Speaking with ABS-CBN News on Tuesday, the 21-year-old admitted that she found herself speechless as her father rushed to hug her tightly -- an act which brought her back to her childhood.
"Hindi ko na nasabi 'yung lahat ng gustong sabihin ko sa kanya. Niyakap lang niya ako ng sobrang higpit. Parati niyang ginagawa 'yun nung bata pa ako kaya noong ginawa niya ulit 'yun, parang pakiramdam ko naging bata ulit ako," she shared.
Mendiola's father, who is half Lebanese and half British, left her family for Bahrain when she was just seven years old. She shared that she had always wanted to know why, but has since forgiven him for leaving them without explaining.
The actress also revealed that she never lost communication with her father, but this didn't stop the tears from welling up as she described the feeling of finally meeting him after more than a decade apart.
"Nakalimutan ko na 'yung feeling ng longing kasi nakita ko na siya ulit, Napuna na yung missing piece sa buhay ko," Mendiola explained.
She added that although she wanted her questions answered, she didn't want to ruin the moment and wipe the smile off her father's face.
"May time para diyan eh, may time para pag-usapan 'yan. Pero nakikita kong masaya siya na kasama kami, na wala muna 'yung drama, hinahayaan ko na lang po," she said.
Mendiola shared that the reason her father decided to visit the country this month was because of the timeliness of the Ramadan, which started on June 28 and will last for around a month.
"Siguro kung hindi ko siya nakita ngayon, makakalimutan ko na kung ano 'yung feeling na hinahawakan niya ako, hinu-hug niya ako, hinahalikan niya ako, kasi nandoon na, borderline vague na lahat. So ngayon, na-refresh lahat," she said.
Asked if she requested her father to stay here in the country permanently, Mendiola nodded. However, her father refused because of his work in the Middle Eastern country.
"Alam ko 'yung feeling niya kasi ako rin. In a way, I can relate," she said.
Mendiola was then prodded about her rumored Colombian suitor, Sebastian. She maintained that they are only friends, but added that she intends to introduce him to her father.
Sebastian is set to arrive in the country on July 9.
"As of the moment, I'm just enjoying it step by step. Napapakilig niya ako sa simple message lang. Why not? Pero I'm not expecting more," she said.
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