Happy Father’s Day!
So, you think I’m going crazy or somewhat confused with the calendar for writing about Father’s Day in November. Well, I am completely aware that Father’s Day is celebrated in June. I am writing this very special entry with so much excitement as I am celebrating one of the most important days of my life. Today is my father’s special day. Today is Tatay’s birthday. Ooops, my dad’s name is Franco Argamaso and not Andres Bonifacio! Ka-bertday lang po ni Tatay si Ka Andie! 🙂
Short warning: I might get emotional… this is one of the topics that I try not to talk about as it always bring me tears. I will try though if I could inject some fun in this entry. 🙂
Most of you might have noticed that I rarely talk about my father. My Mom has been mentioned a million times already in most of my blogs while my Dad was mentioned only once. The question “Where is your dad?” only arises during the early stages of friendship, initial conversations or in the course of job interviews. And once I briefly answered that question, I would never hear anyone ask about my Dad anymore. I completely understand though since it’s hard to talk about someone who’s been gone for almost 2 decades now.
Just a brief backgrounder, Tatay, as I fondly call my father, died in 1990… oh well, he was killed in the morning of December 26, 1990. I can almost see your faces in total shock wanting to know why and how Tatay was murdered. Well, that’s a long story and I don’t want to write down the details of that unpleasant incident. Besides, we’ve already claimed justice to the case. (Tama ba ang pagkaka-English ko dito? Hehehe!)
I am a self-proclaimed “Daddy’s Girl”. Mommy used to tell me that Tatay seriously engaged himself in a novena devotion to St. Jude when I was still in her womb. Tatay ardently prayed for a baby girl… well, little did he know that his baby girl grew up to be a macho girl! Hahaha!
Tatay and I were extremely close. We shared lots of fun moments together. We were the best of friends before I became real close to my Mom (I think I mentioned this in one of my blogs already). Tatay was my official buddy, my fulltime barkada. We liked hanging out together… from having a wholeday Ramon-Revilla-or-FPJ TV marathon to doing our regular going-to-relatives-in-Marikina Sundays. I still remember the days where I would always trick Tatay and pretend to be sleeping on our way home from Marikina. He would then carry my as we traced the Coca-cola Plant passage in Otis… pero alam naman pala ni Tatay na nagtutulug-tulugan lang ako! Hehehe! Those were my fondest moments with Tatay.
When I was 9, Tatay got a bit worried of the new state that I was about to enter. Together with Mommy, they talked to me about the yucky love stuff. They both encouraged me to be candid about any feelings or emotions I might have for the opposite sex. In short, Tatay and Mommy wanted the three of us to have an open communication line on things about love and relationships. Well, too bad, Tatay was not able to experience it as I was only 14 years old when he died... wala pa yata akong kamuang-muang sa pag-ibig at that time! I have some crushes on the side though! Hehehe!
My highschool moments with Tatay were both fun and ‘nakakaasar’. I studied in Special Science along Nagtahan in Sampaloc. Whenever Tatay would offer me ‘hatid’ to school, I would always frown and hope that he’s not serious. Tatay’s ‘hatid’ offer meant that we’ll have our walk-at-Nagtahan-Bridge bonding moments. So, ‘pag dating ko sa school eh pawis-pawisan na ang beauty ko! And what’s even worse is some classmates would tell me, “Uy, nakita ko kayo ng Tatay mo kanina, naglalakad sa Nagtahan.” Aaarrrggghhhh! Kaasar di bah?!
I’m glad though that Tatay was not a strict father in terms of school activities. Tatay would always allow me to attend those late night parties so I never missed a single party in school. The downside though is that he set a curfew time of nine o’clock. Imagine that?! Eh kasagsagan pa lang ng sayawan nun, noh?! And here’s the funny part, Tatay would always pick me up at exactly 9pm. Yung tipong I’m in the middle of a ‘sweet’ dance, and there goes the PA saying, “Calling Ms. Francia Argamaso, your father is waiting at the lobby!” Three times pang uulit-ulitin yan, hah?! Each and every party I went to eh ganyan ang scenario! Aaaarrrrggggghhhhh uli! Kaasar talaga!
Those were some of my ‘kaasar’ moments with Tatay. But now, those ‘kaasar’ moments simply make me smile.
Despite Tatay’s machismo image and strong dispositions, I felt Tatay was a bit insecure. He never had a regular employment after the construction company he worked for closed down in 1987. He then worked on an irregular and per project basis. There were lots of low moments in our family life but I saw him tried his very best to provide for us. Together with Mommy’s dressmaking stint and my aunt’s (actually my cousin’s) financial support, we were able to get through a very simple life. I remember this one time when we had to meet up with my aunt at So-en’s Store along Araneta Avenue in QC for some Christmas shopping. He told me, “Dito na lang tayo sa labas. Nakakahiya eh! Wala naman tayong pera para pumasok dyan!” I wanted to reply back, “Tay, okay lang yun! Wala naman pong bayad ang umupo sa loob at mag-window shopping!” I was very young then, it didn’t occur to me that he was somehow insecure and ashamed of our status in life. And when I think about it now, I feel so sad for Tatay. But there was nothing I could do back then.
I also feel sad for this one thing that Tatay begged for us… an old refrigirator from his sister. He wasn’t able to get that old ref because that thing was replaced long after he died. So when I started working in 1995, the first thing I bought with my first Christmas paycheck was a refrigirator… a long-due gift for Tatay! Again, too bad, he wasn’t able to experience having one in the house.
I am still not as successful as other people I know. But I think, if Tatay is alive today, he would somehow be proud of what I have accomplished. I may have not fulfilled his dream of me being an international flight stewardess (I tried applying though but I’m a bit short on the height requirement) but I know deep in my heart, Tatay is darn proud of what I have become.
To Tatay, I thank you for everything. I know how you wanted to give us a better life, but for some valid reasons, you cannot just grab any opportunity that came your way. Mommy and I truly understood your dilemma. We love you for what you are. We may not have experienced being together for quite a long time, but those 14 years were more than enough to feel your love for me and Mommy. You are always in my prayers and I always ask God to continuously keep you in His loving arms. May the good Lord bless your soul. I truly miss and love you, ‘Tay!
Happy Father’s Day to me! Happy Birthday to you, Tatay!