i wanna say my birthday started the day before, when i had my first choir practice with the SOSCFI kids…haha, super fun. here is a little video:
the morning of my 25th birthday, i woke up at 5:30am. yes. 5:30 am. super early. i think the last time i did that was when i was waking up to leave for cabrini with mish (and even then, we would text each other in the am!). haha, (no quotation mark on this keyboard, i apologize in advance!)…but the reason for the early wake up call, was because it was going to be a busy day! in a sense, everything i did that day, was a celebration of life. and for that, i am so grateful!
i woke up, and had to get ready for my day because i wanted to go to mass at 7am. well before that, my taho vendor, manong v (his name is too hard to pronounce for me, haha), the day before, said that he would come by and greet me happy birthday on my exact birthday, and so, i had to be sure to be ready for the day prior to his arrival, cause after that, i would have to jet over to mass. well, it was wayyyy past the time he usually comes to sell me taho, and so i just decided to leave.
well, as i was walking to the jeepneys, he sees me, and is like, happy birthday!! it was super cute. hes like, ah are you going to church? i was going to bring my kids over so that they could say happy birthday to you! so sad. but alas, he said he would bring them over this weekend. so im looking forward to meeting his children! haha, gotta love this town. 🙂
bought some sampaguita (traditional flowers here), attended mass, saw one of the daughters of st. paul novices, made my flower offering, lit 10 candles (2 would not stick. boo) in the candle lighting area, and then headed over to meet ate jewel and ate lynie for jollibee. my FAVORITE! woohoo! it was perfect! so delish!
then, headed over to irisan, took some fun pictures while we waited for everyone to arrive, prayed the rosary, i gave a little reflection based on the gospel reading, in tagalog (in my less than adequate tagalog – but it worked!), then we headed over to lourdes grotto! woohoo! took more pictures, climbed the big statue of jesus, and enjoyed the beautiful day. (video: driving to irisan – warning: it is a bumpy road! enjoy the views! (that is mainly why i took the video))
it was also the day of circles of discernment, so we had that sesh at our community, then sr. bernadette and i headed over to maryknoll, for their indigenous peoples month celebration. there, we got to learn some indigenous dances from the areas here in the cordilleras – like from kalinga and ifugao…super fun, and it was a good time! its always a good time seeing the maryknoll community, and after eating a delicious meal, and after meeting sr. margarita, we also met some camillian seminarians in novitiate! what a lively bunch they were!
they found out it was my b-day, and proceeded to sing happy birthday to me, they got a candle, and then sang happy birthday to me. hahaha…cosmic journey style. it was hilarious actually – their hand motions were ridiculous. haha, but super nice, and super fun, and they all proceeded to predict my vocation. of course, only in groups of seminarians and novices would that happen! 🙂 it was such a fun time! (video: happy birthday to me…from the camillians!)
afterwards, ate jewel, ate lynie, sr. b, and i, met up with my uncle for some tea and dessert. it was a beautiful day!
right after the crew at maryknoll sang happy birthday to me, they asked for a birthday speech. haha, oh filipinos. and so, there i went. i basically said how much of a blessing it was to be spending my birthday – 10/10/10, in the philippines, on mission. my desire to live in the philippines for the past 5 years was finally made real, and i got to celebrate my birthday in such a special way, especially by being at maryknoll, and being surrounded by wonderful people. i loved it too, because i got to learn more about the cordilleras region on my birthday. that was really special to me too. it was just such a complete day! thank you to everyone for your love, support, well wishes, and hugs from near and far!
(video: chants/dances/songs of the cordilleras region, as celebrated at maryknoll)