I went home to attend the 65th birthday of my father, Gonzalo Raquel. It was a promise I made with my father before: to give him a birthday celebration when he reached at age 65.

Around 100 people from our barangay attended the celebration including our former barangay captain, the current barangay chairwoman, and some of the barangay kagawads. It was really a joyous celebration for all of us especially for my father. Tears flowed from his eyes when he delivered a short speech of thanksgiving to his family for supporting him and for organizing such event. He was really thankful.

The birthday celebration is quite simple. With a small amount that I have, however, we were able to accomodate the people. We hired a "combo" (just like a music band) in the amount of 2,000 pesos. People started coming into our house at around 10:30 in the morning. My siblings prepared the food - sarsang isda, pansit, menudong baboy, adobong manok, lumpia. At exactly 1:00pm, the emcee (our former barangay chairman and a father of my barkada) announced that the aminudo dance would start. To start the event, my father and a neighbor by the name of Deling partnered in the aminudo. There was a plate over the dusty ground where the dancers would dance around it while people started putting some money bills and coins on the plate. This is customary in our place and in other parts of the country especially in the provinces.

I took a lot of photos. The people really enjoyed the party. We served 6 watercans and a gallon of tuba, the favorite native wine of the locals. The celebration ended at around 6:00 in the evening. I thank the Lord for giving my father 65 years in life, and I am praying that God will lengthen his life. He is a responsible and a loving father to us. I am planning to hold another birthday celebration for him when he reach the age of 70 (my mother would turn 65 that time). 

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