And so the story goes that on the fateful night of August 1, 1978, when Manila was being battered by the worst storm ever, a mother gave birth to an eight month old, scrawny little baby who weighed no more than 4.5 lbs. As the baby came out of the mother’s tummy, the light too in the whole city went out. And so the baby lay there in the dark nursery, illuminated only by the nearby emergency light. The grandpa who was waiting anxiously in the corridor with the father, when he heard the baby cried, cannot helped but uttered in silence, “there goes the little light.” My name Blanca, said my lolo, means little light. And yes, that baby is me. Everyday for the past 36 years, I strive to live up to the name given to me. Even during the most difficult time in my life when I see nothing but complete darkness, I struggled for my flickering light to continue to shine. It is so easy to live in the shadow or fade into the oblivion that darkness offers but life or rather God doesn’t always include that in the many options he always presented to me. I guess because He wants the light within me to help fire the world up with His love. And so here I am today, stil trying to live up to the challenge that comes with my name, still trying to light up (your) the world, through the big or small roles that I play in your life. Thank you for giving me the chance and the opportunity to do that everyday. And for the warm greetings and heartwarming birthday wishes too.
Today, I turned 32. I believe I am neither young nor old. I am in that comfortable spot called “in between”:) That only means there are still a lot of things that I can get away with (like maybe wearing my comfortable mini skirts?hehe) without getting snickers and jeers from the younger set or the censure of the much older ones. It also means that I still have more chances to follow my dreams and much more opportunities to make the grand plans in my head happen.
This is the first time that I don’t have anything profound to say on my birthday. Usually I become philosophical and all. I guess, there’s really nothing much left to say but “Thank you” to God for never failing to bring a smile of wonder and delight on my face everyday. He always surprises me with abundant blessings wrapped in love, miracles that come in big and small packages, and angels in disguise.
I will be forever grateful to Him for giving me my…
Family. They have given me a sense of purpose. It is because of them that I feel like a superwoman, ready to take on whatever life throws my way. It is for them that I strive to be the best daughter, sister, cousin, wife and mom.
In-laws. They make me experience what it’s like to belong to a big family. They taught me what true family bonding is all about and how families should look after each other.
Girlfriends. They are there whenever, wherever and whatever. They know me well enough to anticipate my next move and the crazy things that are on my mind. I just cannot escape their knowing eyes.:) It is with them that I share some of those great heart-warming, gut-wrenching talks and those crazy belly laughs.:)
Students. They make me feel that I am finally doing something great. I grow ten feet tall everytime I receive letters and drawing that they lovingly scribbled for me. My heart does a small dance everytime they surprise me with their sweet bear hugs.
Colleagues. It is because of them that I know in my heart that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. They have taught me how it is to be a true professional without losing that “human touch.”
Parents of my mentees. They have given this wonderful gift called trust. They have wholeheartedly shared their daughters with me and for that, I feel humbled.
Strangers who prove to be Good Samaritans. Their random acts of kindness reminds me to make a conscious effort to see the good in every person that I meet and to spread kindness all around.
These wonderful people I am blessed with, they make my life complete. They beat all the expensive gifts I can ever imagine receiving on this special day. They give my life so much meaning and make my soul so rich with love. At this point I can truly say, I could not ask for anything more.:)
My birthday is always a big deal for me. Eversince I was a kid, I consider my birthday a red letter day. When the calendar hits June I would start counting the days till my birthday comes and I would keep on reminding my family about it. They usually are amused whenever I am in my pesky birthday mode. I have to say that I haven’t gotten over this feeling of great anticipation whenever my birthday is near. I love my birthday because I usually use it as a weapon to “force” my family to give me something that I want. They usually cannot resist buying it for me since I would really give them a hard time if they don’t. 🙂 I would also use it as a perfect excuse to be waited upon. I would like to think also that it gives me a license to be total BRAT just for one day. That’s why I love my birthday. I used to think that I would forever be that kid who just can’t wait for her birthday to come.
