Saturday, July 18, 2009


tatay on his first flight out of the country... =(
January 12, 1990.

As a child, that's one of the saddest days I've had. I was a grade-4 student then. Upon arriving from school that day, I've sensed something missing at home. I panicked, because I dreaded that day to come so I immediately went inside my parents' bedroom and I saw that it was only my pregnant Nanay who was in there. And it confirmed the thought that I Tatay already left us. Ooooopsssss, it isn't what you're thinking...he didn't die (GOD FORBID!!!) nor did he leave us for another girl. He already left for Japan, to work there as an OFW. I know that he is already bound for abroad, but as a 10-year-old kid I don't have that much interest on the specifics of things. Our Nanay told us that my Tatay's group had been called for an "immediate departure" so we didn't get the chance to say goodbye to him. My younger sister and I cried ourselves to sleep that night.

Days, months, years zoomed by. Birthdays, graduations and other important events passed by...still Tatay stayed in Japan to work, to provide for us. Never a day passed that I didn't miss him. He stayed there for 11 loooooooooonnngggg years. He didn't get that chance to come home because he worked there as a TNT (his work papers are not legal). Some said that he already had a family there, but I knew and I believed that in my heart of hearts that my Tatay can never do anything to hurt us.

I graduated from college and started working. I very much wanted for Tatay to come home already, because I wanted to be the one to work for the family in return for all the sacrifices that he and my mother did for us. He said he would have to stay a little bit longer because he wanted to save some more for my brother's schooling. But come September 2001, our Lola (Tatay's mother) died. He had no choice but to come home.

On the way to the airport, I felt excited, happy and sad. It really was a roller-coaster of emotions. I was excited and happy because after 11 years I'd get to see him and hug him and kiss my Tatay again. I was sad because it took 11 years for me to see him and hug him and kiss him again. I already saw him from afar, I was trying to hold back the tears because he already looked old. I felt that it isn't fair for him to have grown old without us by his side. I also felt happy and sad for my youngest brother, because it was the first time that they ever laid eyes on each other personally (Nanay gave birth to my brother 5 days after Tatay left).

I'm very much happy he's back. But having him back took a little bit of adjustment for us. Imagine, he left us as little daddy's girls and when he got back we're already independent ladies. Honestly, I didn't get to bond with him as much my younger sister and brother did. Much as I want to bond with him there's work, friends, night-outs, love-life. I guess I took for granted the idea that he'll be here for good already.

Two years after he came home, I got married. I now have my own family and we live quite far from my parents' house. We visit them as much as we can every week. There are times when I'm alone waiting for my husband to arrive from work and the kids are already asleep, I get that feeling from way back when I was a child when my Tatay is abroad. I still miss my Tatay. Maybe because I don't get to spend much time with him anymore, I am not as updated with his activities as I used to. Maybe simply because deep inside I long to be that little girl...tatay's little girl again.

I love you tay.

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