Today is my Daddy’s 55th birthday.
Growing up, I always thought that I was my daddy’s favorite, and my big brother was mom’s. Of course that couldn’t be true, I really was just daddy’s little girl. I grew up with my dad telling me stories of his own childhood – he would do so at bedtime, or sometimes at the dinner table with everyone gathered ’round. Later, when I was a little older, he would tell us stories of his time in the revolutionary movement. For those who don’t know yet, yes, my dad was in the militant movement in the Martial Law years. Both he and my mom were. I have always been proud of that fact – proud that both my parents were former political detainees.
In recent years, celebrating my dad’s birthday meant buying KFC, or having lunch/dinner out, and then ice cream and cake for the kids. Two years ago, Zune came home on dad’s birthday. So there was a celebratory mood all around because the kids were also in the house not just to welcome our little tiger (uh pup), but also to have cake and ice cream. Last year was the same, except there was lunch at Steak Town too. Alfred and I didn’t make lunch though. He had work, and I, well, had an accident at work.
Dad was a boy scout and he really encouraged us to sign up when we were kids. His scout master in Torres High School was the legendary Sir Rudy. He was also the scout master at Trinity College during our time! I was mighty proud when during one of our recognition days for scouting one year, Sir Rudy acknowledged my dad. He remembered him! Because dad worked at our church as the national development officer for over a decade, he worked within five minutes of our home. That meant he was home everyday for lunch, and that he was the logical choice to attend PTA, or school programs, and pick me up after school too. I’d frequently drop by his office for a variety of reasons. I could do that because their office was at the center of the community – right by the basketball court.
I was already alive when my dad went back to school to get a degree. But what I remember is already the time he took a Master’s Degree in Development Management at the Asian Institute of Management. He managed to get himself a scholarship and a year off work to concentrate on studies. No, he wasn’t out of work, he was still working for the church but he didn’t have to be there everyday. I was in high school at this time. He read tons of papers and wrote tons of them too in that year. We were all so proud of him when he graduated with distinction. That really opened more doors for him.
Since working at the church, he has since worked in the fair trade industry, heading an NGO called APFTI; he worked for a few months in Mindanao, with his base in Cotabato City, with a UN project (UNIDO); he then moved on to work with UPLIFT; and now he works with the Manila (and Davao) office of the Catholic Relief Services. He’s had consultancy jobs here and there too over the years.
He travelled frequently when I was a kid, so did my mom. I was used to either one or both of them being away. But I specifically remember him having to go abroad for a meeting/conference but he didn’t leave just before my birthday even when it seemed that he had to. He made sure that his flight was either on the night of, or the day after, my birthday. I felt so special 🙂
Anyway, back to his birthday…
We had lunch at Tempura (something) over at the corner of Roces Avenue and Tomas Morato. We were complete: mom, dad, brother bear and his girlfriend Diane, me and Alfred. It was a filling lunch and good company. Dad wanted pictures taken, but for some reason, we didn’t get a group picture. I snapped a few photos of the food though. He’s out buying ice cream for the kids as I type.
We didn’t get him anything but now I’m thinking that I should just buy him the sleeve for his laptop computer. We saw one at Fully Booked that would be perfect for his notebook. He already bought a knapsack for it but found it too big and bulky. He found this nice sling that he prefers to use but it isn’t a proper laptop bag and has no cushion. A sleeve would be just the thing it needs. Yeah, maybe I’d get him that.
Oh well, I really just wanted to say… Happy birthday, Daddy! I wouldn’t have picked a different father if I was given the chance to. Thank you (to both you and mama) for raising us the way you did, and for providing for all of our needs, and most of our wants. I don’t say this out loud anymore, but I do love you 🙂
Esban took this picture in the first week of the year, he and dad brought out almost all of dad’s toy car collection and E snapped away. I am writing this birthday post for my dad though he probably would never read it. My blog is public and I make no effort to hide my identity, but I don’t exactly advertise to my family and friends. I’m not so sure why…