Dindin and Jaja Santiago can't help but feel sense of loss during holiday celebration
It's the first time sisters Dindin and Jaja Santiago spent Christmas without their late father. Jerome Ascano

GROWING up with a father who worked as a law enforcer, sisters Dindin and Jaja Santiago had grown accustomed to spending the holiday season without their man of the house.

But this year is different altogether.

The Santiago patriarch died in the line of duty nine months ago and this year marked the first time the family spent Christmas – and New Year for that matter – following his death.

Although she and the rest of the family admitted they’ve been used to not having their father around during special occasions, Dindin, the elder of the two playing Santiago sisters, said being aware that their father has already passed away only makes the celebration incomplete.

“Every Christmas naman and even New Year, hindi namin siya kasama kasi malayo siya sa amin so nasanay na lang kami,” said Dindin, the former National University stalwart who now dons the Petron team jersey in the Philippine Super Liga.

“Pero iba pa rin ‘yung wala ka nang babatiin na, 'Tay, Merry Christmas,' o 'Happy New Year,'” she said. “Malungkot na ngayon wala na siya.”

But Dindin knows life has to go on and said she still has a lot to be thankful for, including the Santiago clan with whom she spent Christmas with.

“Sa Cavite lang buong pamilya simpleng salu-salo lang,” Dindin told Spin.ph on how she spent the Holiday season. “Church kami sa morning kasi minsan lang kami makumpleto para makapag bonding na rin.”

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