“Just pour your heart out for Papa.”
That’s what my very dramatic Mama said when I asked what to say for my speech last Sunday. It was Papa’s 61st birthday party and my nephew Caleb’s Christening party, and she wanted that at least one of the Capes would say something, and as the only one who can be coerced to do so, I spoke in front of all of Papa’s clients, officemates and my brother’s friends and co-workers.
Little did I know that it was also my birthday party.
“I was really suprised po, when I arrived here kanina. Nagulat ako nakalagay sa balloons yung birthday ko, sa mga cupcakes. Aba, kasama pala ako sa mga celebrants.”
“So, thank you so much for coming to MY birthday party, kahit hindi ko kayo ininvite,” I said as everyone laughed.
“I would want to thank my siblings, and my Titas, but I guess today should really be about Papa,” I said, now in a more serious tone. “I’m sure all of your lives have been touched in one way or another by Papa, and even Mama, that’s why you’re here today. You all know how open our house is to everyone — whenever you need to consult about your finances, or your love life, my parents are there.”
“Well, kung empleyado kayo ni Papa, at napagalitan at inenslave niya kayo, siguradong na-touch niya nga mga buhay niyo.”
“But seriously, I think you all know how workaholic, and dedicated Papa is. Even on a Sunday, he’ll spend time talking to prospective clients, and he goes the extra mile to mentor his employees. 3 of which who have started under his watch, are now bosses in their own turfs. Hindi kasi siya madamot sa alam niya. Can we all give Papa a round of applause?”
“Thank Pa for standing by all of your kids through the good times and the bad. Thank you for singing to me Christian songs when I was 7 and confined in the UST hospital because of dengue. Thank you for scratching our backs all the time — something which I think is symbolic kung gaano ka katutok sa aming magkakapatid.”
“Thank you Pa for working hard for all of us, for your kids, for your siblings, even for your grandchildren. Thank you sa pagtatanong from time to time kung may pera pa ba ako, thank you sa kotseng kunwaring hindi ko gusto.”
“I love you Pa! All of your kids, are so thankful, and joyful.”
Later on that night, I told Mama how I think they grew further closer as time went by.
“Parang mas naging sweet pa kayo ni Papa kung kailan kayo tumanda.”
“Of course! Narealize nila pagtiyatiyagaan nila isa’t isa kapag kinuha na si Charlie ni Camille,” my sister was quick to butt in as my parents laughed.
“Bakit naman pagtitiyagaan, it was our choice,” Papa said as she looked at Mama.
We squirmed because of the cheesiness, but I think we were both really damn proud of our parents.
We have the best in the world.