#30DayWritingChallenge: My worst birthday.

Day Eight: My worst birthday.

I drew a blank on this one.

I can’t say I’ve had a bad birthday, ever. Boring birthdays, maybe; but never bad. The normal personal Mercury Retrograde field that surrounds me (as in, there is an even tinier Mercury perpetually revolving around me in reverse) seems to give me a break during my birthdays.

So I can list some good birthdays I can remember but, for the life of me, I can’t remember a bad one.

I didn’t grow up with my family throwing birthday parties. We were a lower class family (in the beginning) and we could not afford it. I always thought that birthday parties were a strange amusement held by other people. By the time I was old enough to know why my mother would only cook pancit for the family during my or my siblings’ birthdays, it did not bother me that much.

The strangest birthday I had was when I was thirteen. Previously, my birthdays fell a week before the start of classes. On the year of my thirteenth birthday, the academic calendar changed and moved the beginning of classes a week earlier.

It was my first day in high school. The grade school I went to did not continue to high school, so I was in a new school with a new set of classmated. During the entire day, the teachers kept using my birthday as an example for the little forms we submit that has our personal information.

“So if today was your birthday…” the teachers would begin. I was amused and uncomfortable in case they found out that someone in the class was indeed celebrating his birthday and every subject from that point on will have a five-minute interruption as everyone sang “Happy Birthday”.

Good thing that never happened.

When I became an adult, I started celebrating my birthdays either by inviting some close friends over, or by going off the grid and disappearing for a day.

Birthdays are strange days. A part of me is always amused at how another part of me stresses out days before it arrives and plans out what to do. I mean, for the rest of the world, who cares if it was your birthday, right? One can spend his entire birthday sleeping and it will hardly make any difference in the larger scheme of things.

But fuck the larger scheme of things. One great thing about the human experience is how easily we can overlook that and just think about ourselves. Birthdays are wonderful!

Anywho. Today is the birthday of several friends. Maligayang bati, Alek, Jes, Randy, at James!

Shinji holding a birthday cake.

Image of Shinji Ikari holding a cake was taken from Tumblr.

#30DayWritingChallenge: My first heartbreak.

Day Two: My first heartbreak.

Friends, especially internet friends, who knew me for a long time might remember that I used to be in love with a girl.

The early days of my Livejournal occasionally mentioned her, those times when we used to hang out together. I referred to her as Davaogirl.

I had a crush on her in high school which I carried well into college. I was a torpe kid who wouldn’t know how to act towards the person I was attracted to. She was a friendly, outgoing girl who (I think) enjoyed hanging out with me.

We never dated. She might have known I had a crush on her but she never hinted if she knew. Or she might have, but I was too dense to notice. Even then, I was always too preoccupied with myself to pay much attention to other people. I might be more in love with the idea of pining for her rather than her itself.

Oblation in UP Mindanao

She moved out of Manila come college, eventually enrolling in UP Mindanao (hence the name I gave her). We used to write letters to each. Letters! I used to draw little figures on some of the envelopes where I placed my letters in. Men, and sometimes women, with wings or balloons or wrapped up in vines. I knew she had a boyfriend in Davao, but they separated soon after she returned to Manila.

After she finished school, we saw each other again. Friendly, as usual. We would often meet with friends; we, in our twenties, and most were still single. Those nights with friends usually were spent drinking at Davaogirl’s place until we were wasted by morning. Despite the proximity, nothing sexual ever happened to most of us. Oh, some of us would quietly make out with each other, trying (but not trying that much) to pretend to the others that nothing was happening.

Davaogirl and I didn’t get involved with anyone; not her and me, and not each one of us with other people. And still, I carried a torch for her. It’s an attitude that will define my future relationships: I would end up making up for wasted chances and hooking up with lots of people.

Oh. And I tend to remain very fond of old lovers, even after the relationship has ended and both of us have moved on. Most of the time.

Thinking about it now, I was a creepy, pathetic guy. Some things never change.

Eventually, one of our classmates started dating her. He’s cute and they looked good together. They eventually married.

At some point there, I was heartbroken, my first true one. But looking back at it now, I don’t remember when it happened. Was it during the first time I saw them together and realized that they were a couple? Was it when I found out that she was seeing this guy and I didn’t know about it? Was it when I finally saw their wedding invitation? (Surely, it came before that.)

Or maybe it was not fixed on one moment. Heartbreak can be like the gradual ebbing of the tides: Look back after a while and you’ll see the shore was wider than what you remembered. The beach exposed the accumulated hurt you didn’t know you had.

I never loved another woman again.


Photo of the UP Mindanao Oblation was taken by Julienne of Nephithyrion.