I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. Growing up, I always tagged along with him. My childhood is filled with memories of our travels together, implementing his non-profit projects and helping the needy. He opened my eyes to real world and in the process I learned to be grateful for everything in my life.
He is an intelligent and brilliant man with big dreams and with an even bigger heart.
When he left for New York to be with my mom and work, my world became a little sadder. It was hard not having my parents around because we were very close. Life can be unfair. I miss them everyday.
On my birthday, he sent me this heartwarming love letter:
Happy Birthday Jenni!
Here you are “posing” on an antiquated “jeep” in one of many sorties, inspecting the crucible of non-profit projects around the country that we were undertaking together. Even then, like a great “star” that you are, nobody can discern from this picture that you just experienced a severe and life-threatening accident, as we were on our way to inaugurate a self-help farmers’ association irrigation project in Bataan.
At early dawn, our Toyota cruiser driven by my driver ended up upside down with gasoline oozing out from the vehicle after sliding down on the highway and hitting an unsuspecting coconut tree.
We could not get the doors open; but as if on cue, villagers came running and shouting, “Get the child out, get the child out.” They did and thank God you were rescued first and you were the only one without a scratch; much less blood on the head which I got from hitting the rear-view mirror. A miracle? It happens everyday!
This will always live in my memory, as if it was only yesterday. Looking back, it foretold how a calculated risk-taker and innovator you will be and many times more successful than me in building your career and your family.
If there is a moment between my dream and waking up, the moment you want to stay frozen in time, this is one of them!
This is an excerpt from the memoir your younger sister Joyce is writing for me; which I have to admit, you have influenced from the book and articles you have written. Please continue writing because I love reading it.
On your birthday, I wish the best gift of life and love everyday only a father could give!
I remember that day. Whenever I close my eyes and think back hard enough, I could still feel my dad’s arms holding onto my frail body protecting me from harm. He is my guardian angel.
They say a father and daughter relationship has the profoundest of bearings on whether or not we grow up to be happy, serene, healthy, fulfilled individuals. The way in which a father interacted with his daughter as she was growing up is a major factor in how a woman’s nervous system is wired, which in turn impacts her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, her self-image, her view of the world, and the ease – or otherwise – with which she loves and trusts as a woman.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my dad for the positive fathering he has shown me. Despite the distance, I feel the love.
Love you Dad!!