When Super Dads Hang Their Capes

Super Dads: Enic (with Martine) and Albert (with Alfonso)

by Lizette Barretto-Gueco, via FoodfindsAsia.com|

What makes a Father, his children’s ultimate superhero?  Father, Papa, Dad or Daddy, these are just titles for someone who has children.  Any man can father a child and be called Daddy but it’s a diiferent brand of Daddy that can be called a Superdad with matching superpowers.

It’s not in the way he talks nor walks nor how he provides; it’s not the six-pack nor the soft round paunch, the full head of hair nor the balding pate. It’s what’s inside that makes him the Avenger his children perceive him to be.  It’s the way he magically fixes broken things, toys or problems with the least bit of effort.  It’s his way of patiently teaching his children to ride the bike or to swim. It’s his way of listening to teenage problems as if he had all the time and understanding in the world. To buffer them when it seems like their whole world is falling apart. To scold them when need be, in a loving manner. It is in his way of leading by example; the way he walks his talk. By being a man of integrity yet never compromising his faith in God.  Last but not least, it’s in his way of loving their mother, putting her and the children’s needs above his own. To always be there in good times and bad.  That’s what turns an ordinary Father into a Superhero Dad.

In my life, I have known and still know quite a number of these men. All of them have some flaw, no one perfect. Not one can definitely tick off all the items I have mentioned above.  They are all different in a million ways yet similar in the manner of how they love and care for their children; unconditionally.  Here are some of the notable fathers I have the honor of knowing…. or have known.

My Dad, the first man I ever loved.

He didn’t have all the qualities I mentioned above but he did the best he could and whatever he lacked does not make him less of a Superdad in my eyes. He worked hard to put all 9 of us through school and always put food on the table. His love for us, his children was always evident in his words and actions. He did teach us to swim and to ride the bike, took my brothers hunting, took me to my High School parties and patiently waited with Mom until it was time to pick me up. He took me on a movie and dinner date once when I was 13, just him and me; no meager feat when you have 8 other children wanting that same attention. Every moment of that date is imprinted in my heart. That memory and many others have elevated him to my superhero hall of fame.

I am both lucky and blessed to be married to one of the best Superdads I know. Nowhere near perfection, but like my own dad, he does the best he can. Not a man of a thousand and one words per minute, his actions and the way he joyfully serves his children are a testimony stronger than the spoken word. His love for and dedication to his children are boundless.  His pride in what they have turned out to be, are reflected in his eyes when he looks at them. Most of all, I admire and love his giving and selfless spirit especially during adverse times. There is nothing more my children can ask for in a Dad. He is God’s perfect gift to me.  A partner for life to raise and care for our brood.

Some Superdads have to go it alone at some point in their lives.  The death of a beloved spouse always takes a toll on the whole family. There is huge void left which the Superdad instantly fills by being both father and mother at the same time. Not an easy task at all. My friend Albert recently lost his wife to a lingering disease.  He fills his days by working hard and consciously makes an effort not to remain idle for sanity’s sake. Busy as he is, he always makes time to take them on bonding family trips. Sometimes, he takes them on working trips just so they could spend time together on special occasions like Father’s day. His kids are all grown but it is so sweet to see him treat them all like babies.  He generously hugs and kisses them even as they playfully dodge him.  The love amongst them shines through in happy and sad times.

Super Dads: Tony (with Denise) and Matthew (and Gaby)
Super Dads: Tony (with Dominique) and Matthew (and Gaby)

Tony dotes on his daughter Dominique.  There is nothing he will not do for her.  Like Albert, the hugs and kisses are endless.  Unlike most successful businessmen who are always too busy to be bothered with trivial family matters, Tony always has the time and energy to spend with Dominique and be part of her activities.  A smile instantly replaces a frown on Tony’s face when his daughter walks into the room. His face lights up and the mood shifts and the attention focuses on her and her alone.

Matthew, my brother in law, is the typical proper Englishman. He and sis Janelle raise their children in a more regimented yet genteel way, the results of which are clearly seen in the way the children have beautifully blossomed into the polite, well- bred young women that they have become. The love he shares with his 2 daughters is evident when he talks about them and when they spend quality time together.

When Super Dads bond, you probably know what they do. Eat and be merry!
When Super Dads bond, you probably know what they do. Eat and be merry!

When these Superdads get together during a long weekend or holiday, they hang their capes at the door, relax and just be their jolly selves.  Joined by other Superdads in the group, food and drink are always part of the agenda. The catching up is a never ending activity. From a long lingering breakfast to burning the midnight oil, the stories, the jokes and the food are refilled by the minute.  With all their children safely around them, the whole world and all its troubles can wait. All is good in the here and now.

Food and drinks will always be part of the agenda when Super Dads hang their capes.
Food and drinks will always be part of the agenda when Super Dads hang their capes.

Each Superdad has a special superpower all his own in the eyes of his kids.  Although, they are just men, and only as perfect as their children perceive them to be, their extraordinary, magical superpower comes from the special connection the child shares with their father. That feeling of security knowing that Dad can chase the boogeyman away. A bond, exclusive and unique and when kept intact and unbroken, is good to carry them into adulthood and be that same kind of Super hero parent when they have kids of their own.

No doubt Fathers are very special people.  If the mother is the heart of the home, the father is the life blood that runs through the veins of the family. When all these good things end, and they will, the memory of a kind and caring Dad will remain in their children’s hearts forever.

To celebrate Father’s day, I am sharing with you, with my daughter’s permission, Mikee’s secret Beer Battered Fish and Chips recipe which will no longer be secret after this Father’s day weekend.

Happy Father’s day to all the unsung Super Hero Dads out there!

fish and chipsMikee’s Beer Battered Fish and Chips

  • 1 kilo fillet of white fish such as Alaskan Cod, Dory or Labahita cut into 3 inch strips
  • 1 bottle dark beer such as Cerveza Negra
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp each paprika, onion powder and garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Potatoes cut into strips
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. Marinade fish in about ¼ cup of dark beer.  Cover and keep in chiller for 1 hour.  For potatoes, place them in a baking tray coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with some oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes or till browned and crisp.

Remove fish from chiller and discard liquid.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix flour, cornstarch and the rest of the seasoning. Add the rest of the beer. Dredge fish in the batter tossing gently to coat.

Heat about 4 tbsps of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.  Add fish pieces to pan, but do not crowd.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until browned. Turn fish over and cook for another 3 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with some lemon juice.

Serve immediately with chips and malt vinegar.


About the Author

Lizette Barretto-Gueco
Lizette Barretto-Gueco

Lizette Barretto Gueco is a regular columnist at FoodFindsAsia.com.  She writes about her life’s passions which are family, home, food, relationships and how they fit in perfectly in her scheme of things and in the circle of life.

Lizette is now a busy home based mom after working in marketing and the travel industry for some time. She also ventured into jewelry design while she was a partner at a prestigious jewelry store at Greenbelt 5. Aside from juggling family schedules and managing the home, she also finds time to bake and sell her sweet offerings from her home as well as indulge in her other hobbies like jewelry making and arts and crafts.  She is an amateur filmmaker, traveler, foodie, dreamer and lover of life.

Lizette is a graduate of AB Communication arts from the Ateneo de Manila University.  You can email her at lizbgueco@gmail.com