The last time I remember having a celebration with friends for my birthday was when I turned 16 years old. I still remember that we had it at the 5th floor in Discovery Suites in Ortigas right after watching an Ateneo - La Salle game. I was still in high school then. I never celebrated in the last couple of years because my birthday falls right smack in the middle of the UAAP season. I was supposed to have a party at home in 2006 but i remember having to cancel it on that same day because my grand mother passed away all of a sudden on my birthday. That was really a sad moment for our family!
I initially didn't plan to have a party this year but because of the way our games schedule opened up, I decided at the last minute to just do it! We played UP on Saturday then the next game would be against NU on Sunday of the following week, a pretty long lay-off! Perfect for us to unwind and just have fun without having to worry about practices, besides, we will have enough time to recover from the long night out.
At first, I was thinking of having separate dinner get-togethers for my different groups of friends: my high school barkada, Ateneo Management Engineering block, JTA-France group, basketball team, etc - and of course my dearest cousins. But since we don't exactly have the luxury of time for all, I just decided to have one big party that can accommodate everyone. And the easiest and most economical way would be to treat them to a classy, private bar/club called Fiama along Jupiter St. in Makati, where we can just hang-out, mingle, drink and enjoy the music. It was actually pretty cool because they blocked off the entire 2nd floor just for my party with a sign that said "Private Party for Chris Tiu". Although I didn't feel comfortable having that sign with my name around, it was practical for my guests. Because everything was last minute, i didn't have time to prepare a guest list and there were some gate crashers who just took advantage of the free flowing drinks and of course my beautiful guests! I mean, i don't mind if my friends brought along some of their other friends. But there was this group that was totally not connected with anyone in the party and was persistent in hanging around. In fact, they were asked to leave but they still came back upstairs! I didn't wanna cause any commotion so i just left it at that.
Because I sent invites very informally through text and yahoo groups just a day or two before the event, some just on the day itself, i wasn't exactly sure who would show up. I expected around a hundred people to attend but it seemed to me somewhere between 150 to 200 in total. I was so touched to see almost all my friends there from high school up to the present. Drinks were free for my guests, courtesy of myself, my dad and Fiama. But at around 1am when i saw a number of people i did not know in the crowd, we decided to stop the open bar and just shift to a cash bar instead. It looked to me like everyone was having fun, people were even "bringing in" their other friends which i didn't mind at all. At least I know they were enjoying! I think the news spread too fast that even some of the La Salle Archers' players showed up to my surprise! I invited TY Tang, whom everyone knows is one of my best friends, but he didn't even show up because of course the party was composed mostly of Atenean students and alumni, and he might not feel very comfortable knowing that he played and graduated from the Green side and I totally understand that! But what surprised me was that other non-invited Archers wanted to be labeled Blue... well at least for that night! :) So i openly welcomed the 4 of them in, together with their other friends :)
My friends told me that they had a great time and that we should do it again! I told them that it was my first time to have a party like this but i don't mind doing it again and again and again after we are crowned champions after the UAAP season! Hehe :) I like to thank all those who attended, with special mention to MVP for showing up as one of the earliest birds... I mean Eagles... haha corny! And of course thank you to our team manager Paolo Trillo for arranging everything and making it a successful night!
Check out this slideshow created by one of my best buddies Borly who was also the official photographer that night!