beach

FTF / Happy birthday to the boss

3:12:00 AM

In last week's post, I wrote about going to John's house for the first time - I raved about how beautiful it was! So I was very happy that I was invited back for John's 50th birthday. Although I wasn't a guest (I was the party organizer), I still had an awesome time! And as with the Pico de Loro trip, I had more than one first!
Party place
John and his lovely wife, Peachy, booked a nice casita for me. The room had two queen-sized beds, a private balcony overlooking the beach, a stocked mini-bar, and cable television. The bathroom was divine. I felt like royalty during my stay, especially since I had the room all to myself. I got to swim in the club pool, too, which was a real treat for me.
All to me self
I went there on a rented van together with Zion, one of the bands that John hired to play at his birthday. They're an acoustic group with four members - two vocalists and two guitarists. They were the entertainment for the pre- and post-dinner cocktails. Two of John's kids, Sam and Nicole, as well as Peachy, jammed with the group. But the party REALLY started when the second band started playing.
Good morning!

The Manila Blues Experiment is this awesome super group composed of vocalist Kat Agarrado (SinoSiKat), bassist Louie Talan (Razorback and Pinikpikan), drummer Vic Mercado (Bamboo and Hijo), keyboardist Wowee Posadas (owner of 19 East), and legendary Pinoy rock guitarist Wally Gonzales (Juan dela Cruz Band). Due to schedule conflicts, however, sessionists had to fill in for Louie Talan and Vic Mercado.

I enjoyed a late lunch with the band earlier that day, and it feels awesome to be surrounded by these awesome musicians. I was seated beside the iconic Wally Gonzales, and he even gave me hearty hug when I saw them off after the party! The rest of the group were really nice, too - nobody gave me the attitude.
From the poolside
Dinner was catered by Bizu Patisserie, so I naturally had more than one serving of everything! The food was really delicious, and I had a blast sampling all items, especially the desserts. But since I was working, I didn't drink alcohol. John even told me to get myself a cocktail or two, but since I had really low tolerance for alcohol, I opted out.

Because it was his milestone year, the family really pulled all the stops for John's celebration. She and the kids put together a birthday book, with his closest relatives and friends sharing their fondest memories with my boss. I was even in the video - I was at the reception counter in the office lobby, and I handed an envelope to Sam when she walked in.
Party venue from another angle
So basically, my job there was to ensure that everything in the program went smoothly, especially for the party proper (after dinner) - bands, video, fireworks and fire lanterns! I think I did okay, because John seemed to really enjoy the occasion. And on my way home the next day, I got texts from both John and Peachy, thanking me for making the party memorable.

Before I headed back to Manila, I had plenty of time to go for a swim. After I checked out of the casita, I went to John's house for a very late breakfast. I took the time to write about the experience in my trusty Moleskine planner, of course. But the best part would have to be swimming in the sea - that's twice in a single month! I went down the stone stairway and then I jumped in. The water was so cool, which is perfect since I was swimming at around noon.

Just to recap, this trip's firsts were: organizing a full-blown party, staying in a casita, having a hotel room all to myself, watching The Manila Blues Experiment live, lunching with Kat Agarrado and Wally Gonzales, getting a big hug from Wally Gonzales, and swimming in the sea by my boss's house. And what do you know - I got seven firsts this time, too! :)

isawisay

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