Last night, I figured out how I wanted to celebrate my birthday.
I’ve never really been one for gifts, and my family’s much the same way. One year, my mom said that for her birthday, she’d like to receive sturdy plants for her garden. Another time, she requested books. One year, I asked people for letters. On another birthday, I asked people for their two-year plans. (Seriously. I gave seatwork.)
This year, I wanted to celebrate my birthday by sharing stories. I realized that a large part of being homesick is missing the sense of being known, and I wanted to share both my Philippine stories with W- and my Canadian stories with my family.
I celebrated my 25th birthday with my parents, my middle sister Kathy, and my partner W-. In the morning, my dad took W- and me around the electronic shops at Raon, the combination of Catholicism and superstition around Quiapo, and the photography shops at R. Hidalgo. I’m looking forward to trying out the SB-800 flash my dad gave me as a birthday gift. =)
After our trip, my mom took us around Ateneo, UP, and Pisay. W- and I had watched "Philippine Science" at the Toronto International Film Festival, so it was nice for him to see where I’d gone to school. We told a lot of stories along the way.
In the evening, my dad and my sister gave the commencement speech at the graduation of the photography students at Benilde. It was a quick, informal affair accompanied by a photo exhibit, which inspired me to think about shooting more.
After the commencement reception, we went out to dinner at Chateau 1771 in Greenbelt. We told tons of stories over dinner, and W- got a better idea of the crazy adventures that my family finds ourselves in. =D It was just the way I wanted to spend my birthday. (Or, well, it would’ve been if I’d remembered to bring a way to record the stories…)
Tomorrow, my godparents are having a tea party at the house in Alabang. It’ll be fun seeing them again. =) The day after that is Diane’s wedding – hooray! I just finished sending a few of my high school pictures to Mario, who’s putting together a slideshow. Can’t wait to attend!
25 years. So far, so good. Next up – even better!