For Tatay Mike

Dear Tatay Mike,

Heaven is rejoicing because they’ve got a new precious angel. Ang swerte nila. They’re blessed to have our greatest Miguel, and I envy them because they’re with you 24/7. But most of all, I’m happy for you, because up above, there will no longer be pain, no more sufferings, only beautiful moments with Nanay Emma.

Tatay Mike, thank you for welcoming me to the Montuerto’s. Thank you for being one of my greatest inspirations. This year’s probably my hardest one, but your smiles and life advices twisted all my sorrows away. Thank you for reminding me that every challenge ends, that every sacrifice for the family is worth it, and that every success is a result of faith and hardwork.

All that you’ve been through made me believe that nothing is impossible. I will always hold on to your words, Tatay. Whenever I feel like giving up, I will think of your perseverance. For the times that I feel small and afraid, I will remember how you say “GUTS!” with conviction. And for the moments when I can’t see light, I will let my heart shine on its own - like I can hear your sweet voice telling me “PUSO!”

Thank you for loving me like your own granddaughter, Tatay Mike. I’m lucky to have met you while you can still dance (and beat Deo the world champ), while you can still laugh, while you can still share your life stories, while you can still eat out with us. No other Bibingka and Puto Bumbong can top the ones you’ve shared with me. No salutes can defeat the one you’ve given me when you found out I was supporting my family. I will take no other flying kisses unless it’s from a person as special as you. I love you, Tatay Mike.

Deo and I will continue to live your legacy. We will take lots of lovely photos together, stick them in a photo album, just like how you do your printed memories with Nanay Emma. Like you, we will never cease to love and take care of our parents. Like you, we will never stop chasing our dreams.

Glad you’re in a safer and happier place now, Tatay Mike. You’ll live in our hearts forever.

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