Posted by: Jae | March 17, 2007

“To be loved as to love with all my heart”

It’s been a loooong time since my last birthday party. For the past few years, I’ve spent my birthday just having a quiet dinner with a small circle of friends, talking about anything and everything and nothing. Last year was a deliberately muted birthday celebration, inasmuch as the bar results were about to come out in a few days. Spent my birthday eve fretting in a slouchy couch at a homey bar in Quezon City with a boy who took my hand and promised that it was going to be okay.

This year, I wanted a party. Those closest to me will know that it has been a tough and challenging year. Deep family issues, a massive financial crisis, health concerns, ghosts from unresolved childhood tragedies coming back to haunt me — to paraphrase Ely Buendia circa Eraserheads, I got by, with a smay-eel. I wanted to gather the people who saw me through the bad stuff and tell them I love them through beer and sisig and a videoke machine.

And they came. They all came. The friend living in Makati whose work at Ayala ended at 9pm and and who has a class for her Masteral degree at 8am the next day. The friend who had to catch a Cecil Licad concert in CCP that Friday night and whose car broke down in Roxas Blvd. The friend who drove to Tagaytay and back that day for a work-related trip. The friend who had a gig scheduled that same night at Conspiracy.

It was just so great to stand in the middle of the room and see the faces of 60-or-so people so familiar and dear to me. From my friends in debsoc (TJ was inappropriately-early, Mori was inappropriately-late — nothing much has changed since college, haha), to my law school friends (mga abugadong malakas tumawa at mas malakas kumain), to people from PEACE helping Bondoc Pen, to my super great AKBAYAN family, to other people who dont fall within these neat categories but all fit nicely in my heart (editor’s note: icky, please change phrase), salamat talaga ng marami.

Special thank you to Geh for wangling a good deal at Barko for me and for coordinating the party. And also to Mayong’s office and HQ for chipping in. Salamat, Arlene and Kit, for this happy surprise. Tinanggap ko talaga ito ng walang dramang pagpapakipot at pag-aalinlangan. Hehe. I dont want to start saying thank you for the individual gifts because if I acknowledge one, Ive to acknowledge all and Im afraid Id miss someone.

My birthday is not officially over, but I must say that this has truly been one of my more memorable birthdays. Spent my birthday eve with the most fantastic set of friends ever, a noisy and fun party that wound down around 2am. Today at noon, I had salmon sashimi with the boy who held my hand last year and promised me it was going to be okay. (Two of my favorite things in one go: my favorite food and my favorite person) Heard mass with Mama at 6pm, who told me that March 17, 1980 was one of the happiest days of her life. Had dinner at home with my two lolas who made me pancit with lots of chicken liver and no shrimp, just the way I like it. Looking forward to my sister’s birthday gift to me: a three-hour pampering session at the spa tomorrow.

There is one thing that happened today that makes me sad and made my eyes well up a little, as I was eating salmon sashimi with the boy. A scheduled implementation of a long-overdue but extremely difficult decision. But I will not think about it first. Tonight, when I close my eyes and pray, I will only say “thank you.”

Happy birthday to me.



  1. Happy birthday uli! Madali ko ng maalala birthday mo kasi 17 din ako!

    Nakaka-miss naman iyong mga taong nabanggit mo. Anyway, ilang buwan na lang, Pinas na uli ako! Miss ko na ang barko!

    Ganyan talaga ang buhay maraming pagde-desisyonan, pinagdadaanan ko rin ngayon. Pero, pasalamat na rin tayo kasi mabuti nga eh may pinagde-desisyonan pa, iyong iba nga eh wala na. Kaya, ‘thank you’ talaga.

    Cheers and amen to this: ‘To be loved as to love with all your heart!’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Hi Jae,

    Happy Bertdey ulit. Hope I’ll be mentioned in the next birthday of yours. Hehehe and hope next time, your birthday won’t be in Barko for a change.

