Of Birthdays and Friendships

“Sing a song of Birthdays full of fun and cheer and may you keep having fun for many a happy year.” Anonymous

“Good fellowship and friendship are lasting, rational and manly pleasures.” William Wycherley


Every year, we celebrate without fail, growing closer through the years. We used to just meet up for dinner but lately our celebrations have become more special, more memorable, enjoyable. We have the fortune of having our birthdays close to each other (well, ok a 3 month span might be pushing it?) affording us to celebrate together and more recently a bit more grandiose as we can split the bill 5 ways. Now why didn’t we think of that earlier?

Previous years’ celebrations would bring us out of town, an overnight even. Each and every one of them special in its own way. Our love for each other triumphs over any arguments or disagreements (and yes, we have a lot of those). And these out of towns are our Mighty Bond.

Bale Dutung

Kapampangan fare
Kapampangan fare

This year’s birthday bash brought us to Angeles, Pampanga. To Bale Dutung, Claude and Maryann Tayag’s residence. Here, we celebrated our birthday in a grand way. A 4-hour lunch specially prepared by Claude himself while Maryann served and entertained us. It was such an experience, a first for everyone. The menu was mainly Kapampangan with a twist, Claude’s twist. There were more appetizers/starters than main entrees but the variety provided us a chance to sample more dishes. Truth is, the food was a little too much and by the end of the course, our bellies would only allow a few spoonfuls

Seafood Kare Kare
Seafood Kare Kare

of the Seafood Kare-kare, which unfortunately was so yummy. Oh and the dessert (christened Paradiso by the late Doreen Fernandez) was HEAVEN. We actually had to take a break before dessert. The hosts graciously toured us around their lovely home. Bale Dutung, meaning “House of Wood” (or “Wooden House”?) had Claude’s sculpted masterpieces tastefully scattered all over the house giving it so much more character. And the papers, magazines, books etc added to its lived-in charm.


Special Mention

Paradiso - yum!
Paradiso - yum!

Can I mention again that the dessert was lip-smacking delish? It’s a little bit of crème brulee, yema (creamy candy made of egg yolks, sugar and milk) and halo-halo (it had a bit of ube, macapuno and camote) put together.  That combination + the bittersweet crunchiness of the caramalized sugar… perfection!  I heard that the secret to its creaminess (not so secret anymore) is Carabao’s milk! To. Die. For!  Can you tell I have a sweet tooth? 😉 Heard that they normally serve this only to larger groups as it is not easy to prepare and that milk is not always available.  So Mr. Tayag,  you just made one girl verry, verry happy!

Note:  will have to mooch pics from Irene– mine’s too blurred to post 😦 Gotta get a DSLR!  Promise to be back with more pics.

Update:  As promised, here are more pics… many thanks to Irene!

Deeply Honored

dsc_1553bThank you, my dear, dear friends for celebrating yet another year with me and may the friendship and the celebration continue till we’re old and gray. Love you guys!

Thank you too Claude and Mary Ann Tayag for opening your wonderful home to us. The food was exceptional, but the hospitality… matchless!  Thanks again… sniff!


5 thoughts on “Of Birthdays and Friendships

  1. aba Jen! You are being sentimental 😦 was it because of our age?? Nice write ups, you are certainly right, its about time our group enjoy life…celebrate birthdays the non-traditional way but still the ever present “Food” as our main agenda! Splurge a bit as you may say….Thanks to you, we got to be adventurous sometimes…minus the countless “@@^^**#$%” but always with a happy ending…:-) That’s how our friendships have been tried and tested through the years…Imagine? We have been doing this for almost 20 yrs! Take care and God bless…


  2. Jen, you were able to capture our thoughts and apetites so vividly. Thank you for digging up such unique places for us each year! It was really a wonderful experience!


  3. jen, it’s always an adventure when you’re part of the “planning committee”, kakatuwa yun mga places and food choices, i never thought i would travel that far just to have lunch, you know naman me, malayo na ang makati hehe….
    looking forward to our next year celebration, baka mag-eroplano na tayo! paalam mo lang in advance! thanks again for all your efforts!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.