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DADDY-OH! Four Exceptional Dads Who Went the Extra Mile for Their Kids

Dads come in all shapes and sizes but behind all the macho bluster lies a heart full of tender loving feelings. Even if they embarrass us with their dad jokes or with the sando-and-puruntong combo, here are some exceptional dads and their heartwarming stories just to prove how they can really be big softies.

Philippe Morgese

Philippe Morgese with his daughter, Emma.

Single dad Philippe Morgese was perplexed by one particular aspect of raising his daughter Emma: Fixing her hair! Philippe started keeping hair clips in his pocket, but his eureka moment came in the form of hair gel. “Wow, now I can do anything,” he told He can now do French braids and had started Daddy Daughter Hair Factory with Emma, a class where fathers and daughter can bond over braids and bonds. They have been helping fathers with hair since 2015!

John Gokongwei, Jr.

Book cover of “Lessons From Dad, John Gokongwei, Jr.”

Known for being a legendary trailblazer and a compassionate philanthropist, John Gokongwei, founder of JG Summit, is not only a celebrated businessman but a wise teacher to his children. In the book Lessons for Dad, John Gokongwei Jr., his son Lance Gokongwei shares “Dad was always home for dinner… his presence made us realize that despite pressures from his growing business, our family was always important to him. This impressed the significance of family to Lance, who is also an innovator like his dad. On love, Lance recalls his father saying “The most important decision you have to make in your life is whom you’re going to marry.” With their successful family-led conglomerate, it’s easy to see that fathers know best!

Ryan Arebuabo

Viral photo of Ryan Arebuabo with his kids eating at a fastfood restaurant.

In a 2017 viral photo, a thin man in disheveled clothes smiles as his daughters scarf down a meal at a popular fast-food chain. The man is Ryan Arebuabo, a single dad who had suffered a stroke and makes ends meet by selling boiled corn and earning P100 to P200 a day. He attributes his selflessness to his own father, who also singlehandedly raised him and his siblings. “Kung paano ako inalagaan ng tatay ko, gano’n din ang ginagawa ko ngayon.”

Dave Sylvaria

Dave Sylvaria with his daughter, RIley.

Riley Sylvaria went completely bald from alopecia totalis when she was 15 months old, and by the time she was six, she revealed to her parents that she did not love herself because she was bald. In a video that has been shared countless times, her dad Dave says, “You’re the most special girl in the whole world… It doesn’t matter if you’re bald or have hair. That doesn’t make a difference.” He then proceeded to shave his hair—cheering Riley up instantly knowing that someone was on her team and it was no less than the #1 man in her life, good ‘ole Dad!


The full text of this article is in the “Pope Culture” section of the June issue of My Pope Philippines magazine Text by Stephanie L. Jesena. Edited for web by Aizel Dolom.
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