Lib Pulsifer’s dad, Justo Angeles, turns 100 on Friday.
However, all the government travel restrictions due to COVID’s third wave mean she will not be able to make the trip from Salmon Arm, B.C. to Scarborough to be with him.
Pulsifer had it all planned out.
She was prepared to do all that was necessary to spend a few days with him.
Pulsifer was going to get a vaccine first and leave in time to quarantine for 14 days.
Then the third wave hit. Driving was out of the question because she can’t cross into Ontario from Manitoba, she said.
She and her family weren’t sure whether her trip by plane would be considered essential, either.
But most of all, Pulsifer was concerned about exposing her dad to some form of variant — as was her family in Scarborough. (Angeles lives with her brother and has a full-time caregiver).
“Even if I did manage to get to Toronto, all I would get to do is have 10 minutes with him from behind a fence,” she said. “It is so sad for our family, but we are doing our best to make the most of the situation.”
Pulsifer said she tries not to think about the distance between them because it makes her too “emotional” — instead, she tries to focus on things that will make Tatay’s (her father’s) day really special.
That will include a Zoom birthday greeting, recorded messages from relatives, and hopefully, at least 100 cards and letters for the former civil engineer who came to Canada from the Philippines in 1979 in search of a better life for his family.
At the time, the Philippines was under a dictatorship, she said.
Pulsifer said her fondest recent memory of her dad was when she and Angeles went back to the Philippines in 2012 — just after her mom passed away. He was 91 and needed a copy of his birth certificate.
She said the only way to do that was to go back to his birthplace — Palo, Leyte (on the South Island) where they discovered all the records from 1921 had been eaten by termites.
Their only other option was to go to local church which had an old record book in Spanish.
But they found him, she said.
And a year later, Typhoon Haiyan raged through the area.
”I saw his birthplace,” said Pulsifer. “The next year a typhoon blew the whole village away.”
Please send birthday cards to:
3-2375 Brimley Rd., Unit 770