On Wednesday, the 15th of September, I turned a year older.
For as long as I could remember, my birthdays have always been a joyous occasion. My mother and my late grandmother would prepare something special, and there would be a small get-together at home complete with a birthday cake. At work, we would also hold a party.
And then I left the Philippines in April 2007. This is my third birthday away from home. Since then, my birthdays were no longer a "happy birthday." They would still celebrate my birthday back home which makes me glad but at the same time sad that I am no longer there to celebrate it with them.
On my birthday this year, my mother invited some friends in church for a little celebration at home. I was also informed by my friend at work, Hazel, that they had drinks, ice cream, snacks at the office.
Even though my birthday here was replete with nothing but sadness, I am touched by the greetings I received from my friends, cousins, former co-workers, classmates and students. The textmessages, emails and messages at Facebook and Friendster just kept on coming.
Life away from my loved ones is tough but I have to be strong. "I will let hot fires forge me into a strong piece of metal."