As it turned out, they were all busy weekends in what became a busy November for us.
We observed All Saints' Day in Cavite. (We arrived in Cavite 2 nights before November 1, in time for Ian's 7th birthday celebration held on October 31.) After 5 years in Pampanga therefore it was a chance to visit my grandparents' tombs again, meet family and see old friends. Daddy, I felt, was specially glad that we went home for this year's undas. It was also Gabriel's first time at the cemetery, and fortunately there were no questions on death and mortality. (Miguel has accompanied us before to the Magalang memorial park). With all their cousins to play with on the grounds, the kids couldn't really care more for the reason we were there. At their age, kahit anong pasyal is a welcome treat.
For the Ramadan weekend, we went to Cavite again to say goodbye to Ate and Joe. After coming home in time for Daddy's birthday October 19, they went back to the States November 15. Also, Teensy celebrated her golden birthday Nov 14. We certainly are getting along in our years, though even if I say so myself, wala pa namang mukhang matanda, and this in spite of the propensity for white hair. 'Di ba mga kapatid?
On the 17th, Miguel celebrated his 4th birthday at school. The first time a classmate did this, Miguel had asked magbe-birthday din ako sa school? And so he did. I arranged my schedule at work so that I can take time off for the party. As parties go, it wasn't much, what with 12 nursery-age kids. But Miguel had a wonderful time specially with all the presents he got. As for Gabriel, whom we brought along, he was in the middle of it all until the kids started to demolish the birthday cake which had dinosaurs on it. Seryoso siya, and he got upset that they were taking off the figures and poking their fingers on the frosting.
The weekend after, the Nacpils celebrated Kiel and Karla's improved performance in school with a trip to the mall. We also let Miguel spend his birthday money from both lolos to buy a toy of his choice. He got light sabers (one for Gabriel), and a Masked Rider action figure (also one for Gabriel).
By the time we were anticipating my birthday on the 29th, we were quite tired from all the comings and goings that we planned a kind of quiet birthday get-away. Sabi nga ni Nai kay Ma, magtatago daw kami sa birthday ko.
So Sunday, the 28th, we up and packed for a trip to Subic. No specific destination, no real plans. Just go to the beach and take it from there. Nai did one better, and chose to stay at White Rock overnight. Being off-season, we had the beach to ourselves, and the kids really had fun swimming in the sea. On the 29th, Nai managed to pull another card from her sleeve, and I had a birthday cake, to the delight of the kids. Before heading home, we went up to the Special Economic Zone, and fortunately got to view monkeys by the road. As for the fruit bats at the Bat Kingdom, they have moved away from their previous perches where they were subject to disturbances from the constant parade of tourists, and are now farther from sight.
On the way back, we were further blessed by clear weather. And in spite of the storm battering Manila and parts of Luzon, it only rained after we got home. Praise God.