Friday, June 20, 2008

30, quirky, and thriving!

cheers! today is my 30th birthday. there, i’ve admitted the cold, hard fact. i couldn’t believe i’m actually turning this old already! in my heart, i feel like i’m still 12. ok, that’s exaggerated…make that 16. tee hee!!

to celebrate the 3 meaningful decades of my life, i’m going to share with you more about myself and walk you through my personal experiences and feelings about my past – from my childhood to adolescence to adulthood.

time for a little stroll down memory lane...

let’s start with the year 1978 – the year i was born. Martial Law prevailed that time so imagine my parents’ worries whenever i’d get convulsion attacks. my Dad had to beg soldiers then to let him walk in the streets after curfew just to fetch a doctor. and because i was a very sickly infant, the doctor told my parents i’d be lucky to live longer than 12 months. of course he was proven wrong.

1980 – my first vivid memory of childhood. it was my cousin’s 2nd birthday party and i was a little over 2 then. i still remember how i had told him and his playmates to eat pancit bihon properly because they were making a mess.

1982 – the year i first went schooling. call it bizarre but i still remember my nursery graduation day then. the gift i got was a set of colorful building blocks, which i totally disliked. (there are pictures to prove this! hehe!)

1983 – because i was nanny-less, my Mom had to bring me to Dagupan, Pangasinan so my paternal grandma could look after me. i studied at Edna’s School for a year so i picked up the dialect. i could still speak & understand Pangalatoc, although now i admit i need some sharpening up.

1984 – we moved to our home in Novaliches, Quezon City. for me, that’s where my heart will always be. and why not, when that’s where i actually spent most of my childhood, which i will never trade for anything else in the world?! memories of being free to roam around the village, play in the streets, learn to ride a bike, climb over the gates, nurse wounds, bumps and bruises, share toys, books and food, and understand the fundamentals of friendship will always remain precious to me.

1985 – i tagged along with my parents on their second honeymoon in Hong Kong. my Mom & i travelled by ourselves to meet up with my Dad in HK airport. my Mom almost had a seizure because she thought she lost me in the airport. i remember very well that as soon as i saw my Dad from the other side of the glass door, i scrammed swiftly when my Mom turned her back for a second at the security check. while she and the guards were looking for me, i was already safely carried by my Dad’s arms. (hmmm, bad girl!)

1986 – i discovered the joy of being onstage. no, not singing, silly! dancing and joining speech contests. remember i can’t carry a tune?

1989 – joined a TV game show in Channel 13 called “Campus Break” with my classmate Jinkee during 5th Grade. we won against St. Mary’s College. it was my first TV appearance…LOL!!

1990 – i was so good in Math when i was in gradeschool, especially during 6th Grade. i even join and win interschool competitions. (i wonder now where my love for Math go?)

1991 – freshman year at UST High. met new friends and actively participated in the Girl Scouting movement. it was also in july 26 of such year when i had my most memorable flood experience in UST. no kidding, but i literally walked all the way from UST Dapitan Gate to Bagbag, Novaliches with my classmate, Len. i don't know how far is the distance in numbers, but i do recall that it was a long way. it was the only time i've seen the cloverleaf interchange in Balintawak soaked in flood water.

1993 – the best high school year of my life (III - St. Cecilia). barkada. intrams. cheerleading. puppy love.

1995 – freshie at UP Los Banos. it was an entirely different world for me. i thought highschool life was fun, but college life was waaayy better. although i was raised as an independent child, when i went to UP, i felt the real sense of independence. it was a tad scary then because every decision i had to make will have an impact on my future, but at the same time, it was also exciting because i got to test my self-control and discipline myself. i earned new friends, joined a play, became part of the Freshman Bloc Assembly, etc. i also had a boyfriend during freshman year, which i regret to this day, not because he was a total jerk, but because the relationship ruined our friendship. it was through him that i met my husband, Ryan.

1997 – the husband & i were classmates in the afternoon Nasci I class. he & his room mate became my official dinner buddies during Friday evenings. after spending so much time together in between classes, my friendship with him blossomed into something more serious. in August of that year, we officially became a couple. it was one of the happiest years of my life!

1999 – finished school and joined the work force. my first job was at Jardine Lloyd Thompson Insurance Brokers. by end of the year, i got poached to work for Union Bank’s insurance agency arm.

2000 – was too old to have braces, but had them on anyway because my chompers were just hideous then! and now i thank God i did!

2002 – said bye-bye to my brackets. oh, and i learned how to drive shift stick :)

2003 – started the year with a bad break-up with Ryan, but (thankfully!) we got back together in the end.

2005 – moved from Manila for Dubai for work. joined the DIFC. met bessie Beth. got engaged (finally!) :D

2006 – got married twice to the same man (civil wedding & church wedding). he later joined me in Dubai, where we started our journey as husband and wife. this is the most stressful year i’ve lived, both careerwise and wedding preps-wise. my weight see-sawed for like a half a dozen times, but thank goodness i was slim when i walked down the aisle! despite the rollercoaster ride i had during this year, i would still say, without batting an eyelash, that it is the most memorable period of my life.

2007 – a year of firsts for me: first promotion at the DIFC, first business travel, first car, and first Christmas away from home.

2008 – so far, everything’s been great. a few ups and downs here and there, but managed to keep things at bay. every pitfall is considered part of the ride; every challenge is faced head on. i find this year quite hopeful for me, and i do look forward towards its end because we will be going home for a month-long holiday this year. seeing my family is the ultimate gift i could ever receive.

now that i'm 30, i don't think much will ever change, actually. i'd probably just be adjusting the two-digit number i write on forms, but other than that, things will be just the same. anyway, you are as old as feel, right? :)


God, thank you for another year you have blessed me with. i cannot wish for anything more on this birthday as You already endowed me with so much. i celebrate this beautiful life You have given me, and i promise to live it to the fullest. my wholehearted gratitude for the many things you have bestowed upon me all these years. i embrace what is ahead of me, because i have faith that You will always be there for me, and i know that you will never leave me...i've had 30 years of experience to prove that.


Weng said...

happy birthday, gracie! i wish you continued blessings of abundance from God in all aspects of your life. :) cheers to you! mmmwah!

Skylle said...

Haberday Gracie!Hope you'll have a fab time!God Bless...

Gracie said...

thanks for the greeting and welll-wishes! :)


chung said...

hey gracie! belated happy birthday!

thanks again for inviting us, harvs and i had so much fun. promise! it was nice to finally meet you. sorry pina-inom ata kita towards the end of your party, may tama na ata ako.

hope we can see each other again soon! take care!

kelly said...

gracie girl, happy birthday!!! mwah! =D

Gracie said...

hi chung!

oh no, it was really fun! i enjoyed the evening a lot! thanks for making me cocktails! when we come visit you next, alam na namin ang dadalhin namin :)

p.s. love the picture frame! (mahilig talaga ako sa frames!)

Gracie said...

thanks kelly! :)*hug!*