The apple of my eye, the light of my life, my granddaughter Heather Colleen Sanguyo turned ten years old on the 3rd of October. And every year on that date I go crazy trying to come up with a unique and memorable birthday present. For years I’ve had check with her parents Chrisanto and YoHanna May as to what was needed or desired by my precious one.
This year she’ll be ten and I decided that a new tradition should be established between her and me, so this is my plan. The day before her birthday she and I will depart for Harbor Point Mall on Subic Free Port for a long afternoon of a lunch and shopping and If I’m still alive maybe a movie. I can sleep through the movie.
The shopping will be in the stores that she wants and she will pick out the items she wants. Without the able assistance of a mother or grandmother to push her towards items they think she should buy. Shopping independence and indulgence and the company of a Lolo Daddy Paul to carry the purchases Yes I’m well trained in that phase of shopping.
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I picked the day before her birthday so as not to interfere with any plans her Mother and Father had made for that day. Damn, I’m a thoughtful kind of guy. I will pick her up at her school and whisk her off on a day that will belong to her, but that plan was revised and my daughter decided she wanted to be there also, then my wife of course wanted to be there, and I thought maybe I should hire a van. She will still get to pick where to eat, she will still set the pace, and I will follow like the dutiful puppy dog she has turned me into along with the rest of the tribe.
Our adventure begins. Of course it’s raining, but the mall I’m assured has a very good roof. What a way to start the day, the new old Honda wouldn’t start. The battery was very low. It’s 1430, and I supposed to meet my Daughter, Chris and Heather Colleen, at the Harbor Point Ayala Mall on SBMA. I quickly hook up my battery charger, a quality product made in Great Briton, and ten minutes later I had ignition. Something some good will always come out of a bad situation, I realized that for the first time in my daughter’s life I would be the one who is late instead of her.
Entering the mall and within a couple of minutes we meet up with my granddaughter. Kisses and hugs and off we go on our shopping adventure. I had planned on spending about $100.00 on her presents, but I’d be wrong. Off to the electronics section, bypassing We-Be-Toys, sporting goods stores, and the part that shocked me the most was no clothing stores were on her list. She wanted a Nintendo 3DS game machine. Without thinking I boldly entered this high tech expensive shopping emporium , where first I was assaulted with high volume Techno crap music, and all this time I only thought I hated RAP (I’m sorry but I can’t add the word music to go with RAP)
I smiled at the 3 sales clerks and shouted; “If you really want to make a sale, please turn down that noise.” I turned to Colleen and said; “What do they have here that you want for your 10th Birthday?” She smiled and pointed to the object of her desire, and the salesclerk jumped to get her the thing she wanted, while asking what color did she want? The purple one of course, the box was sealed in bulletproof cellophane, and no one was moving to open it. I found that they didn’t want to open it unless you were going to buy it. All well and good, whereas I was not going to purchase it until the box was open and we could see it. A catch 22 situation was brewing. But they blinked first and opened the box.
The young sales lady was demonstrating to my granddaughter the functions of the machine and how to operate it. She had no idea of the intricate workings of this Nintendo 3DS Game Boy do-hicky. But to no one’s surprise, newly minted ten year old Heather Colleen Sanguyo had a handle on the care and operation of her dream present. This little thingamabob can do wild stuff, of course you can play games, but in three D with no special glasses.
You can browse the World Wide Web, it has a camera that will take regular pictures or three D photo’s that can only be viewed on the Nintendo’s special screen. I’ll assume it can drive a car and dance Gangdam Style. But here is the shocker, it costs Php 8,500.00, and if that grabs you by the shorts, try this on for size; each game costs Php 1,500.00. My wife, daughter, and Son-in-law all knew that I was committed, and our little girl was going to have the object of her desire for her birthday, but I’m still a tricky Son-of-a-gun. So I smiled down at my bright eyed beaming love of my life and said. “Wow, you’re one lucky young lady, to have a mom and dad that will buy you a new game every month as their birthday present to you.” The shock on the parental unit faces was priceless, but then they smiled, as they knew they’d get the credit, and I’d buy the games. Next I paid for the Game Boy and departed.
We were now on the way to TGIF to eat supper, and we ran into a group of her classmates, and the Game Boy had to be shown and touched by them all. While the whole time their parents gave me dirty looks. Hey, ya’ll should’ve have stayed home today.
The other side of the coin is what I did for the Sanguyo side of the family; they now know what to buy our little darling for Christmas this year, as you can never have too many games. Happy Birthday little one, you will always be the key to my heart.
Paul Thompson; Resides in the Philippines, close to Subic Bay. He is married to the wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang). Our to daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen (AKA Ling-ling). Our youngest is living in Singapore, enjoying her life's adventure. I'm a retired Senior Chief from the U.S. Navy after 21 years. Post Navy he lived 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. After Hurricane Hugo told him to find a new line of work, he was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. Then after 30 years at sea he buried his anchor in the Philippines residing now in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt Bataan where he build his home. And last but not least, anything he writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek" if anybody is offended, He'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!