Ryan Ericson Canlas The day before the 19th was really a hectic day for me. I have to prepare for our trip on the 20th to Davao where we are set to spend the holiday break this year. My father-in-law just passed away so we have to accompany my mother-in-law so she can enjoy the season with us amidst her mourning. I also promised my wife’s grandfather as I sung him a song last October as we were leaving for Manila– I’ll be home for Christmas. I will!

I was running out of time. I have some computers to deliver for the expansion of our internet gaming business. I have still some stuffs to purchase. I also need to get a my sister’s mobile phone and my brother’s PSP from a repair shop. I was indeed in a hurry so I could have enough time left to spend a day or even a few hours in Pampanga for my 30th birthday. It’s my birthplace and I want to be home with the entire family as I turn 30. I also wanted to celebrate in advance my Christmas and New Year with both the Canlas Family and Gonzales Family. So I have to rush.

I did not sleep. I was doing the laundry, surfing, blogging and assembling computers. I even prepared breakfast as usual. In the morning of Friday, my wife asked me to take my son to school while she did her tasks and took a break from work. Came lunchtime and I was already sleepy and tired. My wife took the last batch of clothes for laundry. I took a short powernap but I had an appointment after lunch with my work.

At 2:30PM, I hit the road but I was trapped in a heavy traffic along EDSA on my way to Makati City. I decided to pushed myself to think of only happy thoughts to ignore stress until I made it just in time at our office. I was asked to issue an authorization letter for the release of my ATM card so the company can have it delivered in Davao. Afterwards, I headed to a nearby bank to withdraw my salary for the month over the counter less my ATM card.

The parking area was full so I had to park in the nearby restaurant. Unfortunately, as I took the turn, I got into this deep pot hole. Tsk! I parked and decided to go to the bank but the security bank of the place stopped me. He asked me where I am going and I cannot park the car on that spot if I am not a customer. I got irritated so I told him that I was just going to buy a cigar before I get to dine. Inangasan ko!

Out of pride, I went to the restaurant. I am not even hungry. I went to the counter and ordered a cup of coffee and a banoffee pie. I was cashless at that time. I do not want to use my credit cards because I wanted to zero them all just before 2010. It’s good that I have an overpayment with HSBC so I used that. I got the receipt and told the waiter to reserve my table and my food as I have to go to the bank. I had to keep the parking slot!

As I went out, I flagged the receipt and wiped my mouth with a tissue to show the security guard that I just dined in. Hahaha. I was thinking too much of the parking slot that I forgot my credit card at the counter. Anyway, I went to the bank and perform withdrawal but only after I got cleared by the bank because of outdated information. I failed to close an old account in the province that mismatched my data with my payroll account.

With some charm and a few jokes, the bank manager approved my transaction. I went out of the bank with the bank tellers giggling. I am a comedian anyway! I thought it was about my joke that they are laughing about until I saw my zipper open and exposing my undergarment! Oooppps! I hurriedly went out and got inside the car out of embarassment. Wow! What a day!

So I am now heading home. All seem well until I got into heavy traffic again. I decided to open my window and ask a passing motorist what happened. The driver shouted to me the answer! Well, there was an accident. An SUV ran over a bicycle. Scoop! I was about to take a photo of the vehicle and the bike for my blog upon reaching the spot when my phone went out of battery. Tsk! Perfect timing indeed!

It took me almost an hour to reach Mandaluyong City but unfortunately, I was flagged down by an MMDA Traffic Enforcer. I was on the taxi lane preparing to turn left to Edsa Central for a shortcut. I was told that private cars should not be on the taxi lane except when turning right. I came on the lane too soon as the street on my right is about 100 meters away. I scratched my head and thought about what alibi or drama I would do to evade being ticketed.

I opened my window while coughing as if I was sick. The traffic guy took my driver’s license and was issuing me a traffic violation ticket when I told him that I’m celebrating my birthday. I could not think of any excuse as the last time I got caught in the area, I told them that I was in hurry as my wife was giving birth! Hahaha.  The enforcer smiled and approached his supervisor and they agreed to let me go… only if I pay them.

Well, I did not have the time to argue and was really in a hurry so I just gave in to their request. Pang-meryenda lang po!  Hehehe. So I went back to driving and reached home just in time for a quick dinner and rest. Soon, we were off to the province so I could celebrate my birthday. I reached Pampanga almost 1 minute before midnight and I achieved my goal of being with the entire family in my birthplace on the very second that I turn 30.

That morning, I woke up with a very big smile on my face with a gift from my wife and a surprise birthday party organized by my parents where all of my uncles, aunties, cousins, nephews, nieceswere, relatives-in-law and two of my grandmothers were present. I almost fell into tears when I was viewing the presentation video showing my old photos. I was speechless not because I have not brushed my teeth yet that moment but because I was so happy!

Thanks you Lord for giving me a wonderful life, a loving family and yet another birthday!