The Birthday

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My birthday falls on one of the Misa de Gallo days. In the past it has been a simple affair that starts at 4:30am hearing the Mass and lighting candle at the end of the morning Eucharistic celebration.

In the past it can sometimes coincide with classroom or office Christmas parties, both of which ensures I can imagine some group of people will host a party for me.

But as the years passed, seasons change and economic reasons pushed celebrations to the limit. I left my job and new colleagues do not particularly pay attention to birthdays. But when I saw Jess (a colleague at Ion Global) included my name on list of celebrants, I was amazed. The thought of remembering my birthday not through Yahoogroups or Friendster alerts is simply sweet that I do not exactly need a gift to make myself happy.

Receiving gifts is good but most often I end up receiving something I do not need is bad. That is why I suppose giving an unwanted gift to a needy person is justified only if it is given without something in return. Selling an unwanted gift is outright insult to me, even if the giver does not know what happened to his/her gift. I may ask “Have you started reading the book I read?” to validate the claim that the gift I just gave is something worth spending time with.

The past years I had my college batchmates come over my house and celebrate with me. But lately with parental concerns more than anything and many of them have begged off. That left my childhood friends to celebrate with me as they live only nearby and work load has been cooperative.

Aldrin, Warlito, Edgar, Nelly, Fe, Myra, Rodel, Lourdes and Romeo were present. These fine ladies and gentlemen were my friends in high school and college and they remained dedicated to the friendship built many years ago. I always looked after the conversations, not just about the news but also about the memorable instances we cherish as youngsters in the past.

I got a call from Karen and received SMS from Gino, Colin, Cissy, Onin, Benjie, Melissa, Junjun and Ate Beng from across Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Thanks to all of you.

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