When one is distant from a father

My days of seeing my father as an idol are over. I’ve decided to remove him from that pedestal and now see him as a companion, the way a father should be, whom I can celebrate with all the things that make him bold, strange, but ordinary.  

The first

On a day that hails fathers all over the world, I am compelled to reflect on the questions that have haunted my relationship with my own. What are the things running through his head? Why did I become so distant from him? What else can I do for the both of us?

Whenever I think of these questions, I only return to the days when my father reminded me not to go to sleep when my hair was still wet.

In those flashbacks, there are moments of clarity that make me understand how my father expresses his affection to me through those bizarre beliefs and his own voice, rather than through the medium of anything else. Even though I may not completely identify all the things I can do to better our time together, at least I know that underneath those superstitions are his truths in love and his ways of reaching out to a likewise distant son. 

"Basa pa ang buhok mo. 'Wag ka munang matulog. Nakakabulag 'yan (Your hair is still wet. Do not go to sleep yet. It causes blindness)", he reminded me the last time I came home, just after I stepped out of the bathroom and put out the lights.

This time, he also told me he has always wanted to travel far, but was never able to and that I should do it instead. So I assured him that I will travel north and sail to distant shores for him. 

And when I do, I know that in spite of the superstitions he regarded as true, in spite of the distance I had once created for us, I will look back to this moment to see my father as the man I will always consider to be the first. - Rappler.com  

John Patrick Allanegui is the managing editor of Verstehen. He tweets at @JohnAllanegui.