Dear Dad

Anya Cajucom and her dad Mario Katigbak

You taught us integrity, credibility

Dearest Dad,

A lot of who I am now and what I have accomplished is because of the unconditional love you have given me. And because of you, I know unconditional love does exist and is truly doable.

You brought us up to believe we can do all things and can reach our dreams with hard work, passion and dedication, but you also taught us to hold integrity and credibility to the highest form.

You didn’t spoil us by simply giving us all that we wanted. We had to work hard, but you were always there to catch us when we fell. (But I still think we were spoiled by you in so many ways.)

My faith is strong because of you. You always remind me that our faith should always be stronger than our doubts and fears …

On your special day, I honor you for being the best dad … for always being there when it matters and for teaching and introducing us to the world, and also to the best things in life.

You have been my critic in so many ways but also my strongest cheerleader. I am proud to be called a daddy’s girl and truly lucky to have been blessed with a father like you. You are truly the wind beneath my wings.

Love you beyond infinity.


Bea and Joseph Aranton with their Tito Dad, Brylle Mondejar

Real dads show up

Dear Tito Dad,

You’re not our real dad, you know? You weren’t there the day my brother and I were born. You weren’t there when we laughed for the first time, or when we uttered our first words.

Then again, what makes up “real” anyway?

I used to have a different idea about fathers. But after I did some growing up and embraced you as part of our family, I unlearned some things, and began to see.

I realized it’s determined by the concerned looks you throw my way amid the silence, and the unsaid, “Are you okay?” plain as day in your eyes.

It’s determined by the crease on your brow as you wondered out loud if my brother was okay whenever we went out during quarantine and couldn’t bring him with us.

And, sometimes, it’s determined by small gestures; the way you send me random messages, sometimes of the silliest things you see on your timeline or music that you feel I’d be interested in.

Simple acts of you reaching out and showing me that I am on your mind.

Most importantly, it is determined by the way you just show up. The way we never have to wonder if you will, because we already know without a doubt that we can count on you to be there, not only when it’s convenient for you, but every single time that we need you.

Tito Dad, for loving mom and for loving us, you have shown that what’s “real” is not determined by blood. It’s the conscious choice you make to be there for us, no matter what.

And for me, that makes you the “realest dad” there could ever be.

We love you, Tito Dad!

Happy Father’s Day!


Iggy, Tiago and Tish with their Tatay, Dennis Edaño

For always giving us new experiences

Dear Tatay,

This is truly a very different year but the spirit of celebrating you remains the same.

Thank you for showing us your unconditional love. You make us feel that family should always come first. Whether it’s talking at the dinner table, or playing video games, you always make sure to spend time with us. Despite the occasional “smackdowns,” we still manage to get good laughs during our family bondings.

Thank you, too, for always imparting life’s teachings to us. You trust us with fun facts and knowledge, and instill life lessons for us to learn and apply. Every day, you remind us of what kind of children we should be, and what kind of people we should grow up into.

Thank you for always giving us new experiences. Your hard work and efforts are why we live a happy life. Thank you for taking us to so many places.

Finally, thank you for simply being our father who supports us every step of the way. We love you so much. God bless you always. Have a wonderful Father’s Day!


Iggy, Tish and Tiago

Dad jokes

Dearest Daddy,

I love you because you are my dad. You make me happy with all your heart. You make me laugh so hard whenever you do your floss dance moves and your silly dad jokes.

Although you always tell me to do my modules first before letting me play Roblox on your computer, you are the best dad I know out there. You are a hardworking, caring and loving father.

Thank you for buying  fidget toys for me and Ate. Thank you for being proud of me whenever I show you my DIY fidgets. Thank you for being here with us while we are in quarantine. I hope you don’t need to go back to Manila anymore. I love you, Daddy, and oh, Happy Father’s Day!

Your little girl,


Janeve “Did” Juan (rightmost) and sisters (from left) Margo, Ona, Misty and Jenina, and their dad Hugo Juan

Singer and storyteller

Papa Hugo,

Do you remember that manual Betamax cassette rewinder you made from a bent piece of steel and a pen casing? Because of a similar hack by her husband, Misty was reminded of it and immediately sent me a message. Do you know what I was watching at that exact moment—”Hugo”! That movie about profound amazement in the magic that enchanting stories bring.

All of us siblings inherited that love of stories from you. Whether from the gospel songs you sang in church or some Beatles tune we sang along to while you strummed your guitar, a storyline soars. There’s also that sense of “a-ha” with every crossword puzzle you answered in the dailies.

I vividly remember movies we enjoyed watching together and the wonderful tales from a boxful of storybooks you brought home one day—words and pictures all transformed into experiences that became a part of our own personal story.

Our family snippets are stitched together like a film reel. Letters are knitted into words, wound in a spool of anecdotes, animated in each narration of some memory. One that we can pass on to our kids. I feel grateful now that you gave us the gift of someplace special where stories can be made.

