I am an old soul for a reason.
At an early age, I was taught to listen to The Beatles, The Hollies, Bread, Sonny and Cher, The Carpenters and Nat King Cole, on a record player older than my mother.
I learned how to read through singing those people’s songs, and though I’m nowhere close to a good singer, I was showered with praises by non-other than my beloved grandfather whom I call ‘daddy’. I owe so much to him more than just the musical influence. He was the father I never had and more.
I will never forget how, at the age of 4 or 5, we’d sit together in the dining room at 5AM. He’d pour coffee on my little cup and we’d talk, listen to the radio and sing along. On weekend lunch times he’d take me and my brother out with our grandma to Jollibee or Greenwich, then take us to places like the zoo or even all the way to Tagaytay. And until this day, I remember how he’d try to get home as early as he can just so he can bring me home some Siopao from Ongpin which we’d share while we watch TV until late in the evening.

He, along with my grandma, took care of my brother and I, and raised us when our own parents were too caught up with work. He was more of the father than our own. He loved us so much…

Daddy didn’t have much, but for us, especially to me, he gave what he can and what he has left. He poured a part of his soul to me.
I would never have been the person I am today had it not been to him and my granny. And now that he’s gone, tonight, though my voice shivers, I’ll sing all the love songs that we sang together. Cheers dad, let’s share one more bottle of brandy tonight.

Rogelio De la Luna Sr.

July 20, 1940 – September 26, 2015

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