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Dodo's birthday lunch

Dodo (my grandpa) turned 83rd birthday today, October 7, but we celebrated it last Sunday. We had lunch at Mesa, which is one of my lolo's favorite restaurants. (He loves Filipino food.)

The day was extra special because (1) I came to the realization that he still looks like he just turned 73 instead of 83, (2) I haven't gone inside a mall for a long, looong time, and (3) Tita Gina was back from Singapore from the weekend!

with Tita Gina and the birthday boy

Wowa, Mom, and Papa

I've always considered myself a mommy's, papa's, lola's, and tita's girl, for the obvious reason that I'm an only child (and only granddaughter in one side of the family) -- and it was kind of automatic that the family's affections would fall on me because I had no siblings. But I've always felt a special connection with Dodo; somehow the title "Lolo's girl" rings truest to me. This isn't to diminish the fondness I share with all my other relatives (I'm actually a very clingy family girl; I bond and make kwento with everyone). There's just something more distinctive when it comes to me and my grandfather.

It probably has a lot to do with the fact that we're so different. Among all my closest kin, Dodo and I probably share the least in common. He grew up with a lot of siblings (they were nine kids), from a simple family. He had to learn about the difficulties of life at an early age. He finished school by selling puto and other kakanin his mother used to make. He is wise when it comes to money. He reads the newspaper everyday. He is quiet, reserved, and a man of few words. Meanwhile, I'm.. not. I've lived comfortably for most of my life; I've had the attention of everyone in the family. I prefer books over magazines. When I try to think of genetic traits I inherited from him, I can't really come up with a lot. I'm loud, boisterous, expressive, and a little crazy. We couldn't be more dissimilar. 

And yet, we click. There is nothing in the world that we cannot talk about and laugh about. We can make jokes on anything - from Binay to Kim Kardashian to my lola's quirks. Sometimes, we see something funny, look at each other, and just know that there's some little joke to be made there somewhere. For instance, when we were in Singapore last summer, we made an entire running gag about Tiong Bahru Road being their 10th sibling (in line with the tradition of calling uncles "Tiyo / Tio"), and we could not stop laughing about it, no matter how hard we tried. It was the corniest - and the funniest - thing. 

We're 60 years apart, but the same brand of corny humor we share certainly betrays that gap. I couldn't be more glad. Here's to more rolling-on-the-floor-laughing moments with you, Dodo! Happy birthday! Love you! ♥

 Terno shades for the October birthday celebrants :)