My Padir turns 75 today! This year my family finally managed to throw him a surprise party. We have been planning on a surprise birthday party for him since he turned 70 but every year we end up celebrating it his preferred and usual way – quiet and just with his family and friends. So this year is really special!
Due to my brother’s work schedule we had to have the party a week early. It all worked out anyway because it helped in keeping everything from Padir. It was tough to plan and keep it a secret but we did it! Through Facebook video call, I was able to witness and be a part of the celebration. I got emotional when I saw my Dad’s face as he entered the resort. He looked confused and was hesitant to go in. He told me later that he thought the resort was a fancy restaurant and he was worried he didn’t have enough money to pay for their lunch. No wonder my siblings and Auntie had to fetch and accompany him from the gate to where everyone was waiting and singing him a “Happy Birthday” song. He was totally caught off-guarded.
With help from my sister, brother and good friends from the church, we came up with a theme “Tatay Junie’s Byaheng Bertdey” (Daddy Junie’s Birthday Trip). We prepared a small presentation for my Dad which highlighted his life as a Jeepney driver to support his family but still find time to enjoy life by watching his favorite movie stars and singers perform on screen. They also serenaded him with his favorite Kundiman (traditional Filipino) songs.
Kudos and many thanks to my cousin’s wife, Claire who brought the house down with her superb emceeing skills. It was very entertaining to watch her make everyone laugh, sing and dance. Thank you also to all our friends and relatives who helped us make this day wonderful!
Later that day, I got the chance to speak with Papa and he told me how surprised and happy he was to see everyone he loves join him on his 75th birthday. I teased and asked him what happened to his “preferred simple and quiet birthday”. His reply – this is just once in a lifetime. Indeed.
Happy Birthday, Padir!
A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way. – Unknown