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Highlights of My 50th Birthday Celebration (Part 1)

Tarpaulin with Sunflower and A Golden Celebration written on it

I turned 50 years old last July 20, 2016. My ever loving and supportive husband, Jonjie, turned event planner and fulfilled my dream Birthday party.
  • WHAT: Sunflower Kiddie Party @ 50
  • WHEN: July 30, 2016, Saturday, starts at 3:00pm
  • WHERE: Plantationville Resort, Sitio Mainang, Bamban, Tarlac
  • ATTIRE: As comfortable and as young as you can be
    • Old Fashioned Birthday Card with written message
    • Donation for Charities (intended for abandoned children or home for the aged in Pampanga...old toys, clothes, books or foods such as rice, canned goods, noodles)

Kiddie. Because it’s my lifelong dream to have a birthday party. During my childhood years, whenever there was a birthday celebration in our barrio, I was always outside looking in…never invited. My first real birthday celebration with a sumptuous dinner for 3, a cake, bouquet of flowers and a nicely wrapped gift was when I was 26 years old in Japan courtesy of a very generous Japanese teacher that we have met in a supermarket and became our friend. It was in 1992, when I was sent by my company to Fukuoka, Japan for a year.

Sunflower. Looking back, I started my love affair with Sunflowers in my mid-twenties. I collected everything Sunflower back then, on a budget…t-shirts, figurines, knick knacks. Through the years, it evolved to bed sheets, drinking glasses, small house fixtures like magazine rack, wall hanger, vase, decorative set of plates. Sunflower always brightens even my most gloomy days. For a time, it became my security blanket.

The plan was initially conceived for my 40th birthday…yes, for that famous saying “life begins at 40”. But it had to take a backseat for a more important occasion, the baptismal of our dearest daughter, Shemaella Daniz.

The Venue

The scenes...two hours before the scheduled 3:00pm birthday program. It was a "happy chaos"! A big thanks to all who lend a wiling and helping hands. I am loved and I am blessed...

Preparation of the venue at Plantationville Resort
My nephews and niece putting up colorful balloons at the venueThe Resort Owner helping us in putting up the balloons
An embrace with my husband during venue preparation at Plantationville

The Candy Bar

In the early stage of planning, I requested Jonjie for a cotton candy cart. I had wonderful childhood memories of cotton candies and I wanted to re-create it during the party. But with a small difference in the cost, we decided to go for the Candy Bar.

Two hours before the party, the Candy Bar was beautifully set-up. The package consists of cup cakes but since Jonjie already ordered 50 cupcakes for my birthday cake, more candies were added instead.

My daughter Daniz at the candy bar in Plantationville Resort
The colorful candies of the Candy Bar at Plantationville Resort

The Cheese and Langka Sorbetes or Dirty Ice Cream

Sorbetes is another constant fixture of my childhood, usually with 4 different flavors to choose from and the crunchy sugar cone that I love. The moment we hear the non-stop sound of a bell, the children from the neighborhood will be agog in asking money from the parents. And together, we ran towards "Tata Mili" and his colorful wooden ice cream cart.

Dirty Ice Cream (Sorbetes) isn’t really dirty.It is called as such because of the manner that it’s sold: in the street and exposed to dirt and pollution.

When we were asking where can we buy Sorbetes, my first question is if they have the old-fashioned wooden cart. The answer, "no, they don'use that anymore."

The Cheese and Langka flavored dirty ice cream at Plantationville Resort

The Birthday Loot Bags

Inside are candies from my childhood such as Kendiment, Snow Bear, White Rabbit, Viva, Orange Swits, Lollipop, etc.

The birthday loot bags with kendiment, snow bear, viva, orange swits...candies of my childhood days

The Birthday Prayer

Thank you very much my brother and sister in-law, Kuya Hernan Espiritu and Ate Bing Jimenez-Espiritu, and all my Beloved Guests for that heartfelt prayer.

My tears flow freely. Tears of happiness, being surrounded by family and friends who chose to spend their precious time to be with me. Tears of longing...for my brothers and sister and their family who were not there...and wishing that Inay and Itay were celebrating it with me.

A heartfelt birthday prayer at Plantationville ResortAte Bing saying a prayer for me nd for my birthday at Plantationville ResortMy guests praying with me and for me during my birthday party at Plantationville Resort

The Sunflower Birthday Cake with 50 Candles

One of my birthday wish is to have a Sunflower Birthday Cake with a candles, number 5 and 0.

