Happy Birthday to me!-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
UNLIKE in the past, sending birthday greetings these days is as easy as eating pizza pie! You can greet the person celebrating his birthday through text messages, Facebook, twitter, and e-mails/e-cards.
Those are the fastest way of telling the person that you remember him on the day he was born.
Five days after New Year’s Day, I celebrated my birthday. A day prior to my birthday, I already got messages in my Facebook wall. All in all, more than a hundred greeted me on my birthday.
I was still sleeping when I received text messages from my two sisters: Evangeline and Jeannyline. Other friends, who know my mobile number, also did. All day long, I received text messages.
On the night of my birthday, several of my friends came to celebrate my natal day. Among those who shared their time with me were: Atty. Edwaldo Legaspina (who had to join us even though he had just arrived from a long trip from Surigao City), Sean Stephenson (Kenneth Dong’s representative from Asuki Weighing System, Inc.), Rudolph Ian Alama (a film director and fellow columnist at Sun Star Davao), and Dashiel Indelible (city tourism officer of Mati City).
These people arrived early: Atty. Israelito Torreon (a childhood friend from my hometown), Atty. Jaja Rosello (who finished her law from the Ateneo de Davao University), and Armando Mortejo (who works at the Pearl Farm Beach Resort). Television host and dentist Rovic Cuasito also dropped by.
After having fun in one venue, we transferred to Java Jive at Quirino Street. There was a live singing and we have tried and tasted some of the best coffees in the city. We also had the opportunity of meeting new friends.
But I got the biggest shock of my life when the singers went to the stage and sang a birthday song for me.
However, before the night was over, I was able to write in my Facebook these words: "Today, I enter a new phase of my life. Before the day would be over, I would like to thank my family (parents, siblings, and relatives) who are with me through the years, in times of troubles and happiness; my friends who understand me as I am and stood by me whether I am bad or good; and my colleagues who were there to guide me and pointed me if I go wrong and praised me when I am correct."
I also penned this short prayer: "Lord, as I enter another year of my life, please bear with me. I am not a perfect human being and I am sure I will commit errors but forgive me for doing so. Your loving kindness and blessings are the things that keep me strong. Your love keeps me stronger. Thank you for all the blessings I received last year and thanks in advance for the good things - and even those you won't answer because I know you always see what is good for me. Thank you, Lord. As always."
So, how are you now, they asked. Their question had the words of British playwright George Bernard Shaw came running to my mind: “Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.”
But wait, I don’t have any kids. And yes, I am not young anymore. The permanent thing in this world is change. We grow and then grow some more and then the final stage of life. In the beginning, poets talk about how many summers when asking age. But later in life, the tone changes: “How many winters more to go?”
Jean Paul Richter considers birthdays as “feathers in the broad wing of time.” And they are good for you, suggests Larry Lorenzoni. “Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest,” he said.
Well, in a way, birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. We better enjoy this trip. It is thought that birthday celebrations originated in the Roman Empire. And they were largely due to the prominent religion at the time, Mithraism, which was later supplanted by Christianity.
Although you might celebrate your birthday every year, your actual birthday only occurs once every 7 years! Not counting the leap years, the date you were born on moves each year to the following day of the week. This means your annual celebration is actually for your birth date - not your birthday - and in truth your birth day i.e. the actual day you were born on occurs only every 7 years!
Most Filipinos would say, “Maligayang kaarawan sa iyo.” But the Tagalogs usually greet, “Maligayang bati sa iyong kaarawan.” The Cebuanos and other Visayan-speaking people speak, “Malipayong adlaw nga natawhan kanimo.” And the Ilongos would declare, “Masadya gid nga adlaw sa imo pagkatawo.”
American author Mark Twain once said, “When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.”
He is talking about old age. Golfer Arnold Palmer shared this thought: “You know you’re getting old when all the names in your black book have M. D. after them.”
But I like the attitude of Robert Browning. He said, "Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made."
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 08, 2013.