🙂 ♥ April 10,2011…you’re turning 88 , I have been thinking of what to write, what wishes I have not uttered for the past 52 years. What nice words I haven’t spoken. What deeds I haven’t done to express my gratitude or to undo any mistakes I have made or misfortune I may have caused.
It’s been 24 years since I left Philippines,though I come home once a year , I felt it is not enough, I am always longing for the day that I could be with you, that I can take care of you, share with you my stories, my hardship and triumph.
I wonder if you still remember when I was in grade one, one sunny afternoon, when all my classmates were heading to the river to swim with the carabao (water Buffalo) I braved the heat as well and joined the fun, removing all clothes and jump, splashing, swimming, shouting with joy! How can I not forget your big eyes and red face, your big steps rushing toward me, while I was in a hurry to put on my clothes, you’re also in a hurry to pull your belt out and pakkkk! yay! you hit me hard, I can’t even cry because I know its my fault. My teachers were scolded too, for letting me out without your permission, in returned they punished me too. I was asked to stand up for an hour in front of the class with my arms spread out. 🙁
Every Christmas was full of surprises, you’re so thin and yet you became the Santa for every hospital staff’s children, every child was excited to get a gift, until one day my big brother (and me) spoiled the fun, we found the gifts you were hiding and opened the surprise, and so the news spreads… you.. as Santa Claus! 🙂
We live in remote area, where electricity is history!…brown out most of the time, and yet you make each simple day a memorable one . I enjoyed going to the farm, eating lunch under the tree, running around the muddy area, planting rice, peanuts and corn.
Every summer, I look forward to spend the holiday in the city, enjoy Chinese cuisine, ice cream and movies. I remember the old train, the smell of fuel, the noise , we have tried all kinds of transportation, sea, land and air. I like to eat balut (boiled egg with fertilized chicken embryo)peanuts, pansit (noodles) and siopao while on the road.
I love your instinct, you were the first one to have a yellow jeep and four tricycle. Your everyday outfit is awesome; my favorite is…white shoes, white pants and yellow long sleeve shirt. If hair gel was already in fashion, I bet you will be the first one to use it.For me, you’re the most handsome father in the whole world, indeed mama is so lucky!
I remember the days when all my brothers are in their teens or early college years, you stand firmed on your rules, no smoking, no drinking, no night outs, stay out of trouble! Anyone who defies suffered the consequence and yet you were the first one to protect them when they were in trouble. “All for one and one for all”. I remember the bolo (big knife) the gun and bullets; Ferocious as a Lion when the cubs are in danger.
I love what you do, your passion in making people smile, I watched how you curve those teeth, how you pulled tooth without an “ouch” no matter how deep. Everything was an easy case for you and one day I promised myself I will be like you if not even better than you in the field of Dentistry.
But no, you discourage me, you believe that Nursing is a better choice, a ticket to a better life outside the country.I obeyed your command, I took nursing and passed the board in speed.( I was only 20 yrs.old).
Dentistry is my world, I know its my passion, its my dream and no amount of discouragement will ever prevent me in pursuing my dream. So off I went to chase it, defiant as I am, I took Dentistry. I am sure, you remember my long letter to you that I wanted to chase my dream and I will come back … successful in my chosen field.
But once again, I failed, a few months away from my graduation, I got married. In spite of my mistakes,of broken promises, you did not turn your back, instead you help me get through with it, to be firmed in time of struggle and hardship. All those years I did not hear any bad words from you, you kept me going , I knew if you could only say the word ” i told you so” i could have heard it a million times.You have given me the greatest gift i would always remember …you believe in me.
You are a man of few words, a strict disciplinarian, a good provider,a pillar of strength, the best of all the best as father, I salute you Dr. E. Mariano.
Words are not enough,but allow me to say this again and again I LOVE YOU SO MUCH PAPA, I thank God for everything specially for giving you and mama a good health always.