Now you regale us with TikTok moves you recently learned. You FaceTime and chat with your grandkids where they are free to be silly.

We love you, Papa, for showing us that laughter and trials can set us forth in the future. That when reality gets a hold of us, or when time isolates us from loved ones, we have that familiar scene captured in our mind. With our whole lifetime inside the frame, all we have to do is rewind.



A role model

Happy 47th Father’s Day, Papa!  I know this year will be different as this will be our first Father’s Day (and your birthday) apart.

Truly these times are hard.  Spending time apart is the hefty price of safety.  Video calls and sending care packages will do for now.

These times have given me more opportunities to think and reflect. Honestly I’m feeling more sentimental these days. I wonder where I get that from …

Thank you, Papa, for being an ultimate provider.  I speak not only about material things but the intangibles, as well. You provided us with an exceptional role model.  You taught us to be good, to abide by our principles. You taught us to live with a sense of pride but at the same time still be humble. You taught us that love for family can be manifested in different ways.

I know in your eyes I will forever be Chatz—with you as the provider. I am still Chatz but I want to make sure you and Mama are more than comfortable. Papa, you have told me before to stop spoiling you and Mama. But I’m afraid that is something I cannot and will not do.

From a family that is not showy or verbose when it comes to expressing feelings (and love), just putting it in black and white, Papa. I am thankful to be your daughter. I am proud of how you and Mama have raised us.

You always say that you are lucky to have us as your children.  I thank you for always saying this. However, Papa, this goes both ways.  We are lucky to have you as our Papa.
So today, let me appreciate you in a different way. A very public, opposite-of-not-showy kind of way. Happy Father’s Day!



A love for reading

Three hundred words is too short to write about my father Mario Ignacio Miclat’s influence on me, but here are a couple that I take with me as I adult my way through life:

My favorite formative years’ memory of Tatay is during summer in elementary school, when he would always wake me up early on Saturdays and ask, “Anong libro ang binasa mo ngayong linggo?” (What book did you read this week?)

Whether I had ballet lessons or other workshop activities, I had to read at least one book a week. And I had to give him a short report about the book before moving on to my next. The questioning and book reports stopped after he saw me, without being coaxed, getting book after book from his library throughout the year. Until now, after getting very busy with teaching and other projects, I would ask myself, “What book have I read lately?”

The influence of imparting knowledge came from Tatay being a professor in UP while I was a student at UPIS, hanging out at his office or his classes before we headed home at the end of the day.

Listening to my Tatay’s lectures about Rizal, Philippine history, Chinese studies, etc., I swore to myself that I would only start teaching once I had his level of knowledge and expertise in my own field. So, when I finally started teaching after 15 years of being an actor, I was ready to inspire a younger generation.

I realized then that what made my Tatay an outstanding teacher is not just his knowledge of history and literature through reading, but his understanding of human nature through living a full life. He taught me that by being a father only he knew how: the best father for me.


Nathaniel Ngo with daughters Kharmella and Nicole

Most handsome

To our most handsome super father,

Your wonderful and loving daughters are here to greet you a happy Father’s Day! Thank you for being our No. 1 supporter in everything! We promise to always be good daughters and always take care of you! We love you, Papa!


Kharmella and Nicole

Jehoshaphat and Jehoshaviah, and their papa Seriano Sopero

You’re so cool


Happy Father’s Day!

Kuya and I are so grateful that you are our papa. Thank you for guiding us. Pinalaki mo kami na may takot sa Diyos. Proud kami sa’yo sa pagtaguyod sa amin sa pag-aaral at sa pagdisiplina sa amin ni Kuya. Kahit pagod ka na sa trabaho, nakukuha mo pa din makipagkwentuhan sa amin. Tunay na ikaw ang aming gabay at tagapayo.

Thank you for supporting me in my school activities from first grade to high school,  kahit mga trip namin ni Kuya, pati sa pag-vlog ko, kahit hindi ka maka-relate.

You’re the best joker, Papa, you’re so cool. Sumasabay ka sa trip namin. Thank you for understanding us. You do everything for us. Kahit pagod ka na naka-smile ka pa rin. Para lang tayong barkada.

My gift to you is, I will study hard and get high grades. Take care always when you drive and take double care during this pandemic. There will come a time when we will be the ones working to take care of you.

Kuya and I love you and we are so happy that you are our father.

Happy Father’s Day!



You let us experience life to the fullest

Dear Daddy,

When I was born and you first saw me in the nursery, you thought I looked like a doll, a troll doll.  You described me as having thick, combed-up hair with a nose that looked like chewed bubble gum. You were skeptical the nurse was showing you the right baby.

