Someone just turned twenty three. Real or not real?
UNCERTAIN day ahead.
Carelessly, I wrote this “How are you gonna celebrate your day?” note on my planner days before the 9th of March, with the hope that my faulty brain would come up with something creative and unique. Days after, I still couldn’t think of any way to ‘celebrate’ it and so I wrote at the bottom of the note the obvious phrase “don’t know.”
Oh, wait! How about a random outdoor adventure? It’s too odd to consume the day roaming around the big city but I am buying the idea that everything will just be so random and left unplanned.
So on that Friday morning, feeling a little sick, I grabbed my bag filled with usual stuff like, pens, pencils, my planner, laptop, phone, my Flowers for Algernon book, Oreo cookies, umbrella and purse with money bills enough for the whole day of adventure. Aside from this, I also have three golden rules to follow for the whole duration of the trip; (1) Avoid phone transaction and internet connection, (2) Spend right amount of money, as possible and (3) Disregard the thought that it’s your birthday.
The last rule is such a challenge since I have to keep moving on with my inadvertent adventure without dwelling so much on the idea that it’s my special day and hence I should not feel very special. Tough!
Just like a ninja leaping from one random roof to another, I started identifying my first stop and gradually move on to the next.
Alright, off I go!
#Happymori’s Newest Haven.
The #Happymori is commonly visible on my Twitter timeline and yes that’s a fact. #Happymori is Carlo’s, my cousin who passed away months ago, newest angel name.
MEETING with the #happymori. You may be gone, but your memories will continue live on.
On that same day, I supposed to attend the pre-trial of his case in Makati regional trial court but I later on decided not to go there anymore and instead visit him in his newest haven in Heritage Memorial Park, Taguig. Along with me is my small present for the angel, M&M chocolates. Also, I wrote few notes for him while assuming he could read those and hear him utter few responses. From time to time, I sang couple of songs for him and for the pleasure of singing, well, that is the pleasure of having a phone to accompany you with.
I spent little more than an hour talking to the wind, singing all out and whispering prayers above. I even imagined #Happymori standing on the green-blushed grasses while smiling or even laughing insanely hard because of my crazy acts going on that very moment. And so I left the place with several questions hanging on my mind – What’s life going to be like in heaven? Any music to enjoy there? Do angels really have those beautiful white wings? And can #Happymori ever taste those M&Ms?
Oh! By the way, I heard the song Collide playing thrice on my way to Heritage Park. Collide of Howie Day used to be Carlo’s favorite song. Cool, eh?
Tik–tok! Its lunch time already and off to my next adventure stop!
Food Hunt at Eastwood.
TASTE LIKE home. Razon's sizzling sisig and signature Halo-halo.
Everyone living in Metro Manila knows how intricate the environment is in Eastwood. However, for someone who would just like to enjoy a simple meal beyond its entire intimidating facades, this place is a perfect fit. I wander around the area to survey a good spot to eat while at the back of my mind I know what is it I’m going to feast. Finally, I rested my tired feet at the Razon’s cozy couch and enjoyed my sizzling hot sisig (of course, with sunny-side up!) partnered with their all-time favorite halo-halo. Burp! It’s indeed a celebration of happy food and tummy, reunion of local cuisine and taste bud.
Eating is always a sweet escape that will never, ever go wrong.
Bowling, sweat rolling.
ALL FOR the strike. Bowling arena at Paeng Eastwood Bowl, Eastwood Citywalk.
It was couple of months ago when we had our first family bowling night out in Eastwood. We had so much fun pretending to be all sport enthusiasts. That day, I went back to the Paeng Eastwood Bowl to sweat out and enjoy this bowling thing. Choose ball, hold it right, throw it fast as you can and wait how many pins you can knock out at the end of the lane. Doing that repeatedly is really tiring. Apparently, I had my two strikes on round one and three strikes on the second, well, I guess that’s not bad at all. Haha!
