NOTE: My birthday was on September 26, but I only had the chance to write about it now because I got busy with work and playing tons of video games. Not to mention Cosplay Mania, which I'll blog about later on.
SEPTEMBER 26, 1990
Midnight. A woman named Laura was cut open across her belly as she laid down the table. Then a pair of hands reached into the cut, and took out a live child. A boy.
23 years and a day later
SEPTEMBER 27, 2013
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES!" - that's what my friends at work kept saying when we were drinking in honor of the day of my birth, even though my birthday was a day before. Talking and laughing about the usual stuff, we had so much fun, so much beer, and so much food. And it's quite an achievement, because for the first time in my history of drinking with my friends at work, I neither took a nap nor got drunk. However, I won't push my luck next time, because what happened was probably just some strange stroke of birthday luck.
After a few hours of sleep, instead of going to work, which I took a birthday leave from, I went to Cubao to claim my pay for being a contributor in Otaku Magazine. Then suddenly, what I thought would be just another visit at the publishing house became a meeting about the contents of the October-November (one issue for two months since most of the contributors are college students, not to mention that it would allow us to catch up) and December issues. I just wanted to get my pay so that I can already go out with my friends, but oh well, I guess it wasn't that bad since we're talking about anime and manga as well as other popular Japanese culture stuff in an official work-related meeting, and I doubt not a lot of people get to experience the same thing.
Once the meeting was done, I blitzed to Pacific to play with Fernan and Ivan and against Nhel and his Med student friends. Well, since it's my birthday, we won. Oh how I missed marching into battle with my friends! And as much as I wanted to fight for another round, I could not, for I had to meet another important group of people: my friends from my RLE. We were supposed to meet at 7:30, and it was already 8 and I'm still in the heart of Manila, so I took a cab all the way to Greenbelt 2. I arrived at 8PM, and just in time actually (as expected thanks to Filipino time), as Fatima, Jacky, and the Ampie had not began eating yet.
We ate at the Burger Bar and had a lot of the usual catch-up chat college friends that don't see each other on a regular basis usually do. After our orders were taken, Ampie and Fatima left Jacky and me, only for them to return with Ampie holding a cake. A cake that a girl I used to like (or still like, rather) bought. For me. For the first time in my life. Ever. Unbelievable. It's an achievement, a milestone, really. Anyway, when they were done with their desserts (I didn't order since I was too stuffed with the burger), we moved to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to continue our discussion that was moving to the territories of dating and the lives of our other college friends and acquaintances (mostly dating) until 3AM.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2013
It was already two days after my official birthday, yet the celebration wasn't quite over yet, because on September 28, 2013, I invited Fernan, Ivan, Nhel and Gia (they're a couple so they're considered as one unit), and Zacc and Janica for a very small get-together at my house for the first time in my life. At first I thought it's not going to push through since Nhel told me that Gia woke up late, so I made a few unnecessary and inconveniencing adjustments to the plan that caused Fernan and I to go in one big circle around Manila, Makati, and everywhere in between, but at the very least we were able to meet at Ayala Station at around 1:30, just in time to get home by 3PM and have lunch.
Upon reaching home after letting them experience what I experienced whenever I go home from UST, we ate beef stew, spaghetti, and siomai that my mother prepared. After the sumptuous meal, especially the spaghetti which Fernan seemed to like, I showed them the cake from Ampie which I blew over and over again (cue teasing and storytelling to my mother about Ampie being my great romance during my college days which is kind of true), my Gundam, my manga collection and its holy grail which is the complete untranslated version of my favorite manga Ichigo 100%, and my beautiful and sophisticated girlfriend - my PC.
With its good specs and our fast internet connection, we (with we meaning Fernan and I, because Gia a girl herself and doesn't exactly enjoy partaking in such activities, while Nhel is a very loyal boyfriend to Gia, not to mention the fact that she's not exactly much of a hunter just like Fernan, Ivan, and I) stalked pretty girls on Facebook, watched Kotonoha no Niwa (review later), which was quite fitting with the weather since it rained. It was quite too short, and I probably should've went with the more mindless, lighthearted, fast-paced, longer, and violent God Bless America, but I guess it's not that bad since they seemed to like it, except for Nhel who probably didn't get to enjoy it much because of an awful stomachache that "probably" won't be relieved by bowel movement even though we insisted that it "probably" would. We (I) also played a little bit of Dragon Nest as some sort of exhibition match (I only won 1/3 though) and queued for a match in DoTA 2. However, it was taking so long and my friends had to leave soon since it's almost after dark, so we reverted to stalking girls on Facebook and watching Sistar's MaBoy as well as Hyuna's Bubble Pop and Troublemaker while Fernan and I were making commentaries about them Korean ladies. Gia and Nhel was amused, not because of the topic, but because of our enthusiasm with the topic. Nonetheless, despite all we did in our home was eat and go online, we had fun.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2013
Aside from going to church as my sincerest gratitude for giving me one of the best extended birthdays ever, I messaged Lin on Facebook, asking her if she would like to watch Insidious Chapter 2 with me. No response. Oh well, I guess you can't have everything, even on your birthday.
Family, friends from college and two workplaces, and a birthday cake from a girl I like for the first time in my life - 'twas a good 23rd birthday. This year, I didn't receive any material gifts (that is until Zacc and Janica gave me a G-Shock watch on Cosplay Mania, and I guess the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga counts as a gift too since Father didn't charge me a single dime for it), but I received something much more valuable - the realization that aside from my family, I am no longer alone. I used to be and got used to it, but I no longer am and no longer used to it. Sure, I probably got none in filling the "Love Interest" part (more on that later on), but I am more than blessed in the Friends and Family aspect. Well, not totally failed since Ampie did give me a cake, but I wanted to go out with Lin on our third and first-ever split bill movie date as the perfect closer for the celebrations. But that's okay, and I didn't let that fact dampen the festive mood since I got so many things I wanted.
And while I do want more (especially my two ultimate dreams to come true - to get the girl and become a published writer), I guess I'll just have to thank God for the blessings I got for now - another year with the people important to me. The most important person in my life, the girl who will have me as the most important in her life can wait, my Aya Toujo, can wait, and I know she can wait too. After all, I'm just 23.
Oh by the way, to everyone who greeted me be it on Facebook, cellphone, or personal, and spent my birthday with me, I thank you all.
P.S.: Maybe she's my college classmate and long-time crush who gave the cake.
P.P.S.: Or maybe she's the girl from FEU who greeted me.
P.P.P.S.: Or maybe she's the seventeen-year-old cosplayer.
P.P.P.P.S.: Or maybe she's my coworker.
Me, Fernan, Nhel, and Gia. First time at home.