The Tale of Two Dads

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I grew up without a biological father.

Our story is like something out of your run-of-the-mill drama on local TV: a young guy trying to provide for his family finds the money he earns isn't enough, decides to go to the states to look for greener pastures. I was 6 when my Dad decided to fly out of the country, so I din't really get the chance to know him. His separation from my Mom when I reached 13 din't help either. To top it all off, his new wife doesn't really like us, so she kinda intercepted all those letters and cards we sent our Dad all those years. Given that, however, he still managed to keep in touch with us somehow. There was always a Christmas card, that annual birthday money. Hell, he even paid for my tuition right up until I graduated from college and even now he still sends me and my sister our monthly allowance.

Recently, he's tried to reach out more by regularly sending me email just to talk and catch up, which I appreciate. It's taking some getting used to though. It's not that easy to put a face to a man you haven't seen in 24 years. Mom says I kinda look like him though, especially when I forget to shave my moustache.

Fortunately, that does not mean I lacked a father-figure while I was growing up.

Tatay, my Mom's father, filled that role. Sure, he wasn't the usual let's-go-fishing-let's-play-basketball-let's-talk-about-pussy type, but he was a dad in all the other ways that mattered.

Tatay. Strict as hell, but he knows how to ham it up for the camera.

He taught me how important it is to keep your word, how to treat people right, and how to stand up for what you believe in. And he wasn't afraid to enforce his teachings either. I can't count how many times I felt the painful kiss of his wooden pamalo whenever I did something wrong. It goes without saying that I wouldn't be who I am today without his words and guidance. 
Dad, you're someone to look up to no matter how tall I've grown.  ~Author Unknown
Happy Father's Day, you guys. Thank you for everything.

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