Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tracy's Dear Diary: Memoirs of My BIG 30 Epic Picnic!

October 28, 2012 ~ This day was one of the most precious memories I've had in my 30 year (ehem... almost 31 years) Note: My birthday actually is on the 31st, but due to the limited tme we had to celebrate it few days ahead!

Before picnics at the UP Sunken Garden even became a "Prenuptial Wedding Photo Peg" going to the UP Sunken Garden and having a serene and intimate time with my closest loved-ones has been one of the most special moments in my life over the years... This is where I saw Atreyu grow up right before my eyes, wished upon the stars, had deep life talk with my best-est friends, this is where I cried alone feeling broke and exhausted juggling single motherhood with my life as a student but most of all this is where Taka and I fell in love...

October 28, 2012 ~The UP Sunken Garden holds a very special place in meThe UP Sunken Garden has been such a sacred ground close to my heart. It is where I saw Atreyu grown up right before my eyes, it is where I've wished upon the shooting stars late at night, it is where I had the most memorable soulful deep talks with my best friends in life, it is where I cried in my most exhausted hours juggling my single mother life... But most of all, it is where Taka and I fell in love... It was just the perfect culminating place to celebrate my 30th birthday!
October 28, 2012 ~I just love sitting by the grass here in my sanctuary.
October 28, 2012 ~ This tree together with the others are even older than me haha.

October 28, 2012 ~ My Little Piece of Heaven

Before my BIG30, last year... I went through a BIG Saturn Return crisis feeling "Time is running out" I cried over feeling I'm reaching 30 without even having anything great to celebrate about... but this birthday celebration was so simple yet really meaningful celebration. Taka made it extra special... He even flew all the way from Tokyo to celebrate my birthday. My long time friends came... It's just simply heartfelt.

October 28, 2012 ~ My closest friends from work, college and even my village neighbor were all so thoughtful to come and join me in my small celebration... I'm so happy Taka met my friends!

It was actually my longtime BFF, Olive who thought of a picnic for my birthday since she knows me too well. We too spent so many days and evenings bonding here it's like our second home and go-to-place when there's something very important to talk about!

October 28, 2012 ~ With my BFF Olive we were like posing as if we're sunbathing here haha! 

I think what's very special with this simple celebration was felt in every meal I've cooked for everyone. I love cooking especially how Taka really appreciates my cooking... I was surprised and very happy that my closest friends enjoyed the meals I've prepared... (Special thanks to my sister Liley and Theia for helping me with the preparation! I cannot imagine how I would've done it without you!)

October 28, 2012~ Taka and I, together with my sisters helped me pick-out these cute colorful packaging at the grocery even! They made my party food look more おいしい!

Looking at these food now makes me hungry!! 
October 28, 2012 ~ With a little help from my imoutosans...Liley Dizon and Theia Dizon... I cooked everything for the picnic party! My specialty Japanese Curry, Pesto Pasta and I just made the Onion & Garlic Pasta especially for Taka! (Wish I could have more macarons!)

I made my very popular (well at least among my siblings and Atreyu & Taka) Japanese Beef Curry... I self-taught myself making this and I think I was able to get it correctly! I have a tough Japanese Kareshi to please! Hahaha! I feel accomplished he likes my cooking!

October 28, 2012~ いただきます!I really enjoy cooking Japanese Curry because I have a very appreciative guests who enjoys my cooking! Haha!
October 28, 2012~ Theia took this photo and I must say that it looks mouth watering!

Looking at this food now makes my tummy grumble! haha!

I even made my favorite Pesto Basil Pasta and Taka had a special request~ his own Bacon, Onion and Garlic Pasta! It was my first time to make the Bacon, Onion and Garlic Pasta I was relieved Taka liked it! He always tells me how good I made it for him since then!

Pesto Basil Pasta and Bacon, Onion and Garlic Pasta

What I love about Taka was how he really took care of me and my guests even if I should be the one taking care of him, he was so hands-on helping everyone and preparing to serve the food!

