1/09/2008
Fifty-two weeks minus twenty-three hours

Proof on the left.

"I was gonna say that fifty-two weeks is a long time... and then I remembered na fifty-two weeks lang talaga."

The first birthday greeting that actually fell on my birthday came from Ning. I think she knew only because of my status message; otherwise she wouldn't probably have any other clue. But it's very much appreciated, nevertheless. And, to boot, she greeted me again in school.

By the time I woke up, around seven hours later, I received eight greetings. Adrian, Jem and Alyssa sent theirs at around the same time as Ning did. Lulu's text message was a surprise, because I didn't expect my figuratively far-flung friends greeting me on my nineteenth birthday. And yes, I am nineteen already.

The next one to come was from Misha, which wasn't much of a surprise like it supposedly was. Yesterday she was the first to remember, but was economical enough not to greet me. In fact, I got greetings as early as Monday, with Abby being the first to do so, and only because my birthday coincides with her mother's. Clarence and Krizia did theirs yesterday, during investigative journalism class.

Of course, my birthday's more popular for being the day the folks at Quiapo assemble a huge crowd and tug the statue of the Black Nazarene across the district. One's birth is another's death: apparently two died in the procession.

Before those two lost their lives for their devotion, though, I was getting more birthday greetings. Sars sent hers in. Tracy, who forgot about my birthday yesterday, and thought I took it against her, sent hers in. Piyar, who I still have to see for the week, sent hers in. Just when Goodbye Mr. A was to end, Lizette sent hers in. Kizia sent hers in. Edsel sent his in, just to make a difference in my apparent ill-conceived appeal towards females.

For some reason I also made it a point to send individualized responses to everybody who texted me. One-liners with the occasional closed reference led to me delaying my replies - my response to Lulu's went out a half-hour after the greeting arrived. And I wasn't feeling any giddy - besides, it seems the pattern has been set, with people staggering their wishes across the week, rather than dump them all an entire day.

My thesis partners didn't have a clue about my birthday, until Cuyeg asked me about what else I'd be doing for the six hours of waiting I unwittingly committed myself to doing. The girls - Ale, Lau, Jaja, Sara and Veia - sang along to the birthday song, an impromptu performance that sounded scattered, but there was nothing to complain about. Besides, Naomi and Kris had sent their in personally earlier.

I was billeted with Cuyeg for the two hours before our thesis consultation. I ended up knowing a bit about Misha's English language tendencies, six-letter words on Text Twist played in M215, and his little fashion disaster. Arlene stuck to her promise and greeted me with a misspelled nickname. Yas had accompanied me to lunch for two minutes and sent hers in. Burton barely realized it until we found out that Hillary Clinton is back in the race. When I got out, Y2K sent hers in with some drama to boot - we did talk earlier, and she didn't know until her gender studies class upstairs. Butch had to send hers in too.

The two hours after the two hours were pretty much blank. Danica had sent hers in. Jan had sent his in, after some persuasion. I was watching stuff on YouTube after Dexter sent his in. Even funnier, I was seeing other people who would most probably know, but don't, and I honestly never mind. Obviously I am very curious though. Not that I'm insisting on my being lovable - duh, I'm just intimidating, as Misha put it - but, well, it's stuff to ponder on. Two more hours to go, I told myself, as Marcia sent hers in.

I ended up in the library with Kris, who was still waiting for Miss Bacalla's handouts. It wasn't there yet; on my part, Les had sent hers in, and Caresse had sent hers in. Redg did after we met up in the library, with stories of Snape-like professors. Joy then sent hers in. All those simple one-liners were getting delayed - and so were all my replies.

Gender studies class finally began, after me walking up and down with earphones snuggled. Paula sent hers in, and Bea sent hers in, as M318 became available for us to get frozen in. Slowly, my classmates made it more personal - Marielle sent hers in, June sent hers in, Drea sent hers in, and Gaille sent hers in. Jose managed to send his in after Edsel greeted me again. I left with a "birthday gift" courtesy of Paula - I got Bea, so you can insert a "wahoo!" in.

One year, and all change, definitely. There were people I didn't expect to greet, and there were who I expected to but didn't. Although I'm very much aware of the downsides to expecting, it's a bit fun - and, also, a good way to kill time - to see who would and who wouldn't, especially if there's nothing really better to do. Case in point: Issa.

"Is it your birthday today?" she asked.

"Well, yes it is," I answered. Nothing followed.

Char sent hers in. Karla sent hers in. Celine sent hers in. Even Mark sent his in. Everybody else, on the other hand, remain busy, without hopefully being less thoughtful than they were the last time. Even Katia sent hers in, at the very last minute. Maybe I really should've made a fool of myself and asked Tin to greet me on air - a pretty far-flung thing for me to do. Heck, the first song I heard on the radio today was, well, Happy Birthday. Very spectacular, isn't it?

And your responses...

Happy Birthday!

Anonymous John1/10/2008     

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