For Papa

cheevy5

This is for you, Papa, for when you chose Mama to spend the rest of your life with, no matter how early or how sudden it was for both of you.

This is for you, Papa, for when you chose to leave the warmth and comfort of your home and work abroad, in order to provide for our family.

This is for you, Papa, for when you braved the loneliness in foreign lands yet you worked so hard you impressed so many people.

This is for you, Papa, for when you saw me for the first time—your first and unexpected grandchild—and you called me your angel.

This is for you, Papa, for when you loved and accepted my mother anyway, and did your best so that she can become a doctor despite everything. You were the one who taught her how to never quit.

This is for you, Papa, for all the years you’ve stayed away from home, just so my uncles can finish college, too.

This is for you, Papa, for being our breadwinner, and for providing for our needs.

This is for you, Papa, for when you came home once every year—always something to look forward to—and finally made our family complete again.

This is for you, Papa, for all those cheekbone smiles in our family pictures, with my mom looking so much like you.

This is for you, Papa, for loving all of us—especially Mama.

This is for you, Papa, for teaching me a few basics on swimming, and for rescuing Kris that one time he got to the deeper end of the pool when all I could manage to do was shout for help.

This is for you, Papa, for all your anecdotes and your humor. You always make people smile, even strangers.

This is for you, Papa, for when you finally came home to us for good. As a homecoming gift, you gave me my first laptop, which helped me throughout countless requirements in college.

This is for you, Papa, for teaching me not to settle for good: only ever settle for the best.

This is for you, Papa, for fixing our home in Daet and turning it into something wonderful, crafted with your love.

This is for you, Papa, for when I was going through a very difficult time in Dentistry, and you told me to leave if it wasn’t doing me good anymore. You told you would support me no matter what I choose to become. You didn’t tell me not to quit, because you understood that I needed to get out of it all. And I loved you so much more for it.

This is for you, Papa, for when you told my little siblings you’d build a swimming pool for them. You made them very happy.

This is for you, Papa, for showing us what it’s like to never give up on learning.

This is for you, Papa, for telling Yaya he’s a good man, because he is.

This is for you, Papa, for enjoying halo-halo and bonding with Diya and Mama.

This is for you, Papa, for turning off the TV when Mama’s asleep, only for her to wake up and ask you why you did so when she was watching.

This is for you, Papa, for giving me my helicopter fund. To avoid the metropolitan traffic, you’d always tell me, “Here, go buy a helicopter.” Once, you stuck a hundred-peso bill on my door. I put the label “helicopter fund” on my planner, and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

This is for you, Papa, for shaking Roi’s hand the first time you met him, and for being very kind to him. It meant a lot to me.

This is for you, Papa, for when you carried Georgie in your arms and sat him on your lap, even though it must have been physically taxing for you to do so.

This is for you, Papa, for always thanking and appreciating my father.

This is for you, Papa, for gathering your strength to come over when Diya went to ask for Tita Beth’s hand in marriage.

This is for you, Papa, for your concern for the well-being of Yaya, Tita Cathy, and Hailee all the way to California.

This is for you, Papa, for promising to help fund my tuition fees in medical school with your pension.

This is for you, Papa, because for the longest time, you’ve been thinking about everyone but yourself. You are the strongest, most practical, most sharp-witted person I know. We appreciate everything you’ve ever done for our family. Without you, we’d be nowhere. You are the iron that strengthens our home; you are our foundation.

Thank you for you, Papa. We love you very much. So much.

 

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