ESCAPE in style. How else should you spend your birthday?

As much as we all deserve to have the best on this one day in the year, it may just break the bank. But if you’re a good soul then you attract the good souls around you. They will just make it easier for you to make a couple of wishes come true.

There are three reasons why I head off to Bangkok on my birthday week. First, to sate that itch to travel and have a fill of my Thai favorites like the Khao Niao mamuang (Mango Sticky Rice); second, to escape the cost of hosting several parties, with emphasis on several because I have different sets of friends. Treat one and I have to treat all, that’s my rule; and third, work. Not only is it a good reason to give why I have to leave town, it's also offsets the guilt of not having to celebrate with family and friends.

On being a good soul, which I doubt many will never in their wildest dreams will believe, I get to be showered with presents. Have you seen my social media posts sitting like a boss in Philippine Airline’s Business Class and the Executive Lounge of Mövenpick Hotel Bangkok, or waking up to a fantastic sunrise taken from the high-rise condominium? Those are all gifts. Presents which I will admit I can’t afford, or will have to think of a gazillion times before purchasing myself.

This year at number 53, I was lucky to have been offered an upgrade to Business Class at Philippine Airlines, an upgrade to the Executive Floor of Mövenpick Bangkok, and a most comfortable stay at a friend’s home. I can’t be happier for these opportunities and thankful for the people who made the trip exceptionally fun, comfortable and memorable.

Forgive me if the social media posts appear to be boasting. It was not my intention. It’s my way of expressing my gratitude. Thank you for the comfort, for the opportunity, for the gift and sharing to all how much I have enjoyed the gifts from the generous friends.

Apparently, reason number two wasn’t quite successful (LOL). Back in Davao, I was part of three November celebrants who hosted a party for good friends and their families. The gift of friendship is a treasure.

But nothing can be more priceless than spending time with family. The next day’s gathering was more special with a dinner celebration with them. Truly, they are God’s biggest blessing to me.