Daddy issues
ALL THAT SHNAZZ - Alexei Villaraza () - June 19, 2011 - 12:00am

All of us have had problems with our parents at one time or another because the relationship between child and parent will always be polar opposites. 

You’d be strange if you’ve never had an episode or outburst in your growing-up years, never argued about the way you dress, or always saw eye-to-eye about taking the brand-new jeep to the beach for some coolness factor. Sometimes, they just don’t get it and, oftentimes, we don’t see it the way they do.

Children will always be annoyed at something Dad or Mom do without realizing there’s always a lesson to be learned, which is found out only later on. 

This Father’s Day, I’m making a list of Dad’s “annoying” traits and how they have made me into a better person.

He Loves His Camera Way Too Much

In my family, 80 percent of us have cameras. Whether it’s an SLR, Panasonic Lumix, or the family favorite Leica DLUX3, you can be assured that someone (usually my dad) will always whip one out and start snapping away at any family gathering.

Whether I’m about to stuff that spoonful of fatty kare-kare or huge slice of lechon skin into my mouth, my dad will photograph me.

If I’m in my worst pambahay, playing with my eight-month-old nephew, he will capture the moment. 

If I have blemish cream all over my face and I’m seated at the dining table during a very casual family dinner, he will document and publish my face for all family members to see on Kodak Gallery.

But despite all the embarrassing shots taken of me in my worst possible states and angles, whom else can I thank for providing countless memories we can reminisce and laugh about?

His Being O.C. Drives Me Nuts

I used to call my mess “Organized Chaos.” Even if my room was in complete disarray, I still knew which part of my desk I put that note the day before or where my various foreign coins were stashed.

My dad is the complete opposite. He will file every single financial document and appliance manual in an accordion envelope, remind you not to step on the car’s running board so it won’t get dirty, and wipe down bathroom fixtures after every use, to make sure there aren’t any watermarks left.

He will also insist his clothes closet is organized according color and that hangers are each half an inch apart.

His OC-ness and careful attention to detail may drive anyone up the wall, but they have taught me to take care of my things, live a neater life (it helps chi flow properly, I hear) and heed the little things because they do matter. And in a world already filled with chaos, it’s healthy to keep whatever you have spick and span.

He Lives Like It’s Rush Hour, Every Hour

During the height of his hyperthyroid days, my dad was perpetually in a rush. On Sundays mornings when I’d rather move at a snail’s pace, he’d make us hurry up, resulting in my skipping parts of my routine, or else get left behind.

I’m guessing this comes from his own dad who would actually leave his children behind if they weren’t ready by the time he was seated inside the car.

My dad’s fast-break method has made me make the most out of my day by starting off early so I can do more in 24 hours. It also taught me to be more professional and avoid observing “Filipino time” unless the occasion calls for it.

He’s Extremely Difficult To Gift

When you have a dad who has everything, looking for the perfect gift is like searching for the Holy Grail. It’s next to impossible. Many years ago I bought him a bar of cigar-scented soap that said “Dad.” 

Many times I’d get so exhausted scouring multiple malls that, at the end of the day, I’d just give up.

Gift hunting for my dad has made me maximize my cranium more by thinking of creative ways to give him that special present he deserves.

Gift giving to my dad has turned into an innovative mental exercise.

When I was much younger, I used to grab a clean sheet of bond paper, fold it into fours, draw something fancy on the cover, write a note on the inside, and turn it into a greeting card. It did the trick because I really did care enough to send him the very best — the very best of my artistic skills, that is.   

My present to him this year is something more personal and it’s every single word in this article. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

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Alexei blogs at

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