Tuesday, March 16, 2004PAPA
My dad has the power to make me cry by saying only one word: ANAK.
This afternoon, i got a text from him..."When are we seeing you? We miss you na, Anak." Had I not been around my officemates, my tear ducts would have emptied out again.
I promised him I'll be home this weekend. Ayan, I'm getting teary-eyed again.
I have always feared my dad. Especially when I was a kid. He made me stand in the corner and he whipped me with a leather belt when I was bad. He also left me outside the house in the middle of the night (but he would come back for me after hearing me cry really loudly. maybe he was worried the neighbors would complain) and he would spank me using a slipper if I couldn't get my math solutions right (i hated math. and needless to say, i was really bad at the subject). In fact, I'm pretty sure I came close to hating him a lot of times.
On the other hand, he spoiled us. When I was 7, my sister and I were begging our parents to buy as bikes. My mom wouldn't allow it coz according to her, it would only cause wounds and she didn't want us to have scars on our legs. So one Sunday, Papa told Mama he was going to bring us to cartimar to look at bikes. "We're only going to look, not going to buy", he said. But he did buy us bikes. A few blocks away from our house, he stopped the car, unloaded our brand new bikes and told us to bike around first and come home in a few minutes. My mom was raging mad but helloooo...it wasn't like she still had any choice. Her only condition was that we wear jogging pants whenever we bike. No shorts.
We used to spend Sundays hearing mass at 10am, eating lunch out and going malling...usually in greenhills since my mom used to own a boutique there. My dad would always get a massage while my mom, my sisters and i stroll around. And it never fails that before he leaves for his massage, he would discreetly give me and my sisters 500 pesos each for shopping!
When my sister and I found it to be a necessity to have Evian atomizers even if they were freaking expensive, my dad supported that. My mom would always get mad at us because she found the atomizers pointless and all my dad would say, "wag mo tipirin ang para sa hygiene ng mga anak mo."
When my friends and I started going out on gimmicks (equinox, faces and euphoria were the "in" places back then), my dad would always give me money and he would recommend drinks that I should try. When i get home (he implemented a curfew), he would ask me what i drank and i would say, "Pinacolada, Mai Tai and Baileys!". He'd smile. Mind you, Papa doesn't drink. But he introduced me to Asti Martini and at the age of 11, i was already gulping glasses of Shirley Temples with my cousins.
I had my first boyfriend at 16. My choo-choo sister told him about it. We were driving home from school, just him and me in the car when he said:
Papa: may boyfriend ka na daw ah?
Me: Oo. Masama?
Papa: Hinde. Tinatanong ko lang.
Later on, he would tell me that he would never be those kind of parents who didn't allow their kids to have relationships because he doesn't wants us to keep things from him and he wants us to be comfortable telling him stuff.
My dad is the coolest. When i turned 16, he asked me to invite my close friends for steak dinner at home. He set up the barbecue grill at the garage and laid out marinated steaks and worcestershire sauce! And he bought Bartles and Jaymes for us to drink.
He allowed me to have parties at home and all he would tell me and my friends when he sees us drinking is, "hinay hinay lang sa inom. Kung magsusuka kayo, pumunta kayo sa banyo. Wag magsusuka sa sofa."
The first time he realized I had a hang-over coz I couldn't get out of bed to go to church, he understood despite my mom's nagging.
When my ultra conservative, goody-two-shoes cousin, who was an only child and was super protected by my aunt and uncle got pregnant right after college, my dad told my other uncles and aunts..."tingnan niyo mga anak ko. Hindi ko masyado hinigpitan, bata pa lang yan pinayagan ko na uminom at gumimik..tingnan niyo, hindi nagrebelde saakin."
When the manila office of the dotcom i worked for shut down after only 6 months, and i was left jobless for 4 months, my dad gave me money to sustain myself.
Everything is actually different now. The packaging business my dad owned closed shop a few years back. Business was really bad and he had to let go of the employees who were with him eversince the company began. We had to tighten our belts real tight. These days, he's mostly at home and he has "rakets" left and right. But he's not that financially stable anymore. He and my sister have not been in speaking terms for almost 3 years because they fought about money and i hate that my sister takes it against him that my mom now pays for practically everything.
A year ago, i remember telling my sister..."Anak ka lang. Even if Papa was wrong, you should be the one to apologize. I swear, on your wedding day, if Papa isn't there, i will make darn sure, the rest of us won't go. Magiging Assunta ka."
I only saw my dad cry twice in my life. The first time, when he got mad at me and i answered back. The second and hopefully, the last, was last year when he felt worthless because he couldn't help out anymore. He was worried about not being able to give me anything when I get married. He felt bad that he was never able to buy me a car. He felt bad that he and my sister weren't talking and he was scared that my sisters and I would hate him that way too. I told him that he shouldn't worry about these things. That they're nonsense. I always saw mydad as the strong one, he was "the man", i feared him, but here he was, crying like a child. I hope you guys never have to see your dad cry. It is the most painful thing in the world to see.
I'm not that financially stable yet but I try to repay Papa in little ways, like sending him load, bringing home food and coke light (his water) and giving him gas money.
He may no longer be the "breadwinner" of the family but he keeps us intact. And he loves us. And he makes me and my sisters happy. And he still spoils us in every way he can. And only he, has the power to make me cry by saying one word. No man can ever top that.
Loves the beach, wishes she had more time and money to travel, recently got hooked to climbing mountains, reads anything she can get her hands on, frustrated writer, adores her 3-year-old Lhasa Apso, Tashi, constantly needs caffeine,
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