18

We spent the weekend in Tayabas so we can attend my cousin Phoebe’s 18th birthday.  Has it really been that long? I can still remember the time when I would carry her then Ate Rouselle would carry Camille when they were both babies.  Now they are both 18! 
The venue was in the multipurpose hall of the school where her mom teaches. Most of my relatives are excellent teachers in Tayabas and are very popular (That singit line was just me wanting to boast about my relatives).  The party has the usual 18 candles, roses, and gifts but it was my first time to encounter that there was such a thing as “18 toasts” as well.  I was one of them. They say it means she can come to me whenever she needs help.  I say sure! and because it was a non speaking role.  I hate public speaking and I always, always get the jitters whenever I hold the microphone.  But even if I’m not one of the candle people, I still want to intrude and express my wishes for my cousins Phoebe and Camille through writing…  
Most of them said that you should not have a boyfriend, should focus on your studies, and act more mature.  
I say that I wish you may have a mindset that this is start of the best days of your life so own it.  I wish you to plan your future but live each moment as if it was your last.  It’s the time to experiment to get to know yourself more so you know what you like and what makes you happy.  It will guide you to what you really want to be.  
I wish that you date but to set limits in case he’s not the one.  If ever you think he’s the one, it’s ok to say yes but make reservations just in case he isn’t.  Getting to know people takes a lot of time so do take your time to decide.  Besides if he really loves you he’ll gladly wait for you.
And finally I wish that you choose wisely.  Whatever you decide, it’s your family, your real friends, and what you think that matters.
Kilig picture of the night.  I think the kids stopped to see what the fuss is about. We were all screaming our lungs out during this dance.
***
After the program my cousins tried to teach me to dance.  I can’t understand why because I dance perfectly fine.  I even have a name for it — the pizza dance.  It chronicles the preparation of a pizza through dance (trying not to laugh here).  But I can understand the allure of my cousin’s sexy dance.  I swear I have to learn how to sway my hips like that.  I was trying to get into the groove until the DJ called it quits and bigla ba naman kaming pinagbuksan ng ilaw!  
Iya running around and playing with the balloons on stage while we were dancing
My dance mentor and e-book supplier Denise with Iya
Our family with the debutant Phoebe.
My dancing buddies Denise, Jilyn, and Bianne.  I feel so manang with these girls!
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