My birthweek began its celebration a week ago, Saturday Sept 23, when we went out with the lobby lounge staff after work for a night of binging & grooving at Ratsky in Ayala Cebu until 3AM. Then we moved to the I.T. Park in Lahug at the Breakfast Club where we finally had a birthday nightcap. I blew out the 3 candles on the birthday cake they gave me and finally headed back to the hotel at 5:30AM.
On Sunday, Sept 24, we went back to our house in Talisay to supposedly do last minute packing. But it turned out that Marl invited his family and friends for a dinner of lechon manok (roasted chicken) and lechon manok (roasted pork) and some pusó (pyramid-shaped rice wrapped in coconut leaves). We'd be leaving soon & we'd be very busy when my birthday comes that's why we did it. Just about time when I was relaxing in the living room watching Gary V.'s concert, some friends called to meet up with us at a nearby bar called Equator. The beautiful singer-siblings Janice (who came back from Singapore to have her swollen wrist operated) and Jennifer (who was leaving for Korea couple of days after) met up with us at Equator. It's a videoke bar which has live band performances on weekends. But since it was Sunday, it was only videoke session. We sang our hearts out until 2AM.
The rest of our last week was devoted to practising, packing and finishing up things that need to get done.
On Thursday, Sept. 28, a huge typhoon, " Milenyo", swept the northern part of the Philippines, Luzon, especially Manila. The wind was so strong that even the big old trees were uprooted from their roots and the electrical posts fell on the ground, and sometimes on the houses, vehicles and worst, on people. Flash floods were everywhere and the Luzon was put into still when the electricity was cut off.
On that same day, unaware of what's been going on in my hometown Manila, I visited the salon of Jonas Borces, who's the famous hairstylist & makeup artist among the local celebrities in Cebu. I dyed my hair ash brown & put few streaks of blonde & red on it. I walked out of the salon with a newly dyed and neatly ironed hair. It was also the first time that I didn't tie my hair while performing- in Cebu. With the humidity and heat, I have endured the evening with my hair sticking on my face often times. Everyone even thought I looked like Beyoncé at the start of the show, but agreed that I looked like BeyONCE-upon-a-time instead! LOL
On September 29, I woke up from lack of sleep from last minute packing the night before. I didn't feel like it's my birthday because we've been running around like mad people. Since it's a Friday and our salary was already given in advance to us, we had to rush to the bank to do our transactions. Afterwards, Jan and I rushed to SM City Cebu for costume hunting during their 3-day sale, but only found a couple. Went back to the hotel and primped up for my special night. Since I have a new hair, I styled it differently from my "banat" hairstyle every night.
I was so delighted that eventhough it wasn't that busy for a Friday, I still had a great birthday celebration. I got flowers from our guests whom I only met few nights ago. A couple of our regular guests also showed up just to greet me. Marlou's family was also there to wish me. Of course, I was so thankful because Jan caught everything on camera - stills and video.
After my birthday set, we went out with the Lobby Lounge staff in a nearby music bar called Hilton's Corner for a double celebration - my birthday and despidida or farewell party for us. The staff brought along bottles of drinks & munchies as they showed what they sang their hearts out until 5AM!
Our last day in Cebu, Sept 30, was one hell of a day. I planned to do last minute packing but there were some things I forgot to do - get our plane tickets & buy small gifts for my friends. So I rushed to the airport, thank God it was just 15 minutes away from the hotel, and went to the PAL ticketing office to have our e-tickets printed. I also dropped and shopped at the Mactan Shrine for some souvenirs. I went back to the hotel to claim our clean laundry items and packed them. I had a 30-minute nap and had my last dinner at the Tides restaurant. Prepared for work and had to drink some miraculous energy booster drinks to get me going through the night. I was so damn tired and exhausted from the past weeks of rushing, aside from sore throat that I have been suffering for a few days already.
Our last night was one of the most exciting nights we had in Mactan - if not the most. Again, my hair was set as I'd like it to be. Before we started, our F&B Director Mr. Stephan Kapek, asked us to go onstage and start the evening. When we reached the stage, he followed us and gave Brice and me a bouquet of flowers. He thanked us and it was very classy and Shangrilacious of him. Before we started our set, we took pictures with the staff onstage. Guests whom we have met through the course of our contract were there to support us. But the evening became more special when my elder paternal (half)brother from Manila came with his whole family. It was his first time to ever watch me my "matured" performance. He has already watched me when I was a teenager. But my Kuya Apollo, being the eldest and most successful of the Carreon siblings, was often feared of because of his strict ways. However, he has always been nice to me, maybe because I'm a natural angel! LOL
Our last set was an emotional one. Who doesn’t hate goodbyes? And singing the "goodbye" songs like "Time To Say Goodbye" and “Leaving On A Jetplane” definitely stuck a stone on my throat and gave a small cry. The staff, aside from the big bouquets they gave us earlier and the partying and karaoke we did a few days ago, they gave us chocolate cakes with “Bon Voyage” written on it. So sweet – the cake and the gesture! I’ve always experienced a lot of goodbyes and I have overcome most of it, but still, goodbyes are goodbyes. You’ll never know when you’re going to see each other again. It’s a small world, after all!
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