Happy 17th birthday! As you know, Mom spends a lot of time on Facebook. 😄 There is one FB feature that I have loved, especially on this day. It’s called the FB memories. I go back to it and see my posts throughout the years on this day. And also the birthday greetings coming from family that love you - your grandparents, your ninang Charie and your ninong Julius - they make it a point to make a special post your birthday. Our friends and acquaintances. From both our home countries. Parents we’ve met and became our dearest friends because of your friendship with their children. I do love how they take the time out of their day to type happy birthday. It is my hope that most of them are also saying a prayer, a blessing. It is a wonderful day to start this day - to go back to the FB memories. We have always celebrated in a big way. There was one post when you were 10 that I did a collage of you blowing out your 10 birthday cakes. Every year, your dad and I have thrown you a party to celebrate. So, it was a little difficult to wrap my head around why you no longer wanted to have a party. But as I reflected on it, I am beginning to understand that you are exercising your individuality, your right to decide things pertaining to you. You are after all, 17 now. WOW. In one year you are going to be considered an adult and on most legal papers you can sign and decide for yourself. Again, when I look at the FB memories, it seems like it was just yesterday when we celebrated in Manila for your 4th, in Vegas for your 5th, in Memphis to see Vonn Miller for your 10th, In a galaxy far, far away for your 11th. Ok fine, it was at the Marquee in Charleston for a viewing of the Last Jedi with your friends. Anyway, we celebrate because you are our only child. We celebrate the blessing that you are. We celebrate life - considering the circumstances of your birth where Dad had to tend to the 2 people he most love in the ICU’s. Today we will celebrate with just the 3 of us as you wanted. While I am nostalgic of birthdays past, I love the simple request of just an ice cream cake, Dad’s Korean ribs for dinner and that you just want to spend some alone time at the gym. And while it’s a quiet celebration of just the 3 of us, I trust that you know you’re special, this person you’re becoming, the young man you’re trying to get to know - separate from your parents. Know that however life ahead turns out and unfold for you, you are worthy just the way you are. Your life is going to be an amazing ride. Enjoy the twists, the highs, the lows. You are loved by so many people. And most especially by us, Mom and Dad. And we’re here for you for all of it!! I love you so much Anak. Happy birthday!!
Mom and Dad