A Birthday Gift

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The day after my birthday, Myrna aka Annamanila treated me out to dinner along with Dine alias Sexy Mom and Chato alias Chateau. (oops correction , it was a treat from all of them)

birthday celebration

As some might know, AnnaManila used to be a former colleague from my last employment which was err…20 years ago, the week that I was about to deliver M. Imagine I haven’t seen her for almost 20 years and we got reunited through my blog. We were not exactly best of friends though. In fact, I feel closer to AnnaManila now that she is a blogger like me. She used to edit my boring research work to pieces and made them exciting to readers. Of course I loved the end-result. I didn’t recognize my writing. Haha.

What is truly amazing about blogs is the rediscovery of old friendships like Annamanila and developing new friendships like Chato and Dine. You wouldn’t think we just met this year . We laughed and babbled the night away. I really had a blast that friday night.

birthday treat

Oh and look what AnnaManila got for me!


Well , it’s not called Scrabble for copyright reasons but the Eureka Crossword Game Plus is a better version than the original scrabble set because of of its turnstile feature. Oh my joy to receive this wonderful gift. Along with retiring from my last employment, my addiction to Scrabble ceased. After all, I had no one to play Scrabble with. My husband refused to play with me because he always lost the game. Sometimes I purposely made him win just so he would continue to play with me. I still don’t have someone to play with my new toy at home but thanks to Internet Scrabble Club, one can find players anytime of the day.

Thank you Annamanila, Dine and Chato (the chocolates and coffee too) for the fun time.

The following day, Cathy brought a birthday cake for our regular meeting of the Compassionate Friends. It even had a gold candle.

birthday cake

You know when I first met Cathy in December 2005, I was in awe of her presence. I used to be a mere mortal who read her grief recovery articles in the newspapers , her TOWNS award and Reader’s Digest award winning Migis Corner and here I was inviting her to be a co-founder of the Compassionate Friends.

birthday cake

That was the old me easily intimidated and overwhelmed by popular personalities. If I had allowed my insecurities to get in the way, I wouldn’t have met such a lovely person like Cathy.

Friends like Cathy, Dine, Annamanila and Chato are a birthday present.

There is a gift for me in each of these friendships that come my way (oh, not just these wonderful friends I have mentioned)

Sometimes the gift is a behavior that I am learning to acquire: self-esteem, or confidence.

Some of these friendships trigger healing in me— healing from issues of the past or an issue I am facing today.

Sometimes I find myself learning the most important lessons from the friends I least expect to help me.

Friendships teach me about loving myself or someone else. Or maybe I learn to let others love me in ways I never imagined myself to be.

So today, I am grateful for all my friendships, old, new and renewed. I will open myself to the lesson and the gift from each of these friends in my life. I also trust that I , too, am a gift in other people’s lives.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • True friends will always value and love you for who you are. That’s why I’ll always take care of my friends. The closest are those from my highschool. We still see each other regularly. Actually, every Saturday night. Seeing them is a great stress reliever. 🙂

  • For the record, that was our treat to you .. the three of us. We just used my credit card. hehe

    I am so happy the dinner we organized for the Primetime gal made her happy. And yes, i am glad i met you the second time around.

  • I see Marielle’s face in the second picture. So uncanny. Then on the last one, it’s Lauren’s face I see. Your beautiful genes are strong Ms. Noemi 🙂

  • Happy Birthday, Noemi!! Good friends really are a gift. It looks like you had a great celebration 🙂

  • Belated happy birthday lovely Noemi!

  • what a treat to click on your blog and see a picture of my favorite bloggers!
    i had just given Annamanila’s royal weirdness crown to Chateu–with a special mention for Sexymom…
    (i had no idea that you were all friends)
    must have been a great birthday dinner.
    happy birthday.
    i also love reading cathy’s articles.
    i went to high school with her and always admired her as well.
    your happiness can be seen in your smile and in your eyes.


  • @Prudence- I am not close anymore to my high school friends because they are all based in Cebu.

    @annamanila- oops, corrected that now. Wow, thanks Dine, Chato too.

    @dexie- hehe thanks. It’s good to know that the next generation is better looking than me.

    @Jmom- I have never been so grateful for friendships. I used to take it for granted in the past.

    @pinayhekmi- thanks

    @chesca- the blogosphere is such a small world. And it’s made even better as we meet up on important celebrations. It’s great we have common friends as well.

  • im so happy for you mommy noemi, youre so blessed. cheers to new friendships!

  • oh, Noemi, i remember the first time we met in person, it was like we have already known each other for sometime. i consider you and Annamanila as two of my first friends outside my ADB circle, and all thanks to blogging. thanks for the friendship, dear!

  • @ladycess- I am so blessed. Hopefully I am a blessing to them as well.

    @dine- oo nga. How blogging bridges the gap in conversations ano?

  • so the four of you had a date pala last friday night. gee, i could only imagine what grand time you had.

    i agree, blogging has brought along with us building friendships.

    again, belated happy happy birthday to you Noemi.

  • lemon

    It’s simply amazing how blogging have allowed all of us to touch each other’s lives.

    Two days ago, I was able to meet Lisa or zahflo, and although the meeting was brief, we promised each other that we will meet again.

    Looks like you all had a blast.

  • Oh, the pics are up! Just taking the photos was fun already hehe
    I too am very thankful for the friendships that blogging has brought me. I never thought it could be like these but it seems I’ve found friends for keeps 😀

  • Well done birthday girl, you’ve been given multiple celebrations 🙂 and all truly deserved.

    Kainggit talaga that you guys can meet up. Hay kailan kaya ako?

  • Belated Happy Birthday Noemi! Wow, four of my favorite bloggers met up.

  • Glad you had such wonderful birthday treats Noems! True friends are always such wonderful blessings!

  • Belated Happy bday Ms Noemi! How nice to be able to meet up with fellow bloggers for your bday.

  • Belated Happy Birthday, Mommy Noemi! I’m glad you had a wonderful time. May the Lord continue to pour blessings on you and your family.

  • Hi Noemi. I’m glad you had a wonderful birthday dinner celebration with Dine, Anna and Chats. Thanks for sharing these great photos.

    Every friendship, old and new is a wonderful blessing. May you always be surrounded with good friends.

  • Pahabol po.. Happy Golden Earth Year! You and the other mommy bloggers inspire me… I used to think 40, 50 and onwards is “old, on the way to a boring life, near-dead”. But I see you living your life like it’s just beginning! And now I no longer dread “the age”. 🙂 (this is meant to be a compliment hehe baka ma-misinterpret!)

    God bless! Looking forward to greeting you a “happy diamond year” hehehe