My dad is a good man
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2018 - 12:00am

(2nd of two parts)

All of daddy’s hard work was never about the money. Never about the awards. Never about the success in itself. It had always been about making the people he cared for happy. It was always about making a living for his brothers, his family, his mom, his employees, and everyone who crossed his path. Time and time again, he would tell us, that the most important thing in business is to make sure your employees are happy. Make sure they are not suffering. Make sure that if they need help, whether they ask for it or not, you give them the help that they need, especially when you are more than capable. He is as selfless as he is successful, if not more.

Somehow though, despite his constantly busy schedule, he would always find time for us still. No matter the circumstance, he made sure that he would always set time aside during summer breaks and Christmas breaks, so we could travel as a family. When I was still in grade school, every weekend he would take us to the mall to go bowling. If we didn’t feel like bowling, we would go play mini golf. Later on, when the bowling and mini golf places shut down, Friday nights became movie nights at Eastwood Mall. And in the past few years, he’s been flying back and forth between Manila and Canada, where we’re currently based. I have no doubt that it’s been extremely tiring for him, but he does it anyway. He does it for us.

He is so down to earth, it’s sometimes hard to grasp how accomplished he is. Whenever he visits us in Canada, he gets so excited to wear his “Canada get up.” He loves being able to walk around in a sweater or a t-shirt and comfy sweatpants, with matching Adidas slides from time to time.

He’s such a present father figure to me, to my siblings, and sometimes even to my friends. Whenever I would invite friends over for dinner, he would always join us. He would literally sit there and listen to their stories and just laugh with us until he was tearing up. I didn’t mind; they didn’t mind. We all love having him around. He is so present in our lives, that just the other day, I realized that I was still having conversations with daddy in my mind. Even when he’s not physically here, I know what he would tell me. It will be difficult now that he can no longer make the tough decisions for us, but he is so present in our lives, that we know what he would say. We will always know in our heart of hearts what daddy would tell us. He will not try to influence our decisions; he will continue to support us in all we choose to do, but we will always know that he knows best.

Whenever daddy is involved, whenever we ask for his help, or even when we don’t, we never have to worry. Because it is so easy to trust a man with so much kindness in him. It is so easy to trust someone who will literally pull all strings to make his loved ones happy. He is my rock, and he is everyone’s too.

Whenever I felt like I had failed, or was about to fail – when I got my first and only C in college; and when I was struggling with finding a job – what helped me calm down and breathe, was knowing that whatever the outcome, I would be okay. In every situation, I always knew I would be okay, because daddy made it that way. He made it so that we would never have to worry. He made it a great privilege to be his daughter.

I am so so proud to be a Sytin because of him. I have very big shoes to fill, and I am afraid. No one in this world can ever amount to the man my dad is. But daddy will make sure we are okay because he always does. I know in my heart that I will never feel whole again. I know that I will never feel okay again. But I know that daddy will help me learn to accept that this new normal, although painful, is okay.

I never truly understood what people meant when they would say that some people live in our hearts forever. But now I do. I see daddy in so many things, in so many ways.

Daddy, I always thought that one day I would regret the four years I spent at college, far away from you. I thought that I would question my decision to move away from home for a long period of time. But I don’t. I don’t, because you always made me feel how proud you were of me. And you made sure that I knew how happy my decisions made you. And that is all I want in everything I do. To see you happy. To know that I have not let you down. And you made sure I knew that. I just hope that you also know how proud I am of you. How proud we all are of you. Although we tell you from time to time how proud we are of you, I don’t think words can ever truly express how much we admire you. But now I know that you can finally feel what we feel in our hearts. How proud we are of you, and how much you inspire us to be more like you in every way.

I always tell my friends about my plans of coming back home to help you out so you can retire, rest, sleep as much as you want, watch all the TV shows on Netflix, and eat as much Mango Yummy as you want. Rest na, daddy. It’s time for you to chillax. We love you so so much, daddy. And we cannot say it enough.

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