Today, it is a very special day for Alan's daddy, and luckily, mine too :) I think it is an opportunity for me to give honor to a man so dear to us on his birthday. Let me share with you 3 things about what I'm most grateful for with daddy.
1. He embodies grace under pressure
It was around Christmas couple of years back in the Fernandezes' lovely abode. They were prepping for a lunch reunion of their old friends from Japan. I went down to the kitchen to peak and see if they can use a hand. I saw Daddy with his hands full and yet he seemed very calm and chill. So I asked him what can I do to help and he gently asked me if I can fix the salad. He added that the guests would be coming in a few minutes and he felt stressed out because the table wasn't ready yet. In my head, he looked otherwise. Nothing about him looked frazzled or alarmed. To try to lighten up the mood, I uttered, "Stressed na po kayo niyan? You don't look like it po" hehe. To me, I will be always reminded of his gracefulness. I believe Alan got his soft spoken quality and gentleness from Daddy which I am pleased.
2. He is thoughtful.
I appreciate so much the times when Daddy would text me to check where I was and if I would be eating dinner at home while on my vacation in the Philippines. I grew up without a father and so to be cared for by Daddy was a great deal to me. Daddy showed me how it was like to have a genuine father on earth. I am blessed and honored to be his daughter-in-law.
3. He is hardworking.
Daddy worked for the UN in Japan and concentrated on waste management. I've never seen someone very mindful of his trash and the environment as daddy. I believe he also worked as a consultant for earthquakes and disaster prevention. It's his joy to inform everyone how to be prepared when natural calamities come and he takes it very seriously. When I was in high school, I happened to be hanging out with Nina, Alan's sister at their house and Daddy suddenly gathered everyone and showed us a documentary DVD on earthquake preparedness plan. Now at 61, he devotes most his time on his new baby, Zaan Japanese Tea House. I witnessed how much work he put in while they were starting up the restaurant and I'm just so proud. Please check them out at Mother Ignacia Ave corner Roces Ave. (Please click on the link. Quick ad right there haha)
To close, I want to honor a man who gave Alan and me insights to many things. I thank him for teaching Alan how to be a gentleman, and to be rooted in God's presence. I especially learned from him how to live simply and to invest in travel because it is the best channel of learning. It makes my heart leap remembering what Daddy shared with me one day about one of his greatest dreams. For all of us to travel to Italy together as a family. That's one of the sweetest dreams I've heard, ever! Just the fact that he dreams intentionally for the family is enough for me.
Happy birthday Daddy! Thank you for everything! We love you!
Joselle and Alan