From Waves to Resilience: A Beachside Birthday Adventure to Remember

Last May, our family gathered to celebrate my daughter Vera’s birthday & graduation from Kindergarten. Initially, we had planned for a simple dinner with both sides of the family, but Vera had one special wish—to spend her birthday at the beach with the entire family. Little did we know that this simple request would turn into a remarkable adventure that we will never forget.


Preparations and Excitement

Everyone in the family chipped in to make Vera’s beach birthday party a reality. We assigned tasks to each family member, with responsibilities ranging from bringing beach stuff, menu planning, resort bookings, market list, tasks while at the beach to activities we can do while we’re there. It was truly a family feat, with everyone eagerly contributing to the preparations. Our destination was the beautiful Crystal Beach Resort in Zambales, Philippines, and the anticipation was building as the big day approached.


Arriving at Paradise

We left Manila at dawn and arrived at Crystal Beach Resort early in the morning, and the sight that greeted us was nothing short of perfect. The clear blue waters stretched out before us, inviting us to embrace the serenity of the beach. It was exactly what Vera had envisioned for her birthday celebration.

A Beachside Feast

To add a touch of uniqueness to the celebration, I had planned a delightful menu that we would grill right by the beach. The mouthwatering aroma of liempo, shrimps, and hotdogs filled the air as we set up our beachside cooking station. The night before, I had also baked Vera’s favorite strawberry shortcake, which would serve as the grand finale to our beach feast. As we prepared the food, the children played gleefully by the shore, enjoying the sand, sun, and each other’s company.


Adventures in the Sea

With satisfied appetites, we couldn’t resist the temptation of the sea any longer. Eager to cool off and have some fun, we ventured into the water. However, what we didn’t anticipate were the strong waves that awaited us. Unfortunately, I ended up being the victim of one particularly forceful wave. It struck my knee, causing my kneecap to dislocate. The pain was excruciating, but in that moment, my main concern was not to be a party pooper and ruin my daughter’s special day.


Resilience and Determination

With the beach ambulance arriving to provide assistance, I found myself in an embarrassing situation. However, I was determined not to let my injury dampen the mood. I put on a brave face, pretending that I was “ah-okay” despite my inability to walk. My family rallied around me, offering their laughs, support and encouragement, ensuring that the celebration continued.


A Birthday to Remember

As the day came to a close, we gathered around to sing “Happy Birthday” to Vera, who beamed with joy. We enjoyed the delicious strawberry shortcake, a symbol of celebration and resilience. Despite the unexpected turn of events, we had created lasting memories filled with love, togetherness, and the strength to overcome obstacles.


Vera’s Delight & Cap Off

Vera’s happiness knew no bounds as she reveled in the love and attention showered upon her. She wore a radiant smile throughout the day, creating an infectious atmosphere of joy that resonated with everyone present. From heartfelt hugs to heartfelt wishes, Vera experienced the warmth and love that only a family celebration can bring.


Her beach birthday/graduation celebration turned out to be an adventure beyond our expectations. From the initial desire to spend her special day at the beach to my unexpected injury, our family demonstrated resilience and determination to make the most of the situation. It was a testament to the power of love and the ability to find joy in even the most challenging circumstances. As we reflect on that day, we are reminded of the importance of cherishing every moment and embracing the unexpected twists that life brings our way.


PS. I have a Kindergarten graduate! 🥹