I wanted to spend my 25th birthday simpler and only with those people who really are close to me. But, with a growing network of Filipino friends in Williston, a simple dinner became a mini party of sort. I am lucky to have great friends like Gilbert, Thereza, Emeline, Lilian and Rolly who put some effort to make my first birthday in America a memorable one.
Thereza always brings the idea of preparing or doing something for my natal day. We had occasional talks about how I perceive my birthday should be. I constantly told her that I am settled with a simple dinner or a picnic with her and the rest of my close friends at the PineView apartment. She, by the way, cooked an amazing breaded pork.
Emeline, my newly found yosi-friend, prepared an Italian pasta. Im not sure If she calls it that way but it tasted more of an Italian. She topped it off with cheddar cheese and some herbs that she pronounces with class (I honestly forgot what that was). Lilian brought some brownies that served as my “cake”. I saw her hurriedly driving to the nearest convenience store to buy some nuts for her brownies. She gave extra effort to sprinkle a personal touch to a ready-made, oven baked brownies. Lilian’s husband named Rolly fried the perfect friend chicken, thanks to the $3 wok he bought from a rummage sale nearby.
Unexpectedly, Janice and Elinito made a vinegar-dipped-raw-yellow-fin fish salad o known as “kinilaw” in my local language. The kinilaw made a perfect compliment to the El Hombre tequila and Coor’s light beer. They also lend me their videooke that made the mini party a lively one.
My newly found best friend Gilbert made the night possible. We did the celebration at his apartment and helped me buying all the stuffs that we needed. He was the “jukebox” king of the night and his voice is solid all throughout the night.
Personally, the greatest highlight of the night is when my housemate Winckle approached me and opened up about our slight differences. We are both Virgo-born individuals so I knew he thought of what I thought too. I didn’t see that coming really and he joined me for a couple of times during my yosi breaks with Emeline.
As we grow old, birthdays have become an ordinary day. I am not that kind of person who wishes to be treated special during birthdays. I even want to make my birthdate as discreet as possible; wanted to celebrate with only those who matter. Giving an in depth contemplation on the first statement, birthdays have become like ordinary days the moment we become independent individuals and have stepped out of the shadows of our parents who makes birthdays magical. Having such thought is a sign of maturity.
Celebrating birthdays is not a show off or just having a fun party but it is a celebration of life. Given with another year to live is worth thanking and celebrating.