15 Reasons Why I Have the Coolest Dad

Dear Dad,

Belated happy birthday! If Mom got a blog post for her birthday, you havta get one too.

This was easier to write than hers – probably because we put our heads together to write more often. (Also, I don’t wanna do these surprise birthday posts for you or Mom anymore because I still don’t feel confident about not having both of your opinions. Waaaaahh.)

I hope you enjoy this birthday gift as much as I enjoyed writing it! Without further ado, here are the reasons why you’re the coolest.

1. You’re a jack of all trades.

The most memorable bedtime stories you told me in my childhood were those about your scuba-diving trips.

You collected crown-of-thorns to save the corals. And, one time, you almost drowned, but you were saved by your buddy! (Or was it the other way around? Sorry, I don’t remember!)

Although your specialisation is in IT, you’ve learned skills like scuba diving, photography, art, and writing.


Fixing your mask during one of your dives.

You really surprise us by the way you can do many different things.

2. You are a walking Wikipedia.

You can readily share relevant and crazy-good facts about any type of subject, which whets the audience’s appetite for learning and piques their curiosity about your topic.

For example, you invite multinational friends over to our house for a Bollywood movie night.

At the same time, you usually give a lively commentary about the actors, cinematography, location, and portrayal of their South Asian culture. Those nights are the best!

3. You are a silver-tongued wordsmith.

It’s like you can always speak to anyone about anything, anytime and anywhere – effortlessly.

The stage is your natural habitat, and you make masterpieces out of words – written or spoken.
Your speech isn’t just filled with flowery statements, but you know how to persuade and rally others to your noble cause.

I wish I could talk like you do!


Preaching a sermon with the background of Mount Everest. You make the best PowerPoints 😉

4. You have a great sense of humour.

I don’t get your jokes sometimes plus I’m slow to understand, but they always give me a good laugh.
You can also turn serious moments around with your quips, like they do in movies.

I remember back then when I lost a 5,000 dram note from my jeans’ pocket while biking. I cried so much while lying on my bed, in the dark, because I learned the lesson of how to keep money safe the hard way.

You went to my room, turned on the light, and sat by my side.
You told me, “You paid 5,000 dram to learn this lesson.”
Of course, I had to smile. And I fell asleep feeling better.

5. Faith is your middle name.

You don’t just use humour to lighten up the atmosphere.

You deliberately speak words of life to seemingly hopeless situations, like how you raised the morale of our whole relief operations team after the Nepal earthquake.

When Mom was about to give birth to my brother, Jivan, in the hospital, you believed that God would completely provide for our needs – and He did!

Considering how it’s so much easier to go with the flow by thinking and speaking negatively, you prove you’re a solid man of faith by standing your ground for and staying true to your values of seeking the positive outcome in each situation – and unconditionally hoping in God.

You also believe that God will give us the best, no matter how long the wait and no matter how much the cost.

6. You are our quality control.

You have an eye for the best.

From keeping our house tidy to choosing the best place to shop (like Zara! hahaha), you know the right pick.


Cleaning the dust and pigeon poop off our solar heater.

You made me and my sister clean the toilet – we scrubbed the floors and the toilet bowl.
You taught us to pump water from our backyard well to the overhead tank back in Nepal.
And, recently, you repeatedly nagged us to draw our bedroom curtains and blinds, as well as to clean up the living room in the evening, until we reminded ourselves to do it.

(This is similar to what I wrote for Mom, but I only thought of the snappy subtitle now. It’s great to have you both inspect our work. You teach us kids to be excellent.)

7. You spend time with us.

You prioritise quality time with your family. I’ve seen how you serve us and take time to know us.


Bonding under the swimming pool.

Two weeks ago, you taught Abbie to play guitar. You even jammed with her while playing on the piano!
The other day, you did my usual chore: you gave Jivan a bath, dressed him up, combed his hair perfectly, and even sprayed on his Star Wars perfume!


Playing bumper cars with Jivan at a park in Yerevan.

You take me to coffee shop dates just to edit my blogs, and you still take Mom out for a movie and shopping at her favorite brands.


Dinner-date at home with Mom during your wedding anniversary last year.

Our family activities usually take place in the middle of your busy schedule and “me time”. We grow more when we spend time together.

8. You are a teddy bear to us.

This is how I translate the Filipino word “malambing”.
You show us your affection, speak tender words, and often tuck us into bed – and we love you for it!


