Feb-ulous Challenge Day 8

I love… my Dad.

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No, it’s not Father’s Day yet but I just wanted to write about one non-fictional person that I love. For those who know me, you’ve probably heard tons of stories – some scary but mostly funny – about how my father is in real life.

He served in the Philippine Air Force for 28 years and is now retired doing crossword puzzles and word hunts every morning with his usual morning tea or coffee. He’d water his plants. Chat with the neighbors. Cook for us. Feed the dogs. Doze off in front of the TV and wake up as soon as you turn it off. But he wasn’t always this laid back you know. Did I mention, he was in the Air Force before?

When I was younger, my brother and I was scared shitless of our Dad. He didn’t beat us up or anything but he was strict. You can’t leave the dining table if your plate is not empty. A lot of my cousins didn’t want to eat with us when he’s around. We’d all cry over vegetables waiting on our plate to be eaten. We all pray that it disappears in thin air or else we’ll have to eat them whether we liked it or not. We had curfew and it was hard to ask permission to go out, exhibit A:

The High School Birthday Party Circa 2003

Me: Pa, pwede ako pumunta sa bahay ng classmate ko? (Dad, can I go to my classmate’s house?)

Dad: Bakit? (Why?)

Me: Birthday niya kasi, may party. (It’s her birthday, she has a party.)

Dad: Hindi pwede. (No.)

Me: Pero… (But…)

Dad: Bakit? Di ba yun matutuloy pag wala ka dun? (Why? Will the party get postponed if you’re not there?)

That friend with an early curfew. That was me in high school. Luckily, my Dad softened over the years. My friends actually love him too. I remember he gave my college friends some of his old soldier berets and other military memorabilia he had at home. He would also check on us during our bonding sessions at home and tell everybody some of his great stories. I guess, now he’s more relaxed. He’s not as serious as he used to be. We can now exchange punch lines and actually talk about random things. He’s actually my favorite status topic in Facebook. Whenever I post something about him or about my mom, the likes and comments are through the roof.

Typical conversation with my Dad:

While reading his morning paper…

Dad: What’s Instagram?

Me: Huh?

Dad: (Irritated) In-sta-gram! Is that a building?

He’s unintentionally funny, most of the time.

I used to wish that he wasn’t the way he is. During my younger years, I’d be so angst-y about how my dad sucked for imposing all his rules. I used to think, why can’t my Dad be as cool as other kids’ dads. But now I realized, him being the pain in my teenage ass was probably one of the best parenting strategies he did. Of course, I hated him for forcing me to eat veggies or not letting me to stay out late or even making me do all those chores, but now that I’m older I understand everything. It was all for my benefit. I mean I wouldn’t be this awesome person who I am today if it weren’t for him and my mom. I’m truly blessed. Not only that, he’s providing me awesome material when I decide to be a stand-up comic. :))

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