Birthday Parties

If you know me for quite a long time, you’ll know that I almost always mark my advancing age with a blast. Almost every year, I am lucky enough to have the chance to celebrate my birthday with a party! I don’t know why I always get to have a party on my own. Probably because I’m special in the family (haha, not a special child mind you), since I was born on November and the rest of the family were all born on July. While they celebrated their birthdays together every July, I had the whole month of November to celebrate mine. And almost every year, my birthday wish was to have a party with friends and family. πŸ™‚

So since today is my birthday, maybe it’s time to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce the best parties I’ve had. πŸ™‚

The first party that I could at least remotely remember was my 3rd birthday party at Jollibee Greenbelt. I think we had jollispaghetti and a mocha cake. My memory from this party mainly comes from pictures, and the cake figurines of Jollibee and Champ I kept as souvenirs.

The next big party I had was during Grade 6 where my elementary friends came over at our house for a wild and wet water balloon party, hahaha. So juvenile, right? Haha. But we had so much fun! So since then, I had an annual party at my house with friends and family coming over for dinner, and later on for some drinks.

Highschool soon came up and my annual party became the annual inuman of the barkada. Yep, I celebrated my 15th to 17th birthday drunk. Haha. Sometimes we’d climb up our roof, even our water tank. Still so juvenile.

I only missed holding a party on my 18th birthday since I was stuck in Manila, studying for a lab exam in Biology. So the following year, my mom and dad treated me to a BIG party again at our house, debut style, haha, complete with 19 tequila shots!

I had the biggest surprise on my 20th birthday when Maan, Sheng, Sandee and the rest of my med friends organized a surprise party for me at Rob 7th Floor with all my classmates invited! It was the first and only time that I had one, and the feeling was so surreal. I couldn’t believe na naitago nila sa akin yun. Haha.

They later confessed that they would announce the details of the party to the whole class whenever I would go to the CR or outside the lecture room to get food. Hahaha, kudos to all of you! πŸ™‚

I celebrated my 21st birthday at Ultra Complex during the Palarong Med, an annual sports competition among med schools in NCR. I didn’t have time to organize a party that year, but I got one of the best birthday present I’ve ever received: our volleyball team won 1st place, and so did many other UP Med varsity teams! Championship trumps a party anytime, hehe.

Maan and I had our first joint party when we celebrated our 22nd birthday together. Β We called it The Ge & Maan’s Party, a.k.a. The Priors’ Party since we were both Brother and Sister Prior in the fraternity/sorority that year. We held it in my house, served lots of food and booze, and it was great that our friends, brods and sisses, came all the way from Manila to QC for our party! Saya!

I didn’t really feel like celebrating on my 23rd birthday since we were clinical clerks that year, and well, toxicity got the best of me. Haha. Celebrated my whole day with my blockmates (who surprised me with a chocolate cake!) and Maan (and ate at Cyma Greenbelt). No party again that year.

I was an Intern on my 24th birthday, and since it was my final year in med school, I pledged to hold an all-out wasakan party that year. So I asked the support of my Phi batchmates to celebrate my birthday as a half-way through internship party and called it after our batch name: The Half Life Stag! We rented out a mobile bar, asked them to double the alcohol content of the drinks so people would get really wasak after the party.

Soon found myself to be the one who was the FIRST wasak! Didn’t really remember most of what happened that night, but I’m pretty sure that I was happy. Hahaha. πŸ™‚

I spent my 25th birthday in Boracay as an island doctor. That was my first time moonlighting (ergo, I finally had my own moolah!), and also the first time I spent my birthday away from Metro Manila. Mam Girlie was so galante and prepared a great seafood and inihaw dinner for all of us! So even if I was away from home on my birthday, I did have a grand mini-party at Boracay! πŸ™‚

Last year was my 26th birthday and I vividly remember being stuck at the OR for an emergency operation. Unfortunately, I was on duty (kelan ba hindi, haha), Β but after our long OR, I went to Maan for while to find out that a caramel cake was waiting for me! Wee!

But I really didn’t bother to celebrate my birthday last year. I was a first year resident, I had no right. Haha.Β Pero siyempre, I couldn’t resist my batchmates, so I treated them and Maan in Don Henircos (para walking distance lang, pwedeng tumakas, haha!)

And so we end up to this year, my 27th birthday. Well, this I think was the most benign birthday I’ve had so far. I didn’t hold a party, but Β I had a birthday dinner pakain with Bjay Β for surgery batchmates at Yakimix and had fun serving food from Amber Restaurant at the Plastics office for the Plastics and Burn teams (sarap ng Pichi-pichi!). Maan and I had dinner at Opus (thank you!!!), and the food was really really great! Topped the night with a Golden Spoon dessert, and Wreck-it-Ralph movie, where I slept in 50% of the time. Hahaha.

It’s really fun to bring back all these memories of my birthday parties. Makes me thankful to have all these great family and friends to share my birthdays with!

Don’t worry, next year I’m planning to hold one helluva party since it falls on a very special date: 11/12/13! Mazel tov everyone!

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Birthday Surprise

Note:Β This post was previously published at Ge’s Blog:Β The Surgeon’s LogbookΒ last September 27, 2009.

