Yung pag umuwi ka na umiiyak, tatanungin nya sayo kung sino nagpaiyak sayo at sasabihan na sapakin mo the next day. He’s the kind of Dad na alam mong protektado ka, at walang pwedeng manakit sayo when he’s around. His word was the “law”, hindi ka pwedeng mag dahilan or umapila, it’s always either yes or no, bawal ang maybe. Kakaiba yung pag disiplina nya, maraming palo ng sinturon sa pwet ang inabot namin, pero bawat latay, siguradong may lesson at pangaral pagtapos.
Si Dadi, extreme sa tapang, extreme rin sa lambing. He never forgets any special occasion, kapag birthdays laging may handa at gift kami. Kahit wala si Mommy sa tabi namin, every year, may handa kami sa birthday ni Mommy. I remember that we used to go to Manila pag Christmas break, sakay kami sa owner jeep naming, going to SM mall, kaming apat na magkakapatid, tag 200 pesos ang Christmas gift from dadi, and we could spend it for anything we want. Sobrang saya na kami nun.
Ang tatay ko, sha naglalaba ng damit namin, nagluluto ng food, naghahatid at sundo sa school, pati sa pag attend ng mass, ginigising pa kami para hindi ma-late. Pati procession, nakabantay, ayaw may makalusot na manliligaw.
He taught us how to be strong and independent. Wag kang aasa kahit kanino. Pag kaya mong gawin, do it yourself and do your best all the time. Sobrang supportive. He’s our number 1 fan sa lahat ng bagay, but he never flatters anyone of us. Hindi sha vocal, pero alam mo na proud sha sa accomplishment mo. Yung smile nya at pagyakap tuwing may achievement kami, best feeling ever.
Parati nyang pangaral sa min tungkol sa pag aaral ng mabuti at pagpapahalaga sa pamilya. Tanging edukasyon lang daw ang maipapamana nila ni Mommy sa aming magkakapatid. He stressed that family stays and sticks together through anything and everything. Pag pamilya mo, dapat kampihan, suportahan, walang pag aalinlangan, walang tanong. Blood comes first. Family is everything.
I must have been quite a rebel when I pursued studying in Manila. Ayaw ni Daddy malayo ako. But later on, he understood. Love nya ako, there was never a question about it. Tuwing uuwi ako sa Mindoro, he always make it a point to cook my favorite humba. Walang kasing sarap ang humba ni dadi. Pati rin yung ginataang alimango na may pako.
Nung nagpaalam ako na magtratrabaho sa ibang bansa, my Dad cried a river. He was so upset, but then he must have known that I won’t change my mind. Ayaw nya and he was vocal about it pero napilit ko sha, and I promised him that I will be safe, and I will work hard as he has taught us to follow our dreams. When I reached Saudi Arabia for the first time on May 22, 2002, I found a letter from him inside my luggage. My dad is the sweetest.
Sa bawat pagkakataon na kailangan ko ng masasandalan, I always call my Dad. Tungkol sa work, kahit di nya naman kilala yung mga katrabaho ko sa hospital, I talked to him and asked for advice. He told me to be tough, wag magpapaagrabyado at manindigan kung ano ang tama. Don’t trust anyone. My Dad is the best mentor there is.
For 14 years that I have been working here in Riyadh, sa bawat pagtawag ko sa telepono kay Dadi, he never failed to ask me kung kelan ako uuwi. Kahit bakasyon ko sa Pinas, parati nya pa rin tinatanong kung kelan ako mag stay for good, kelan ako uuwi.
In 2013, I received a call that he had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital. Para akong mababaliw. Not of all people! Bakit si Dadi???!! Umuwi kaming lahat to spend time with him. He became very different physically. There infront of me was my favorite military man, my role model, my hero. Sickness has taken the best of his health, and we were witnessed to his mood swings. We were there to assure him that he will be okay and back to normal.
He recovered soon enough, thanks to my Mom and sis My for taking care of him. Not as robust as he was before, it was heartbreaking to see him succumbing to his moods and pains. I would look at him and talk about many things, sometimes he just stares back. I wished then that I could have been a doctor or perhaps an expert to read what was on his mind. Perhaps I could speak for him and tell everyone what he wanted to say. Madalas mainit ang ulo nya, I could understand his frustrations and I wish I could just hug him and tell him that everything is going to be okay. Pero pag okay ang mood nya, he tried to be as jolly as much as he can. Yung mga jokes na corny, nakakatawa kasi yung pagdeliver and you knew he was trying his best. My Dad is amusing.
Yung madaling araw na makatanggap ka ng tawag na wala na sha. Yung maraming kurot sa sarili mo para gumising and realize na panaginip lang.
For the first time, I run out of words to describe how I feel. Sobrang lungkot. Ansakit ah. Yung lungkot na parang hindi mauubos, hindi matatapos. Yung sakit at bigat sa dibdib na kahit araw araw mo maramdaman, parang hindi ka masasanay.
We were not ready and we will never be. Why didn’t you teach us how to let go?
Sabi nila, we have to be thankful dahil kasama mo na si God. Dapat daw maging masaya kami dahil hindi ka na mahihirapan.
If you’re leaving us was for you to get rid of all the pain, I pray for peace and comfort that you truly deserved. I will see you again someday and I will give you a big hug like I always do.
Parati mong tinatanong kung kelan ako uuwi. You are my home Dadi. And my life will never be the same ever again.
I love you so much Dadi, and you will always be in my heart and in my thoughts wherever I may be.
What makes me happy?
People. Everyone around me who believes and inspires me- my family, my husband, my two beautiful girls, my friends and colleagues.
Life itself is a happy experience. The world is a happy place.
I had my own share of struggles, life was not easy for us back then but my Dad taught me how to believe in myself, work hard , be kind and to be strong. He inspired me to go out of my comfort zone. He used to tell me that the possibilities in life are endless and so I believed him.
l Iost him quite a few years ago but he has left me with so much inspiration to follow my dreams - to visit places I have only dreamt of or have seen in the movies when I was little and to do things I thought were only for the privileged few.
Wherever I go, I always remember my Dad, wishing he could see me from afar and somehow be proud of me as I have always been so proud of him. Life is short and I promised him that I would make the most of mine.
Travelling makes me happy and in all other things, I choose happiness. We all should- always..