Officially 34! Yep, I turned another year older this week. And what a happy birthday it has been for me.


Birthday salubong after gym with the usual suspects, Ryan and Dom. Had no idea they had anything special planned. But at the stroke of midnight, Ryan pulled out a cheesecake he bought from Starbucks Reserve, the coffee shop we were staying at and they both sang “Happy Birthday” to me. It was a very sweet gesture. 

My birthday. I had one wish for my special day. To have an early out from work so I can end my birthday on a happy note.

Luckily, I have a very nice, very cool and very understanding boss so I got my wish. It was off to the gym for me for Rej’s Body Jam class. Despite the embarrassment from the attention of strangers, I appreciated Rej’s announcement before class to greet me a Happy Birthday and then one of my favorite Jam tracks was played – Body Jam 86. Yes I now have more than one favorite Body Jam track because I’m now a regular attendee! Last year when Rej asked me what my fave Jam track was so he could play it in class, I could only answer “Yung anu, yung winning piece mo sa Body Jam Superstar.” Didn’t even know what it was called!😆  And when he asked me to tell him more – a song or a singer, I couldn’t come up with one. Ask me these days and I’ll name my top 5 songs. Haha!

The highlight of the day was an impromptu celebration of my birthday at Aby Bistro.

90s kids gather to talk about the good ol’ days when we were still kids. I guess as you get older, you can’t help but reminisce about how it was like when you were young. It was a fun conversation talking about the candies we used to eat; the toys and games we use to play; fast food chains we used to go to and kupit moves.😆

I even got an Iconic socks with San Miguel branding on it because of the buy 6 bottles of beer, get a pair of Iconic socks for free. I am not sure I’d ever wear them with that branding. Maybe I will – just you know gonna hide that part.😆


I had a long weekend. My reward to myself for pulling off another big media event. Attended Rej’s Body Jam class with Ryan and then we all went to Tambayan, this gastro bar in Manila for lunch. It  has a very cute, very charming outer facade of white and black. It was nice being back in Manila. I spent four years of College in the area. Plus I always like exploring new places. It’s a break from my usual routine.


Rej recommended this kare-kare to share and was pretty much raving about it. It was a very good meal. Very tasty kare-kare. I almost wanted to come for second servings of rice. But stopped myself from pigging out.😅 Settled with relishing the sabaw. I would come back to this place  and I’d be willing to have this dish again. It’s a nice place. I liked the chill atmosphere and the music. I think it’s also nice to be there at night – good spot for drinking too.


I took advantage of the fact that it was my birthday to get some of my friends to join me in trying out Breakout Philippines. I’ve always wanted to try out this escape room game since it first opened a few years back but I’ve never gone since I find it much too much an effort to go to Mandaluyong to try it out. Luckily, it has opened a branch in Greenbelt 5.

Escape rooms – it sure was difficult trying to think about what you’re supposed to do inside and how to break out of there in 45 mins or less. The clues were challenging to make sense of. But we did manage to solve the mystery of our room – we just failed to get out of there in time.😂 There was suppose to be 6 of us but Rej unfortunately couldn’t make it on the day as he got sick. Maybe if he was there, we might have successfully gotten out of the room. Maybe.

The night ended at Barcino for some snacks and drinks. Ryan surprised both Dom, who’s birthday was the next day and I with black velvet cakes he bought from Cafe Mary Grace. They all sang us “Happy Birthday” again and I blew my candle as I thought of my wish.

What a year it has been for me! I haven’t gotten around to finishing Beth Harbison’s book, If I Could Turn Back Time as I had intended to do before my birthday. I had intended to do some reflection about my own life – what would I do if I could go back to the past? What would I change? Well… looking back, I’m going to say that I wouldn’t change a thing in my life. All I ever went through, I went through for a reason and I came out of them with memories and lessons to keep for life. All of them have made me the person I am today – older and wiser. But yeah… I still get all kilig like a high school girl at my age – whether it’s a kilig I’m directly experiencing or I’m living vicariously through someone else’s love story (Hi, Alfred!😁). 

I had also intended to write about 33 lessons I learned in life for my birthday but let me just share my biggest learning from the past year. I learned that while some people leave your life – whether you like it or not – there are those who’ll come to fill up the part – both new and old people from your life – and they’re going to do one heck of a job of helping you heal your wounds and move forward to make new and happier memories.

I welcomed my 34th year on a very good note. I don’t have a special someone in my life yet (so to those who made a wish that I find him, thank you for your well wishes! I hope he does come around soon! Haha!) but still I feel so much joy and so much love around me. And for that I am grateful.

And while I’m going to joke about being forever 25, I’m also grateful to be celebrating another year in my life.

Taken at my favorite coffee shop to read and work at, Black Sheep Coffee Manila.