Papa Luis

It seems like I couldn’t thank the universe and the skies above enough for having you. I am grateful that I am your granddaughter.

When I was a little kid, I used to make all the silliest things just because of plain curiosity; and that you kept up with all of my kasutilan was unbelievable.

You (and mama) are the ones who believed in me even in times that even I, don’t believe myself; times that I wasn’t even sure if I can accomplish such.

Man of few words is what you are. I never heard you speak ill about other people, not even once. You are a disciplinarian, a very good one… in a very good way and this is the reason why you earned everyone’s respect.

You saved my life in all possible ways it can be saved. You work hard to give me the best and if there will better than ‘the best,’ I know for sure you will give it to me, too. You never made me feel that I lack so many things or that I’m not talented enough.

You never grew tired of waiting for me whenever I get home late from work or somewhere I don’t even divulge; and yet, you don’t argue with that.

When I was a kid about 7 or 8, I remember I told you I wanted to be a teacher and you told me, ‘go.’ Then I told you I wanted to be a doctor and you said ‘alright.’ Things changed and things varied, I pledged to take Mass Communication and you still said the same thing. None of it I pursued. I took a different path and still you supported me wholeheartedly.

You made me realize, that money, of all the things in this world, is essential but it’s not everything. When I was in college and tuition fee seems lacking, we seek help and though we never got one, you gave me everything you have so I can finish my studies. Despite all of those, I never heard you say a word about giving up on me and my tuition fees. You didn’t even look at me like you were. You made me embrace that there was always a way and there was nothing wrong with trying.

It was graduation day and I marched along with other graduates. On-time, no failing grades, almost with a Latin honor; there was smile on my face and joy in my heart as I was steps away from the most anticipated college diploma. I know you and mama felt happier than me because finally… WE made it.

Few years back, I remember, there was a day I went home crying because I got cheated on by a former partner. I was crying so hard and you hugged me and told me ‘everything is going to be okay.’ I didn’t want to believe you because I felt so low. I felt really miserable that I didn’t even know if there was an end to that feeling. (kadiri, diba? hahaha!) But then I started to believe you as you repeatedly said those words. And guess what, it did.

Now, we remember those days and we all laughed how stupid I was. Your laugh was priceless and because of that I know, I will never feel so alone. Never.

There are so many good things about you that I want to say and I can go on all day sharing all the good stories we have.

Maybe someday you will forget about me, because of old age, perhaps? But I want to let you know I will never forget you and all the things about you. I will be your voice if you need to speak, the hum to your every tune and the steps that comes along with your feet. I will be your hand if you need any additional or replacement. I can be your eyes if you can’t see clear enough. I can be everything you need me to be just to show you how much I’m grateful for you and mama, for saving my life and for teaching me everything I needed to know.

Because of you, I am me.
To you, Papa, I am very thankful. To you, I dedicate all my achievements and even my smallest milestones (if there’s any).

I am so proud of you. This is, perhaps, a small gesture to show the world how big you are to me. That for every chance I have, I will still choose to be your granddaughter. You are my idol, my light and my shield. And beyond everything, you are the best lolo!

I hope, 20 years from now, we can still watch films while eating pancit canton bought from the sari-sari store.

Happy Father’s Day and Happy Birthday, Papa.
I love you.

Author: shainnehostalero

Shainne Hostalero, MDC is a social entrepreneur (owner and founder of Happy Shift PH), a communication scholar, and a writer.

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