April 1, 2020

Goodbye Papa

Dear Papa,

It's been a month since you left us but I know that you are happy where ever you are now. Thank you for everything.

I remember when I was a kid, I was afraid when you get mad. Hindi ka madalas magalit pero kapag nagnyari yun talagang lagot na kami.

Naalala mo nung nagwala ako dahil nabawasan ung Coke500 na binili mo sa akin? Dinala mo ako sa tindahan at binilan ng 3 bote pa at pilit na pinapaubos sa akin. Even Mama was scared because you threat her not to help me in drinking those. But you were surprised when you arrived at home from work, I asked tinapay na putok to pair with the softdrinks.

I thought that punishment will be mine but here are your apos, having their own big bottles of softdrinks too. Hahaha.

There are events during my growing up years that you are not beside me. During my circumcision, you are not the one who accompanied me in the health center but Mama. However, when I was at home, you are the one who is teaching how to properly clean down there to avoid infection and will heal faster. The old ways nga lang na nilalanggas ng dahoon ng bayabas but it works.

When I started learning to drive a bicycle, I did it by myself. I know you just wanted me to have the courage in learning and not afraid of falling and have bruises during the learning period

You taught me how to drive pero palagi mo akoing pinanapagalitan kapag namamatay ang makina. But this gives me more eagerness to learn. Kasi kapag naapainom ka at kasama ako at least I am there to drive you home.

Naalala mo noong sinama mo ako sa bukid where you were assigned to work? You taught me how to catch fish using DIY fishing rod in a nearby river. You just showed me how to get a good catch and left me there for 4 hours kasi kailangan mong tapusin mag-araro sa bukid. You were surprised when you got back because the fish net was almost filled with fishes. You are proud telling our neighbors that I was the one who caught all of the fishes.

You also taught me how to catch fishes in the ricefield while following the tractor that you are driving. Pati palaka na iuuwe natin tapos ako maglilinis at magluluto

We didn’t have any argument, na kahit galit ako sayo hindi ko magawang sagutin o ipakita sayo kasi I respect you as my father.

I remember the time I was reviewing for the finals, you are so drunk and noisy which makes me shout to let you stop. It was only recently I realized the pain you felt that time. Masakit palang malaman na ang tatay mo ay may taning na ang buhay and you cannot do anything about it. Yan din ang naramdaman ko but I need to be strong and show you na lumalaban ako.

When I graduated, I was the only one from hundreds of graduates to have a picture with a parent upon exiting the stage which is supposed to be a solo picture. Pababa na ako nung bigla kang tumabi sa akin. Wala ng nagawa ung photographer. I can see in your smile how happy you are.

Same with Det, I saw you crying when she arrived at home wearing her toga.

When I passed the board, you imemdiately went to the newspaper stand and bought one to see my name in the list of new Licensed Chemist. Nakailang balik ka nga daw kasi pinapamigay mo sa iba ung dyaryo showing my name in the list.

After our oath-taking, I showed you our photo in Manila Hotel and you told me na hindi ka makakapasok ng isang five-star hotel because of me.

Also, when Det passed the LET, you cried and told Mama na masaya ka kasi lahat ng anak mo e professional na. These proves how proud Papa you are.

Naalala mo Pa, nung  may di inaasahang nangyare kay Det? That was the time I felt a deep hug from you asking sorry to me and Mommy for what happened and I felt how hurt you are but accepted the situation. Naalala ko pa nga nung sinadag nila before her wedding, I decided not to attend but you told me “Wag mo naman ganyanin kapatid mo.”

To your surprise, I was there. But what surprised me, is when the announcer speaks: “Yung susunod na kanta ay para sa magkapatid.” Siguradong ako na yun kasi wala naman kapatid si Ron. You requested the song “The Power Of Love”. We end all crying in the middle while everyone in the crowd is crying too.

During our wedding naman, you are truly proud father for us. Natutuwa ka kasi Mommy Maye and I did all the plans as well as the expenses except of course sa pangako mo na ikaw sasagot sa handa. I saw how you supported us. Naalala ko ung barong na binili naming sayo, favorite mong sinusuot yun everytime na mag-aanak ka ng kasal.

When we transferred to our home here in Bulacan and we need some house work, ikaw ang laging anyan para tumulong. You filed leave from work for almost a month just to be here.

When Matthew came, hindi lang kami ni Mommy ang excited but you too. Gustong-gusto mong pumunta dito sa Bulacan to see your first grandson. But when you arrived, you are afraid to hold and carry him kasi baka mahigpitan mo hawak mo. During your week-long stay, you are the one making him out for the morning sunlight.

