After 27 years of living on earth, finally somebody went through the trouble of planning a birthday surprise for me!

My best friend, Alej, along with my other friends from RCBC, initiated a birthday salubong for me at The Distillery in The Fort on the 27th—something which has become a tradition among us (on Alej’s birthday, we welcomed his birthday in Tagaytay and made sure we got there before midnight). At first, I really thought only Via and Alej were coming; they told me the sleepyhead Aleli was not replying through text and might be already sleeping (typical of her, hahaha) and that the eternally-busy Selle went home early (believable too). My other friend Fran was in Baguio, so I already erased her off my friends list and blocked her in Facebook, LOL!

My AWESOME friends!
It turns out I was being unusually gullible and just as I was enjoying my first glass of my favorite Jack-Coke with only two friends for company, a square black thing with candles on top slowly approached me – my birthday cake! Aleli, Selle and Thelo were carrying the cake – and all the while I thought they were already in bed!

Not that I love Aleli the most among them, but my hair looks so perfect in this picture, I had to upload it. LOL
I couldn’t post a picture of my cake – the best birthday cake ever – for dignity preservation purposes hahaha but just to give you an idea, it features some sleazy Photoshopped characters on top that elicited the biggest laugh from me ever. I have to protect the human rights of the involved characters as well, so I won’t post a picture. Let me just say that it was so funny and crazy, everyone in The Distillery was staring at it.

So that’s how I welcomed my birthday—with my crazy, smart, weird, annoying, sleepyhead, Juju-cleansing friends, doing two of the things I love most: drinking and talking.

What remained of the cake. Yes, all Photoshopped toppings were eaten. LOL!
The next day’s celebration was an incredibly simple one. Lola cooked all my favorite food! My family went over for a simple feast, bearing gifts, huge appetites, and livers ready for self-destruction. We stuffed our mouths with Lola’s awesome cooking all day, then sat down and guzzled beer, vodka, and whiskey all night. Nobody got drunk and wasted, and I loved it. We just had fun talking and catching up all day.

An obligatory awesome celebration with office friends followed the next day – where else but in my favorite restaurant, Main Street! We had merienda that seemed, in its heaviness, like dinner; in fact I was so full I didn’t eat until lunch the next day. I’ve been working at the same company with these funny people for four years, and you know, somehow, I can’t see myself working with other people anytime soon.

with the coolest officemates
Our Main Street feast.
For the weekend that followed, I went to Tagaytay with two friends from UP (Kat and EJ), who also used to me my “dance students” back in college. We went to Gratchi’s Getaway, spent the day running around obstacle courses, and chilled right after at Bag of Beans.

We're in the Blue Team: Team Yum! (as in Yum, the Jollibee mascot)
By night, I met up with my best friends since grade school, KC and Steph. Steph is leaving soon for Japan, and this was her very early send-off. These girls totally removed my exhaustion (painful arms from the monkey bars, huhuhu). These get-togethers aren’t actually part of my birthday celebration, but still I was glad to see my closest friends and really catch up.

Left to right: Coke, Bacardi Black, Pepe, Ranell, KC and Steph
My birthday marked another year in my life—a crazy and meaningful year, a year of happy moments at the dance studio, a year of being left by my dance partner and getting a new one, a year of meeting new people, a year of exploring new food and writing about them, a year of getting my heart broken and standing up again, a year of spending time with friends and family. A year of new learnings, three of which are below:

1. Love should never ever remove you from the things which define you. I so was crazy and giddy and shitty and all, I forgot who I was—and the things I truly love. Part of my “moving on” process last year was throwing myself into this blog, reuniting myself with my love for writing, and trying to improve this God-given talent. I also got to spend more time with family and friends.

2. A balanced life is the kind of life I want to live. Not just work-life balance, but allotting time for all the things I love. I don’t want to waste all my time doing only one thing. I know that some people would rather be a master of one, but I prefer the other way around. I’d rather be a jack of all trades, master of none—I always manage to excel or get close to being best in every aspect anyway. Hahaha! Kidding.

3. I am getting old. The evidence: my preference for chill drinking sessions instead of wild, tugsh-tugsh partying; my quarter-life-crisis-themed thoughts; my increased annoyance at noisy environments and people; my newfound inclination towards healthy food. I guess I just became a bit more responsible and practical, but I’m happy that I still manage to keep the child-like eagerness and open-mindedness in me.

This has been my tamest and simplest birthday—but certainly the happiest. Thanks to everyone who celebrated it in a very special way with me!

Clockwise from top left: Lola, Nanay, my Angela, Trixie, Kaye, Tita,
my sisters Ryanne and Janine, my sister Ice
My birthday wish can be summarized in one word: MORE. Honestly, I am happy with the way I am right now, but a bit more of what I already have is certainly welcome! No new items, just improvement in everything. More dancing, more trophies (yeah!), more lessons, more writing, more depth, more food, more invites to restaurants, more blog readers, more family bonding, more time with friends, more money (haha), more learnings, more happy moments! That’s it! Did I forget something?

OMG, I forgot to say “love life” before blowing the candles!!!!!

pepe samson

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  1. Happy yipee birthday, Pepe! Let's go food-tripping once you're back here in Sugbu!

  2. Thanks Fred! Sure, why not? :)


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