the first time at twenty-three.
A father is someone who walks you in the aisle and discreetly wipes away a tear even when you're already thirty-four.
A father is someone who do not stop providing for his family even if the kids are already grown men and the only girl is now married.
Thank you, Papang for caring for me and working hard so you can provide for us. For sending me to college. I can still vividly remember how I feared it so much when you threatened not to send me to college because I've worn you out -- I don't wash the dishes, do the laundry, clean the house, prepare breakfast, iron my clothes -- everything domestic I ran away from.
I remember that whole summer after high school graduation when I chased all the scholarship grants because I was desperate to go to college. As you have said, I don't know anything but school. I was very afraid that I will spend the rest of my life curled up in my room and you roaring at my ears or at least behind my locked door because am not doing anything.
Yet you surprised me one night after an exhausting interview from one of those foundations I gingerly went to hoping to cinch the grant -- you gave me an envelope that rendered me speechless.
You told me to sleep early so we (mama and I) can trek to the city and get enrolled. I sighed. Smiled a little. And rushed to my room. I wanted to cry. But I was too stubborn to show you that I was affected. That my heart was about to burst of happiness and exhilaration.
I should have known that what you had was an empty threat. Deep down I knew that you will never purposely take away from me my education.
And so I want to take this opportunity to thank you, big time. Thank you, Papang! I want you to know that your barrio girl of a daughter is enjoying the life of her dreams. Thank you for paving the way to make it real. And you, mama, my siblings and my niece and nephews make dreaming and working hard for them so worth it.
One day, I will give you a surprise, too. Just hold on tight. Am getting to it.
to my father and to all the unsung, unpraised and unnoticed good fathers in the world,
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!