Exactly 8 years ago, on his 80th birthday, I wrote Daddy a letter that started this way: One of the best things about being married to Caloy is having you as my second father. That is still very much true to this day.
Daddy is precisely the kind of father-in-law that every woman can only wish for. He is quiet but loving, aloof yet dependable, serious yet funny at the same time. I’ve only known him for the past nine years but those are enough to make me feel very blessed and proud to be part of his family. Previously, I mentioned that my husband Caloy is one of the most generous creatures I know. He got the generosity genes from his father. Daddy is a very simple, modest man but he delights in splurging for his family. I witnessed this during our family trips — our Asian cruise in 2005, our trip to Cebu in 2006, our Hong Kong vacation in 2007, and again on our Asian cruise in 2008 — where Daddy treated the entire family to our most memorable vacations ever. I would never forget how he would treat me and Caloy to lunch on my birthdays. Most especially, how he gave my daughter Bea a generous gift when she was about to start going to preschool at 4 years old. Such a thoughtful, loving and generous man.
But Daddy is not only generous with money, he is also generous with his words and affection. He would always say how beautiful Mommy is and how much he loves her. Even now, in his current weak state, he would constantly remind Bea to take care of her legs so that they will look like her Mommy’s. That’s Daddy’s indirect way of flattering me and complimenting my legs. He’s really a darling.
All these and many more are part of the reason why Caloy and I exert extra efforts to make Daddy happy now that he is in the twilight of his life. We hope to give back a portion of the joy that he has given us. It’s our way of saying “Thank you” and “We love you so much, Dad.” Because an extra-ordinary man like him deserves all the love, care and attention in the world. And because his family is his world, we want to show how much we appreciate everything he did for the family. In our own little way, we want him to know how grateful we are for having a father like him. The best gift that he has given all of us is his untarnished name. His integrity, honor and wisdom will infinitely live in us. His legacy will be remembered forever.
These words will never suffice, but we love you with all our hearts. Happy 88th birthday, Daddy.