July 19, 2013
we were back in Manila recently for my mum’s surprise 70th – we arrived the night before the dinner party which was the day of her actual birthday. My brother arranged so that we stayed at a lower floor in a condo in their building.
She was genuinely shocked to see us ( my son handed her roses at the start )- we even called her that morning and we were in league with my dad so that we did not accidentally run into her as we had our haircut in Makati. However, there was a whole mishap getting to the venue (the details of which I’ll spare you). Suffice it to say, we arrived before them – thank God for once for the unprectability of Philippine traffic.
My younger brother and his wife did a bang-up job of organising the event. You could feel my brother’s stress levels but it worked out in the in spite of the “issues” that cropped-up. My mother’s close friends from high school, college, the military, and mah jong were there. There was a video presentation which took a lot of effort from my brother and his friend (involving long weeknights and sacrifing weekends.) There were also messages from my dad, her sister, and myself. There was a video prepared by the oldest apo that featured all the grandkids. As the program started late, non-essentials were cut like trivia questions. At the end, there was dancing because both my parents enjoy cutting the rug. Later on we found out despite various slip ups, the surprise was not ruined. All in all, it was a great night.
Since it was a short “holiday” as my wife had to get back to work and my son only had a brief school break, we were very tired – but it was very much worth it. Only four more “short” years until my parents’s golden wedding anniversary…