October 28, 2012~ Taka was so helpful taking care of everyone the whole time. This is one of my favorite photos during my birthday!
October 28, 2012 ~ Thank you Taka for taking care of me and my guests on my birthday celebration last year... You were really so thoughtful to do this for me.
October 28, 2012 ~ It was a pleasure serving everyone and it was lovely to have Taka help me doing it. What a perfectly simple but heartfelt feeling that is!

It was so touching to see few of my friends really found sometime to come join me in this special day... Even if it was almost holiday season in Manila they still found some time so come and join me! I was so happy to they can finally meet Taka! It's been ages since I've introduce someone very special to me to all of them! True friends will make time for you especially on your special day.

October 28, 2012 ~ Priceless time with friends just hanging out!
October 28, 2012 ~ More priceless time moments with friends hanging out we have a lovely view of the green field!

Mochiron, all these preparation wouldn't be possible without m two sisters Liley and Theia who joined me this whole weekend of birthday celebration. I actually worry if they're enjoyying being more than 10 years older than them, but i'm really glad they were there too join me...

October 28, 2012 ~ Liley and Theia and missing my other siblings Kevin and Stacy who just flew to move to NYC... my other brother Marco didn't join us he's too shy!
October 28, 2012 ~ I think this is the only photo we got together... An INSTAX Photo! Haha! Wish you were here with us Stacy

My Highschool Gurlfriend... Jill! Oh we share a long history! Haha! Friendship is nicer especially when we get to grow old together... From scrawny highschool wallflowers and now we're both working moms, Jill and I shared our friendship and we day-dreamed that we will have our children be playmates back in highschool! It so nice that it indeed came true! Atreyu, Ella and Santi are all happy playmates and picnic buddies! I'm so happy they came to join us in my picnic! They made it more fun!

October 28, 2012 ~ Thank you for coming Hot Momma Jill and Ella & Santi! We always enjoy your company!
October 28, 2012 ~ Enjoyed these cutie babies who came to my party! They blew my birthday candles!

My HighSchool and UP Diliman College Days BFF, Jasmine came! She's actually my first business-partner in TTD! But this genius (She's an Architecture Board Exam TOPNOTCHER and a Cum Laude back in college!) had to concentrate on her profession so I had to take over TTD by myself! Hehe! P.S. We both have sons born on March 30th!

It was so nice to see My Highschool Bestfriend Jasmine again! We rarely find time to meet and catch up! Thanks for coming and thanks for the lovely book!
October 28, 2012 ~I'm so excited to introduce Jasmine and Taka to each other because they both lived near Kobe, Hyogo (Taka's hometown) I enjoy hearing them chitchat about Kansai and their hometowns and all!

Mamacaw Joy (as I call her) is one of my bestfriends I've met during my days working at TV Production as a Costume Designer and a Stylist... She was my first semi-boss haha! We indeed survived a lot of ups and downs in all aspects of work. She's like my semi-older-sister!

October 28, 2012 ~ I was so happy with her gift for me that I decorated our photos with her favorite color... Purple! Haha!
October 28, 2012 ~ More purple decorated photo for MamaCaw!

My college BFF Olive came and stayed from start to finish, I love how sociable she was that I didn't need to introduce everyone to everyone! That's one of my biggest worries being in a weird introvert! Haha! Good thing Olive was there to help us out and hang-out with us!

October 28, 2012 ~ I always wanted to use those "Bestfriends" stickers but I rarely get a chance to see my BFF's so I'm so happy now to use it! haha! Our OVERDECORATED INSTAX photo!

Atreyu even had his own set of guests too! He invited his cousins Edge & Xam and Kuya Edsel (Atreyu's Godfather) to come join us! Of course he had a great time with them (or was it with their iPad? haha)

October 28, 2012 ~ Atreyu even had his own set of guests too!

Being the most pre-occupied-control-freak-birthday-girl-birthday-slash-planner-cook-organizer that I was... I failed to take some photos with everyone who came! I didn't have a photo with my hometown neighbor Mong who took a lot of photos during my birthday celebration and brought me a nice cake gift! He's too busy taking pictures! どもありがとう!Thank you so much, Mong! My Fashion BFF, Dimple Lim also came! I was enjoying everyone's company that I tend to forget to take more pictures hahaha (not that I don't have too much already hahaha) 

But it was simply great to find a chance to gather my friends and just hang-out in such a beautiful serene place like the U.P. Sunken Garden.

