This is not about the current president (and let us leave politics out of this).

My younger brother uses the codename El Presidente when talking about my dad. It is not because he is planning to enter politics or is currently a president of a company. He is simply my father. The head of the family. The supportive husband to his wife. The life mentor to his children.

My father taught me a lot of things about life- mostly important facts that cannot be taught in school. He would always say he is not the smartest person. He is right. He is full of wisdom. He learned mostly from experience which made him an even better mentor. I remember standing in front of him for more than an hour listening to his lectures about how things were in the olden times, how different people are, how experiences mold you, how business works… yadi-yadi-yada. And at that time, I was only asking permission if I can spend the night at my friend’s house to finish a group project. Imagine how he was able to inject those things in the conversation! That makes me smile whenever I remember.

There is one thing though that he did not teach me. He never taught me how to hate. Absence of hate must be one good reason my father is able to live well. Patient enough to help even those people who try to inflict pain, even those who so oftenly insult us, even those whom we should be hating back. In his opinion, there’s no point in hating people. It is stressful, tiring, and makes you look old. So why soak yourself with hatred? There are better things that can be done with your life to want to trade that with a very negative feeling. My father doesn’t hate, he just gets even. Well okay, that is not true… It just sounded so evil and witty that I had to share it. My father doesn’t hate, period.

My father a.k.a. El Presidente is turning 60 in three days but has been using the ‘senior citizen’ privilege for a year already. Don’t get me wrong, he looks younger than his age. He just enjoys little perks like that because for a person trained by experience, being street smart is a must. He puts ER in street-smart. Thus, being ‘magulang’ at times. Funny how he manages to get away with a lot of things. Yes, of course my father is not perfect. He showed me how taxi-driving is done. He takes home a lot of paper towels from the men’s locker room after golf. He even runs over dogs if they get in his way while making a side remark “alam nilang dadaan ako, ayaw tumabi!” I know, that’s just bad.

But then again, he is perfect. I don’t have second thoughts about it. He is a perfect father to us. The best El Presidente we could ever have. What we (me and my siblings) have prepared for his birthday may not be enough to show him how proud we are to be his children, but at least we can show everyone the best we can what we’ve become because of him.

written 27 December 2009, 11:47pm