For Filipinos, the seventh birthday is considered an important milestone in a child’s life. This is the age when a child begins to socialize and starts to bond with children by virtue of age or proximity. (Thus it would not be surprising if your child’s “first best friend” turns out to be your neighbor’s child). Moreover it should not surprise you too if s/he comes up with his/her own guest list. Seven also signifies the age of reason. A child becomes conscious of his/her moral conduct. The child begins to discern the type of friendship that his/her parents will approve.
My niece, Nina, turned seven today and had a birthday party for the first time. Yep, in the last six years of her precious life, her birthdays have been simple and private. Usually, my sister will just fix food for the family, some relatives and friends (mostly neighbors) or sometimes the three of them would just celebrate Nina’s birthday by first attending a mass then dine afterwards at Jollibee, my niece’s favorite fast food restaurant.
I don’t know why and who influenced her on celebrating her seventh birthday differently. I must admit that I discouraged her parents from throwing a party. I advised them to just take her to Jollibee again, save the money and use it to pay for her tuition fee instead.
Anyway, she got the birthday party she said she wanted, with her friends and classmates. Thanks to her Ninangs and Ninongs (Godparents) who volunteered to help and contributed financially to make her seventh birthday memorable. This turned out to be a community effort too as I was told that even our neighbors helped in the preparation.