October 28, 2012 ~ One relaxed picnic with my closest friends hanging-out!

I'm relieved everybody seemed to have enjoyed the meal! I'm relieved! haha! It took me whole morning preparing for them and it was a success! The picnic I prepared was for lunch but the picnic was held around 3:00pm haha! Well, at least my guests won't be hungry until late evening!? Haha!

October 28, 2012 ~ Let's eat! いただきます!
October 28, 2012 just hanging out and eating hehe.

IT WAS A FEAST! ごちそうさまでした!
Gochisou Samadeshita! It was a feast indeed! Even looking back at the photos here makes me hungry! Haha! I'm looking forward to cooking and hosting a gathering like this with friends again! Cooking is fun and eating them with friends (and especially with my biggest fans Taka and Atreyu) is the best! Haha! OMG I'm such a mother-hen!

October 28, 2012 ~ ごちそうさまでした!It was a feast!

The main attraction of my picnic wasn't me. LOL. But my perfect birthday cake! It was indeed such a pretty cake and it tastes great too! I even made a whole blog post about it! Haha! But it's undeniable that she is indeed the prettiest!

My pretty strawberry cake from Tous Les Jours deserves a lot of attention haha!
Everyone didn't want to cut the pretty strawberry cake from Tous Les Jours Philippines because it was sooooo pretty! But... everyone loved it once they got a bite from it! Best cake!!

Am I the luckiest or what?! Not only I had the prettiest cake, but I had TWO! I even got another surprise from my hometown neighbor friend, Mong! Another cute cake! Red Velvet Cake from another nice cake-place Chocolate Kiss this time!

I was so surprised when Mong  got me a nice Red Velvet Cake! Thanks Mong! I've actually never tried Red Velvet Cake before this... But my sisters love this cake so I really enjoyed another pretty cake on my birthday! Haha!
I just love the memories and the photos of this picnic... It looks like a screengrab from a cheesy movie haha! Taka and I were candidly shot while preparing to light the candles! We can be Tous Les Jours model-endorsers! Hahaha!

Love these photo! Taka helped me putting on my birthday candles!

Soon after the kids were excited to blow the candles. It's just cute and fun to see kids rushing to blow candles haha! They blew the candles well, I think most of my birthday wishes came true! Thank you Santi and Ella!
October 28, 2012~ Soon after the kids were excited to blow the candles Ella & Santi are the cutest! They helped me blow my candles! Haha!

See... My wish came true! I got to celebrate my birthday with Kareshi! Taka came for a weekend birthday celebration! Even helped me out hands-on with all the preparation!
October 28, 2012 ~ ♡ The best birthday wish granted was to have Taka here! ♡

This was so cute! We found the quirkiest plastic cups shaped fancily! I just wanted to get them because they were really so cute! So we had an improvised virgin-cocktail haha Actually, it was just Sprite. Yeah... We are so wholesome like that!

October 28, 2012 ~ This fancy plastic cups were one of my favorite highlight of my picnic! Haha! They were so fancy that we even made a toast with Sprite! Haha!!

Don't they just look fun?! We had to try out! Haha! The simple joys I get with the quirkiest things! 乾杯!Cheers to that! WOOT! 

October 28, 2012 ~ Oh I look so happy! Hahaha!
October 28, 2012 ~ Taka with his sweetest smile! CHEERS! 乾杯!
October 28, 2012 ~ It's just fun to cheers over Sprite with our cutest plastic cups! Haha!

In case you're wondering where's Atreyu in all these festivities... Well, I could only wish he joined me blowing my candle but he was preoccupied with his own thing... Yeah... iPad.

October 28, 2012~ Well, this is what Atreyu did most of the time... He really enjoyed

Although, I rather see Atreyu play with toys and other kids, than with iPads, iPhones and video games... But he was busy having fun with his cousin and his other friends. He's having his own party! Haha! Oh kids grow up too fast! Now I feel old!

October 28, 2012~ Two little prince playing
October 28, 2012~ I like seeing Atreyu play with toys and other kids, than with iPad's, iPhone's and video games... they grow up too fast...

