I have the best dad in the world. Bar none.
On his 14th birthday, Papa drove all the way to Quezon City from Paranaque (after a long, exhausting day at work) to pick up his three children (a.k.a. the Tres Muchachos) so we could all have dinner at home as a family.
When people first meet Papa, they are awed at his presence. "Iba ang tindig niya," they say, "When you look at his eyes, you immediately sense his great intelligence." Others go straight out and ask, "General ba siya? Kakaiba yung aura niya e!"
This man gave up a lucrative, money-making career in order to be a hands-on dad. He was always THERE, without fail, in every major (and minor) event of my life. I can go talk to him about anything and everything, from trivial matters such as crushes to deep conversations about one's raison d'etre, and though we may not always agree, I always benefit from his wisdom and penetrating insights.
That's the kind of man Papa is. A great many people look up to him and admire him, and with good reason, too! He is one of those rare individuals whose integrity is without question, who overcame all sorts of trials, never making excuses for himself despite his impoverished childhood... fighting tooth and nail to attain his goals.
He is my standard when it comes to men. I decided long ago that I would marry someone like my dad. I may end up becoming a spinster because Papa's act is certainly a tough one to follow. ;)
A loving father, a loyal husband, a wise mentor and an ardent patriot with the soul of a poet and the heart of a warrior... Papa is all these things and more. He is my hero, and what motivates me and drives me is this burning desire to someday make him proud of me.
It is a privilege growing up under his guidance. Happy 14th Birthday, Papa! Four more birthdays (16 more years) to go and then you'll be of legal age! ;)