Thanks for lifting us up on your shoulders!

9. You’re a relatable dad.

You don’t say “bruh” (the cooler and more millennialist version of “bro”) like Janina Vela and Nate Punzalan’s dad (3:38), but you do know how to relate to us kids.

You stayed up late with me one night when I got rejected by the Art Market for my art stall application, because you told me stories from your youth to teach me not to give up.

Here are some of them: In the province, you weeded out your grandpa’s lawn during summer break; you slept on a newspaper for a few weeks when you studied in Manila; studied hard to score 100% in all your tests during one year, and you applied for and got accepted by a top university by sending your application through DHL to the dean’s office – which was only a few blocks away from your place.

I wasn’t discouraged at all, and I went on to have a successful first stint at the Art Market.

10. You take me on adventures.


Posing with our trekking backpacks during one of breaks.

The most unforgettable adventure you’ve taken me to would be our 7-day Gosaikunda trek in the Himalayas of Nepal.

We trumped up blue pine forests with Lord-of-the-Rings-esque views, sampled yak cheese from a yak cheese factory, had morning tea with Nepali Tamang friends in an earthquake-crumbled building, hobnobbed with Israeli, French, Korean, British, and Russian fellow trekkers, and sat down the mountainside to acclimatize and watch the purple sunset bathe the white-capped Langtang mountains a few thousand meters above us.

I wanna thank you for taking pictures of the night sky that was lit with hundreds of thousands of stars during our fifth day on the trek.

I couldn’t recognize any constellation from that surreal canopy because the myriads of stars hid any semblance of the shapes I memorized since I was a little kid.


Taking a breath during the first day of trekking.

You braved several minutes in the thin air of that 4°C April night just to take slow shutter shots from the height of 3,970 meters. I’m glad that you caught that keepsake of a magical night that filled this astronomy-lover with wonder.

I’m also so proud that you conquered your fear of heights so that we could walk beside a cliff (which had a 4 km drop) to reach our destination, the Gosaikunda Lake, 4,380 m above sea level.

Even if you had leg cramps and had to lag behind on the first day, thank you for trekking 28 km and ascending 2500 m up those mountains with me.

I can’t wait to trek through more terrific adventures with you!


In the middle of our cliffside snake trail to Gosaikunda Lake.

11. You invest in and inspire my interests.

Exhibit A: This blog. It was paid for by you and I’m counting on your web designer skillz to help me improve it. It’s no question: this blog couldn’t have existed without you.

Exhibit B: Photography. The reason why my pictures look good is because you inspired me to pick up the camera in the first place.

You were the one who taught me the rules and best practices for photography. You also take me out on photowalks, like that time I joined you and a Filipino photo safari club around Kathmandu.


Conversing with the manager of Dwarika’s Hotel and our former ambassador to Poland during our photo safari outing.

12. You’re my idea machine.

If there’s that illustration of a dad being treated like an ATM machine by his kids, in my version, you’re my idea machine. Whenever I need an idea for a post or a photo caption, I withdraw one from you. (For example, you thought up the beautiful title and witty subheaders of the first post in this blog.)

This blog post was even so easy to write because I got used to thinking the way you do.

13. You are one of my main influences.

You’ve influenced the way I write my stories, the type of books I read (I added biographies and leadership books to my library because of you), and the dreams I have for my future.

I’ve certainly grown in all areas of life because of your good example, so, thank you!

14. You lead well.


Our Nepali family photo. Hami dherai ramro pariwar!

You’re a great leader, Dad. Growing up, I’ve seen how you “walk the talk” – how you model the leadership values you teach.

You are:

  • Faithful with the resources entrusted to you.
  • Wise to choose the right decisions and envision the future.
  • Attentive to the instruction of God and the leaders you’re accountable to.
  • Committed to your cause. Passionate God and people.
  • Brave enough to take responsibility for your mistakes.
  • Humble enough to serve those under you.

Thank you for leading us through mountains and valleys, and showering us all with the love that comes from God.

15. God has made you worthy to be admired.

Although I’ve seen your flaws and mistakes up close, I’m still convinced that you are an admirable man of God. And I marvel at what God has done all these years through His mighty power at work within you. He is so proud of you!

Dada, it’s an honour to be your daughter. I love you!


Posted by Issa Adalia

Teen blogger since 2012. Homeschooled rockstar. Filipina globetrotter. Rookie artist. Asian in Armenia. Rescued by Jesus.

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