Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing dads out there! As if the week back from the Philippines could not get any crazier, today we celebrated one huge family celebration at my house. My family hosted Father’s Day for both sides of the family, my brother’s eight grade graduation, and two birthdays for my cousin Alainey and Grandma Barbie who both have birthdays at the beginning of June. Everyone has busy schedules these days and it is hard to set dates that work for everyone–so why not have one huge party? After all, there is so much to celebrate and be thankful for.
I got to see my extended family for the first time since Mother’s Day and have missed them so much. It is always rewarding to visit with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents to share what I have been up to and see how they have been spending their last few weeks. This is quality family time and when memories are made that will last a lifetime. I will never forget my parents running around the house this morning to get ready for the guests and wanting everything to be perfect…but Siena our dog always gets into trouble or comes into the house with wet paws after it rains, driving my mom a little crazy. I love the smell of the kitchen and backyard when my dad is cooking on the grill or when my Aunt Karen is telling funny stories about my little cousins and their innocent nature.
Makipagkapwa is one of the five Filipino traits that the people of the Philippines embody. It means that the people have a shared sense of identity and see themselves as part of the group, especially the family. Family is everything to me; it is the backbone that holds individuals together. I am grateful for my family and all that they provide for me. The people that surround me in my family are my role models and push me to be a better version of myself each and every day. They are the people I cannot live without and even being gone for three weeks, I could not wait to tell them about my amazing experience. I am surrounded by unconditional love and a life of laughter and happiness. Today was more than a celebration about Father’s Day, graduation, and birthdays…it was a reminder that my family is one of unity, reliance, and above all love.
Once all the guests left, my dad opened up his presents from the family. I even handed out the gifts I got everyone from my trip to the Philippines.