Lagi kang ready to go in our home when had no househelp. Spoiled na spoiled sa’yo si Matthew. You gave everything he asked, from 20 pesos to buy Cornetto, toys, clothes, accessories and many more. You feel guilty whenever you cannot give it to him.

You are happy and excited whenever we go home in Nueva Ecija. Pagbaba pa lang ng sasakyan, si Matthew na kaagad ang sasalubungin nyo ni Mama. Tapos iiwan na kami ni Mommy. Hahaha

Madami ang nagtataka kung maglolo nga daw ba talaga kayo kasi kulay palang ang layo na. Hahaha.

Every year, you are there to witness Matthew receive his medal during their school recognition. I am sure Pa, he will miss your presence in his next recognition.

You will be missed by your two apos especially the Lolo’s Boy Matthew. They team up to play and bully you. But I can see how happy you with the two.

One night, we had a boodle fight, you cried again because our family is complete. Your two apos started to sing “Say Something” while you are crying. Bully talaga.

Here is your apo singing the same song on your wake.

You are always happy seeing our family gather at home. Kahit simple handaan or kainan, may birthday man o wala, I can see in your eyes how grateful you are having a complete family.

This photo is taken during your 60th birthday. Tuwang tuwa ka sa surprise cake ni Matthew and Gwen.

Last year, you started to feel pain near on the left side of yo. Sabi mo masakit pero ayaw mo naman magpacheck-upI know you are scared to know what causes the pain that is why you keep on refusing whenever we say na magpacheck-up ka.

Ayaw mong ipakita na nasasaktan ka, you even asked us na pumunta tayong Monasterio de Tarlac to show us how strong you are.

Every year you and Mama went here in Bulacan to celebrate New Year. This year only the three of us, Mommy, Matt, and I spend the first day of 2020. Hindi na kayo nagpunta kasi hindi mo na kaya ang pagod sa byahe.

Last January, when we went home, I was wondering why you kept on telling stories about your childhood, about your experience and how difficult your life was. Biniro pa nga kita na di bale ngayon, iba na buhay mo.

Then I realized, na kaya pala parang one-day millionaire ka kapag nakakakuha ka ng bonuses or loans mo kasi you don’t want us to experience what you had. Gusto mong ibigay sa amin yung mga hindi mo na-experience.

On first week of February, Det asked me to go home to see you kasi andami daw nagbago sayo. There are word that you cannot mention already and keep on saying (in Ilocano), “Anya met nga panunot atuyin? Madik maibaga ti kayat ko nga ibaga?" (Ano ba naman itong isip na to, bakit hindi ko na masabi ung mga gusto kong sabihin?”)

Since birthday ni Det, she treated us for dinner. While waiting for the food to be served, you called me and Det. You asked us to fix all the documents needed for your retirement.

Before we depart for Bulacan, I approached you habang nasa duyan ka and hold your hands. I told you to get well para makalibot at magbakasyon ka sa amin sa Bulacan. You replied, “Hindi na. Hihintayin ko na lang dito sa bahay.” I don’t know what you mean for that.

I know you feel pain but you want to show us how strong you are. You don’t want Mama to worry on your condition. My tears started to come out of my eyes so I turn my back and leave. I don’t want you to see me crying but you told Det that you saw me and you don’t know why I shed tears.

Two weeks later, we went back home and I was surprised you are lying in bed and your body dropped too much. You cannot speak and wasn’t able to eat well. The moment I saw you, I wanted to cry but I keep holding myself.

When you saw Matthew smiling at you, you smiled back with small tears coming out from your eyes. Natuwa ako kasi kilala mo pa sya. Nakikipag-appear ka pa nga.

We stayed for two days at home and during that time, I wanted to spent that day with you. I even slept beside you holding your hands and removing your blackheads just what I was doing when I was a kid.

When we are preparing to go back home, I saw you looking at us and when I approached you and hold your hand, you lift it. You are telling something to me. I don’t know what it is. Are you saying that you are proud of us, or you wanted to say na wag papabayaan si Mama, or you are telling me that you are ready to go and have rest? I really don’t know.

You don’t want to sleep until I told you that I will be back in a week, you simply closed your eyes and sleep. Yun na pala ang huling beses na mkikita kita.

Yes I went back after a week pero wala ka na. “Pa, andaya mo! Hindi mo ako inantay.”, yan na lang ang nasabi ko. But knowing you na mainipin kang tao, kapag sinabi mong aalis na dapat aalis na. You don’t want to wait.

I know that you are happy where ever you are now and you will continue guide us. Just like what I  always say, you may not be the perfect father but for us you are the best.
We love you Papa. We will truly miss you.


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