Posted by: Leah | May 30, 2007

Si Tatay

My Tatay (father) turns 70 today.

My father came from a big family. His father had quite a few wives so he has a lot of half-sisters and half-brothers as well. Good thing he did not turn out to be a ladies man like his father. He has always been a loyal husband and a loyal father. I never met his father nor his mother – my grand parents – since my father was orphaned really young. He is the youngest in his family so he came to his sisters as his mother/father figure.

My father is a great disciplinarian. He had this special call//whistle done thru his tongue/mouth and when we heard this loud shrilly sound, we’d all come running home from wherever we were. He made sure we had dinners togeher and had outings as well.

Me and Tatay back in the ’70s
I’ve always been a Daddy’s girl. I remember telling off my mother to my dad as soon as he comes in the door after a day’s work. When asked who I loved more (they always ask that when you are small). My answer would alway be “Tatay” ofcourse. Whenever he would ask me to ran an errand for him (e.g. buy a few sticks of cigarettes – Hope was the brand name I always bought for him then), I always end up with a few loose change in my pocket. And whenever I’d ask for money, he’d simply put his hand in his pocket and give to me whatever is there. He was a generous man and still is.

I think he showed me off to his co-workers then as well. The stories were ridiculous so I’d rather not publish anything about it here. As far as I know, it just shows how proud he is of me.

Tatay used to have luscious and thick black hair. I remember how shiny and sticky it was. He used a lot of pomade then. Now, its thinned out and you can see more of his head. I’ve always thought that I got my hair genes from my Tatay. I just hope mine doesn’t thin out like his did.

Speaking of hair, Tatay is a great barber. He does not do it for a living but he cuts every guy’s hair in our family (except my husband’s – I guess, hubs is too scared my dad will cut something else, he!he!). Even his friends come to him for their regular hair cut. Hey, I think he even gets paid sometimes.

In the process of migrating here to Canada , the medical tests showed a few irregulaities in his lungs and that was the end of his smoking. He dropped it just like that and I am so happy he did. Oh, the sacrifices you do for your family. I guess, he really wanted all of us to live a good life. Well, that’s how its always been perceived…life in the Western world is more prosperoous. But that’s not what my post is about, so …let me go on.

On our 2nd year here, he had a heart attack which thank God was only mild but nonetheless, it has brought him so much pain and the on set of athritis, high blood pressure and diabetis came as well. So now, he takes different kinds of pills everyday. I am just thankful that he is still with us today and celebrating his life with his children and grand children all together.

We’ve been planning to get a big party going for him but it fell under the cracks . So the family decided to give him a surprise gift instead. A trip to Las Vegas for him and my mother.

Today however, we will have a small impromptu get together and greet him with lots of hugs and kisses.

So to you Tatay, I love you and may you stay longer and live a healthier senior life.



  1. I agree to that sister! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TATAY ! what more can I say… but to extend our love, WE LOVE YOU TATAY…..

  2. happy birthday to your Tatay! May he have more birthdays to come!! 🙂

  3. happy birthday to your Tatay! you gave him a great gift–this moving post brimming with your love for him. more power! 🙂 mind if we trade links? 🙂

  4. I saw your post about your dad. I am a New York Times bestselling author working on a new book about father-daughter relationships and thought you might want to contribute. Please visit my page for details about submitting stories for Daddy’s Little Girl.

    Gregory E. Lang
    Author, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad

  5. Happy Birthday to Uncle! More blessings and good health for him…

  6. Hi Leila,
    Amen sister, Amen to that

    Thanks Dangkin

    Hi Gibbs,
    Thank you so much. Sure, I’ve added you to my links.

    Hi Greg,
    What a nice surprise to see your comment. i’d love to contribute this to your book. Hopefully, you’ll pick it. I’ll come over and check out your site.

    Hello M i c h e l l e,
    Thanks so much.

  7. Aaaww, how sweet! Maybe you could let your dad read this post. 🙂 I once posted something about my mom on mother’s day and my sis-inlaw helped her access it–she was tickled pink. 🙂

  8. Happy Birthday to your father. Your post is a wonderful tribute. That sounds like a fabulous gift. Hope your parents will have a grand time at Vegas.

