My Father Who Is In Heaven

Last night, I got to see the Manila production of Godspell. It's a musical that I only got acquainted with a few months ago, so it wasn't like I've been longing to see it for a while but my interest in it, I suppose, underlines what I myself and many others already know: I am forever a musical theater boy.

"All Good Gifts" - one of my favorite songs from the show.
Which brings me to the true subject of this blog.
But first an orientation for anybody who only had the pleasure in recent months of inhabiting the same space I revolve in: I write to purge myself of thoughts and feelings that otherwise would fester in my head. I find it cathartic.

I share what I write (and, by extension, my innermost thoughts) for no absolute reason than to draw attention to myself. I wouldn't be sharing them if I didn't think the story wouldn't be worth someone else's time. And stories are, after all, what I live for. Just check out my new Twitter profile.

Papa took me to my first trip to Canada in 1997.
So, on to this story.

My dad passed away last March.
Yes, it's been months.

In all that time, I've been trying to write this very blog.

In all that time, I've been trying to figure out how I really felt about him being gone.

I suppose I should feel regret.

Dad lived and, subsequently, died in Los Angeles surrounded by his first family, so he was well taken care of. To contextualize my place in the structure of his families (not a typo), that makes me a contender for tomorrow's Bastardbowl.

His very last message. So much for that, I guess.
A month before he passed, he was in town. He wanted to see me in one of those weekends he was here.

I couldn't indulge him.

I had work.

I suppose I should feel regret that I put my job first over seeing my father one last time. I didn't even give myself time to grieve. There were just too many things to do.

Yet while your first thought may have been "what a tragedy", mine was "wow, what a cliché".

And I hate that. It doesn't make for a good story.

No, that's not what I regret.

Having sorted through how I really feel these past few months, my only regret was that I don't think he ever really knew how angry I am.

Not because he didn't love me. For all his faults, the man always did believe he loved his children, even the bastards. That much I know.

Not because he didn't believe in me. For all that he verbalized his disappointment in almost everything I do, the man always did think I could do great things - even if I didn't think so. That much I know.

No, I'm angry because the last time I did get to see him, he made me feel like shit. He screamed at me and scolded me for the randomest things - in public and, most of the time, in front of his first wife and their children.

And here's the piece de resistance: The man - a serial womanizer who had fathered more than ten children - found it "abnormal" when I told him I associate more as asexual. Gee, dad. What's normal then? Spreading your seed around and leaving a trail of heartbreaks and bastards on your path?

Growing up, in the very rare instances that I got to see him, I remember that this was always his thing. It got so bad that I never wanted to see him anymore.

I thought he had mellowed down these past few years and being able to talk to him had been a smoother process. I thought he was finally seeing me as an adult - even if I felt otherwise.

Yet, there it was. The longest and most awkward five days in LA. The only thing I associate the city with.


I suppose that I regret having lost the chance to rectify the situation. That whenever I think of him now, that's the first feeling that jump out of my chest.


Maybe I regret missing the chance to tell him to his face how angry he made me. Maybe he would've offered an apology. Maybe my last memory of him wouldn't have been that.


So many could-have-beens. Such a cliché.‎ I hate that. It doesn't make for a good story.

The good news is that my dad's part in my story is far from over, at least I'd like to think so. It's an open-ended conclusion, as it were.

Even as I write this, I find myself getting less and less angry. I've also come to the conclusion that I probably won't miss his presence in my life. I won't miss seeing his face next time I come to LA. I won't miss his voice most of all.

I will remember him, though, whenever I think about my passions. He got me my first comic book and took me to my very first musical theater show. I can't give the man too much credit for everything I turned out to be but I'll give him those. It may sound shallow to hear but I met my best friends in life because I had an interest in them. Papa made a good call on that one and I'll be forever grateful.

And so I bookmark my father's chapter in my story but I move on.
No more anger.
No more regret.
And no more clichés.
Not even a dopey father's day greeting to signify the occasion.