An “Ubuntu” Birthday

Earlier this year, I went to Pangasinan to celebrate the birthday of my girlfriend’s brother who is living with their relatives. He turned 13 years old that day.

It was the simplest birthday party I’ve attended but had the most preparation I’ve seen! It actually involved the whole community and everyone was invited. The food was prepared by everyone, for everyone!

The party started in the morning before I even woke up. The mothers from the different parts of the town were cooking in pots and pans so big that a toddler can swim in them. There was even a whole pig brought in which was cooked into different dishes.

By mid-afternoon, kids began to appear, depending on when they felt hungry or when they heard that there’s a party nearby. They began eating the food under a shed made of old wood and dried leaves. Everyone was happy to come together and celebrate.

By the late evening, the children started to go home while the fathers around town started to appear. It was their turn to party. The celebration continued at night with them drinking and singing with the karaoke machine (Yep, that was still part of the celebration for a boy’s 13th birthday party).

Why am I sharing this with you? In my previous post, I talked about the concept of Ubuntu. I believe this is a perfect example of that concept.

Even though it was the birthday celebration of one person, the whole town went to a single household to prepare and celebrate for everyone. Everyone found ways to contribute to the gathering. It was like they used the birthday as an excuse to get together as one whole community, because everyone is there to make everyone happy.