Today is my dad's 59th birthday!
At his age, he can still win a tennis match with a twenty-something. He can carry a sack of rice. He can dig a hole 6-feet deep or even deeper. My dad is indeed a strong man, physically, mentally, spiritually. He may not be computer literate, nor widely read like most dads, or someone who wears a coat and tie, looking suave and debonair. He doesn't eat in fancy restaurants, he doesn't know a thing about wine or fine dining. He doesn't care about the newest phone, he can't even use a digital camera, and he doesn't have any idea what an iPod is. He doesn't know a thing about Barack Obama or the latest news on JokJok. He can't speak straight and impeccable English and his Tagalog sounds so ridiculous. Make him speak in front of people and he'll turn red and his hands will shake.
But he can sing Beatles songs with me. We can spend hours in front the video karaoke together, whether at home or in a secluded beach. He can get drunk over brandy just so he can gather enough guts to interrogate a male friend I brought home (waaah! wrongly and most embarassingly). But he knows when to stop asking his questions. He trusts who I trust and appreciates what I appreciate. He understands how I feel even if I never have to say anything. He knows how to make me change my mind, and he never asks why I always do. He knows the Holy Bible by heart and his faith in God is unbelievable. He lets me alone when I want to be alone. He knows I talk to myself and to invisible creatures but he never stopped me. He lets me travel the country on my own and he promised he will climb Mt. Apo with me again someday, even if he will be much older then. And he will.
One of my fondest memories: singing old songs with Papa.
I bless the day I found you...
His hands are gnarled. His skin is coarse and burnt like that of an ordinary farmer. He adores the land. He respects his people. He enjoys the simplest things and does not try anything expensive because he knows he will never enjoy the cheap just as much again. He never stops dreaming. He never stops working. But he dreams and works not for himself, not even for me or his family. He's working to make other people's lives better.
He said he has already done everything he had planned for himself way ahead of schedule. So he is grateful for what has been and what will be. And this is payback time.
My father is a great man. And I am proud to be his little girl. The man I love would have to look him in the eye and win him over. (haha, kaya pala old maid...)
To the one man I measure everyone else against, happy birthday!=)