Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay… It was really an unforgettable birthday for me yesterday. I think I will be in this overwhelmed mode for the next week or more, because really, yesterday was beyond me! Mula pag-gising hanggang pagtulog, talagang wala kang itatapon na moment na masasabi mong dapat kalimutan. Every second of March 31, 2009 will go into the books as unforgettable.
Bago pa nga lang magpalit ng araw, super saya na. Cess called up just to make sure she’s first to greet me as I turned 26. Pero parang matamlay na siya, which is awkward dahil supposedly masaya siya dapat for me. Pero hindi ko na lang pinansin (later on malalaman niyo why this part of the story is important).
Then inulan nako ng mga texts from friends, relatives, loved ones, church members, fellow Morning Rushers and so many others.
The Morning Rush was soon on-air! And of all days, one of my suggested topics became the topic of the top ten–on my birthday! “The top ten fight quotes or dialogues” Right before the 1st batch, Chico remarked that he just realized that it was my birthday! Tapos umulan na ng greets sa RX for me! Thank you, thank you.
I soon logged in sa forum, just to see the posts! Tapos ayun na nga, binati na ko ng mga ka-forum ko. Pati si Ms. PurpleRose at Maam Cherry nag-send din ng message! I particularly liked the marquee greeting me! Favorite color ko pa!
Lunch time came. Sabi ni Cess sagot na daw niya, pero yung mura lang (suspicious remark again). Nagbigay ng pampizza si mama. Si Cess naman, ice cream tsaka half roll ng brazo de mercedes. So me, Cess, my sister Kish and kid bro Tim had lunch together sa bahay lang. Afterwards hinatid ko na si Cess sa school kasi “madami na raw siyang gagawin.”
The congregation in Imus advised me not to go to the church so early kasi may plano sila. I didn’t know what it was, pero sumakay na rin ako sa pakulo nila. Bumiyahe na ko. I called up Cess to tell her I was driving on my way to Cavite. From the background I heard she was on a jeep. So I asked where she was going. “Magbabayad lang ng bill sa Philam Life.” Huh? Akala ko ba busy siya? Pero, I dismissed the thought immediately–I was already happy na nakasama ko na siya for lunch.
But, deep inside my heart, I was asking for more of her…
Pagdating sa Cavite, I went to a wi-fi area and logged in. Two hours ako dun. I then began writing my much-awaited Love Letters sa Rushers’ Forum. In that letter, nag-emote na ko na sana kasama ko si Cess tonight dito sa Cavite. I began imagining things. Pero I dismissed the thought din agad because I knew I was asking for the impossible.
By 7:30 nasa church nako. The place looked ordinary, na parang wala naman talagang mangyayari. After the meeting they asked me to sit in the middle of the hall.
ETO NA YUNG PINAKAMALUPIT!
They blindfolded me para di ko daw makita ang “surprise” nila for me. As I was blindfolded, I heard commotions in the place. Voices that sounded familiar, but I never saw during the meeting, were clearly audible. I was palpitating because I never knew that they cooked it THIS way!
After 10 minutes, they took off the blindfolds. And I saw the members all clad in kiddie birthday costumes. I myself was wearing a kiddie birthday hat! They were all staring at me, as if saying it wasn’t the surprise yet…
…when I looked over to my left…
…Cess was there…
I really freaked out because I never expected that my wish earlier that night had come true! And she was smiling at me as if saying “wala kang clue, no?” Yun pala, lahat ng mga suspicious actions niya were all meant to veer me away from thinking na something was up. And all of my wishful thinking and longing for her presence just melted away when I finally saw her face.
The members of the MBBC Imus then gave their special presentations. All of it were really nice, funny, and of course, well appreciated. They really went out of their way just to show their love and appreciation for their preacher. Thank you guys!
Uwian na, siyempre. I got to thank the brethren for all the love and support they’ve shown me. Nagpaalam din ako kung pwede bang ihatid ko muna si Cess back to Manila. I promised to be back in the afternoon. They all said yes unanimously.
On the drive back home, Cess was sweetly sleeping sa passenger seat, with my jacket as her blanket. As I turned my player on, sakto yung kanta “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing.”
Finally, we were home. Hinatid ko na siya sa gate, said our sweet endearments, then bid each other goodnight.
As for me, I’m still overwhelmed by everything that transpired yesterday.
Nasa cloud 9 pa rin ako!
(note: more clearer pictures are on the way, courtesy of Bro. Julius Valeroso)
You know what makes this day special? It’s not the people who greeted me “happy birthday!” It’s not the gifts that are about to come my way in the next waking hours of the day. It’s not the love and affection people send out for you on your natal day.
Simply, this day is special because God found it in His pleasure to lend me one more year worth of human life. And for this, I cannot find any other way to spend it than for His pleasure.
Today is a reminder of my purpose, my direction, my small but significant part in the grand scheme of the Great Almighty. Today is the start of a new chapter of my life: challenges, triumphs, tragedies, victories, hurts, resilience, rebounds, acceptance, selflessness.
To all of you who have been touched by this life, thank you so much for allowing me to be a vessel of blessing to you. May you keep on cheering up this humble servant in his journey.
And to all the people who love me, I may not give back as much love as you have shown me, but I still love you all.
To my co-workers in the ministry, from my Pastor all the way down to my fellow staff, thanks for the partnership!
To my friends, thank you for sharing the joy and tears with me day in and day out.
To my parents, sister and kid brother, thank God for having been born to this family. We may not be a perfect family, but I’m very happy with you in my life.
Cess, thank you so much for loving me. Your love is life to me.
And to my Lord, You have given me so much. Help me to never stop searching for ways I could serve You more.