Family and Friends

Nearly a month later, I finally have time to blog about my birthday. It’s fine, right? Wala namang deadline ang pagkwento ng kung anong nangyari sa nakaraan. Bakit parang ang lalim nun? Mag-Ta-Tagalog ba’ko? Sure, why not? Or Taglish na lang, para mas-natural. “Our native language,” my friend R, quite accurately observed.

Anyway, for my birthday this year, I had two celebrations: One with family, one with friends. Palagi namang ganyan, I think. Because my parents always want to do something on the day itself, but if it falls on a weekday (like it did this year), we just have time for a dinner or something as simple. So then I would spend the Satuday/Sunday of that week with my friends, with a more elaborate (I think it’s fair to say that it’s more elaborate) celebration.

In case you still don’t know, I try to celebrate my birthday differently each year. I talk about this in more detail here. I’m proud to say that though I’ve recycled some ideas, none of my celebrations have ever been exactly the same. Or, I guess none of them can be, since I’m celebrating a different age each year. Pero ‘yung pinaka-magkapareho na ‘eh maybe 50% lang ‘yung similarities, which I think is pretty difficult to do, considering I decided to do this (celebrate my birthday differently each year) when I turned 17. So, what I’m saying is, I’m pretty proud of myself. Well, I think obvious naman ‘yon. Hehehe. But anyways, here’s what happened on my birthday celebrations this year:

Maple with My Family

I could only get half the day/night off from work on September 17 so we decided to just have dinner in Alabang. I chose Maple Restaurant at the Commercenter as I’ve heard good reviews about it, and my sister-in-law M, likes their Makati branch. We ordered a bunch of things and they were all delicious and because it was my birthday, they gave me a free dessert (Bourbon Bread Pudding)!

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The people in this picture are: Lolo, Mama, Papa, Kuya, Ate (?) 😉 and me
The food in this picture are: blackened chicken, clam agli olio, Maple burger, prime rib tapa

As per usual, everyone shared their food with everyone, and I’m happy to report that everything was good. 😀 And they had good service, too. But I think pupunta lang ako dito tuwing may special occasion kasi medyo mahal siya.

It was a good experience nonetheless, and we were able to avail of the senior citizen discount for both Lolo and Papa. 🙂

Games and Getting-to-Know

Why do I want my friends whom I met at different points in my life interact with each other? I don’t really know either. But it makes for a lot of fun!

I invited my closest friends from grade school, high school, college, my previous job and my current job. And we played a game na kailangan ng teams, so I grouped them into four, na may mga magkakasama sa group na hindi magkakilala previously, or, I realized only this year, nagkikita lang tuwing birthday ko. Haha! Wala namang particular reason, really. Or maybe this one: I just don’t like parties where hindi magkakakilala ‘yung mga guests and you end up just talking to people in your own group and nagtatawanan kayo about things that only you can relate to and it’s weird/awkward for the other people around you. And since wala naman akong budget na panglibre ng several groups of people na iba-ibang beses, sama-sama na lang lahat and may activity na lang wherein they’re forced to interact! 😛 Fun naman ‘yung activity! Or, at least I think so. But I think they think so, too, kasi maingay naman lahat during the game and maraming tawanan. 😀

We played Scattergories, the word game I got for my birthday last year. I-Google n’yo na lang ‘yung mechanics kung curious kayo, but take my word for it: Masaya siya. 😀 Actually, I think it was even more fun because I made my own categories (with visual aids and everything!) na customized for the event. So bukod sa usual categories na nandun sa game, e.g. Street Names, Things at the Beach, Words Associated with Science, etc. meron ding categories like Words Associated with Birthdays, Places in the South of Manila, Vacation Spots in the Philippines, mga ganun.

Strangely, two teams had the exact same score by the end of the game and I had to come up with a tie-breaker game on the spot! I was pleased to find (because it proves my theory) that the teams that got the highest scores were the teams na pinaka-balanced ang members. As in, they were the teams na may members na friends ko from school, and former and current co-workers. And, not surprisingly, the team that ultimately won was the one na balanced din ‘yung members in terms of gender: Two boys and two girls.

‘Yung prize nila, Starbucks gift certificates! Sorry na kung hindi na ‘yun original. I really wanted to give them movie passes but grabe ang mahal na ng movie passes and minimum of 10 ang kailangan mong bilhin each time! So… Nevermind. May consolation prize naman na chocolates ‘yung second place. That they shared with everyone, because they’re nice.

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I really truly believe that I won the friend lottery. Not one person who was at my house that night was someone na napilitan lang akong iinvite, and I’m quite sure na wala rin sa kanilang napilitan lang magpunta. Actually, I’m really happy because lahat sila nagpunta! 😀 I thought that a lot of people would cancel because it was raining hard the day before and akala ko na hindi na talaga matutuloy, but we had really good weather the entire day and everyone made it. #Blessed 😉

Mejo funny rin that when people started leaving, they told the others: See you next year! Like ine-expect na nila that I would have a birthday party next year ulit. I guess kasi nga naman, especially ‘yung girls, nagkita-kita rin sila last year when I had a Birthday Sparty. Nakaka-pressure kaya. I was planning on having this be the last birthday party pa man din because, you know, I’m 30 now. 😛 But I guess only time (and finances) will tell what will happen in September next year. Though with family and friends like these, I’m sure that whatever happens, it will be beautiful. Naks!

Happy Birthday to Me! 😀

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