Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trace Your Face: A Father's Day Special

Our faces aren't as original as they seem. Like anything you see under the sun, they come from something already existent. They are an evolution, an innovation -- a model 2.0 of an older generation, a mix of two entities, or an exact carbon copy of a previous model. Let me tell you where I got my face.

When I was younger, I was told that I looked like one particular man. I was opposite of ecstatic when I heard that news. My grandpa, cousins and friends would tease and call me his junior. I said defiantly, "Of course not! I am not a boy!" Apart from that, he is a couple of decades older than me. He has a big built, while I (knew I was chubby, but I...) wanted to be slimmer. He has a charming boyish smile showing a full set of teeth, mine was the same except that I was lacking a few teeth. There was no way we could be alike. They needed to have their eyes checked, I thought.

Later on, when his black & white teen picture was placed side by side with my childhood pic, I had to change my mind. I saw that my face is just as circular, my eyes are just as wide and un-chinese, and my ears are just as portruding as his. And, like me, he also has a birthmark painted like a map on his right shoulder.

Oddly, our similarities lie more than just skin deep. During my boyband craze years, he also had his own stash of Westlife, Backstreet Boys and Boyzone CDs. He'd rather sing "I'll Never Break Your Heart" and "Fool Again" than the songs of his era. He was a pal who'd watch concerts with me at Araneta Coliseum. We have the same taste in food and even in movies, by the way.

As years rolled by, I got to know him more. I even got to pry on his love life. He told me that he courted his girlfriend for over five years. Despite living two cities away from her, he traveled almost everyday just to see her. That is patience. His patience was worth it, because his first girlfriend soon became his wife. I've seen his patience being exercised during random evenings when he had to drive me home from school. He would wait for me silently and patiently. This guy whom I got my face from is also selfless. He does not withhold anything from his family, whether it is love, time, leisure or life lessons. He gives without reservations -- but not to the point of spoiling them. For he also sees to it that his children are to be disciplined and taught of good values.

I am not sure where, or from whom, you got your looks. I got mine from someone I am very much proud of. Someone who has shared with me great lessons in life. Someone who has protected me from the snares of this world. Someone who has inspired me to love, to care and to give. Someone whose selfless actions have taught me more than words could ever do. Someone whom God has blessed me with. Someone I won't ever trade for the world.

Someone whom I call, Papa.

Happy Father's Day! I love you, Pa!

A man finds room in the few square inches of his face for the traits of all his ancestors; for the expression of all his history, and his wants. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Conduct of Life

"Honor your father and your mother"--which is the first commandment with a proise. ~ Ephesians 6:2

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