A Last Letter to My Father

Today is the second father’s day since my Dad passed away early last year. I think this will always be a bittersweet occasion for me with him gone. A few days ago as I was going through my old iPhone notes before I switched into a new phone, I saw an old file. I think I wrote it a day after my father died. During that time, I stayed relatively quiet both in social media and in real life. I don’t even remember replying to messages of consolation. It’s hard to talk about loss, because it’s difficult to describe a space where there’s only a void. But today, I feel that I want to remember him by posting this here. My last letter to him. To my international friends, apologies if I can only write this in Tagalog at this time. But if you’re here and reading this, please hug your dad for me.



(2019) Nang pumanaw si Tatay, naglaro ako ng Candy Crush. Paborito niya ang larong iyon.

Tatay, tinuruan mo ako kung paano magbasa ng oras, kung paano maglakad, paano tumakbo, paano kumain gamit ang kutsara at tinidor, paano umiwas sa masasamang loob–

At ngayong wala ka na, tinuturuan mo pa rin ako. Kung paano maging matatag, kung paano maging mabuting magulang, kaibigan, at kung paano maging mabuting tao. Alam kong hindi ka perpekto, pero ikaw ay naging perpektong ama sa akin at lagi ko itong ipagpapasalamat.

Ganito pala kapag nagluluksa, parang hindi ka pwedeng kumilos o magsalita, kasi parang ang gaan-gaan mo at liliparin ka ng hangin, madudurog muli ang puso at papatak ang mga luha. Alam kong kakayanin ko ito. Gaya ng paglaban mo sa buhay, sa kahirapan, at sa pagkakasakit. Kakayanin ko.


(Dinagdag ngayong 2020)

Tatay, hindi na ako naglalaro ng Candy Crush ngayon, pero naglalaro kami palagi ng apo mong si Elias ng tagu-taguan, Mermaid-Anglerfish game, Dinosaur game, Sinag ng Araw game, at madami pang iba. Malapit ko na rin siyang turuan kung paano magbasa ng oras, paano kumain gamit ang kutsara at tinidor, paano mabuhay sa magulong mundo–

Sa bawat saya at lungkot at pagod ng araw-araw ay naiisip kita. At magpapatuloy pa rin po ako sa pagsisikap at paglalaro sa totoong buhay para sa inyo, kahit wala ka na.


Left photo is me with my Dad, on the right is me with my husband


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