I always liked spontaneous, spur of the moment things. Planning in order to get somewhere or figuring out how to get there was never really my thing. This is especially true for out-of-town trips. Probably because of the high chances of it getting cancelled if you plan in advance? Or the drum up before the trip becoming so huge that the trip may not turn out as planned = disappointment and frustration.

Spontaneity = no expectations = maximum enjoyment. πŸ˜€

This is what I had in mind in one of my post-duty days from the Med ER. While walking home, coming from a relatively benign duty as an IM Intern at the ER, an idea suddenly popped into my head (I always had these bursts of ideas, especially on my post-duty days, while walking through the length of Spine Unit to Rob Towers):

I want to go out of Manila, now.

A quick text to Maan, exchanges consisting of deciding whether to go to Subic (and go to Zoobic!), Clark (and shop for PX goods? haha), Batangas (a quick day-trip to a beach), a quick phone reservation, finally got me decided (factoring in cost + weather + circumstance) I wanted to go to Tagaytay. πŸ™‚

Tagaytay is special for us. Not only is it near their place in Sta Rosa, but that is where we’ve spent most of the milestones in our 5 years together. A lunch at Josephines (haha), dinner at the Cliffhouse, lunch at Taj, coffee at Starbucks and Java Jazz. Minsan nakakasawa na din, but we make it a point that we do something or go somewhere new when we go there. It’s a near respite place for us where we can forget about hospital life and just be us.

So a quick drive up to the ridge via the newly renovated SLEX (can I just say na sobrang lawak na niya?! sana maayos na agad yung Skyway, para wala na gaanong sagabal, hehe) took us about an hour just in time for lunch.

She didn’t know where we were going. :]

We drove until we passed by Bag of Beans, which sort of suggests we were heading straight to Batangas, until I finally turned right at a sign which read “Antonio’s”

Tapestry at Antonio's Tagaytay

Beautiful tapestry at Antonio’s Tagaytay

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday!

We both love traveling and eating, as obvious as it may seem (HAHAHA), and often tried documenting all of our travel and food exploits in a joint blog, which of course, never transpired (yet?). And I haven’t even gave her a birthday present yet. So I thought, why not spend one of my free Sunday post-duty days with her in Tagaytay and eat at a resto where she wanted us to eat at but couldn’t because the price was soaring high? Bakit naman hindi, birthday naman. πŸ˜€

So I treated her to Antonio’s, one of the best restaurants in the Philippines according to her favorite travel/food blogger Anton of Anton Blogs. I once assisted my sister for wedding which had its reception there and I fell in love with the place. It was a retro 50’s house converted into a restaurant. The food was exceptionally great! Gusto ko din naman maexperience nya yun. =D

Appetizer

Bread slice as appetizer

Fresh Tagaytay Greens

Fresh Tagaytay greens with Arugula, Maan’s favorite!

They had set meals there, ranging from 1,300 to 14,000!!! Haha. Siyempre dun kami sa low-end. The waiter was offering us the Porterhouse Steak, haha. Di ko kinaya ang tag. Haha. Maan had fried duck, I had crispy lamb. Both came with house salad, soup and dessert. We also ordered Strawberry Balsalmic juice which was the best strawberry juice I ever tasted! Everything was perfect! The lamb was so soft, and the sweet coating melts in your mouth like there’s no tomorrow! The mashed potato in the duck was heavenly with just the right amounts of cream and salt, it was baked potato cut into slices and stacked altogther and cut into a square. SARAP! πŸ™‚ We had cream puff with ice cream and i forgot what she had for dessert. Then it started raining hard, so the cool tagaytay breeze became much coooooler! =D We were supposed to go and visit Calaruega but since it started to rain, we postponed it for another trip.

Crispy Lamb Ribs, sarap!

Crispy Lamb Ribs, sarap!

Fried Duck Leg

Fried Duck Leg

Sarap!

Sarap to the bone!

Cream Puff ala Antonio's

Cream Puff ala Antonio’s

This was some buttery dessert, but I forgot the name. Haha

This was some buttery dessert, but I forgot the name. Haha

Simot sarap! Up to the last drop! :)

Simot sarap! Up to the last drop! πŸ™‚

Funds were running low after the lunch treat so we decided to just go home and spend the rest of the day in Manila. But what’s an adventure without a sidetrip? We were supposed to take a shortcut back to Manila via Amadeo, Cavite. I guess I missed a turn or two, so we eventually got into the eskinitas of General Trias. Hehehe! After much ado about heading straight and hoping to find the Aguinaldo Highway, we finally reached Kawit and saw a marker pointing to Aguinaldo Shrine. We turned, passed by the shrine and found our way to SM Bacoor and back to Coastal Road.

At the end of the day I was so tired, but I was so happy that I did spend it with Maan even if I was post-duty. I slept the rest of the day and woke up the following morning thinking that I everything was just a dream.

But it wasn’t. πŸ™‚

Happy birthday Maan! =D

Ge surprised Maan for her 24th birthday to a lunch at Antonio's Tagaytay

Ge surprised Maan for her 24th birthday to a lunch at Antonio’s Tagaytay

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*This post was previously published at Ge’s Blog: The Surgeon’s Logbook last September 27, 2009.