My son Josh turns 21 today. He was quite specific about a few things -- where he wanted to treat his friends, where he wanted to go for lunch today, and what cake he wanted to celebrate with.
It's nothing fancy: Ube cake from Red Ribbon.
I go back nine years ago, January 2008 -- he turned 12 and we were just a few months into our new life. We were living in a small apartment in front of their high school in Valenzuela. I got ube cake and cooked macaroni; I asked him whether he was expecting friends: "Four to five" was the answer.
23 people came, including his class adviser.
I remember too well my anxiety about whether the food would suffice. We were hard up in those days -- no multiple jobs, no condo living, no Grab or Uber, no fancy lunches at the neighborhood mall. If I ran out of food to serve I could not just whip out my wallet. Why, monobloc chairs made up our living furniture at that time!
I remember slicing the ube cake so thinly just so everybody could have a taste.
As it always does, everything soon fell into place. Josh pursued music and has grown into a fine young man. Most of the time, hehehe.
And we will still enjoy the ube cake later. With history, it tastes so much better.