Monday, October 23, 2006

A whole week without sleep. Sigh.

Finally, the Hong Kong toy show is about to unfold—meaning, sleepless nights will have a ceasefire for the meantime. Yes!

I’ve been daring to write since before my birthday. But have got no time. At all. I thought then that instead of sitting in front of the computer, chat with friends, and write an entry, I should just do my laundry and clean our room. (I realized that every person’s needs has its own hierarchy too. And chatting and writing just comes second on my list now.)

Guess what readers, I’ve got a long birthday celebration I’m sure you’d be jealous of! I’ve never had a birthday celebration as special as this before.

I can still vividly remember last year, just about a few days before my birthday. I wrote an entry about hibernation. I always feel that way every year. I fear of birthdays. Of growing and getting old. And even if I said I’ve learned what it is to grow old, I still couldn’t swallow how bitter (or sweet) it is to add years to life. My friend always comforts me, always telling me, that maybe, I am like this because I have never been used to be treated special. Ever since, I’ve always wanted to treat people I love special, and not the other way around. Maybe it’s true that I feel awkward. I feel odd.

I finally realized how smart God is. Pinaghibernate niya nga ako. J This is my first birthday ever without my family, my relatives, and my closest friends. All I have is a family that I’ve known just for almost four months ago. And still, I wanted to hibernate. I’ve got no plans at all but days have been dragging fast I could not pull it back. So I had to accept, that yes, my birthday is coming.

Pre-birthday Celebration
Every 15th, the birthday celebrants of the month will blow their very own 3-layered birthday cake. Comes with it is an ampao with money inside, of course. I thought then, that it was the first time I will be having a 3-layered cake, much more to blow candles on it. I barely can remember the last time I blew candles on my birthday cake. It was amazing. This kind of pre-birthday celebration was new to me. So I had a little excitement on my coming birthday, but still, the thought of hibernating is still in consideration.

September 21
I had a countdown on my birthday. I did it alone in the room, which I used to do every year. On the eve of my birthday, I sang a birthday song to myself, and cried. I am happy that I will be celebrating my birthday in a foreign land. But sad, I am far from loved ones. I’ve learned now how to silently cry, without an audience, without someone patting my back, without someone hugging me. I cry and at the same time, I comfort myself after. I was able to look forward to a new experience of celebrating a birthday, far from what I used to have for 22 years.

I celebrated at Bao Li Hotel. We had dim sum and dumplings. I had an orange cake and orange custard cakes. I’ve got birthday presents too! I’ve got an orange bouquet of roses from my friends and got a long stem rose with chocolates from Zhang Hui (our Chinese guy friend). They sang 3 Happy birthday songs in 3 different languages. Would there be anyone luckier than me? From happy birthday to you, to Sheng ri kuai Le, to Maligayang Bati. Looking at my lighted cake, I wished. And I blew my candles on my orange cake. I slept with a thought that it’s not really bad not to hibernate on birthdays. It’s not bad to feel I am special from time to time. I slept with a beaming heart.

Post-birthday Celebration
Last September 30, Chris, Gigi, and MJ went to Hong Kong to see me, and have a post birthday celebration. The Hong Kong trip was my birthday gift to my sister too (Her birthday is on Sept.18). A lot of things have happened during the Hong Kong trip. But looking back, it really was an experience to reminisce, over and over again. I am happy that I was able to spend three days with few of the special people in my life.

We went to a lot of places. I was able to let them see the beauty in Hong Kong. Our first night was spent for a late night dinner around tsim sha tsui in one of the Chinese restaurants that’s still open at past 12 midnight. We should have spent dinner at Avenue of the Stars. But because, it is already late, we opt to change plans.

The following day is Disneyland Day! Everything I thought that would only be dream is not a dream anymore. All of this happened when I’m all awake. Who would have thought na ang batang “Star City” ay nakarating na sa Hong Kong Disneyland? So ano ngayon kung hindi pa ako nakakapunta sa Enchanted Kingdom?

Moments of tears were countless. Just before the entrance I started crying already. And from time to time, there trickled down the salty waters of mixed emotions.

I cried—mainly for two reasons. One, Disneyland for me is every child’s dream. Since the day I probably can remember things, I dreamed of going to Disneyland, and have a picture with Mickey and Minnie mouse. I remember the first cartoon character that I’ve perfected drawing. It was Mickey Mouse that I’ve copied from a plastic coin bank that me and my sister used to fill with “mamera.” So just before the entrance of the Hong Kong Disneyland, I already burst into tears. I have never realized that a dream way back in childhood years would finally come into reality.

Second, I came to Disneyland with a few of the most important people in my life. Taking them to Hong Kong brings a fulfillment and a sense of happiness to me that no one can ever replace. I remember my conversation with my sister when we were still kids. We used to take a look at photographs in the magazines that are shot in Disneyland all over the world. We used to look at friends’ pictures from Disneyland. We both dreamed of this. And I’m happy, I made it happen.

Everything was like a dream to me. A waking dream. A dream that I only want to last. But some (or most) of the good things never really last. I just hold on to one truth—at least, I have memories to reminisce and cherish. And a hope that one day, it will happen again. And that’s what’s important.