To Papa

By ZZP· Saturday, June 18, 2011
Thank you. I am blessed that God gave me you. Growing up in a 2-bedroom bungalow in a family compound in San Juan has brought so many happy memories. Although it came with the hardships of growing up poor, we were a happy bunch- and a closed-knit family, thanks to you wanting the Padilla family near by for support.

I can’t imagine how you and Mama were able to manage to put all 6 of us through school. It must have been tough. And I remember times when we barely managed having food on our table. But we were all happy. And even when you were strict with us and disciplined us in ways worthy of an MMK (Maalala Mo Kaya) episode, the good memories always outweigh the tough.

I remember the embarrassment of having to be called to report at the Principal’s office numerous times. I was not allowed to take the exam because my tuition was not paid for. And still, you and Mama managed to pay. At tignan mo, Inglesera na ako ngayon! Sana huwag ka mag nose bleed sa sulat ko, ok? Labu.

I also remember walking the streets of San Juan in the rain (naka umbrella naman) to go the panciteria of N. Domingo to buy 2 bags of pancit. Ulam natin sa kanin. Puro carbs, huh? Pero in fairness, may chunks of meat pa nuon. Healthy and nutritious pa din.

When i tell these stories, people would raise their eyebrow. Like I am making up that we were poor and that I used to love to play in the open canals of the streets of Valenzuela. Eh sa feeling ko, yun ang “fishing” eh. Ang sarap kaya mang-huli ng isda at tadpole sa kanal? Bet? Thanks to the combination of combatrin and pineapple fruit, labas lahat ng alaga sa tyan! Ewwww. Yucky (ganyan na ang may class).

I am proud of you. When I see the past films you have made, I’m quite impressed that you were an excellent actor! Sorry, i was too young to remember your past films but thanks to Cinema One, I get to catch it. I hope that we can act together. All of us in one film. Wouldn’t that be a dream project?

And what about all the many successful fights that you have worked as a referee? It is marked in history. Never to be forgotten. That is why we, your children, all strive hard to be as successful as you in our chosen field. You have rubbed this off on all of your grandchildren as well- to make a difference in the world, to try and give our very best.

The most difficult phase in my growing up years was when you had to make a sacrifice to leave your family and work in Las Vegas. I know a lot of people can relate to this. Being part of a family with an OFW parent. Ganyan naman ang karamihan ng buhay ng Pinoy. Sadly, I rebelled and married early. In retrospect, I know now why that happened. I was destined to stay in Manila. God has different plans for each of us. God is good.

I thank you for my love for working out- growing up watching you work out everyday in your home-made gym. At least inspired ako mag-work out kahit masakit na minsan sa buto at kaso kasuhan! Because you’re still taking good care of your body. Still jogging at 77! Both impressive and inspiring!

Thank you for taking care of Mama and staying married for more than 50 years! I thank you for loving family first and foremost. I thank you for all the sacrifices you have made, to make us who we are today.

Although I am far away- you, Mama, all my brothers and sisters, pamangkins and apos will always be in my heart. Thank you for everything you taught me. All the phone calls and “sermons” that I get even with my constant bikkering- “Akala mo ata 12 years old pa din ako!!!”. I know now as a parent that we will always be protective of our children. And in our eyes, sometimes, it is hard to understand that children grow up to become adults. But thank you for your guidance. I may not always listen to your advise (tigas din ng ulo at pasaway minsan), but no matter what i say or do, I know in the end how you are always right and want ONLY what is best for me.

I am proud that you are my Papa. i wouldn’t want anyone else in the world. I love you very, very much. I miss you. I pray that God would grant you many, many more years on Earth. I cannot imagine life without you and Mama (pause for tears).

Happy Father’s day!

Papa the health buff

My beautiful parents
Third man in the ring
My beautiful parents

The Art of Clean Clutter

If there is spring cleaning, what does one call the act of throwing out old stuff to make room for new ones beginning of the year?

While family is away on vacation, I have been doing a bit of cleaning. Our house is 18 years old and we have decided to refurbish (major repairs are in order) this year. We will also be building a library and a mezzanine which will act as our “bodega”.

I decided to start with my own things. The idea dawned on me while I was looking for my Star Cinema script. I have been so busy I just pile everything in one corner. I started sorting them out- “Maalaala mo Kaya?” script and Mano Po 6 scripts are now nicely stowed away. Lyrics from shows and itineraries from  the Divas tours piled in another corner.

So far, I  have cleaned two desks- one inside my room and the other right outside where I hang out to do bills, write letters, do photo albums and sometimes, type on my computer- just like today.

I was supposed to film for Star Cinema today (hang on tight Kimerald fans), but it was canceled, so I decided to stay home to do more cleaning. We accumulate so much mail, magazines, books, knick knacks, “abubot” the whole year ’round and January always seems  a reasonable time to clean, right? It’s easy for me to throw things out but it’s important to know what you shouldn’t throw away. Like the old adage goes, no one throws away memories.

Things I couldn’t throw away:

1. Pictures. Why aren’t we printing enough anymore though?  This digital frenzy makes it impossible to choose. I mean, aim and shoot. How hard could it be? And as long as you, your friends and family are in the photo, that makes for a good shot, right?

Photo albums are so much fun to look at. And seeing how fast my kids have grown, makes me sigh and ask myself,  ” Where has the time gone?”.

And scrapbooks are fun to make. I think the last time I had pictures printed was 2 years ago. My bad. I need to sort out good ones and have them printed. Wow, thinking about it makes me dizzy. Some task that’s going to be.

2. Cards/ letters, Souvenir programs from concerts, my kids’ school programs, report cards, drawings,  scripts, lyrics and travel/tour itineraries, etc, etc.

I’m sentimental but I don’t know where to keep them anymore. I had my staff go to SM MOA today to get 6 big plastic containers.Luckily, it was on sale. I filled one with old and new posters of concerts/ movies and the other one with important mail, letters, souvenirs, cards, report cards, scripts, etc.

3. Magazines especially with Karylle on the cover. Proud Mom will keep them forever!
I also keep newspaper articles and it’s all piled up in a corner! That has got to go in one container.

4. Paper weights. I have about 4 and they are cute and basically just acts as knick knacks on my desk. Most are from my girls and it makes me happy seeing them on my desk.

That’s about it. I have not been keeping cds of music materials like I used to. It’s already in my computer. After I upload them, I throw them out. Kinda wasteful, don’t you think?

I still own a cassette player/recorder and several tapes though. Although they are obsolete, they have been neatly filed by my staff early last year.

And so i am done cleaning my desks. I’m thinking of old clothes and shoes next. So many people may be able to make good use of them.

I don’t want an empty desk. I even put the most “painful” mail I have where I could see it. And as I fixed my desk today, I put it right back at the very top of the heap.

I need to glimpse at it daily. Because even with this long hard struggle, I have learned to be grateful. And so I thank God that I get to live another day even if it’s to fight this long battle. If there’s one thing in my life that has not yet been granted, there have been so many blessings that have probably taken it’s place.

And yes, I have lived another year to “declutter”. Who knows, this year, I may have the chance to finally throw these registered mail out. For good.