Mama Dulcing turned 66 on July 2.
Her birthday is used to be celebrated in our family's residence in Anao-aon, Surigao del Norte. It used to be a grand family celebration with friends and relatives coming together, everyone squeezing to fit inside our humble home. But not this year; my sister En and I who will be visiting home for such purpose opted to host the celebration somewhere away from home, exclusively for the immediate family members.
I heard of Kasili Lake Resort in Mainit, Surigao del Norte, a neighboring town which is just a little more than a hour ride. My first hand information of its swimming pool and other amenities was from En herself who experienced swimming there with my cousins once. And it intrigued me.
I successfully convinced Papa Tantong and Mama Dulcing to have Mama's birthday celebration simple, closed and away from home, in Mainit Kasili Lake Resort it will be. I tried to reach all my friends who have contact information of the said resort and it took me about a week to solicit such information. Upon knowledge of the contact details of the resort, En and I attempted many times to call to book the event but to no avail until July 1, the day before Mama's birthdate. And we were already in Surigao en route home. I booked one suite room for one night, all 6 of us in it (Papa, Mama, Ate Mely, Entoy, En-En and me), and a cottage in the swimming pool area.
Thinking of a little preparation, I ordered lechon (roasted pork), Ate Mely (my sister-in-law) pre-ordered a birthday chocolate cake and cassava cake which En paid, Mama cooked bihon, paklay, fried chicken, and many others, and Papa grilled a fish. Since we won't be inviting neighbors to the party, Papa decided to distribute a portion of the preparations to them, especially our relatives.
We left for Mainit in the afternoon of July 2. We asked Entoy (my nephew who studied law in Butuan City) to meet and wait for us in Magpayang, the highway crossing towards Mainit. We reached the resort at 3pm, checked in and settled our foods in the cottage. And the party began.
The party was graced by the presence of our cousins, who happened to be couple, the guy (Jeffrey) is one of my father's nephews and the gal (sorry, I forgot her name) is one of my mother's nieces. They did not know about the party and went there just to see around. But we were glad to have relatives with us, though their visit was brief, during Mama's special day.
The party went on until nighttime when the resort's in-house band started whining, screaming and wildly rocking under the heavy rains. Since we cannot sleep due to band's noise, we packed ourselves inside the room, Mama and Papa lying on thier bed, Ate, En and me for chit-chatting and e-chatting with our eldest brother (Danny) who's in Jubail UEA, while Entoy was reading and studying.
Fortunately, the sun peeked on the next day which enabled us to view the surroundings, especially the Mainit Lake, after the morning coffee. We still partook the same food we have had the previous day.
It was such a great get-together-close-family-away-from-home party! The resort accomodation nor the swimming pool though won't entice me to come back, but it was the moment we share together during the special Mama Dulcing's day.
This out of town trip will be the start of our new trend in celebrating birthdays. Papa Tantong's 67th birthday will be in October and it will surely be somewhere else, away from home.
I thank God for this moments and we (the children, in-laws and grandchildren) pray and hope that He may grant my parents more years to share with us...