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Because I am my father's favorite daughter.

Happy birthday, Papa!

I am one of the rare few who gets to talk to my dad about a lot of things, from how sushi is made to how long it took for the London Tube to be constructed in the 1890s. Papa is not the man of few words - he has a lot to say, and that's because he knows a lot. He is the kind that buys hardbound history books about the Byzantine empire and the type that downloads apps of newspapers from different parts of the world. He is the kind of person who will explain to you how turbines and power plants (and other engineering-related stuff) work, but also he is first to find out about all the latest movies. He never shied away from discovering things old and new, he never stepped away from an opportunity to find out about certain things and discuss what he thinks of them. I guess in many ways, he has set for me the standard of what it is to have a good conversation with an intelligent man. He would never make you feel like you don't know anything, yet at the same time, each talk will leave you with something more than what you began it with.

In a lot of ways, my dad has been a friend and a confidante. While others consider their father a stern, quiet presence in their lives, Papa has been this animated, lively figure that I look up to for his wit, his confidence, and his smarts. He is funny, he is generous, and he is kind. He has taught me a lot of things about life not through long lectures but over (almost) sleepless nights of just watching DVDs together (much to my mom's dismay) or mornings eating pandesal and peanut butter. And that is what I will always be grateful for - the fact that we don't need grand gestures to be able to see eye-to-eye on things. We can just talk and talk and talk, and we would never get tired.

Happy birthday to one of the people I have the best conversations with! (The other, of course, being Mom)
Love you, Papa! :)