For starters, I would make a list as early as June of the things that I would want for my birthday. When I was single, my dad and later my sister would see to it that I get what I wanted most from the list. When I got married, I learned to develop a subtle, not so obvious way of making my husband know what I want without having him thinking that I am the most demanding wife. There was a time when I lured him to the jewelry section of the department store totally unaware of my hidden agenda. I made a show of admiring with regret these fabulous bracelets and little heartbreaker trinkets of different colors of pink, silver, white and yellow (gold?). I also remembered last year their company was selling this really cute laptop and to make him know that I want that, I made a show of being totally captivated by it and told him endless tales of sleepless nights when I just can’t get it out of my mind. Most often though I would print out a picture of an amazing bag that catches my fancy in the internet and would very casually leave that colored printout ( so that he would get me the right color)on top of our desk in our house where he would surely, surely not miss it. Very often, okay, well 99.9% of the time he never fails me. I always get my most wanted gift each year for my birthday. This has become some sort of a game for me and my husband. I know secretly he waits each year for the crazy antics that I would do just so he would know what gift I would want him to give me. We always try to outdo each other in making the most obvious birthday gift a surprise for each other’s birthday. I know this seems shallow or childish or crazy to some, but for me, birthdays only come once a year and what the heck! It is the only time I allow myself to splurge on something or totally covet something.
But this year though is different. I have been having this funny feeling as my birthday is getting near. Although I made a printout already of my most coveted bag and let my husband know in no uncertain terms the dimensions of that bag that I like, I can’t seem to have that same giddy feeling I usually get whenever I am in my pesky birthday mode. For the first time, there is really noTHING that I want for my birthday this year…except for my family to be okay. We have been through a lot and I realized that this time I just want each member of my family to be alright . I want my mom to get through this stressful health situation that she is in right now. I want my little girl to slowly regain back her strength after being sick for days. I want my sister to finally have that happiness and peace of mind that she so desires and I want my husband to achieve all of his big dreams and grand plans. Nothing else this time, just that, oh well all of that actually. I guess its not really too much to ask for a birthday right? It would not really cost a thing to have all those “things”. In fact I would even gladly trade my (sigh!) bag or give away anything just to have those wishes coming true on this birthday. Oh well, I must really be getting old or it seems that the time when I would finally outgrow this “ birthday obsession syndrome” has finally come with this new developments in my birthday life. But I guess if that is case, “growing up” or “growing out of it” is not really so bad after all. I mean, I’m sure that everybody goes through this stage or is it just me? 🙂 oh well, bring on the cake, I will blow my candles now…
P.S. Birthday countdown: OMG! 2 days to go and its my birthday already! (there are some things really that you can never change)
Today I turned a year older. But unlike others who would make a show of keeping their age a secret, I am proud to tell anybody who cares to asks that I am now 30 years old. I don’t really see any point of hiding one’s age unless 1.) you look older than your age 2.) you act immature for your age and 3.) you don’t act your age at all. Well, I am neither one. My birthday was just like any ordinary day with a lot of extraordinary things happening. I realized that a lot of people really cares for me—my husband, my family, my colleagues, my small circle of friends at work, my former and present students, my friends who I haven’t seen for a long time but whose presence I constantly feel in special events like this and old friends from way way back who never fails to make a comeback in my life. They all remembered and they all made me realize how far I’ve come. I can say that I’ve lived this 30 years well, for them and because of them. It is not me who made me but all the people that has been and still are part of my life.
I do not have any regrets. I am living a full life and I have come full circle. In my thirty years of living I’ve realized quite a lot of things. I realized that in life, you have to make things happen if you want something going in your life. You should not wait for somebody to come who will make you happy. You have to find happiness in other things for if you depend on others to give you the happiness that you are searching for, you will forever feel robbed if they let you down or if it doesn’t work out. Happiness is a choice, you either let yourself be carried away or drown in your frustration, loneliness, sorrow, anger or despair OR choose to snap out of it and just live. It is you who calls the shots in your life. Some people just love you and some people just don’t, we just have to remember that we are not born to please others but ourselves. If people say hurtful things to you, always remember that it doesn’t say much about the kind of person you are but the kind of person that person is. How others see you is not what is important but how you view yourself and how proud you are of what you see are what’s important. Look good and feel good inside out not for others and not because of others but for yourselves and because you want to yourself. Problems and difficulties will always be there, so why ran away from them, it is better to face them head on and deal with them right away than forever search for that perfect life, job or relationship that for all you know may never happen at all. Do not expect your partner to be perfect coz in the first place you are not perfect yourself. You have to share whatever you can share, for it will come back to you in blessings in least expected moments. Fate, luck and destiny all boils down to what is meant to be…what is meant to be is actually how you want your life to be, for in life we are forever presented with choices…so it is just a matter of picking the right choice and at the same time being open to life’s little pleasant surprises. A while ago, our department, just for fun, raffled a couple of girly items, my number was picked and guess what I got—a red lipstick—fate, luck, destiny or meant to be?—nah, I guess this is one of those life’s little pleasant surprises…so its happy birthday to me everyday again… 🙂