Today I'm celebrating my 38th birthday. Another year has been added to my age. I don't know whether I should be happy, or cry my heart out about it (sigh). Thirty eight, it means 3 decades and 8 years and that's my age, I mean, I might as well be 40 or 50 years old. Just a few more years and I'll be a senior citizen and I'll be needing a rocking chair and a cane to go with it.
Every year whenever my birthday nears I can't help but be a little nostalgic and a bit sad. I kept on thinking about those years when I was younger and how carefree and happy I was as a kid. I remember during those years, I always held my birthdays at the beach (Villamar Beach Resort in Noveleta, Cavite). My parents would invite some of our relatives and their close friends and I would also invite my friends and some of my classmates. I also remember the food because they were always the same every year, and most are my favorites. They were mostly seafoods like crabs, prawns, grilled fish and stews like menudo and adobo, and we always had pancit guisado to symbolize long life. Getting hungry!
The biggest birthday that I had in terms of guests was on my 7th birthday, that was (are you ready for this?) in 1979. It was not held in the beach, but instead at the house of my grand parents (in Ligtong, Rosario, Cavite), where we used to live during those times when we didn't have our own house yet. I remember having my picture taken at a place we called "Camalig" where they were grilling the huge lechon on the ground. It was also on my 7th birthday where I received the most gifts. It was one of the happiest times in my life.
In 2006, I was to celebrate my 33rd birthday for the very first time in 7 years in the Philippines because I was in Saudi Arabia since 1999. And although I had my vacations before, It didn't coincide with my birthday. It was midnight of May 21-22, 2006, two days before my birthday, when I was stabbed on my face by a customer at a Karaoke bar, just 5 minutes away from my house in Noveleta. One of my friends with me was also wounded on his right ear when he tried to pursue the guy, but unfortunately he got away. I was rushed to the hospital that night. The parents of the guy talked to my parents and settled the case with a pay-off and so my parents dropped the case, in other words nothing happened, the guy was free to roam the town again. My parents was wrong on that one. Anyway, it's history and I thank God that I came out of it alive. I don't want to spend my birthday ever again inside a hospital.
From 2007 to 2009, I spent my birthdays here in Saudi Arabia and obviously again this year. It's doubly sad because I haven't seen most of the people that were usually present in my past birthdays because of the obvious reason that they're just not here in Saudi Arabia and it also makes me sad because some of them passed away, like my auntie (my Nanay Tita who died in the states in 2008), my grandmother who passed away much earlier and my dear friend Nazareno, he died in 2006. I have a lot of good memories with them, though my birthday wouldn't be the same without them, but I know that they're with me in spirit.