This 31 year-old guy called me.

Aug 2, 2011 by

I grew up celebrating my birthdays with pompous parties organized by my mom. She would gather my playmates and neighbors and her other mother-friends whom I called Titas (the Filipino version of Aunt). My mom is a terrific hostess who doesn’t stop pacing around the house as long as there are guests during the party. I am certain I got my PR-genes from her.

I remember celebrating my birthday parties wearing my newly-bought clothes. My grandma would stitch my initials on it before the big day. She thinks it makes the whole garb special and customized if it has my initials. The entire household would prepare the party dishes days before the event. The pig would be brought in and was always scheduled to be slaughtered at daybreak. The house helpers were divided into some sort of zoning: one zone was the physical arrangement (so they are the scrubbing groupies, the shelf-wiping girls), the other zone was the kitchen zone (people in-charged of marketing, the whole cooking works), the outdoor zone (those guys tasked to lift heavy stuff — like filling the water containers, installing the temporary roofing at the garden, setting up the food tables outside). It’s a major delegation of excited troopers and I behaved like a true star on the day of the party.

The first to come would always be our homeroom adviser and my classmates. They would occupy an entire vehicle and give their presents one by one. It thrilled me. Then our neighbors would start arriving with their children and I would often hurry mom up to start the prayer so we could all eat.

There was the perennial presence of grilled hotdogs on sticks with marshmallows stuck on a banana trunk wrapped in foil. I loved it. The lechon was always the most butchered piece of food in the first 3 minutes. The valenciana of my lola would always be complemented by the oldies. The kids would line up for spaghetti, fried chicken and finish it up with dirty ice cream. Silence takes over for a few minutes while the guests find their own little corners holding their paper plates and fixing their party hat strings away from their mouths.

Once my mom calls out the kids for the games, riot begins. The garden would gather all sorts of potpourri, powder from clay pots, popped balloons, and all sorts of dirt and that made everyone happy.

That’s why when someone greets me HAPPY BIRTHDAY, memories of my growing up birthday parties and the photos that came with it are the images that flash before my eyes. Birthdays are really happy indeed.

Now that I’m turning 31, I have so many thoughts on adult living, responsibilities, healthy lifestyle, the yielding works of being in this stage of adult life. It’s a baffling assortment of things, really. An overthinking. But take it as a good thing cause for all it’s worth, this mix-up, this confusion, this entire trivial life is a sign that we are alive.

I’ve always been a kid at heart. I want those hotdogs with marshmallows tomorrow.

My 2-year old pic.

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5 Comments

  1. teej

    parang hindi mo kamukha sir?? hehe have a blast birtdei boi! :)

  2. I was smiling ear to ear, eading your post from start to finish. This kind of “birthday fuss” is so Filipino. Wish I could give you 31 hotdogs-with-marshmallows-on-sticks. Happy Birthday Sir Bob! You deserve a party! :)

  3. rebs

    Cute, cute. Nami sa imu kusion sa pic mo. ^^

  4. FG

    aw, nostalgic!!! I love this!!!

    Lets have hotdog and sweet spaghetti soon!!!!

    • bobby

      Yeah!! We should! I miss the combination! hahaha! isn’t it an authentic Bacolod style? LOL!

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