But, to me, my dad had never grown old.
He is the same man who rode a black motorcycle around the pueblos of Zamboanga to make the prettiest in the town swoon. He is the same man who, in college, wore mustaches to perform in the dramas and wrote fearlessly for a column called "Nocumment" in the school daily. He is the same man who bravely followed Cory Aquino during her visit to Mindanao, constantly brandishing the 'Laban' sign and a yellow headband. He is the same man who was brave enough to court a fiery, fair-skinned Muslim Tausug woman, my mother--against any and all odds. He is the same man who, time and time again, angered the public with famous exposes and scandals as a journalist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer--and, for this, earned the honor of multiple mass communications awards. He was a playboy, an ex-seminarian; he is a herald of truth, the pride of his hometown.
He is also the same man who held me in his arms 17 years ago and recognized, for the first time, that he is a father.
There have been ups. There have been downs. We have our similarities. We have our differences.
But I would not be who I am today if not for what you have taught me. That words are powerful. That actions are even more great. That selflessness is the highest form of service. That riches are nothing without family. That life is not life without excellence. That strength, bravery, justice, discipline, and honor should never be lost.
I am grateful, Daddy, for everything. 46, 36, 26 -- it doesn't matter how old you are. You will always be my inspiration.
Muchos gracias gayot kay bien manada tu ya ensenya y ya dale comigo y con di aton familia. Era esta el Dios contigo. Feliz cumpleanos. :)