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An Open Letter to My Dad

An Open Letter to My Dad

A grateful daughter honors her father who has always tried his best.
All photos by the writer

Dad (aka the man who always tries his best for me),

The day I was born was the day you started trying harder. You said so yourself.

You were at the nursery, staring down at your newborn (aka me). You were worried about a lot of things, but you were mostly concerned about the money. Sure, you had a stable job. But it wasn’t enough to raise a baby. You had every right to worry.

But you were also optimistic.

“Anak, P5,020 lang ang sahod ni Daddy. Pero wag ka mag-alala. Gagawa ako ng paraan,” you told me behind the glass.

And you did.

Once a daddy’s girl, always a daddy’s girl

We were never rich to begin with. You always tell me that the only inheritance you can offer is wisdom to live a good life. It’s not much, you said, but it’s vital to living a life with no regrets. But there were times when I saw how much you wanted to have the money to give me not just what I needed, but the little things I asked for.

Your career journey was never an easy one. I’ve seen you transfer from one job to another, lose your job, and scan the classified ads for better opportunities. You tried your hand at business, but it didn’t work as well as we hoped. You’ve considered going abroad, but that didn’t work either.

I can always count on you to do the wacky pose without hesitation

There were nights when I’d listen to you rant about your job — of how unhappy you are, of how hard it is to work with high maintenance individuals, of how you wish you could just leave. But then, you would look at me, and then you’d say: “Pero OK lang. Basta makapagtapos ka lang, masaya na ako.”

You taught me that even though life is tough, the tough keep praying and laughing

I always tell my friends that you are a jack-of-all-trades, and that’s no lie. You took up Computer Science in college, but your string of jobs didn’t reflect your course. You were a camera sales clerk, salesman, bodegero, merchandiser, supervisor, gas station manager, bodegero again, marketing head — heck, you even dabbled in makeup just to make sure you made a way.

You always tried, Dad. And for that, I am grateful.

We bought this expensive doll together. You said, “Basta masaya ka, masaya na rin ako (kahit masakit sa bulsa)”

You never gave up when things looked bleak financially. You were sad when you lost jobs because you were sick or they were just not meant for you. But you always managed to laugh and confidently say, “Tomorrow is another day. As long as we’re alive, we’ll be OK.”

Thank you for always trying, Dad.

Thank you for teaching me that quitting is never an option. Thank you for showing me that we can still laugh through the storms of our lives. Thank you for always making a way for me, for us as a family.

And thank you for being the living embodiment of the famous phrase “Try and try until you succeed.”

You aren’t a perfect Dad. We’ve had our ups and downs. There were times when I wondered why you couldn’t get a better job. You’ve shed tears about your efforts whenever you felt they weren’t enough. But in a nutshell, I can say with confidence that they are enough.

You are enough — more than enough.

Happy Father’s Day, dad. I hope you know how much I love you, even though I’m not the most affectionate person. I appreciate your efforts in providing for our family and making sure that we’re all OK.

You might not be the richest father out there, but you certainly are the coolest one of them all.




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