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April 7 is always a special day for me, on this day I was born and it just so happens that I have reached the first quarter of my life. Yes I am that old but I still feel sprightly, young and vigorous and can still travel to different places (hahaha). Anyway, I don’t usually celebrate my birthday, most celebrations are a stay-at-home affair with a good book, a comfy bed, maybe a movie on the side then dinner with my family. For the past 20 or so years this has been the pattern of my celebration and nothing has really changed that much. Yesterday was a different matter, for the first time in my life, I was surprised with a party wherein people whom I hold near and dear to me came.

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My day would start like any other, groggily waking up to the sound of either my phone or tablet informing me of the early greeters and viber messages from my family. What made those messages special was my brother Liro, who is currently based in Dubai, telling me that he will be going home for good tomorrow (today, April 8). Ever since he left, our house has felt somewhat empty; my mom passed away nearly two years ago, three of my older brothers and sister are married and have since moved out, my other sister took up a summer job in Coron and the only people left in the house are me, my brother and my dad. In effect, the nest is slowly becoming empty. Thankfully and surprisingly my brother will be coming home, at least, the house won’t be so empty anymore and I’ll have someone to talk to at home.

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After all those early greetings and a surprising announcement, it was time to meet Tricia. She picked me up from the house and following the message from my dad, it’s important to always visit my mom. That is exactly what we did, I visited my mom and had breakfast with her. On this bright sunny day with just enough wind to not make it feel like the summer, the two most special women in my life (sisters not included yet), were with me on this day. My breakfast with my mom, Tricia and me was perfect and I wouldn’t have wanted to start the day any other way.

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After that, it was a flurry of activity, a day in her office and going back to my usual self of sleeping the entire morning. After that, it was off to Manila to visit Paterno Street. In this street you could get cheap eye glasses for less than a thousand pesos. True enough I was able to get a pair to replace my aging glasses and try a more lightweight pair all for P800, this includes the frames and the lenses as well. I was pleased with my new pair and extremely happy since it hugs my face and is very lightweight so no worries of it falling off when I bike.

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All of these activities were fun but apparently, the real surprise began at around 4:30 onwards. Despite my best efforts trying to find out about Tricia’s plans for me on that day, she managed to surprise me with a party. Though I had a feeling, what I didn’t expect were those who were invited to the party. College classmates (well just two of them), our group from the graduate school, and our joint friends were there. Apparently, days before my birthday, my very sneaky girlfriend was already contacting friends from all over: my old high school group, college classmates, work friends and etc… I was really touched and surprised because I didn’t know the extent of her effort and everything she did in planning this event.
To end, I was truly amazed with the way my 25th birthday turned out. It was a day that I didn’t really expect to hold so many surprises, though I did have my suspicions and my somewhat OC-self wanted to know my girlfriend’s surprise for me, not knowing was well worth the wait. I have a lot to be thankful for these past few years, I also have a lot of reflecting and taking action to do now that I am in my mid-twenties and facing more and more realities of life. With these in mind, I am truly grateful, thankful and appreciative to those friends who have made the first quarter of my life just simply amazing.
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