Saturday, 28 March 2009

Divine's Birthday

celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Ox
Today is my kid sister's birthday. I was away along with my father when she was born and although we tried our best to be at my mom's side for the expected date of her birth, we were not able to make it. Taking the plane was not an option because back when the country was not affected by globalisation, my Dad was a small time merchant bringing his wares to Manila and bringing something to sell back home. But my sister's birth was quite memourable for me as a pre-school then because after trying and failing to board as chance passengers for some interisland vessels wanting to go home in time for her birth, we ended up riding a cargo ship. Up to now, I relish that experience- a chance that none of my siblings had, although as children, my parents would also bring them to their summer trips to Baguio.

having heaps of fun in an islet

We were not able to make it for my Mom's due date for child birth and she was already out from my mother's tummy when we arrived. My Dad had a name in mind, Maria Carlota or probably Mary Charlotte, in honour of his Mom(my Dad by the way is a first born of eleven siblings, ten of which has survived) but since she was born on a holy week(thereby leaving my Mom behind for the summer trip) she was named as she is now- "Divine".

willing subjects for my photography

Probably Dad was quite disappointed, and at some point considered to replace her name with what he liked. But Mom insisted that the name that she had chosen for the new baby should remain and let her decide on her own name, if she herself would dislike it- later. Regardless, my Dad was terribly happy because he claimed that by all indications, my kid sister looked every inch like him. Truly she resembled my dad's nose and lips, and she grew up to be a very cute, pretty and lovable girl.

she's got the whole world in her hands!

I grew up as a headstrong and exceptionally naughty girl preferring to stay at home reading my books. In fact, as a toddler, I have already messed up my father's prized possession- his books. Meantime, my kid sister was a great delight to every mother in the neighbourhood, and brought much joy to my mother. As a young girl, Divine was very tiny and pretty and her bedimpled smile has never failed to get anybody's attention. She was a dancer before she became a singer and my mom was so happy to have a daughter that she can probably treat like a doll. She loved dressing my kid sister up and she did not complain at all, she kept on smiling (and did lots of talking) to my Mom's delight. I on the other hand was happier because finally, my Mom have at some point granted my unexpressed wish to be "left alone" as she was continually entertained by another girl in the family.

as the maid-of honour

I had an accident when I did my first stint as a flower girl, playing outside the church while the ceremony was going on where as a member of the wedding entourage, I was expected to stay in front, close to the altar where the wedding ceremony has been taking place. I was taken to a hospital nearby probably disturbing the event with an uncle accompanying my parents. From then on, I was never asked(or probably my Mom refused) to be a flower girl again, ever. But having a kid sister who looked and smiled like a doll has probably given my Mom a lot of reasons to be excited and be proud of. Divine, in her growing up years has never missed a wedding without her as the flower girl. My Mom never refused any request for her to be a flower girl even if that meant she has to accompany her everytime, anyhwere, any day of the year. She was the most sought for and loved flower girl in her time.

with our beautiful and ageless grandmother

Yet my sister did not stop as a very much in demand flower girl. She has always been included in the eighteen candles or the rigodon de honor (dance of eighteen pairs) for the debutant. When she was quite mature for these roles, she was asked to be a bridesmaid or maid-of honour, the latest of which was a couple of months ago. Although she gained considerable weight as a result of her second course studies, her lovely bedimpled smiles have not failed to charm many, both young and old.

the kids call her mommy!

She is biologically younger than me but I think she has become more mature than me in terms of emotional and psychological growth. I was quite busy reading lots of books while she took lots of time to help the family afloat. Since she is the fourth child, my Mom refers to her as the "balancer" as she has always told us that a table or a house will never be balance if it has only three bases. Probably she is correct because although she is a lot younger than us, her elder siblings, one goes to her to ask for some words of wisdom about menial to serious matters. It is also quite funny to note that since we are now living in separate places leading separate lives, she connects us in some ways. She feeds us on the latest news about our parents and other relatives while she patiently listens to our stories. There are times when one sibling needs a favour from the other and all he as to do is tell Divine what he or she needs and Divine will act as the messenger or the facilitator. Of course she has also her own share of successes and failures, strenghts and weaknesses but she has remained what she is to us- the balancer. She is both strict and nurturing like my Mom and very pampering and tolerant like my Dad. She is very sweet and also very straightforward. She may look unfriendly at the start but she can be a great friend who is willing to do anything that she can to make someone happy. My immediate nephews and niece lovingly calls her "Mommy" because she does not hesitate to take care of them and discipline them like a real mother does to her child. On the other hand , I do lots of spoiling to the kids most of the time- probably because I rarely spend time with them as I prefer living much away from everybody doing my own stuff and moving in my own circles. My Counselor whom I regularly talk to around four years ago calls me a "free spirit" and somehow I believe her. Meantime, it is indeed a luxury on my part to be staying at home with my parents for a considerable amount of time.

Perhaps you have not yet realised how important your addition to the family has become. But in many ways than one, your presence in this world has brought a lot of joy to the family- and probably to many others. Happy birthday Divine, three cheers for you!

And when the time that you'll decide that you'll change your name from Divine to someting more spectacular, please let me know. But for now, I think the name Divine is simply sublime. Happy birthday again! Have my birthday hugs and kisses too.

1 comment:

Paula and Skip said...

Hi just stumbled over your blog an dright into the birthday celeb. CONGRATS. Such lovely pcitures and all smiles. Paula

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