1st semester of sophomore year ended mid December and the 2nd semester is scheduled to begin late January (a long term break it is, right?). But before the end of the year, we were informed that our block will the taking the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) on the 11th of the following month–landing exactly on Dairen’s birthday. I was (sort of) expecting ‘us’–our squad–to either eat lunch together or stay at someone’s place to see a movie as a mini celebration but the thing is, I have some matters to attend to after taking the exam.

Dairen is one of my college best buddies. I met her in our Introduction to DLSU-D class before entering the university and we’ve been good friends since then. She is a Mathematics major, knows how to play a LOT of musical instruments and has a collection of different (and unique) sorts of Rubik’s cubes–though some of which are not merely shaped as cubes. Plus, she’s fond of the investigative genre of films and series such as Detective Conan and Sherlock Holmes (I mean, who isn’t a fan?). But her most striking facet is her faith and religion–she is a Christian and she spends weekends mostly on the church. This entry is about her surprise party. #HBDDairen

11th of January – Wednesday

I reached our testing room quarter an hour early so I met some of my blockmates prior to the exam–which is, by the way, quite lengthy and boring. This is the first time that I met most of them after quite a while. #sepanxisreal I bumped into Cindy and she whispered something like, “Sasama ka mamaya? Birthday ni Dairen. Kaso mamaya pang gabi, 6:30PM. Sina T. Annie yung nag-aayos. Surprise party. Hindi alam ni Dairen na may party siya.” I thought for a second–where will I stay while waiting for 6:30PM, what will I do while waiting, I haven’t asked permission from my parents, etc.–but I gave it a nod right away (knowing that it is my friend’s special day). She replied by saying, “Sige. Sa 18 roses ka ah? Nga pala, yung mga sasama daw sa party mamaya, wag daw batiin si Dairen ng ‘happy birthday.’”

After a few minutes, Dairen arrived and everyone started greeting her so I gave in and greeted her with a hug. After the test, I rushed to Counter 12–the one for assessment of fees–to settle some matters regarding dorm rental fee. The line is unbelievably long so I got my number from Counter 15–the one for payment and receipt–before falling in line for the assessment. I waited for almost 3 straight hours (worse than EDSA traffic jam) just to settle everything and (it was late when) I grabbed lunch with my fellow seedlings Cyra and MJ. I had Caldereta (my most fave dish from Nanay’s Cuisine) and strawberry shake for late lunch. Nica accompanied us to Rjhay’s place–where everyone going to the party stayed the entire afternoon. We saw The Flu while munching chocolates when Anne arrived and we prepped up in time for the party.

We reached Silang and her churchmate’s house (where the party will be held) just in time and we waited for Dairen to arrive–she’s still in Tagaytay that time to trick her out since everyone is prepping up for her ‘surprise’ party. Since the party is spontaneous, most of our blockmates were not able to make it but still, we are 7 in the pool–Cindy, Anne, Nica, Tin, Rjhay, MJ and I. We were chatting when we found out that our Portals were temporarily blocked because of the Stars ticket (a voluntary raffle draw for a cause carried out during the institutional Christmas Party last month). T. Annie arrived exuberantly in high spirits and they started contacting Dairen, asking where she is. When Dairen arrived, they turned off the lights and lighted up the birthday candles and we waited in the front door. When she opened the door, ayun na–surprise! She was in tears after everyone greeted her a happy birthday.

We–her friends, churchmates, teachers, high school friends and college friends–filled the place and the birthday girl is seated in front of a banner-like design. The room is decorated with black and white (the debutant’s fave colors) balloons tied in a ribbon on one end and a photo on the other–so the photos seem like floating. The program began–with the energetic T. Annie as the host (she also prepared the program)–and flowed continuously from the 18 gifts to 18 roses and 18 candles which my friends and I took part in. The people delivered sweet (and emotional) birthday messages and I managed to listen to each one of them. I can tell that she is deeply loved and treasured by the people around her by simply weighing on their words of admiration and praises. There are a couple more moments that made me shed tears–a proof on how intimate and emotional the celeb is.

The debutant’s mother is very welcoming and warmly attended to us. She even spilled more details about the party (since it is her idea to give Dairen a surprise celeb to begin with). Dairen’s father–who I have met before during our EK trip–was also there and he was her 18throse. T. Annie–Dairen’s bestfriend–took charge of the program and is also the one who contacted the celebrant’s high school and college friends. By the end of the program, Dairen delivered her thank you message (which started with a little back story including how she found hints that a surprise party is arranged and how she felt awfully sad that she thought she won’t be celebrating her birthday with her family) and also made us shed tears. I was particularly moved–emotionally and spiritually–by this encounter. Dairen has touched lives through her ways in such a young age, a feat that an individual could hardly achieve.

The night ended with everyone sharing food for dinner; chatting with one another after an emotional yet heartwarming program. I had palabok, puto, a piece of cupcake and a slice of cake for dinner. It is memorable–for me, personally–to have witnessed a group of people plan (though I’m not involved in the planning stage) and accomplish a surprise party for someone. It is therefore equally notable to know that it is one of my friends who gets to experience it. This only proves that spontaneity leads to beautiful occurrences. Before my friends and I part, we posed for a photo op with the birthday girl.

📷: Credits to Jeany Anne Pasim for the visuals that I used in this entry. 😊

I know this is a super late post but happy birthday Dairen Jobelle! 🎉 I hope your day went your way. 😁 I hope you enjoyed your surprise party as much as we did. I am blessed to have you as one of my friends. Thank you for being such a good friend to me! Continue being a blessing to everyone you meet! Good luck din sa mga darating pa na major subjects. More birthdays, blessings, Math problems and Rubik’s cubes to come. Welcome to legality, future Math teacher! P.S. Thank you for inviting me to Solaire! What happens in Solaire stays in Solaire. 😁

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