2017: I’m 22.

I’m blogging about my own birthday. Wild.

For the last five days of 2017, I want to bring back some life to this sad blog by featuring some of the best or most important moments this year. They may range from personal (like my birthday) to academic. I don’t know yet… What I do know is that the second part of my Europe trip blog will probably have to wait until 2018. Forgive me. 

Read this post for:

  • A look back on some fun celebrations, from debate to food to school to more food
  • A flash review on food places like Industrie Food Loft and Shinsen Ortigas

Let’s begin!!!

What’s so special about being 22?

Honestly… nothing. Unless you count having that one Taylor Swift dedicated to your age 😂 Mostly I find this year’s celebration special because:

  • It’s the first time I treated my family to a meal, courtesy of my part-time job. #WorkingClass 
  • I came off fresh from a debate weekend, failed a cardio exam by a sliver of a hair, and still found it in my heart to watch movies. There’s always time for the right people.
  • I got way away too many cakes and Gudetama goodies. I wasn’t complaining though. My stomach was full and my heart was even fuller. 

One month and several weeks later, the memory isn’t as clear. I’ll still try my best to capture the highlights though! 

IMDC Weekend!

It’s the second time I joined IMDC. It’s also –not to #humblebrag or anything– the second time in a row that ASMPH took home the championship. Hurrah.

As an aside before I get to the birthday stuff: 

  • I met the cutest frosh in my life –that girl beside me is Kristine, and she is a chaotic good if I’ve ever met one. The rest of the crew were cute and funny as ever. 
  • I also met more people from elsewhere!!! And promptly forgot them… but it’s the effort at human interaction that counts.
  • We underclassmen got to appreciate some insights from alumnus Doc Carlito. His words were an inspiration. Mostly, he reminded me that it’s possible to truly and exhaustively love medicine as a calling. He also reminded us that IMDC is less about exercising our collegiate debate muscles (which is fair), and more about dissecting medical ethical issues through the lens and expertise of a professional.
  • Our team also got judged several times by Doctor-and-soon-to-be-attorney Lee Wayne (lol), who is one of my life inspirations and loves. His passion for public health and policy is too pure. Please adopt me if you’re reading this, Doc Lee. ❤
  • Speaking of, I obviously forgot all the voice training I did. My debate speaking voice is as high as a kite on a windy day.

IMDC x Birthday Things with UPMDC

Since the tournament was set the weekend right before my birthday, I was seriously thinking of not joining this year. Time and exams willing, we usually set a staycation somewhere in the metro for my birthday. Or at least, we hoped to. 

But joining IMDC also meant seeing my friends from UP Manila –Marianne, Jeca, Mort and others whom I used to only address by initials in this blog for some reason– and that’s always always going to be a rare treat. They partly organized and judged and tabbed the tournament; I still long for the day M and I go against each other in an actual tournament.

Bringing home the trophy (against the strong team from UERM) wasn’t the only gift I gave to myself. Another was watching a movie with some of my best friends. Plus RJ. Joke. Love you kuya 😂

I was actually a bit afraid to make Marianne watch a movie because she was just so tired from duty. But she persevered. A true friend. 

I also considered it my sacred duty to make them watch Thor 3, a movie I genuinely enjoyed and loved and laughed with. 

Of course losing time to study for the cardiovascular exam the next day was the trade-off…

Still My Best T12ANS Group

We’re bad at keeping in touch during the busier days, but the best trans group in the world still comes together at certain times: 

  • Christmas (we had an EXCELLENT AND COMPLETE party, by the way; I might blog about it later)
  • Birthdays (we create a new chat every time, to “surprise” the unsuspecting friend)
  • Collection fee times (together, we all disappear; not very easy when we have the batch’s finance officer in our group)

They gave me a Gudetama snack and I am still 500% giddy about it. 

The tall guy beside me has the same birthday as me!!! Is that not the most awesome coincidence? 

Presenting: Beautiful Bio Girls

We call ourselves (maybe?) Bio Girls only because some other friend group is called Bio Boys. In reality… we are nameless. I don’t know.

Thank you to the sweetest girls who make socializing bearable and even possible, haha! They have ever been my guides to remembering the names and faces of our batchmates, and they are very understanding about it too. Slowly, Lea and I are turning everyone into ascended k-pop trash.

They gifted me a cute cake! 

Aside: every birthday in our group, we buy a cake and have it set aside in the school canteen. We ask the kitchen staff very desperately if we can store the cake in the school fridge every morning, and we bother them again during the busy lunch hour to get the cake back. Fortunately for them, I was the last birthday of the year. They rested easily over December 😂

We eventually ate said cake the following day.

Later, Chanel (an October baby) and I jointly treated the friend group to Industrie Food Loft (basically some of the best food I’ve had in awhile). 


I would say that the sushi alone is worth the trek to the food loft. Definitely a must-try shop! 

I profess I found wagyu expensive (at I think a hundred or $2 a stick), but it was a delight.

As ever, I absolutely love scallops and oysters baked in cheese or butter. 

The Best: A Family Treat

Because my birthday fell on a weekday, I had the luxury and honor of forcing my whole family to drag themselves to Ortigas for dinner. 

We ate at Shinsen, one of my favorite restaurants. Naturally, it was Japanese. Coincidentally, it was less than a minute’s walk from my condo. 

It was a ‘meri kurisumasu’ indeed. 

Thanks to my part-time job, I got to shoulder the bill for the very first time 😀. I hope to do this many more times next year, assuming I get my finances in order. 

Aside: wow, my face was so much clearer back then.

The food was excellent, though in my inexperience I ordered way too much. The cake was a stealthy acquisition and offering by my brother.

I would live and die by Chirashi Sushi. Take me back to Japan please 😩

This donut sushi (Donatsu) is a delight. Nothing truly special in terms of taste, but a feast for the camera. 

According to the table, this order of tempura sushi was a clear winner. 

Random fact: if there’s seafood pancake on the menu, my sister will probably order it.

To Give Thanks

From the bottom of my still-growing heart, thank you to everyone who made this year’s celebrations meaningful, whether by your presence or greeting or gift. Though sometimes I wax poetic over the capitalistic artifice that is the concept of birthdays, I truly love spending it with the people I love.

Thank you, and to more years ahead. 

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