Daughter’s First Love: For Robert Manlulo

I am Bea Manlulo, 27 years old, a handicap.

My mentor/personal hero is my dad, my first love. I’ve had the honor and privilege of growing up in two homes. Most of you generally would think it’s a disservice to both the parents and the child, but for me and others like me, it has been quite the opposite. It’s how families deal with the cards they have been dealt that makes all the difference. In my case, I grew up in two places with parents who were consistent in every aspect – love, appreciation, attention, devotion to my wellbeing- as any parent, together or separated, should treat their child. It has been the work of both my mom and dad that have molded me into the person I am today. And, during this Coffee Bean day, I’m giving this person a round of applause, feel free to join in, MY PAPA!

While all dads are responsible for being there for their children, there is something to be said about those who do it on their own. I am so grateful for the strong relationship I have with my own papa. He has done all a dad can do for his child and he is truly a man that I admire. It is simultaneously heartwarming and disappointing to meet other girls who’ve had the same experience I’ve had growing up in two homes, but I wouldn’t change my situation for the world. What many people bypass is the one-on-one time you get to spend with each other that is so crucial to developing and maintaining a strong bond throughout all stages of life. So with that, thank you to the dads everywhere who stand by their responsibilities as a parent despite any and all hardships. Thank you for not letting the woes of single parenting stop you from being the best dad. Thank you for not letting the lack of relationship between you and mom affect the time we spend with you, like so many other dads do. Thank you for showing us that sometimes it doesn’t always take two to make a thing go right. Love is all you need. And to my papa, thank you for the life lessons for the past 14 years. Not to mention, you have introduced me to practically every genre of music for which I am forever grateful for. I could sit here at my laptop and continue with everything you have opened my eyes to, but it all boils down to two words. And this is to ROCK ON!

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