A Day for Dads

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By Leska Ang

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Friday, June 13, 2014


EVERY third Sunday of June, we children break our piggy banks or put to use our artistic talent to buy or make a gift for our dads. We have been taught that on Father’s Day, we are to give something back to our dad because we should be thankful for all that he has given us every day – his love, protection, and support, both emotional and financial.

Father’s Day was established over a century ago to honor fathers around the world, and to compliment the newly conceptualized holiday called Mother’s Day.

Like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Grandparents’ Day, Father’s Day is a Hallmark Holiday— a ‘holiday’ whose main intention is less on celebrating the subject but more on spending on gifts or fancy greeting cards. It is a retail holiday for the most part as the focus is given more to what the person receives rather than what is done in honor of him.

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As an inquisitive child, I often asked why there was such a big need to celebrate this day as I have met many people who do not have a reason to celebrate on the third Sunday of June. During my stay in the United States, especially, it is not rare to come across kids who have never met their fathers, or have dads who left, or have uninvolved dads.

Wouldn’t their circumstances be a bar for them to take part in a well-observed holiday? Other reasons that hold me back from believing that Father’s Day should be celebrated exist by the multitude – abusive fathers, indifference, and even death.

But still, Father’s Day remains a popular tradition, albeit a well-veiled corporate invention, because for most of us, it is fueled by the emotional attachment we have to the men who helped give life to us. Furthermore, the brains behind this marketing always find a brand new way to sell the holiday to us consumers.

How many “World’s Best Dad” mug or t-shirts have we bought over the years? How many golf club, watch, or brick grill commercials have we seen telling us “for Father’s Day, get your old man a brand new…”? In all honesty, the moment you realized that it was nearing the third Sunday of June, what was your first instinct? Was it not to buy a cake for dad or to reserve a table at a restaurant offering Father’s Day buffet?

Having said all these, is there still a reason to celebrate Father’s Day?

Of course, there is! Why shouldn’t we have a day to honor our father? In fact, for those who only have their fathers as parents, this day would be a more meaningful day for them. We should ask why there is only one dedicated for our mom and one for our dad. Shouldn’t we spend every day as Mother’s and Father’s Day? After all, they are the reason why we are here today. Perhaps there is no way of changing the system where spending is equated to love and gratitude, but before you buy that polo shirt for your father, try to remember all the reasons why we celebrate him and focus on these.

I don’t tell Dad often, so I’m writing it here for all to see. My dad is warm and kind, even though in our culture as a Filipino-Chinese family, fathers are supposedly less expressive. He never praises me when I do a good job to probably keep me grounded, but he tells everyone else about every small success I achieve. He works hard day ‘til night, but he always finds time to watch UFC with me.

At night when he’s driving down fast a narrow street, I never feel afraid because I know he’ll always keep me safe. He taught me to love fishing, how to crunch numbers and how to be wise with money.

He made me appreciate the beach and the sea. He is not afraid to be silly just so he can crack a smile when I’m down. I appreciate all the things he has done for me and I love him because he loves me unconditionally. I love you, Dad!

Happy Father’s Day to my one and only Daddy. Happy Father’s Day to all dads! (Leska Ang )

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 13, 2014.

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