My father is a number of unpleasant things.  But I have come to realize that lately in his life, the good has outweighed the bad.  And since this month is his birth month, I'd try to be the good daughter and drop my villain cape (he says I am his number one "kontrabida").  Allow me to highlight the best things in him:

My daddy was orphaned by his mother at an early age.  He grew up without a mother figure by his side.  A lot of his childhood years were spent with his sisters and his father, who happened to remarry while he was still on his teenage years.  But despite growing up sans his mother, he has a soft feminine touch in him:

  • HE LOVES TO COOK.  This, he gives credit to his mother.  I would have wanted to meet my Lola but as mentioned, she died young.  Auntie Tita (his eldest sister) happens to be a great cook too.

Daddy makes a copy or a better version of the recipe that he likes from a restaurant.  He likes to invent recipes.  Among the many, his version of Pancit stands out.  At times, when our tummies are already grumbling, he hastily prepares Adobo, which without fail, will always turn out delicious.  He religiously cooks breakfast for us (and dinner at most times when he gets home ahead of us) because everyone else is too lazy to wake up early.  His Inun-unan dish is one to boast too.

I recall as a kid, I used to stand by his side atop a stool to watch him stir, season or fry.  Those isolated moments made my interest in cooking grow.  I am not much of a good cook now but hey, at least I can!

  • DADDY LOVES TO DO GARDENING.  This is one hobby I did not inherit from him.  I think he really loved it when we came to live in our neighborhood 25 years ago.
From our lawn, he grew Orchids.  Those Orchids occupied almost half of the area.  He took pride when visitors came over to watch, appreciate it, and even cut small buds so they can marcot and grow some in their gardens.

And just a few years ago, he began to cultivate vegetables.  From green leafy vegetables like Pechay, Kang Kong, Alugbati and even Romanian Lettuce, to the robust squash, upo and tomatoes, chili, eggplant, bell peppers and Bitter Gourd.  I recall cutting up a bush of Pechay when I cooked dinner (it didn't matter that we had Pechay for the whole week).  It feels good to cook when you can just grab your ingredients from your backyard.

  • FICKLE-MINDED.  He is the type who asks us the simplest of things, like where to eat after attending mass, where to go unwind on a Sunday, what food to cook.  And ALWAYS, always, we end up going to the place that he wants, the type of food that he wants to eat on that day, and so on...

He tried too many different things too.  Up to the extent of cashing out on hobbies.  Hobbies on which his interests just waned:

MOTORCYCLING - his friends used to go on a riding spree in the north / south with their motorcycles, hooking up on women, feeling like bachelors;

GOLF - he bought a second-hand golf set which cost him way too much.  That got me really disappointed because that time, I was asking him for dental braces.  He never really got hooked up with the sport, it never even lasted for a year (maybe because the golf clubs are way longer than his height);

PHOTOGRAPHY - he once had a Nikon Camera.  That era when you still need to insert films and have these developed, costing you too much money.  There was a time recently that he was fuming mad at me because he wanted to borrow my DSLR while he went to Bohol.  I never handed him the thing because he once destroyed my mother's  digital camera.  He never asked me ever since;

BADMINTON - he bought two expensive rackets for him and my mother.  Then again, the interest did not last for a year and he did not bother to give a second look on those rackets now;

BOWLING - this sport, he really got hooked on.  He played it for more than a year.  Bought the balls, the shoes and the bags.  Eventually, some things made him more interested.  But he does go bowling every now and then, when his peers invite him for a game or two;

Daddy also unconsciously taught me some valuable things in life.  These are the ones that he has shown by example:

TO TAKE TIME DOING THE THINGS YOU LOVE THE MOST.   You are responsible for your happiness.  And it is by doing what you love the most that you can find your happiness in life.  He did bend some rules just to get to that point and hurt people in the process, but I just console myself with this mantra:  A wise man learns from the mistakes of others, a fool by his own.
And so I try to learn from his example despite the hurt and the disappointments in his trying to search for his happiness.

THE NAME YOU ESTABLISH FOR YOURSELF.  Daddy is a principled man.  He was always the smooth talker too.  In the business industry, he established his name.  I often hear people say "Si Pusta", "anak ni Pusta", "Si MB Pusta", "taga MB Pusta" and so on...  He took pride in his name although at times I found it annoying that he gets elated about it.

THE VALUE OF MONEY.  I grew up always hearing my father that he has no money.  I often see him treating his friends, but when it came to splurging money for his family, he was never the generous one.  And because I grew up with having just enough to none,I learned to be frugal.  I would want to impart to the people that you invest on your family (money and time), because when you grow old, you would need them.  Now he needs money and he keeps on pestering me.  And I only can extend what is needed, because I grew up with having only enough.

So this sums up almost everything about Daddy, my way of honoring him.


This entry was supposed to be posted October of 2014 but I was not able to put the finishing touches so I was able to accomplish it just now, while I was listening to the song "Butterfly Kisses".  I decided not to wait for October 2015.


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