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Daddy’s Little Girl

Dear Daddy, no matter where I go in life, you’ll always be my number one man

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By KERRY TINGA

Images by MIGUEL ROJALES

A father/daughter relationship is one of the most precious bonds in the world. For many it sets the model by which a girl, on her way to becoming a woman, expects of men in her life, an expectation of courtesy and equal respect. They may not always understand what is going on in each other’s heads, may not always know what to say in certain moments of their lives, but they are always there to provide unconditional love and support.

We talked to three father/daughter pairs asking what makes a father a father, and what advice they have to fathers out there trying their best to raise daughters they may not always understand but always love.

ERIKA AND JETT PANGAN 

Jett-and-Erika-Pangan

Erika is a recent culinary graduate from Enderun College. Her father, Jett, is a vocalist and co-songwriter for one of the country’s longest-running original music rock bands, The Dawn.

Despite the different career paths, Erika says she has learned a lot from her father. “Being an entertainer is not easy,” she begins, “and his experiences have taught me to accept and allow myself to feel my emotions, to still give my best despite difficult and harrowing situations.”

“And also to always unapologetically make bad jokes,” she adds.

While it is common for mothers to hand down pieces to their daughters, Erika proudly wore her father’s jacket. It is both fashionable and meaningful. “A father is someone who gives unconditional and unending love, guidance, and support in any way he can. I wore my dad’s jacket today as a symbol of my father’s warmth and support.”

You can find Erika at Lampara in Poblacion, a new restaurant that has been receiving a lot of buzz, as the pastry cook serving neo-Filipino delights. A seasoned musical theater actor, Jett will star in Atlantis Productions’ staging of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street opposite Lea Salonga this October at the Theatre at Solaire.

What advice do you have for fathers raising daughters? 

“I believe it is important to instill in our daughters early on their value as women,” says Jett, “That they deserve the same respect accorded to men and that they have equal footing in terms of life’s opportunities.”

He has led by example with Erika. “Despite not understanding many of my hobbies and interests, my dad has always supported me and let me grow as I am. Because of that, I am able to be confident with who I am, to be firm in my morals and values, and I know that I am loved no matter what,” she says.

BELA AND BUTCH ALBERT

Butch-and-Bela-Albert

Bela is an incoming high school student. Her father, Butch, is the chairman of FILA Philippines, which he and his wife, Cris, have expanded into the premier athletics brand in the Philippines.

Looking at the professional and personal accomplishments of her father, Bela says, “My dad claims that Batman is his alter ego… but a dad is a kid’s favorite superhero.”

From him she has learned a lot, but the most important lesson is that making mistakes is all right as long as you learn from them.

What advice do you have for fathers raising daughters?

“They should feel loved and never rejected,” says Butch, “that their concerns are always heard and considered. Make sure they are given quality time. This will be the foundation of a true and sincere relationship.”

“Raise her to be God-fearing, respectful, and pure-hearted,” adds Bela, thankful to both of her parents for instilling in her these sacred values.

ERICA AND RIKKI DEE 

Rikki-and-Erica-Dee-2

Erica is a recent college graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. Her father, Rikki Dee, is the man behind multi-brand food empire, FooDee Global Concepts, which has over a hundred restaurants, including Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan and Hawker Chan, as well as homegrown concepts such as Mesa and Sunnies Cafe.

As a successful self-made entrepreneur, Rikki has led his children by example in the world of business. Erica remarks that, as a father, he has also taught his children much more, “He taught me to develop the right values, which my parents both set in our home. The most important of those values is to always remain family-oriented. It is important that we make time for each other, to know that we can depend on one another. Friends may come and go, but family is forever.”

“For me,” she adds, “the very concept of what a father is, and should be, is my own dad. He is someone who puts the welfare of his family above all. He works harder than anyone else, not for himself, but because he wants to provide and set an example to his children. Most importantly, he loves beyond measure.

Following in the footsteps of a family of entrepreneurs, Erica, along with several friends, started the popular, itgirl, online accessories and bag brand Bondi Studios.

 What advice do you have for fathers raising daughters?

“Raising daughters can be a little different from how I raise my sons,” says Rikki, father of four, “My piece of advice, which I practice, is to live by example. I may not always be right, but through examples, I hope that they will learn to choose and make better decisions in their lives.”

Photography and art direction is by Miguel Rojales, a photographer currently studying multimedia arts and fashion communications. His interests lie in fashion and editorial photography. DM @miguel.rojales on Instagram, or e-mail miguelrojales@gmail.com for any inquiries and/or collaborations.

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