Author: Jayge Salvan (Online Moderator)
My siblings and I grew up in our mom’s province in Bicol without our dad beside us.
My mom told us that we left him here in Baguio because he had another family. After their separation, Mom patiently took care of us on her own and did her best to sustain us.
She didn’t tell any stories about her and dad. I didn’t ask either.
Believe it or not, I graduated pre-school having no clear physical description of who my dad is. I finished elementary without any hint of knowledge about his attitude, likes and dislikes. I even graduated high school and still, I had no idea about him or his hobbies and sports.
Basically, I knew nothing concrete about him. What I have with me is just a picture of him with us when I was a kid. What I only knew was that he has beard and mustache and that he has a new family to spend quality time with. I was too innocent then that I don’t remember if I said goodbye to him.
As I grew up, I always asked myself, WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO HAVE A FATHER? I envied my half-siblings.
Life With a Dad
After graduating high school in Bicol, my mom announced to us that my dad–”papa” as we also call him–will bring me here to Baguio…not for a “bakasyon engrande” but to pursue my college.
Definitely, I felt the happiness and excitement, because I knew that my hanging questions would soon be answered.
Days, weeks, months, and years passed by. And finally, I have a clearer description of who
he is: My dad is short but intelligent, he has wavy hair (like me!), he has bulgy stomach and has beard/mustache, he even have hazel-green eyes. He is Santa Clause for us.
I also learned that he is a former college instructor, proprietor, inventor, author, and an Architect by profession.
He can balance work, family, and friends. He plays bowling, drinks alcoholic beverages, and smokes cigarette since his college years. He loves to read newspapers, answer crossword puzzles, doodle, and sing at videoke. He is strict but a gentle man who loves to tell jokes and makes people happy. The list can go on but that’s basically it…I finally got the answers to my questions on his interests and what he is like as a father and a friend.
Overall, he taught me how to be punctual, social, creative, responsible, and professional.
I spent my time with Dad for about 18 years only. But it’s worth it. I learned so much about life like handling a family of my own.
We didn’t expect sad situations to happen. He was diagnosed with cancer. During his last days in the ICU, I was able to tell him how grateful I am to know him and be with him. Although he cannot speak, I know he wanted to say “goodbye and I love you” to all of us.
He died at the age of 70. I will truly miss my dad…”we” will truly miss him.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, PAPA.