We celebrated Father’s Day last Sunday at my parents’ house in Dasmarinas, Cavite. It was supposed to be a surprise visit to our beloved Tatay (Filipino word for “father”). My younger sister and brother did not tell him that we (Ed, me, and Justin) would be coming along. We all shared a hearty meal of pancit malabon and puto, lechon manok, vegetable salad, lumpiang shanghai, and laing (gabi/taro leaves cooked in coconut milk).
The main purpose of our visit was to show Tatay how we, his children, appreciate all the things that he has done for us. He may not have been the best provider because of circumstances beyond his control, but he has more than made up for that. During those times that our Nanay (Filipino word for “mother”) would be out of the house trying to earn a living, Tatay was the one who cooked for us, fed us, cleaned the house, washed our clothes, attended our PTA meetings, listened to our stories, shared our laughter, and dried our tears. Although we were dirt poor, we never felt deprived because our Tatay loved us. That unselfish love and devotion saw our family through those trying times.
Happy Father’s Day, Tatay! You’re the world’s greatest dad, and I’m proud to be your daughter.