Yep I just turned 29, last Tuesday. Let me just say this... I love my life. For 29 years, I have nothing but gratitude for all the blessings God gave me. They don't always come as they should, but nevertheless, everything that comes, good or bad is a blessing. That's not to say that I feel complete by the way. I mean, there are still so many pieces missing, but I know that in God's time, I'll find them. I've always believe, that there's a reason and time for everything, I just have to keep on believing.
So yeah, I celebrated my birthday last week. Celebrations are no biggie to me, every year, it's always a subtle and a low key one (except for my 10th birthday) and this year is no exemption. It's not like it's a matter of circumstance. But when your birthday comes after a series of major celebrations, there's not much choice eh? I mean we have Christmas, New Year, Parent's anniversary and then the town fiesta. Really, by early February, we're too tired and broke to prepare for another fete. I'm not a big fan of parties anyway. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy attending parties as long as I'm not the celebrant or the host.
Anyway, here's a breakdown of what my 29th birthday looked like:
I woke up as early as 2 AM, I don't know why, I would have wanted to sleep longer. Maybe it's the price of sleeping at 9 PM or I'm just subconsciously excited. I tried to go back to sleep but failed, so I gave up and checked my phone to read and reply to early greetings. I then went online to check messages and updates. I am grateful, by the way, for all the greetings I received. Long or short, mushy or straight, it just feels great to be remembered.
At 6AM I went to the church to hear mass and thank God. At the end of the mass, the priest called on the birthday celebrants to come forward to receive blessing and a sprinkle of "Holy" water. The church didn't do that when I was a kid, I think it's great, but I didn't come forward. I didn't think it was necessary and I felt blessed anyway, but the main reason I didn't come forward was my shyness. Seriously, 29 years and still haven't gotten over my stage fright. I mean the church goers are mostly old people and I doubt if anybody knows me, but the timid me won't go away. Seriously, I need to get rid of that...
Back at home, I had my breakfast and went online again to download movies. I'm currently checking the movies nominated at the 84th Oscars. That way, I can have better judgement in betting and that should increase my chances of winning. LOL! No really, I just want to check great movies. I hardly get the chance to see a movie, a friend once told me that I'm missing a lot of great movies of my generation, and I agree, there's a lot of catching up to do.
By lunch time, I got a not so unexpected visitor. Dindee called me earlier and asked for a treat. I told her if she comes to my house, I'll give her a treat. She's not the woman you can bluff a dare, she'll definitely do it. Not that I'm bluffing, I'm glad she came. I took her to one of the popular restaurants in Tanay, (Halamanan) to have lunch. I urged her to visit Regina Rici, as it is the newest place of interest in Tanay. We did try to check it, but as luck may have it, the place is closed on Tuesdays. But Dindee is such a road trip junkie, she immediately thought of something to check. She said that she had always wanted to go to Hinulugang Taktak falls in Antipolo, and because I had nothing else to do, I immediately said yes.
Despite the fact that Antipolo is just 30-45 minutes away from Tanay, I've never been to Hinulugang Taktak. My knowledge of this place is just as long as the chorus of the song "Tayo Na Sa Anitpolo" goes. Dindee said that she's been there when she was a kid, but can't remember a thing about it. Even before seeing, I've read a some bad reviews about it, and you can't blame them. The moment I entered, I smelled something unpleasant. But when I finally saw it, I thought it wasn't as bad as I expected.
However, as I got near the falls, I understood where the smell was coming from and the sight made me squint.
A thick layer of soap suds! I saw worse pictures on the web where there's an overwhelming presence of garbage in the plunge pool. I guess I'm lucky not to see them on my visit, but those suds do not belong there either. It's not surprising, after all, the water is from the downriver of Antipolo city. Oh the price of progress -sigh- Anyway, if you've ever been there, and have seen it during its hey days, count yourself lucky. The place is a sad reminder of the people's irresponsible treatment of the environment. There is hope, if you are from this city, do your part to help. Be responsible earthlings!
So we checked the place for a bit and headed home afterwards. By the time we got back, it was just about time for the sunset. Dindee had to leave. I saw her off then I rushed to the dike with my bike to see the sunset.
Living close to Laguna bay has perks, like being able to see the gorgeous sunset. You don't need a high end camera to capture a picturesque scene. Unfortunately for me, working in the city prevents me from doing it on a "want to" basis.
I ended my celebration with a dinner with my family in our favorite restaurant near the lake shore. It was also a favorite venue for reunions among balikbayans (overseas Filipinos). We had sinigang soup, fried Dalag, grilled Liempo and Pancit. My mom made me my favorite fiesta delicacy, Buko salad, which was great. No cake nor ice cream. Like I said, a low key, but a great one. It could have been better if only Richard, Oliver, Rosavel and Cherie were there. But of course, they have valid reason not to be there and it's acceptable.
I'd say it was a perfect day to turn 29. There was a time in my life when I decided to celebrate my birthday alone so I can get used to it when I grow old. That was really silly when I think about it now. Thank God I changed!
Next year, my 30th year, is something to look forward. Even though I said that I prefer low key celebrations, the big "O" should be an exemption.