Another year has passed by, and it’s my birthday once again!, boy how time flies, and now, I’m really getting there, getting older. Looking at some fifteen, twenty years back, I would have been really excited I mean, celebrating your day as a child was just priceless. for those who do not know me, I was born in April, on this date, at exactly 7:48 am. Maybe that’s the reason why I am so fond of mornings. I remember, during our early years, me and my twin brother had always been celebrating our birthdays outside of our home, in our compound, always basking in the summer sun. We would always start the day by waking up really early, racing and hustling down the stairs in our PJs, always expecting for those color-assorted-balloons, party hats, and the noises our childhood friends make, while they play and wait for the party outside. As the Pabitin (filipino pinata) is being set up, we would always find ourselves on the sidelines, already eyeing for the prizes that were being tied and hung on a grid made of kawayan or bamboo, 2 to 3 hours before the party. the stuff being tied there were nothing expensive actually, they were just cheap toys, like a couple of 20 buck water guns, a pair of plastic tennis rackets, some plastic toy soldier figures, and repacked sweets like Serg’s bars and Goya gold coins, some several bags of the famous candies back then like the haw-haw, tarzan, bigboy, and the legendary mik mik the powdered milk in a sachet that kids really loved.
The Pabitin had always been the highlight of the party. And as each year went by, and when the budget for our kiddie parties had to be cut short, we always made sure that the bamboo wonder stayed, until the day that we were all forced to grow up.
I miss those 30 second bliss. In those moments, when the grid is finally being lowered, we stretch our arms up, and reaching, bending our knees for that big attempt, jumping as high as we could. Our hearts stopped every time.
Snaps, and back to the now, no longer a child anymore, I soon realized that this is the first time that I am spending my day slouching in front of my computer, staring on a blank page, counting the number of blinks the cursor is making, waiting for my fingertips to finally decide and spell their first words.
This day really sucks.
While working on this literary project, something nice and familiar suddenly caught my attention. By the way, I am at home inside my room, making the most out of this early morning, while this, very stimulating cooking aroma, from the kitchen downstairs, is inviting me and sort of taking me back to those nostalgic days that I was telling you about. Honestly, I was kind of excited. I can only imagine what’s in store for me, I do not have any idea what my mom is making, but the smell of the sauteed onions and garlic somehow gives me an idea.
So I hustled downstairs, as i used to do when I was still a kid, now, no longer in my PJs, but in my boxers instead. Of course, not expecting balloons and party hats anymore, my attention now draws from a mindset of a 28-year-old, with an empty and very discerning stomach. My mind shoots in food suggestions basing it on the smell that woke my senses up and shook the boring mood out of me. I was thinking, Roasted chicken, or maybe pasta, My mom’s world-famous Nilagang baka (beef) or her chicken and pork adobo perhaps. The suspense made me more and more excited, I’m young again I said to myself.
But like in the movies, a sudden twist in the story. To my surprise, when i finally took out the food cover, instead of delight, I saw 3 pieces of hotdogs and some heated sotanghon from last night. the surprise quickly turned into a very funny epic fail situation. haha.
While enjoying the last remaining bites of these tasty treats from my new age Pabitin, and puffing the life out of my cigarette serving as my birthday candle, as every year nourishes me in this solemn seconds of prayer, I am counting the blessings realizing that everyday should be a celebration.
And with all the unnecessary ramblings made, from the child in me, I guess all I’m saying is, “Thanks for shoe-stringing with me”.