Balang Araw

Balang araw, mauupo tayo sa buhangin ng sarili nating dagat. Sasalubungin natin ang bukangliwayway habang dinadampi ng hamog ang inaantok pa nating mga pisngi. Sasawayin pa rin natin ang dalawang batang hindi mapigilan magtampisaw sa tubig. At mahigpit pa rin ang kapit ng ating mga kamay.
Hindi man kasing lawak ng dalampasigan na ito, o kasing laki at ganda ng bahay na tinuluyan natin, basta tayo pa ring apat. Ikaw, ako, at ang dalawang batang habangbuhay na magiging bata, na habangbuhay din nating mamahalin ng buo at lubos.
Balang araw.


Nothing Special

Dear Sam and Jared,

I write to you with the undying hope that you will someday learn to read. This one’s for the two of you.

This morning, I was woken up with the smell of Tender Juicy hotdog, garlic rice, and the sweetest greeting from your mother: “Happy father’s day, babe!!!” As I opened up my eyes, I was greeted by your mom’s still amazing smile, and heart shaped hotdogs and rice (which your mom insisted I shouldn’t take a photo of). I was looking for you two, but you weren’t there.

You were downstairs, doing your usual routine. I gave both of you a kiss, but you did not kiss me back. You did not greet me. There were no surprise gifts, not even a Hallmark card. This was just another day, nothing special.

In fact, you two were just like that on mother’s day, Christmas, New Year, and pretty much any ‘special’ occasion, including your own birthdays. We greet you with a hug and kiss, bake you a cake, and let you blow the candles. We burst shot that very moment and pray for a decent capture of a smile, so we can convince Instagram and the rest of the internet that you are especially happy on that given day. But the reality is, at least for you, it was just another day, nothing special.

It’s almost ironic that children who are stereotypically labelled as ‘special’ can’t even distinguish a ‘special’ occasion. No matter how much you adorn the house with garlands and colors, no matter how spectacular the fireworks, no matter how tall the Christmas tree, how big the cake, how much hotdogs there is to the sweet spaghetti, it’s just another day, nothing special.

Some people might see you two as hard to please, unhappy even, on ‘special’ days when you just seem indifferent.

If only they can see your faces during bath time. All it takes is a timely-paid water bill, a huge container like a vat or a cooler, and a water hose. Your smile would be wider than a that of a kid who got all the presents he wanted on Christmas morning.

If only they can see you, Jared, watching your mom intently as she flattens that roti dough, cooks it in a little butter until slightly crispy, and serving it on your favorite plate. Then you carefully hold two ends of the plate with your two hands, and touch the flat bread with your thumb every five seconds to see if it’s still hot. And when it’s ready, every bite is pure joy.

If only they can see you, Sam, running towards the kitchen counter the moment you hear the sound of a spoon swirling around on the inside of a pitcher, mixing instant iced tea. You eagerly get your glass and sip and giggle. Then you sip and giggle some more until I tell you not to play with your food and drink it all the way (yeah, dad is a kill joy at times).

You see, today was nothing special. Because it’s not just all about the third Sunday of June and the breakfast in bed, the redundant greetings, and the stereotypical surprise gift of a necktie which I will probably never use. It’s those everyday small things. Those simple things that make our mundane everyday better than any special day. 

Because you two are the only reason why I’m included in father’s day. More importantly, you two are the only reason why it’s a HAPPY father’s day.