  9. Happy happy 70th Birthday to your Tatay Leah! And many happy returns of the day!
    You & your Tatay look cool in the picture 😉 Very 70’s with the high waist pants.
    My father’s cigarette brand when he was still smoking was also Hope 🙂 I would go to the store to buy them and would sometimes light up a stick before handing it to him ,hehehe.
    (bad of me!)
    Again, happy birthday to your father!

  10. Hi Leah!
    Your post for your dad’s birthday is so sweet. Ako din dati inuutusan to buy Hope LOL. My dad has quit too due to emphysema.
    Your parents must feel so lucky to be going to Vegas sponsored by their kids! I hope they enjoy and win the jackpot!

  11. Happy Birthday to your Tatay Ate Leah! I’m happy for you that your Tatay quite smoking to extend his life and be with you all.

  12. Belated happy birthday greetings to your father. May he live many more happy and healthy years to come.

    Reading your entry… actually brought a few tears to my eyes (really). I almost lost my father last year to a hospital operation. I am very much thankful he’s still around for another Father’s Day this June.

  13. Hi Gypsy,
    I was thnking of translating this post to Tagalog before giving it to him. I’ll try to do that siguro for Father’s day. I will let him read this post for sure.

    Hello Rachel,
    Thanks. They are so ecstatic about the Vegas trip. We had a mini celebration last Wednesday and it was a blast.

    Hello Gina,..
    Naughty girl ka pala ha. Trying to smoke at a tender age….lol
    Yes, I love the nostalgic effect of the photo. Thanks for noticing. I actually uploaded that after posting this entry already.

    Hi chateau,
    Pareho pala tayo na tagabili ng Hope. lol
    Sana nga manalo sila para may balato..

    Hi KK,
    I’m sure quitting smoking has added years to his life already. Its not good for anyone. Thanks for the greetings.

    Hello fruityoaty,
    Thanks and I am happy to know your father is doing better and will enjoy more time with you and the rest of the family.

  14. This gretting’s kinda late but Happy Birthday to your Tatay anyways, and hope that he may have more in the years to come.

  15. Happy Birthday to your Tatay Leah! That’s a beautiful story about him. Oh, how nice that you are all together in Canada. He must be excited about his Las Vegas trip. 🙂

  16. Hi Snglguy,
    thanks so much for the greetings.

    Hello Toe,
    Thank you. Yes, they are totally looking forward to the Vegas trip.

  17. Happy birthday to Leah’s tatay. It is so near Father’s Day, too no? Wow! Enjoy the trip to Las Vegas.

  18. Hi AnnaManila,
    thanks..they are so excited about it na nga. I’m sure they’ll have a blast.

  19. Late but I’m still sending my good birthday wishes to your Tatay… May he continue to be blessed with good health and good life!

    Your new home is spiffy

  20. Late but I’m still sending my good birthday wishes to your Tatay… May he continue to be blessed with good health and good life!

    Your new home looks great! 🙂

  21. All the best to your wonderful Tatay Leah 🙂 My dad has passed on and he lived quite a long and blissful life 🙂

    My parents in law also came here to visit us for one year to take care of the baby when my wife went back to work. I was processing their permanent visas and they took the physical exams here. The unfortunate part was when they went back to Pinas, my father in law’s arthritis became serious that it was impossible for him to pass his medical 😦 Had he come a year or two earlier, he could have made it and his medical condition could have been handled beter by the free health care system we have here. My wife was very disappointed but looks like Canada wasn’t meant for my in laws.

    Hi BW,

    So sorry to hear about your dad. I’m sure you have your own good memories of him. As for your in-laws…sayang nga. You are right, its not meant to be. Maybe there’s something better awaiting for them.

  22. […] Sun 17 Jun 2007 Para kay Tatay – Tagalog Posted by Leah under Uncategorized  This is written in Tagalog..see translation here… […]

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