I used to call him Papa.  That went well, until one day, my younger brother Ryan decided he'd call him Daddy, and that created some sort of confusion.  After a few days of on-off verbal and physical wrestling, I gave in and Daddy became his official title in our household.

I was 8 when his job took him to Cebu, so I rarely saw him even on Christmas and birthdays. It was only during High School when the job moved him back to Manila, but by then things had deteriorated so much between him and mom.  By college, dad had moved out of our household.

But I'm not here to talk about that, really. By convention some would say Dad wasn't a good father, but like I declared during his funeral, Dad was never a bad father.  I'd like to say that despite his absence and whatever happened between him and mom, he had a substantial contribution to how we, his kids have turned out. Dad was a man of few words (with us at least), and he was never the type to sit you down and give you a pep talk. So whatever contribution he made to our rearing and growing up, he did so by influence and by example.

Here are a few things about him which I think influenced me one way or the other:

1.  His passion/interest in Interior Decoration.  Dad was always moving furniture around, decorating and redecorating, wanting to make the house look new and different from how it was.  (There had been many occasions in fact when I came home wondering if I went in the right house!)  He was also house-proud, always straigthening things, cleaning up, tending to his garden..

2.  He cared about his looks.  Dad was naturally handsome, but he became even more so because he made sure his clothes are always clean and neatly pressed (sometimes he did the pressing himself to be sure the pressing are to his standards), his shoes shiny and his hair slick (with Brylcreem! hehe).  Even after a long and tiring day, dad will not come to bed smelling anything less than heavenly.  (Although when Mom was infanticipating with Minx, my youngest bro, she used to shoo him away for smelling just like that -- heavenly. To her he was mabaho!)

3. His mild manners and patience.  Never saw him angry, never heard him shout, and never got a spanking from him; even when I was naughty and teased him about his receding hairline and suggested he take other names:  Andy (for 'andi-dito lang ang buhok,), Pepito ('pipito lang ang buhok') and Shaggy ('sha-gilid lang ang buhok'.) He would simply purse his lips in a smile.

4. He was as comfortable in the kitchen as he was in the Boardroom.  Dad was Vice President for Sales, but even then he spent time in the kitchen when necesssary, cooking his specialty - Adobo. (He had mastered it to an art because that's all he ever cooked. Hehe.)

5. He valued punctuality, organization and self-reliance.

6. He focused on solutions rather than problems, perhaps that is why he never got angry or pissed about most things.  Confronted with an issue, he will find the best way to resolve it, rather than amplify the drama or point fingers.  Sometimes he would take all the blame or take up all the work, if that was the way to solve the problem and move on.

7. He was kind and generous, always willing to give and share, not just his time or ideas, but even what little he had in his pocket.  He is a favorite uncle, a favored neighbor, a good and inspiring boss, and when he died, the entire staff of the company he retired from (which closed down after he retired) came to pay their respects.

Dad had a gift for speech, an ability he built his career in Sales on. He was also exceptionally intelligent -- a consistent Valedictorian from grade school to high school, and a Magna Cum Laude in college.  He would have been a lawyer, had not the need to work and earn a living derailed his plans.  But on top of all that, what I really care about is how loved I felt even when I scarcely saw him and even how little time we spent together.  And for me, that speaks volumes about the kind of father he really was.

On Fathers' Day, Dad, I want to say, thank you for who I am.

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Why AnneThology?

Anthology means a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts. My name is Anne, and this blog contains a collection of my thoughts, musings and writings (poems, short stories), some songs I like, plus a sprinkling of excerpts I find worth sharing --hence, AnneThology.

Did you know?

Anthology derives from the Greek word ἀνθολογία (anthologia; literally “flower-gathering”) for garland — or bouquet of flowers — which was the title of the earliest surviving anthology, assembled by Meleager of Gadara.

Look, what I have -- these are all for you.