I was originally planning an outreach activity for my 25th birthday, but circumstances were not yet right so I had to move the event a few months later. I told myself that I’ll just probably spend my birthday as normal as possible, as if it was any other day (as always). I recalled my past PI 100 professor who was so irritated on why the government kept declaring holidays to commemorate our heroes when many people simply use that time for anything but commemoration. “Hindi ba mas maganda kung mas mag trabaho pa tayo sa araw ng ating mga bayani bilang pagbibigay pugay sa hirap na dinanas nila para sa bayan?” It was logical and I asked myself every year since then, “Why not work on my birthday?” It would be nice to be productive on the day you were born. Yes? As it turned out, the Universe had other plans this year and it conspired to bring more presents than I asked for (Yay, thank you!). The following happened a few days before “the day”:
- My best friend bought me a ticket to a Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) concert, scheduled a day after my birthday. First time he did this! haha. :P;
- Received a message from a fellow ICTUSian in the Department of Psychology scheduling a lunch meeting (she didn’t know it was my birthday) for a possible service-learning research project;
- Learned about the Reiki Healing Level I Workshop at White Space Katipunan, which was scheduled two days after my birthday. I signed up and decided that this will be my gift to myself– learning how to heal myself and others through Reiki.
I was already very happy and thought that the outreach program not pushing through was a blessing in disguise. But, again, the Universe wasn’t contented yet. It threw in more surprises along the way that I am very grateful for. :)
The Gift of Family
My close friends in DMMME surprised me with a Flat Tops cake from Baker’s Table. This was the first time in my entire life that a group of friends bought me a cake, lit a candle, sang “Happy Birthday,” and excitedly told me to make a wish before I blew the candle. This usually only happened at home with family as far as I can remember (of course that is also special in its own way). Friends really are the family we choose for ourselves, as Edna Buchanan once said. To my DMMME family, super thank you!!! :’) (Cheesy ba?! hahaha, pag bigyan, birthday post ko naman ito!)
But wait, there’s more!
When I returned to the faculty room after attending my lunch meeting at the Bahay ng Alumni, one of my friends said, “May dalaw ka kanina… galing CE (Civil Engineering).” I immediately knew who it was! She remembered! Then I saw on my desk a slice of cake with a note from my friend in CE. First time din ito nangyari! haha, salamat!!!
One of my thesis advisees and I have the same birthday and she gave me a box of J.Co. donuts. Thank You!!! Some of her batchmates also visited me in the faculty room and greeted in unison. Ang saya. :D My other program advisees learned about it and greeted me as well and some of my students last semester also left a message on Facebook. This was the first time students greeted me (because my students didn’t know my birthday before; I even gave an exam on my birthday last year! haha). Maraming salamat po! Galingan natin lahat this sem! Fight! :D
I went home from work around 3:30pm and shared the cakes with Papa and Mama for merienda (the donuts no longer made it at home :P). My brother was about to buy cake for dinner, but Mama said that there’s cake already so we asked him to buy pizza instead. We ate dinner together at home. Yay!
Thank you for the gift of Family! :)
The Gift of Opportunity
As I mentioned above, I had a lunch meeting with a fellow ICTUSian who was doing research about service-learning (SL) in the Department of Psychology. She asked me if I was willing to be a co-proponent on a project she was doing a proposal on. She explained it to me and, of course, being in-line with my advocacy of spreading SL in engineering, I happily agreed! This would be a good opportunity to learn from and work with a fellow faculty member who is also an advocate of SL. Good luck to us! And thank you for this wonderful gift of (research) opportunity!
The Gift of Expression
A batchmate of mine from undergrad who was pursuing his MS degree in the department visited me in the faculty room to ask for advice on something. After sometime, our conversation shifted to religion and philosophy and I found myself sharing about Buddhism, my stay in the temple, and other related things. He was interested to know more about the said philosophy and our conversation was a very interesting one. We also found out that we had a common friend whom I met in the temple and who turned out to be a high school friend of his. Small world!
The following day, my friend from CE visited me again in the department because we decided to eat-out to catch-up. While we were waiting for our friend, also a faculty, from ChE, she saw the Heart Sutra calligraphy hanging in my cubicle. She asked about it and, again, we were talking about the intricacies of religion and philosophy. Afterwards, one of my co-teachers arrived from his 1pm class and he and my CE friend talked for a while. We were laughing when we found out that he was barely able to finish his Intro lecture again. haha, peace Sir! :P Our ChE friend arrived a few moments later and the three of us left to eat. Our meal lasted for three hours! There was non-stop conversation, mostly about teaching and research and service. Then we returned to the DMMME building where I shared with my CE friend some features of UVLe. After that it was time to go because my ChE friend and I had to meet another group for the PPO concert at the Meralco Theater.
So happy to catch up with you guys! Sa uulitin! To my ChE friend, thank you, too, for the wonderful bag from Davao!
We can truly express our true selves when we are with our true friends. :)
The Gift of Music
My best friend knows very well that I love classical music. That’s why when he told me about this concert, I was ecstatic! He was jokingly telling the others that it was my birthday that’s why he asked PPO to play for me. Lol, ikaw na! The orchestra played Haydn (one of my favorites!), Ravel, and Stravinsky. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! :)
We ate at Yellow cab after the concert. It was walking distance from the theater, but by the time we finished eating, my co-teacher from ChE and I found out that the main gate of the meralco compound was already closed (it was almost 12am). We had to walk around the compound all the way near Medical City just to get inside where manong was parked. Haha. The wind was chilly already, but it was a nice walk nonetheless. :)
Thank you friends! It was great seeing you again!
*pictures from Mario N.
The Gift of Healing & Stability
The Reiki Workshop was very timely because I had cough and colds for the past few days. I’ve attended some of the meditation classes of Teacher Sarah Salcedo-Rubin in White Space and Papa also attended her Reiki Healing Level 1 Workshop before. I’ve heard my parents tell me since I was young that I probably have “healing hands” like Papa (I think Uwa has it, too). So I finally decided to try Reiki.
Teacher Sarah started the class by making us pick one card from a deck of Angel Cards and when I saw mine, I smiled. Angel and Tarot cards have never failed me so far (this is just the third time I encountered them, though). The card read, “Compassion.” For me, it’s a reminder to be compassionate not only to my students, but also to myself this semester. I have to always remember to take care of myself (to avoid being sick again among other things!) before taking care of others. I think it is also a reminder to show compassion to my students who are currently involved in a case in the college.
If I should remember only one thing from Teacher Sarah, it is that nothing happens by coincidence. Everything is synchronized. True enough, even though the group of eight in that day’s workshop came from diverse backgrounds (interior design, marketing, engineering, philosophy, etc.), I was able to meet someone who is connected to Father Javy and Isla Culion! Imagine that? Law of attraction at work! :P
I won’t delve too much in the workshop details (that deserves a blog entry of its own). But I do want to share another fascinating experience. Before we ended the workshop, Teacher Sarah asked for our birthdays one-by-one for our Numerology reading. It was optional, but I was curious! When I said my birthday, they were surprised and the group greeted me (thank you!). Ms. Sarah calculated my year and she said that 2015 is my Year 4: a year of stability.
“Whatever you start in the (coming) days will last a long, long time.”
Seems like a good sign since I started an SL research proposal exactly on my birthday. Let us hope for the best. :)
Turning 25 has been truly wonderful! I am grateful to everyone who has been a part of this 25 years! I may not know how much time I still have, but who cares? I am slowly learning everyday to savor each moment, good or bad, and so far that has made my life truly happy and filled with gratefulness and wonder. :)
Once again, THANK YOU for these wonderful experiences. :)