How often do I think of you Dad? I have stopped counting the days. From the time you have left until this day, I remember your stories, your music and laughter just like yesterday. The way on how you took care of us including Mom when you decided to be literally, the man of the house, from cooking our meals, taking care of the laundry, doing house repairs to budgeting Mom's small pay from teaching then. Often times we were amazed on how good you multitasked and how you made things easier for us.
You encouraged us to study, to learn and do well in school simply because you believed that poverty will never be a deterrent in achieving one's dream.You have proven that yourself when you finished your college education, doing odd jobs to the point of being a house help and a "kargador " in the markets. Being the musically gifted artist you were able to get a scholarship for being the band leader of Far Eastern University and the rest was history.
Speaking of history a lot of people, Filipinos even are unaware until now that you were one of the first artists to act live on the musical stage called Zarzuela and in the cast included two of the icons of the Philippine movie industry, the famous dela Rosa brothers-Rogelio and Jaime. What more a lot of people perhaps would not believe that you shared the stage with the former President Diosdado Macapagal better known as "The Poor Boy from Lubao." Who would ever thought Dad that this historical fact was left unrecognized until now? I know that it did not matter to you even then but to me, your family especially your grandkids, it does. It does matter and I know one day history will recognize your contributions to the world.
There has never been a day that I had not miss you. At this age I have to admit that there were instances when I see an old Dad carrying his child, at the mall or on my way home I remember you. Perhaps you will laugh at that observance as you were already on your forty's when you had me, your first princess but that was not enough reason to let me have my way all the time. You made sure I grew up disciplined despite my stubbornness. There maybe rules that I chose not to follow but you made it a point to meet me halfway. What more you encouraged me to be independent, to see and experience the real world knowing all too well you will not be there for long.
Life had been hard when you crossed over but now I know why. Though getting used to your absence was one of the hardest things that I have learned, knowing that your love and care had stayed through these years was more than enough for me to move on. Besides I can see and feel you everyday still, from my kids, from the stories I write and read, the movies I watch, songs that I hear and sing, even from the people I meet everyday. It only shows you never really left and as long as I can feel that loving presence it will be enough for me. You just made sure of that.
Lastly, thank you for simply being my Dad.