I bought a can of coke zero after the game to settle the sport spirit that captured me in the last few minutes. Spent seconds of my resting time starring at the new design of the can, and then I randomly smiled as if someone’s picture just popped out. Calling me weirdo that time is rather an understatement.
It’s almost four o’clock in the afternoon and I have to get out of the place to attend an exciting activity in school. I went back to Cubao and ride the LRT to reach Katipunan – I know Eastwood is just across my school but really I have to maintain and take seriously my budget-constrained adventure.
MERCI, my friend. Raphael is a French exchange student from Angers, France.
As I step on the LRT, I saw the first familiar face that day – it was Raphael De Colnet, my French student and a good friend. I walked towards his seat while hardly hoping he could not recognize that it’s my ‘day’. Gladly, he didn’t. We spent the quick encounter talking about the beauty of my country and how he is enjoying different activities he had in the past.
Raphael and I went apart when I reached the premise of the school. I started looking for the venue of my next ‘geeky’ activity.
Hunger Games Symposium.
WELCOME, welcome. "May the odds be ever in your favor."
I caught myself lost in looking for the venue of the Hunger Games symposium. I’m quite late already and fortunately I brought my planner to check the venue of the symposium. I finally got the venue right and to my surprise I saw tons of students, staff and other visitors gathered all together in that event. Indeed, it’s wild seeing this kind of crowd.
Found myself sitting at the back row while listening to bright resource speakers talking about the book and its relevance to the current world. I honestly haven’t realized that this Hunger Games series have a lot of cool stuff to scrutinize and to discuss about. Discussions are very profound and enlightening. I occasionally hear myself saying ‘precisely… exactly…’ – the geek in me is consuming all the satisfying experience. Aside from the speakers sharing their thoughts about the popular book, there were also reaping, no, I mean raffle activities going on that entire symposium. Lucky tributes slash winners will take home limited edition of some Hunger Games prizes and other collector’s items including the mockingjay pin – the only raffle prize that I look forward to get.
The activity ended with the final speaker, also a faculty member of the school, who discussed about the world history as the important core of some fiction author, including Suzzane Collins – the genius behind the Hunger Games series. In a nutshell, I’m interestingly impressed with the symposium although it could’ve been more fun if I got that mockingjay pin as a birthday gift. I guess the odd was not on my favor that moment.
It’s already fifteen minutes past seven o’clock in the evening and time to have a sumptuous dinner somewhere. Perhaps, a resto that has an overlooking view of Metro Manila would be more ideal.
Experiencing the obvious.
In my pursuit of finding a perfect place to have my dinner, I saw this Wensha Spa right on the top of the almost province-liked city of Antipolo. Wow, this must be God’s simple way of telling me to take a rest from looking for something ideal and start appreciating the beauty of the obvious. Surely, I need a total wellness night.
ALL FAVORITES. Antipolo - Wensha Spa offers a sumptuous buffet dinner, overflowing drinks and great music for everyone to enjoy.
This spa is known for their hot jacuzzi, sauna, glorious amount of food set on a buffet style and whole body massage in a reasonable prize. But this particular spa has also a bar that offers not only overflowing beers and beverages but also a soothing sound of music. Costumers have also a chance to perform on stage and sing their heart out. Swear, I will not forgive myself if I miss that opportunity – leaving the place without me singing whole-heartedly.
“Don’t stop here… I lost my plaaa–ace… I’m close behind.”
I eventually capped off the night with a relaxing body massage. That was just the awesome way of calming and treating my body after a very long day of brief adventure.
I have little more than half an hour before the time officially ends the day. I once again opened my phone and check some text messages and Twitter mentions – now, I’m starting to break my rule number one. I started saying and spreading ‘Thank yous’ to my family and friends who devoted their special time to greet me and send well wishes.
I am greatly overwhelmed and felt appreciated, so surreal.
That odd birthday adventure was truly an experience worth keeping and remembering. An experience that enabled me to explore and celebrate the special day beyond the usual party and cakes. This is a celebration of life I so long to achieve.
Oh yes, I turned twenty three and it’s real.