My father worked abroad for years in order to earn more for the family. Back then, he already had a loving wife and two boys. But he still wished and prayed fervently for a daughter. He had this promise that he would permanently return home if God would answer his prayers.
And then I was born.
He kept his word and resumed working in the Philippines even if life was harder here. My mother earned more and ended up paying for our education. But my father made up for these financial shortcomings by loving me dearly each and every day. When I would suddenly fall asleep on the sofa when I was still a kid, he would carry me up to my bedroom, even when he knew that I’m just pretending.
He brought me to school everyday and looked for me inside the school for hours when I became forgetful of time. Up to now, he would still bring me to work whenever he can. He was there when I slipped while walking towards my long time crush in grade school. He immediately comforted and carried me across the campus quadrangle so I won’t feel ashamed.
He never missed recognition days or parent and teacher conferences. He was a stage dad during events when I was asked to sing. He also patiently took photos of me during field demos though I know he hated the scorching heat of the sun and I hated dancing. If only there was Facebook back then, I’m sure he would have uploaded these photos as quickly as possible.
He anonymously sent me a Valentine’s Day balloon when I was still in 4th grade so I would feel I was still likable even though I was a chubby nerd. He waited for me at the back of the bus the day I knew I was removed from the honor’s list because I had a low grade in Algebra.
He drove back home and back to the hotel on my prom night, which also happened on my birthday, because the heels of my shoes gave up on me. He backed my decision to choose Journalism in college even though I knew he wanted me to become a doctor. He made sure to watch the news every time I would have a chance to be seen on TV. And even when I decided to leave GMA News, he fully supported me.
Along with my mother, he rushed to my room that midnight I was wailing and screaming because my boyfriend broke up with me. He was always there: my hero, my security blanket. He was the constant person in my life. Though I’m already at my 20’s, we’re not ashamed to hug or hold hands in public. He still even calls me his baby.
But there was a time my father made a choice that almost broke our family. In an instant, I almost lost respect for him. He was my hero but his monument crumbled before my eyes. It’s true what wise men said: the people we love are the ones who can hurt us the most.
Yet I couldn’t find it in me to let my anger prevail. I forgave him for all the things he has done right, rather than leave his side for things he has done wrong. I have been immersed all these years in all his little acts of kindness; I have unknowingly made a promise of my own to love my father unconditionally, until the end of time.
And it is a promise I intend to keep.
About the Author:
Apple Gamboa was an interview and field producer for GMA News, particularly the newscasts Quick Response Team and News to Go. She is currently a producer for lifestyle TV shows and documentaries. Travelling and music are her passions and she takes risks as her personal reality medicine. Journalism 2010, UST. Read more of her articles here.