Ode to Dad by Mary Borgaily

By: Mary Borgaily (HS ’70)

Mr. Najib Borgaily
Mary Borgaily

My father came to the Philippines from abroad when he was 16 to help in his family business. He was very intelligent, & although he only had a 6th grade education, he taught himself how to speak, read & write English, Spanish, & Tagalog. He had the most beautiful handwriting!

Everyone who met my father loved him. He was an honorable man, slow to anger & quick to forgive. He was a kind, sweet,  compassionate & generous man,  who worked countless hours to support his family.

My father was a devout Catholic, with a special devotion to the Sacred Heart. He distributed Communion during Mass. As a child I remember us gathering in front of a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes  to pray the rosary @ night.

My stepmother’s sister was a Carmelite nun in Naga city, & he loved and supported their monastery for 50 years.

My father’s health declined after he had a heart attack. The last time I spoke with him was on October 23, 2002. He had been in the ICU for a week due to heart failure. That day he was moved to a private room. I called him, & as soon as he heard my voice he started singing Happy Birthday to me.

I was so surprised… I said “Dad! You remembered my Birthday.” He said “Of course I remember. I will never forget your Birthday.” 5 days later my father went into cardiac arrest, & passed away on Nov. 3, 2002 @ the age of 79.

I miss his smile, his laughter, his hugs, & his unconditional love for his family. He was an amazing Dad.

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