On September 7, 2017, I turned 60. To most people , this is a milestone. Well, I could not have made such a fuzz about it but when my wife turned 60 last year, we gave her a big bash inviting all her friends, etc. AS one of the highlights that evening was a poem I made for her.. You can listen to it at this link and/or you can read about it here.
I must admit, I was kind of expecting the same treatment from my children. Like it was a test who they loved more, me or their mom kind of thing. I just can't help feeling jealous somehow if I had not been given a treat just like that. I'm only human, you see. On the eve of my birthday, I received an email from a friend in the States, Gwen Austin Turbyfield. She said that she was surprised to receive a phone call from Nitz but she wasn't available. Since she never heard from Nitz again, she began to get worried that something might have happened to me hence the email. I responded that I am just guessing but my family might be brewing a surprise for me as I am turning 60 the following day.
Come the day of my birth, my wife told me that we will be having dinnere somewhere in BGC. I thought there could not be a birthday surprise as I know of no function place in BGC, just fancy restaurants. So, maybe there is no surprise after all. Besides, it was a weekday. so I went and true enough, it turned out to be just simple dinner. I must admit, I was kind of disappointed But I was still hanging on to my children's fairness. hahaha
Last night, they invited me again for dinner, this time together with my son's fiancée and my youngest son's girlfriend. I said to myself, "this is it!" However, I couldn't be too sure as my daugherr Kim asked permission to leave and buy something at Megamall and she was not dressed at all. Coby took the car as he said that he had to do something very important with his girlfriend first.
Later that night, Mickey told us to wait for their call as he was just scouting for a place, again at BGC. Again, I thought it will just be another simple dinner. Since Coby had the car, Nitz and I took Grab. I pinned BGC Corporate Center since I was told we were going to BGC. While inside the car, Mickey texted that we should proceed to Shangriila Hotel! Hmmm, I think I am having a party after all. When we arrived, we waited for Kim at the lobby! There she was,, all dressed up. That confirmed that I am having a party after all. We went to the Samba only to be led to a private room with only my family shouting surprise! and sang happy birthday! Again, I was a bit disappointed. We were about to place our order when a waitress approached us to say that she made a mistake and that it was not our room. Mickey tried to show that he was angry at the mistake. I said, "let's go, it's alright." So, we transferred again. Upon seeing the huge door that she opened up that seemed like a foyer to another big door, I knew it! She opened the next door and everybody was there. The first person I noticed was my only brother holding a balloon, then my sisters and then every friend close to me.
My children managed to contact the right people. Every friend was represented. Too bad, we cannot fit everyone in that room for I have too many friends. Anyway, from my blogger friends, Connie Veneracion was there, for my La Salle University friends, couples Ollie and Kathy, Edgar and Vvian, Agnes and Roger and my good ol' pal, Redjie. Then for my Zobel family, there was Liesl and hubby,, Miguel and Henry. My ninong Moie and wife Melba who led the prayer. From my artist friends, Omi and Tutit were there. To represent my in-laws, Kuya Ben and Ate Lilia. The ensuing messages from friends was all heartfelt. It was too bad that my childhood friends Cyntha and her brothers who confirmed could not make it at the final hour as they had to rush their 91 year old dad to the hospital. I pray for his early recovery.
As usual, my guests said a few things about me after the very beautiful videos compiled by my children with Henry and Liesl collaborating as they did not know everyone, , Redjie sang a few songs. My wife requested Connie to read my poem about my mother and her alzheimer's disease entitled A Stranger in her own house which sent my son crying and Liesl reciting "Final Goodbye" a poem about my dad
The problem for the people preparing surprises like this is when this has been done already before. You have to make your target not aware of your moves. I can appreciate how my children and my wife hid everything from me. I was not aware of the plans until the actual singing of the happy birthday. They all pulled it through and I am so happy that they did. I am truly blessed to have my kids, my beautiful wife and wonderful friends to take time out of their busy schedules just to make me happy. and for that, I shall be forever grateful.