Here in the Philippines girls do not have a Sweet 16 party as in America or other countries. Here they have a “Debut” pronounced “de-bu”.
If you can afford you will hire a room in a hotel or resort with a band. But with the cost of the holiday season and all we spent for things in the house with my living here we just had a party at home.
Riza’s birthday is on December 30th, so with all the getting ready for the New Year we were planning her party.
Elena was tired of cooking so we went to a restaurant/caterer we ordered 3 items, Beef in mushroom sauce, Fried fish with tartar sauce and lasagna. We also ordered a big birthday cake. In a normal Debut there is 18 roses and 18 candles so we had them done on the cake.
Amar, Riza’s oldest brother bought a Lechon Baboy, a whole roasted pig.
Elena also baked macaroons, Puto (small steamed cakes) and brownies. We also bought 2 cases of cokes.
The table was full with all the good foods.
Unfortunately most of Riza’s classmates were on Christmas break and live too far from here to attend but the other girls invited some of their friends.
We also invited neighbors friends and some family in town. We had about 40 people at our house.
Before we ate one of the girls friend said a prayer. Then we lit the candles, sang Happy Birthday and dug into all the foods.
I had some items on my plate and by the time I returned for seconds, most of the food was gone.
There was a lot of talking and laughing, the stereo was playing but they never did the usual Filipino traditional activity. Karaoke. Here even the worse singers think they are Frank Sanatra or Celine Dion.
As I did for the other girls birthdays last year, we gave Riza gold earnings. She was so excited.
After the party ended, our girls jumped into action and put the few leftovers away and cleaned up the mess. That is one of the things I love about the girls, you do not have to tell them to do chores, they just do what is needed.
One guest, my friend Luis brought us a bottle of Asti Spumanti. We forgot it during the party, so as we relaxed I popped open the bottle, bouncing the cork off the ceiling and we all enjoyed a glass.
From my past visits and now living here, I feel like I have 3 daughters, not 3 nieces of my Elena