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Thanks, Dad

GP Reyes and daughter Olivia discover their similarities with ‘Questions I’ve Never Asked My Dad’

By Hannah Mallorca Published Jun 18, 2021 9:44 pm

In September 2017, businessman and restaurateur GP Reyes recalled his “nightmarish” childhood in a heartfelt Instagram post. He shared that traveling in his youth consisted of “actually being utilized for child labor.”

As a result, GP vowed that his family wouldn’t experience any of the sufferings he had. Fast forward to the present, he is cuddling with his eldest daughter Olivia as they prepare for an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe

There was something similar about GP and Olivia’s aura that radiated throughout the interview. The father-daughter tandem has the same eagerness to share each other’s experiences and they moved seamlessly from one question to another. 

It’s natural for a parent and child to share the same characteristics and personality. But in GP’s eyes, Olivia is someone who’s fiercely determined to take care of her sister Amelia—and that’s exactly like him. 

GP Reyes and daughter Olivia.
I felt the purest kind of love because you’re really a miracle. You’re the greatest gift that heaven has ever given me.

Olivia: How did you feel when you first saw me?

GP: When I first saw and held you in my arms on that wonderful morning in 2015, I felt a love I had never experienced before. 

I felt the purest kind of love because you’re really a miracle. You’re the greatest gift that heaven has ever given me

“Greatest gift.”
Olivia: When do you feel close to me?

GP: Honestly, the funny thing is that I feel closest to you and Amelia when you’re sleeping. I sleep the latest in the family, so I lie down beside [you and Amelia]. Then, I kiss you, whisper in your ear that I love you so much and I’ll always take care and protect you

So, those moments when you’re unaware of what I’m saying where you’re silently and peacefully sleeping, it’s one of the times where I feel closest to you. 

Olivia: What is your favorite memory of us?

GP: For me, it’s traveling the world with you because I like to see the world in your eyes. Whenever we go to different countries and have different experiences, I see the joy and childlike wonder that you have. For example, when we go to the Eiffel Tower or Disneyland and see how happy you are, those are my favorite memories

Olivia smiled as she looked at her dad. She quipped, “Those are my favorite memories too!” 

GP Reyes with wife Andi Manzano and daughter Olivia in Paris. 
Olivia: In what ways am I most like you?

GP: I think you’re very conversational, very ma-PR. I think that’s one of the traits you got from me. I also think you’re very, very determined. You do everything you can to reach your goal, and that’s how exactly you’re like me

And in a true conversational fashion, Olivia eagerly agreed with her dad’s response again. GP hugged her tighter in reply. 

Once you become a parent or a father, you always want to protect and be there for your kids.

Olivia: What’s the hardest thing about being a dad?

GP: Not being there all the time to protect you. I think that’s a fear that every parent has. For me, that’s difficult because once you become a parent or a father, you always want to protect and be there for your kids

But the truth is, you can’t always be there. So, it’s a matter of being able to trust in the Lord, trust in your faith, and trust that everything will be okay even if you’re not there. 

Olivia: When were you proud of me?

GP: I’m proud of you for every single accomplishment you make. Whether it’s learning how to spell, read, win a Brent award when you’re in school, or graduate.

For example, not a lot of people know this but Oli had a traumatic experience when she was two years old in our swimming pool. She almost drowned, so it took her a long while to conquer her fear of the water. In the pandemic, she now can swim and touch the ground with her hands.

GP with Olivia and Amelia
Olivia: And I can swim up and do a handstand!

GP: She can do a handstand. So for me, it’s a great accomplishment and I’m very proud of her for that. 

Olivia: Why do you love me?

GP: Because you’re all of my hopes and dreams personified. You are my firstborn daughter, and you will always be my number one girl

“You’re all of my hopes and dreams personified.”
Olivia: What were you doing when you were my age?

GP: When I was six years old, I had many younger siblings. So basically, I had to be a second father because my father was hardly ever around. At six years old, I had three siblings. As I grew older, I had five siblings so I was really like a father to them. I had to mature faster.

I see that in you with the way you take care of your younger sister. I think it’s amazing how you’re such a patient, kind, and giving person and for me, that’s one of the greatest accomplishments you’ve done for yourself. And I’m proud of you for that. 

Traveling the world together.

As the interview finished, GP and Olivia smiled softly as they cuddled with each other. It was heartwarming to see this bonding moment between a father and his daughter.

The meeting ended late at night, with Olivia’s bedtime slowly approaching. GP had informed me beforehand that his family was going to Cebu the next day. And through this interview, it was clear that this father-daughter tandem was pleasantly surprised to discover how much they actually had in common.

Article photos provided by GP Reyes