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This Father’s Day, we celebrate the strong men who shaped us into who we are today through the words of their beautiful daughters.

A mark of a true father is through the lessons and principles that they’ve imparted on their children. To show their gratitude, Amanda Zamora, Alexa Andanar, and Anya Lagman have sent some kind words and share stories of their fathers—on fun memories, hard lessons, and how they’ve helped these ladies become the strong women they are now.

Also read: 5 Neat Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts You Can Order Now

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Fond Memories

No bond is more unique than that of a father and his daughter, and those special moments they share together. So, what better way to start their messages than with reminiscing of the fun times they’ve had. Amanda opens with memories of traveling: “A fond memory of my dad and I when I was younger would have to be traveling to different countries during breaks.” Explaining  that because of her father’s current busy schedule, these trips have been rare in recent times, “I cherish those moments because we’re not able to do that that much anymore because of his type of work.”

A younger Amanda cradled by her father, Francis Zamora.

Sharing a memory that started a tradition, Anya Lagman elaborated a fun anecdote with her dad in one of their trips to the States, “I’ll never forget the very first road trip where I was his ‘co-pilot’ in the summer of 2015 from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Time really does fly by when you’re having fun. With my sister sleeping at the backseat for the entire journey, it was my job to keep the ‘pilot’ awake the whole time! This role even bestows the responsibility of being the designated DJ and preparing all the snacks.”

The long drive was packed with fun and deep conversations. It was so interesting that Anya says, “In those 8 hours, the car was a multifunctional room, serving as a bedroom for my sister, a karaoke room for me and my dad, and simply a space where unforgettable memories were made. This moment is so special to me because we got to share our love for our favorite artists and songs and my dad had taught me so many valuable lessons from that day.” Seeing the value in those long drives, it has been a staple in Lagman vacations, “From then on, this newly established tradition is something we look forward to during the holidays with the family.”

Martin and Alexa Andanar take a selfie in snowy Rovaniemi, Finland.

Alexa Andanar shared her road trip dates with her dad, saying, “When I was younger, my dad and I would have these father-daughter dates. We’d wake up early and grab breakfast at our favorite restaurant, drive up to Tagaytay listening to our favorite music, or swim laps and then have long talks in the pool afterward.” Pointing out that the little intimate moments were the ones she remembers fondly, “They were simple moments, but they’re a reminder of the special and deep bond my dad and I share.”

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Lessons Learned

On the topic of things you’ve learned from your father, the ladies shared how a father can impart a multitude of lessons from pursuing passions and providing perspective on what’s truly important in life. Anya recounts how one movie they watched as a family became a cornerstone for what her dad has taught her. “We are both movie buffs and I grew up loving films because of my dad. A particular staple movie holds a special place in my family’s heart: Pixar’s 2008 film, Ratatouille. It was one of the reasons I wanted to pursue film scoring and is where my dad had enshrined the movie’s longstanding belief that ‘anyone can cook!’ From this simple statement in the movie, my dad has used this as a metaphor, teaching my siblings and I to follow our passions. With hard work and the love for the craft, the possibilities are endless!” Doubling down on this, Alexa also echoes the same sentiment with what she learned form her father, “My dad taught me the importance of education and hard work. He has always been my mentor—he constantly pushes me to study hard and to do my best in everything that I do. He reminds me that education is the best gift he could ever give to me and my brother.”

With wide grins, a young Alexa and Martin take a photo during a flight.

Learning more than just ambition, Amanda also shares how her father imparted the value of family and bonds as an important key in life. “My dad taught me to be family-oriented because when someone in the family has a special occasion like birthdays, graduations, school family days, and even Sunday lunches, we are not allowed to skip cause we have to be there for the person and he is strict about it.” She also shares how her father took a more practical way in teaching them important principles. “Other values he taught me are hard work because he makes us work for what we want to achieve instead of spoon feeding us, and also respect because we are able to imitate how he treats other people.”

Anya puts these lessons simply that with the right values and support (and animated film), anything is possible. “In my decision to pursue music at the tertiary level, my parents’ support was already more than enough to manifest the film’s motto. I can speak on behalf of my siblings that we are incredibly grateful for our parents’ endless love and support. We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for them.”

Mike and Anya Lagman at Lifestyle Asia’s RSVP event back in March 2019.

Also read: Embracing The Future, Puey Quiñones Launches E-Commerce Website And Online Fashion Show

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A Father’s Love

Life is hard and full of challenges, which why a good support system can go a long way especially if it comes straight from your parents. Amanda shares how her father supported her in pursuing college outside the country, “I’ve always dreamed of studying college abroad, but for a long time, my mom was quite hesitant about it. It was my dad who fought for it with me and ultimately convinced my mom to say yes to that dream of mine.” Continuing on how their fathers have been supportive in their educational pursuits, Anya realized how much her dad was there for her when she also started applying for college, “It was at the end of my senior year in high school, preparing for my auditions for university. As a music composition major, the application process is quite different from the typical route most students undergo. This involves submitting a portfolio, alongside the common supplements, with the additional step of being invited to a live interview and audition.” With just the amount of work she had to prepare, the pressure was intense, but Anya shares just how much her dad went through extra lengths to support her. “Months before my invitations were even sent, my dad had already spearheaded the initiative to start looking at flights and planning his work schedule, just so he could accompany me throughout this important moment in my life.”

Amanda and Francis at her graduation.

And it didn’t end just there, because Mike Lagman was there for his daughter every step of the way. Anya continues, “When the time had finally come, we embarked on insane flights and road trips across the country from Boston, Baltimore, Maryland, and New York. In every audition, he would sit with so much excitement in the waiting room and it made all my nerves disappear! The thought of traveling the literal ‘distance’ no matter the circumstance to be by my side as my support system is irreplaceable; that’s how I truly knew he always has my back.” Showing that a father’s support is endless, Amanda adds to this when her father was there for her even after she graduated, “My dad is always present at every fashion show or modeling event despite his hectic schedule. He is very supportive about my passions and goes out of his way to show his support.”

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A Sweet Note

In ending this piece, each of the ladies gave some sweet words for their fathers. Anya starts hers with, “Hi dad! This is such a special day to recognize how much you’ve done for our family and we can’t thank you enough for everything. Our childhoods have been filled with unforgettable memories, endless laughter, and life lessons that we will take with us in adulthood.” Summing everything she’s shared with us she closes with: “Thank you for your endless support in everything and inspiring us to be our best selves, following our passions. No matter where I’ll be in the world, I will always be your movie partner in crime, co-pilot in road trips, and foodie lover! Happy Father’s Day to the best dad I could ever ask for! We love you!”

A much younger Mike and Anya Lagman.

Alexa started by thanking her father on the numerable things she has provided her, “Dad, I am so grateful for many things. For incessantly having my back, for reminding me to always do my best, for our shared love for 80s music, for our midnight guitar jam sessions…the list goes on. You are my greatest inspiration without you even knowing it,  and it’s through your most unassuming and silent ways that I know how much you truly love me. Happy Father’s Day!”

Lastly, knowing that no matter how much she can gush about her love for her dad, to put it simply and briefly is to put it truthfully, “Happy Father’s Day, dad. Thank you for everything you do for us,” Amanda shares with a smile.

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