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October 27, 2009


I failed to share what happened during the 14th day of the tenth month of the 9th year of this century. The day began with a phone call from my wife and kids. "Happy Birthday!" they all screamed at the phone. And it was the best way to start the day. None of my friends were able to remember actually that it was my birthday, except for a few close ones. My RHU staff also called me up and started singing the birthday song over the phone. However, despite the birthday greetings, I could not help but feel that the day was going to end just like any regular day. I started to miss my family (It was my first birthday away from them). Even a quick stroll at SM Mall was not enough to get rid of the feeling of boredom.

It was not until the 10th hour after noon that I started to feel "loved" and "remembered". While helping out my batchmates finish their gallery for the presentation the following day, Compadre Marc entered the hall with a birthday cake and a package. Mel and Doc Jelix were following him singing the birthday song. The rest of the DTTB's, especially my Ilonggo friends - Tep, Cel, JJ, Leah - started to gather around. Mel was taking a video of me blowing the candle on my birthday cake (courtesy of Doc Jelix). Marc then gave a surprise gift. It was first a card written by my eldest son. Along with the card are gifts from my wife. Marc was able to smuggle these gifts and keep them hidden from me all the time, since the day we both left Bacolod for Clark. The surprise made my day complete. I had to rush to the room and call up the house in Bacolod but no one was answering. Everyone was already asleep. But the following morning I was able to talk with my wife and was able to thank her for her thoughtfulness.

And I thought my birthday surprise was over. A week after I returned from Clark, my Anatomy students surprised me with a cake of their own. They told me they were supposed to give me a surprise party as well but I was in Clark during my birthday. I was very touched by their action.

I am thankful to the Lord for the wonderful gift of persons, especially my family and closest friends. I am very much grateful to their presence and to their thoughtfulness.

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