Jonjie granted my wish, alright...for the top cake. But look! A bonus...50 times more. There were 50 pieces of Sunflower Cup Cakes with a candle on each. And Jonjie said that I have to blow the candles by myself, without help from anyone. Jokingly he said, so he could get even with me for the stress I caused him as my event planner.

I love my Sunflower birthday Cake!!! Even if it took me more than a minute to blow all the candles...

The Sunflower Birthday Cake with 50 cup cakes and 50 candles at Plantationville ResortThe Sunflower Birthday Cake with 50 cup cakes and 50 candles at Plantationville ResortDSC_0618_straight_thumb6

The Food

The party time that we set is ideal for "merienda cena" or light meal usually taken to fill the gap between breakfast and noon or noon and dinner.

The food we chose  are those usually served during children's party:  Bihon Guisado, Fried Chicken, Lumpiang Shanghai, and Hotdog with Marshmallows on Stick.


The Party Games

Since we had Daniz,  every time we’re invited to a birthday party, Jonjie and I braced ourselves to play the games with her. If she can join all the games...she will.

And so, during the preparation, I know that we have to incorporate games during the party. I requested my only sister Pau to be the game master. She already prepared the games and the materials needed.

But while they are on the way to Pampanga, from Manila, an unfortunate accident happened. Though I really would like them to be with me but I forbid them to. I assured her that I will find a way.

A special thanks to Kuya Hernan and Ate Bing for saving the day. Except for the “pabitin”, all the games were courtesy of the both of them.

1. Treasure Hunt

Find a piece of paper at the bottom of the chair. There should be 10 winners,..9 were already found and the missing 1 is on my chair. Unfortunately, I cannot join, so I gave mine to my aunt, Tia Egring.

Before receiving the prize, they have introduce themselves and their relationship with me.


2. Jack En Poy (Rock-Paper-Scissors) with A Twist

The Twist. Without saying what the game was, Ate Bing said she needed 12 persons with 5-peso coin each.

She created 6 pairs of players. Then, that's the time the mechanics of the game was revealed. They will play rock–paper–scissors...and whoever wins get the 5-peso coin from the loser plus the prize.

3. Bring Me

Senior Citizen ID, Green balloon, 500-peso bill, my high school best friend, and sunflower

4. Pabitin

Pabitin is a popular game usually played in birthday parties and town fiestas. It involves a lattice of bamboo sticks (called a balag) suspended in the air with string. The lattice is strung with plastic bags willed with small toys, snacks, sweets or coins. It is suspended in a way that it can be lowered and raised quickly. Children are to gather under the lattice as it is lowered to reach the party favors.

- Kids Edition

Candies. Chocolates. Lollipops.

- Adult Edition

The rope broke during the kids edition, so Kuya Pong of Plantationville volunteered to climb the tree to tie another rope.

We had a good laugh especially during the opening of each item

The items, from left to right: 1) strawberry flavored condom - the irony, the one who got it is a widow; 2) pau liniment; 3) white flower; 4) sanitary green balm; 5) stresstabs; 6) vicks vaporub; 7) vicks inhaler; 8) bigen hair dye - another irony, the one who have it has less hair (he even removed his party hat to show his head); 9) katinko ointment; 10) omega painkiller; 11) enervon multivitamins; 12) tiger balm; 13) flanax


This is just the first half of my birthday celebration…a day to many memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.

But this day will not be possible without my beloved guests who took time to travel the distance and chose to spend their precious time with me on that day.  The last part will be dedicated to them…

Before I end this first part, a big hug to the best event planner that I could ever have, who went out of his way to gave me the best birthday celebration ever…my ex-boyfriend, my best buddy, my super hubby.

My next post will be: The Guests, After-Party Photos, The Birthday Gifts, Surprise Video


Thank you very much to the following for the special attention and discounts and the extra services you accorded us before, during and after the event.
  • Plantationville Resort - the venue located at Sitio Mainang, Bamban, Tarlac 
  • Joniji Cakeland - for the Sunflower Birthday Cake and Candy Bar
  • Tai Woo Chinese Restaurant / Tea House - for the delicious food
  • AG Photography - for Sunflower t-shirt, stickers, tarpaulins and the unlimited photos of the event

This post first appeared on JADSpirits Family. Life. Adventures., please read the originial post: here

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Highlights of My 50th Birthday Celebration (Part 1)


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