October 28, 2012~ Atreyu and Edge having fun~
I was so excited to make myself a dress and my very own hat especially made on this day. I've never got to make my own design made for myself even if I do it with many clients. I think it's the best gift I've got for myself in 30 years! Haha! 

October 28, 2012~ I proudly made this dress especially for my birthday! Atreyu makes fun of my dress saying I look like Minnie Mouse!? Haha!!
October 28, 2012~ I gave myself a gift... My very own "Tiara" haha! I love these photos!! I look so happy!

❤ TAKA & TRACY ❤ たかとトレイシー❤
My friends are so amazing to send me nice photos of us! I always treasure our photos together since Taka and I aren't always together in one country! It makes me value each time we spend together even more. I really appreciate all these nice photos Mong and Jill candidly took of us together!
October 28, 2012~Sitting by the grass with Taka
October 28, 2012~ I just love these candid photos Mong Sta Ana took! Haha! I wonder what we were talking about!

The loves of my life and my number #1 and #2 Fans of my cooking... Taka and Atreyu! They look so cute even with matched green t-shirts! Haha! They actually always try to match clothing! They're just adorable!

October 28, 2012~ GREEN TEAM! Taka and Atreyu! So cute!!

So glad we were able to catch an INSTAX shot altogether despite being preoccupied with the festivities! Haha! We always have some Instax Photos in the UP Sunken Garden! It's our tradition!

October 28, 2012~ INSTAX souvenir with my two best boys in the world

Long after, everyone started to head their way home but we stayed a little longer waiting for the sunset in the UP Sunken Garden. Finally found some time to sneak some Instax Pix with Taka (and some with Atreyu and Olive)

October 28, 2012~ Taking some pics with Taka while watching the sunset
October 28, 2012~ INSTAX before dawn! Haha! Oh how I wanna paint my face with make-up?!?
October 28, 2012 ~ Some iPhone selfies before dawn... It's getting dark already!!

It was fascinating to find some candid photos of Taka exploring UP. He looked like a lost boy lurking around! He's so cute!

October 28, 2013 ~ Taka is like a lost boy wandering around!
October 28, 2013 ~ Taking some tourist photos haha!

Finally the sun came down and we finally started packing on our way home. I had such a great time and it was perfect. Something I will surely remember for until my next Saturn Return... I can only wish I will still be joined by the same friends and loved ones after 30 years. But it was indeed a very memorable and the most heartfelt celebration I've had in my 30 years.

October 28, 2013 ~ UP Sunken Garden after sunset
October 28, 2012 ~ We stayed until dawn. It was a sweet nice day. Thanks for everyone who came.. Thank you for this day.
All I can say is how thankful and so deeply touched I am with how this day came about that even after almost one year that I've just found time to finish this lovely memoir... I can still remember every single detail from this day and how everyone made me feel it was my day. I couldn't thank you all enough... I thought going through my 30's will be some sort of doomsday and revaluation of failed dreams and goals... But with all the love and support from Taka, Atreyu, my siblings and my friends I've come to embrace it. It feels great to be 30... I've learned to be braver and somehow carefree of apprehensions... It has taught me to just do it even more always thinking that I rather do it and fail rather than regret not doing it for the rest of my life... They all sound like cliche but now I can see it a little bit clearly now, everything is gonna be alright. Thank you for all the love, universe... I will pay it forward to others even more. Looking forward to my 31st in a few days.

October 28, 2012 ~ どもありがとう!


  1. It was so fun and pasta was so nice haha. The best part is that you enjoyed so much. Cake, gifts, friends etc. happy birthday!

    1. Thanks Luv for reading even if you're so sleepy already!! I'm excited to see you soon!! And We'll have a party again haahhahaha!

  2. looks like loads of fun :) and omg the deco/sticker overload! ang ganda ng dress mo inday! bet ko <3

    1. Thanks Angel! It was fun and really heartfelt memorable... (Kaya KARIR ang stickers! Haha!) Thank you! It's my version of Ank Rouge's Polka Dot Dress! It was already sold-out in Shibuya 109 when I came so I didn't get to get it! So I made one in my own style haha!!

  3. Omg that was a nice memory.... That was really really nice day...


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