I've been trying to write this post for the longest time: whenever I think of a how I want to approach it the emotions of that day overwhelm me - to the point that after almost seven months I am finally posting. This post is for and about the birthday of someone who is very near and dear to my heart.
Birthday parties are often approached from different angles. In a society that views the spending of ones money to celebrate oneself as narcissistic, being invited to a grand soiree like this was exciting for me. I firmly believe that if you've earned it - do it. We do not get long lives, and the crossing from childhood to fully fledged tax paying adult hood is a fine line that should be played out with pomp.
Gelline is someone who I've known for a short while, however she is one of those people that I connect with on a level that constantly surprises me! She has been, for me, a loyal, kind, thoughtful friend who will support you: but more importantly will help you see life from a different view.
Following the filipino tradition when I girl turns eighteen - and becomes a woman - she has a party known as a debut: which I was lucky enough to witness.
For anyone who has never been to or heard of a debut before this is a very very small break down based on what I saw at this debut and a few others. There are a few integral parts.
The Cotillion - selected by the debutante, members of the cotillion will perform a dance for party goers and are the debutantes entourage.
18 Roses - These are eighteen male friends, family or romantic interests of the debutante - they are part of the cotillion and also present the debutante with roses before taking a short twirl on the dance floor with her.
18 Candles - These are eighteen female friends who may or may not be part of the cotillion: the girls will light a candle and give a short speech that is part reminiscing and 1 part hopes and wishes for the debutantes future.
There are also thee debutantes parents, her titas, titos, ates, kuyas and other kind souls who go through months of meticulous planning for a magical night such as this to come together.
Frankly I was amazed at the amount of love that I witnessed. There was not catiness, or envy in anyone I spoke to the whole night. Everyone was in great spirits, laughing and giggling early in the night. After the initial presentation of the cotillion the most nerve racking part of the night came.
What I didn't mention is that there may be some performances, seeing as I moonlight as a shower singer: I'd somehow in spite of my usual nerves agreed to sing for Gelline. Once my encounter with the microphone passed I let go of my nerves and let myself enjoy the night. There was one more planned performance after mine: and two amazing surprise performances that included a group of boys b-boying is out.
There are many who may criticize such a grand display: that's criticism is only warranted if you view such events on a superficial level. It's worthwhile for people to hear why they are loved. From a more personal point of view I feel that Gelline is a truly sweet soul: I did not at the time or even right now ever feel that she did not deserve the displays of affection lavished on her.
What really solidified that feeling for me was the fact that she let herself cry (sorry woman had to say it!). Being so over whelmed with joy, when she got up to give her speech she uttered many many thanks.
This is one night I will never ever forget. Thank you Gelline for letting me be a part of it.
At no other party have I ever overcome a fear, teared up and had an impromptu zumba lesson on the dance floor.
*PS - Welcome to the new website.