IT has been said that it is every girl’s dream to have that once in a lifetime ‘debut’. To be in the middle of adulation and admiration, in a grand ballroom where everything sparkles and relatives and friends clad in gowns and tuxedos all smiles and seemingly happy, it’s the fantastical dream that is usually fed by a consumerist world.
So forget about the cost of having a dream debut in a grand hotel which could run up to hundreds of thousands of pesos and spent only for a few hours, perhaps, up to four hours, not to mention the expenses the guests had to shoulder for renting formal attires.
Every parent who would want a rousing birthday greeting for the debutante would want such kind of expensive celebration even if it would mean borrowing money from loan sharks or wherever.
But then, only one out of a hundreds, nay thousands of Filipino families, if at all, could really afford having to spend so much on one single birthday occasion. Nor is it the majority of the underprivileged families’ (in politically-correct term) priority at all if the family budget would allow, in the name of practicality.
Briefly, Wikipedia defines the debutante or deb (from the French débutante, "female beginner") as “a girl or young woman of an aristocratic or upper-class family who has reached maturity and, as a new adult, comes out into society at a formal "debut".” In other words, in foreign shores, it is a cultural practice of the haves.
Having been rooted in the Filipino consciousness thanks to our inglorious past under the Spanish tutelage for 350 years or so, it has become so embedded in our “culture” too, whatever it is, such that even the not-so-upper-class family among us have in our mindset such practices.
And while we are trying to change that mindset for years, it still persisted up to this day, though with a lot of alternative ideas.
The youngsters of today though have thought of alternative ways to celebrate their peers’ “coming of age” in a fun way. Though she did not need a ‘debut’ to be happy on her natal day, Dana, my unica hija was totally floored when she saw how her classmates came up with a very nice idea of greeting her in a simple but unforgettable “debut”.
Still clad in their uniforms as it was held during an ordinary weekday, almost everyone in my daughters’ section trooped to our humble home and prepared an out-of-this-world surprise party.
There were still roses, treasures, and candles accompanied with dances in the little sala that we had that was turned into a small ballroom, with all the trappings but devoid of expensive gowns and all.
Thus, what the celebrant expected as another one of those “mom-idea” surprise birthday greeting turned out to be a one of a kind special celebration that brought down the house.
Kids, when given the needed support could really turn an ordinary celebration into a rousing one. It if takes a village to raise a child it will likewise only take a few genuine friends and loving siblings to turn an ordinary birthday celebration into a mind-blowing and totally memorable one.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 11, 2017.
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