    Village Tickler

  3. yan pwede na… happy birthday jae! hehehe

    bonn… nasa pinas ka na???

  4. Thanks chrisgel! Sayang wala ka dito. I was gonna text you nga to invite you (si golda, pumunta) pero sabi ni golda out of the country ka pa. Mwah!

  5. wow, a kiss! thanks! hehehe (mukhang deprived hihihihi)

    oo nga kahit di mo ko i-invite, magcrash ako dyan sa party na yan (lapit lang naman din sa office ng barko).

    balik na ko manila this tuesday. eek balik opisina ulit.

  6. I love you, Jae… Happy Birthday! At least you know I’m being truly consistent whenever I arrive inappropriately late. That’s always better than not showing up, right? Hehe. See you soon… at sana hindi na sa Barko – not because I hate it there, but because I am reminded of what vaguely feels like the most embarrassing moment of my life… sana talaga hindi na ako makarinig ng comments like: “Ahhh, yeah I remember him…” or makakita ng meaningful and irritatingly patronizing, if not condescending, grin from any other witness. After all, their only evidence is that I tipped big that night – possibly out of shame or temporary insanity – the latter being my easy, easy choice.

  7. I love you, sweetie. Through all embarrassing moments and back. I’ve learned the past year that the only opinions that matter to me are the opinions from people who matter to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Jae dearie! I had a blast at your party, and I could tell how happy you were to see all the people who matter to you (and then some, heehee) troop to barko to wish you a happy birthday. you were just radiant that night, ika nga ni bobby g. — “[you’re] a free and gentle flower, growing wild..”. Masaya ako na masaya ka, at grabe, ang daming nagmamahal sa yo ha, kasama na ko dun, syempre! Kahit na sinabi mong banned ang SMB sa party, lahat pa rin pumunta — yun na talaga ang true test of ‘ibang may pinagsamahan..’ haha. (pero salamat at SMB pa rin ang toma)
    Bad things happen to good people, I know, but last Friday, a closely-held belief of mine was again re-affirmed — you can’t bring a good person down; and when you have a heart the size of texas (as what i said about you in my grad speech), the world cannot help but love you right back. Cheers to our great friendship, Jae. Mwah!

  9. uyyyyy…happee siya! salamat salamat salamat sa masayang parteee… ๐Ÿ˜‰ actually, i stayed until 4am or so… pinakalasing award. feeling ko nag gatecrash ako sa isang debut kung saan kaibigan ko ang kapitbahay ng kumare ng nanay ng may bday. surreal. sabak agad sa inom haha! wala paki sa ibang bisita.

    in this regard, the “bleep” is officially temporarily suspended … and replaced by “heart” as in “i heart jae.” ayan ha! mabait ako, kahit hirap. im just not sure kung hanggang kelan… hehehe. baka next week? huuuu, antagal naman nun (sige, pag iisipan ko)

    xs: teka, ako ba yung nagsabi ng “ahhh yeah, i remember him” to your friend M.? naku, apologies apologies po. yun nga lang, may mga bagay kasing tumitimo sa memorya na di basta-basta nabubura ng alak… hehe ๐Ÿ˜‰ peace!

  10. Hi Joan! Touched talaga ako. ๐Ÿ™‚ I couldnt naman have gone through all that if you guys werent there for me. Hehe, tayo we’re always just one YM BUZZ away. Same goes for you: there’s no bringing a good person down. I love you, and thanks again.

    p.s. yung “and then some”, kaya na siguro yang i-accommodate ng aking “heart as big as texas”. hahaa.

    Hi i-bleep-jae! Im glad you had fun at my party, kung ano ano nga ang pinagsasabi mo, kala mo hindi makakarating sa akin. Di bale, nakakatouch naman.
    4am?!?! Mas nauna pa kaming umalis keysa sa iyo? AA! AA! AA! I heart gus. ๐Ÿ™‚

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