Archive for October, 2008


all about my father

20 October 2008

My dad is king of the faux pas! Leader of the social gaffe! Growing up with him has made for some amusing stories, to say the least. In my family, you see, my mom is the extrovert. She’s a vivacious story-teller, a social butterfly, and the queen of hospitality. My dad, on the other hand, is an introvert (like me). A pensive, reserved, quiet sort of guy. Oh, but when he decides to be a social butterfly…. that’s when the cringe-worthy yet hilarious moments rack up. When he shares stories and jokes, watch out! Like the time that we were having dinner in Madrid with a group of fellow tourists…

Fellow tourist: Can you please pass the pepper?
My dad: Oh sure! You know how the blacks call it?
Tourist: huh?
My dad: Blacks say “pe-pa!” Hahah….
Tourist: *with pained look in eyes, reluctantly laughs*
Me and my brother: *silently wish for the ground to open up and swallow us up*

Or like the time I brought a friend from college home for a party and he tells us a story of how stoned and drunk he got with my uncle that they ended up eating 10 rotisserie chickens between the two of them? (And incidentally, my dad was *thisside* of buzzed when he told us the story).

I think that he just doesn’t think about what he says. I mean half the time, I know he means well, but it comes out shitty. Like the time my cousin and I were standing next to each other. Now my cousin is very fit and slim, and at the time, I had packed on a lot of weight. He stands behind us and puts his hands on our shoulders and flat out says: “Now why can’t you look more like her!” My cousin looked very embarrassed, and I was just pissed. OMG, right?! But of course, you don’t talk back to your parents and I knew that he was just trying to be “funny” (for lack of a better word). To this day though, I remember that incident.

What can I say though? You usually only get one dad, and as far as dads go, he’s still a great guy. He’s always supported my family and he is generous to a fault. I mean what dad would insist on getting you a BMW X5 despite you telling him you just want a cheap Honda Civic?? Or pay for your college AND law school education? Or tell you that he’s paying for your wedding just because he wants to? He’s also very understanding of the fact that sometimes, kids will just get into shenanigans and that this has no bearing on their moral fiber! Case in point: He picked me up from college once for some family thing and I was obviously hung-over. So hungover that I made him stop the car every few blocks or so so I can throw up. He quietly said: “Let’s not tell your mom about this.”

I had a great childhood thanks in part to him (other parts include my mom and her side of the family). And both he and my mother were responsible for my love of reading (which in turn, pretty much formed my nerdy personality). By age 10 I was already raiding his Stephen King collection, and read his many books on psychic Edgar Cayce. Even before the Da Vinci Code came out, he’s long been an “enthusiast” of the occult, mystical leanings, conspiracy theories, what-have-you. He’s also taken me to the first movie I can remember (Raiders of the Lost Ark), and has bought me toys, books, a cool-ass bike, and a pet monkey!!

My dad is a lawyer. I’ve always thought of my dad as this uber-smart guy since my mom’s told us stories of how he got through school solely on scholarships and hardwork. He worked for a firm and then lucked out and was counsel for the Sy family (which in my head, I liken to the Darlings of Dirty Sexy Money –but without the trashy glamour or gossip), but he decided to go for broke and forge a future in the U.S. Now, he has his own firm and has made a good living –enough to support me and my two brothers, as well as help out several relatives in the Philippines (being the eldest son, he has tons of responsibilities. Tons). I think it’s awesome that he had the balls to just up and move and simply DO what he felt he had to do for the future of his family.

Our family and family friends sort of assume that he is “grooming me” to take over his firm. But my dad’s never pressured me into doing that. He loves my ideals (he claims I remind him of himself when he was a young lawyer) and admires my dedication to public service. He himself could’ve been a judge but he didn’t see it in his future. He thinks what I do is great, although I really think he and my mom worry about my financial future (hence his propensity to “help us out”). I think he thinks I’ll venture out into the private sector soon enough.

But it’s funny how nowadays, he comes to me for legal advice on what to tell potential clients He’s in the papers for a few high-profile cases, but yet he’s asking me for my opinion! Now this is a guy who can wax poetic about the law, legal advances, politics, etc. and I’m pretty much the exact opposite (I’m the most unlawyerly lawyer you will ever meet). So I think it’s cool that he values my opinion as to what I think about his case. I appreciate it, but I don’t think I can ever fill his shoes.