Natalie Muneses

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hello world, this is my first but definitely not my last blog. Sarah did a great job explaining the beginning of the team’s day on August 17 Filipino time. But when we got back to the ancestral house my grandmother decided to throw me a surprise birthday party. As we walk in there are tables draped in white and pink linens and chairs with pink bows. We all walk in and wonder out loud what is going on, yet everyone knew except for me. My grandmother had gone out of her way, more so than she has already done, and invited friends and family to celebrate my belated birthday. Everyone had successfully kept it a secret to surprise me.

As guests started to arrive the team quickly changed from our sweat soaked clothing into our “nice clothes.” Majority of the Barangay Council, a representative of the Congressman, and many other close friends of the family arrived. I see the huge spread of food being prepared and my grandmother takes me over to see the cake she had made for me. It was extravagant. There were so many people in the house by now no one could keep track. I blew out my candle first with all eyes on me. Then the eating began.

There was every part of every animal. Pork. Chicken. Fish. There was a whole roasted pig. The line for food seemed to never end, with people coming in and out of the house.

My dad of course would appear at every corner taking your picture.

Conversation was easy talking about the day and meeting new people. The food was great, of course. As people finished up eating they said their goodbyes and headed home. Being this a work trip, the team began to debrief about the day. Yet my grandmother had another surprise up her sleeve. Two girls in flashy skirts and shiny fans come out of the back of the house, music is turned on, and they begin to dance. It was great entertainment for our full bellies. The team stops the debriefing to enjoy the show.

As the show ends, Sarah’s eyelids begin to close. We wrap up our plans for the next day and call it a night. Probably the best belated birthday I have ever had.