On my first day in prep, you rode in the school bus with me. There was another prep student on the bus, Mary Ann.  You told me that come dismissal time, I should find her and stick with her until the driver picks us up. I did, but I don’t think I told you this: that kid was evil.  She heard your instructions and taunted me by running away from me like crazy.

When I was in grade school, the company where you and mom worked was restructuring and you were both temporarily laid off work. You had no choice but to pull us out of our school bus service because it was costly.  You taught us how to get to our schools using public transportation.  You walked me and my three brothers to the jeepney stop, carrying all of our backpacks.  You would hail a jeepney for us then load us and our bags into it.

One time, we were already late and all jeepneys passing our stop were full of passengers so you hailed a private school bus! A school bus servicing the school where my brothers went to. You asked the driver to take us, all four of us!  You gave me quick instructions to just walk from their school to my next jeepney stop, which was a short distance away.

On summer breaks that we spent in Cagayan de Oro, you literally shipped us off.  You’d buy us four Super Ferry tickets, bring us to the pier and load us on the ship.  You’d show us where the cafeteria was so we would know where to get our meals. You’d instruct us to stick together and stay inside the ship until one of our uncles picked us up from inside the ship. Then you’d get off and my brothers and I would sail happily for two days.

When I was all grown up and got interested in driving, you were my first teacher.  For a long time, it was only the two of us in the family who knew how to drive.  I never bought a new car because I preferred getting yours, never mind that they were family AUVs.  It was easier for me that you knew the car I was driving because you kept an eye on it.  You’d tell me when it was due for oil change, tire change, battery check, registration, etc. and you also ended up taking care of all of them.

Looking back to these memories, I realize how much I trusted you.  I didn’t follow out of fear you would get mad at me for disobeying but because there’s a sense of security that I will be out of harm’s way if I just followed you.

You’ve let us experience life to the fullest, even if there were a lot of roadblocks. You could have just opted to let us stay put as that would have been a lot easier but you did not hold us back.  Yes, there were some risky moves but you’ve assessed those risks.

Before you let us take public transportation, travel by ship and drive on our own, you trained us, hands on, first.  You were there to show us how things were done.  You practiced with us over and over before you slowly let us do it on our own.  Once we were on our own, it was a walk in the park, we knew the drill.

We’ve mastered a lot of life skills growing up because you taught us well.  We were ready for the world before it was ready for us, charot!  We are brave also because we know that if all else fails, we can always run to you and everything will be alright.

Thank you for everything that you do for the family.  I need to borrow money from you and I trust that it will be alright hahaha, joke!  Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!  Stay safe and see you soon!

Love from my finely chiseled nose,


Richard, CJ and Hannah with their papa, Bernard Absalon

Nuggets of knowledge

Dear Papa,

Thank you for everything you have done for us. We admire your nuggets of knowledge and your enthusiasm for education in all aspects of our lives. You constantly remind us to never stop learning and we are forever grateful for that lesson.

Thank you for your sacrifices and taking every opportunity to spend time with us. Every moment with you is something we cherish. You bring us so much joy, laughter, food, and most importantly, love.

We want you to know that we are very proud of you. It has been a joy to grow with you, learning new things together. We are proud to call you our papa.

Happy Father’s Day! We love you!

Richard, CJ and Hannah

Richard, CJ and Hannah with their dad, Audie Gemora

Thank you for choosing us

Dear Dad,

You are someone who wears his heart on his sleeve. You open your arms to anyone who comes your way, choosing to help them without hesitation. The stories you share carry unforgettable lessons, passionate performances and generous gestures.

Thank you for everything you have done for us. Thank you for encouraging us to pursue our dreams, feeding into our passion and supporting us through it all. Most importantly, thank you for choosing us.

You have played many roles in the past and you have flawlessly portrayed each of them. But the role of our father is what fits you best, the one that was made for you. Thank you for taking on the role that has changed our lives completely. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. We love you!

Richard, CJ and Hannah

For all your sacrifices

Dear Papa,

You always said that there’s dirt under your fingernails so that our hands can stay clean.  You tell us this to remind us of the sacrifices you make for our family. You spent most of your life away from us so you can pay for our tuition, clothes and all our basic needs. You also made sacrifices so we can buy the shoes and gaming consoles that we like.

There’s a rule that you imposed on us.  We can’t ever say that we are not in the mood for your phone calls, and later on, video calls. You always threaten to cut off our allowance when we don’t make time for you.

You always berate us for small mistakes, but you’re always the first to rescue us when we find ourselves in deep trouble.

We used to laugh at your silly rules and guilt trips.  But now that we’re old enough to earn our own money, we finally understand what you meant all those years ago. You want us to stay connected with you even though you’re not around. You get angry when we have other plans other than ones you set because you have limited vacation days. You want to spend them all with us.

For that, we will always be grateful. Thank you so much, Papa. We love you and pwedeng pautang ulit?