happy 70th birthday, mama!

It’s Mama’s 70th birthday today, and unfortunately, out of her 4 children, only Kuya Boyet (who’s already in the Philippines) was able to be with her. You see, her eldest son (Kuya Boy) works and lives in Papua New Guinea with his family, and they couldn’t go home this time because they’ll be migrating to Canada before the end of the year and they need to save up for that. Ate Ning just got a new job 2 months ago, so naturally she can’t take a leave yet. As for me, well, I really, really, REALLY wanted to be with Mama on her special day, but when we found out that Ate wouldn’t be able to go home and I would be travelling to Bicol alone with Caila, hubby wouldn’t allow me. He was worried that I wouldn’t be able to manage. Plus, for the first time, our company will be holding a big management meeting next week and there’ll be so many VIPs from our offices in Japan and Kuwait who will be attending, so of course I’ve been busy making the flight, hotel and venue arrangements for them.
It’s sad because since last year, all of us (my brothers, sister and I) have been planning and trying to look for venues and caterers so that we could give Mama a really bongga celebration. Since she’s mainly based in Bicol (and most of her brothers and sister and their families live there as well), and that’s where she said she would prefer celebrating her birthday, we began looking for venues and suppliers there. Unfortunately, it was difficult to organize an event like this without anyone to help us. Kuya Boyet and his family were based in Manila, so we tried asking our cousins...but they were too busy and there weren’t a lot of options in Bicol (actually, practically nothing!).
Last week, we found out that Mama was travelling to Manila, and when we asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said that instead of sending her money for gifts or whatever to celebrate, she asked us to just send her money so that she can arrange to repair or replace the stuff at our Paranaque home: the tv, fridge, washing machine, bathroom, cabinets, car, etc. Haaaay!!!
Mama has sacrificed a lot for us (even her siblings since she was just 18 years old because her mother died), and even though we’re telling her to celebrate however she wants, she opted to use this money to fix or replace stuff at home.
I feel so guilty! And now that she’s in Manila, I feel more guilty. If we had only known earlier, I could have easily applied for a short leave and gone home with Caila in time for her birthday. At least if I were there, I would have made sure that she at least celebrated her big day in style (maybe dinner in a fancy restaurant or an overnight stay in a hotel). Oh well.

Dear Mama,
Happy birthday! Grabe, 70 ka na pero mukhang 50 ka pa lang...naks! Hehehe.
Anyway, first of all, it’s a negative way to start a birthday message but let me say I’m so sorry, Mama! Your turning 70 is a big deal, but we weren’t able to find ways for all of us to be complete to be there with you on your special day. Anyway, I’m still glad that you’ll be celebrating it in your own way on Sunday. Babawi kami...promise!
You said that you want to come again to Dubai coz we won’t be going home next year para malamog mo si Caila at hindi ka nya makalimutan =) I’ll make sure you’ll enjoy the 2 or 3 months you’ll be staying with us. Yung mga hindi mo napuntahan noon, at mga gusto mong puntahan uli, pupuntahan natin. Ide-date ka namin ni Ate sa Burj al Arab! Hehehe.
But seriously, I just want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU SO MUCH, MAMA! For all the things you’ve done, for opting to be a fulltime homemaker to make sure that all of us were taken cared of. I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful mother like you, and I will be forever thankful to God for this.
I miss you and I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, MAMA, as in sobra-sobra talaga!
Again, happy 70th birthday, and I hope and pray that God will continue to give you good health para matagal ka pa namin makakasama.
Mwah!
Love, your bunso, Mel

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