I haven’t been going much to the Ortigas area in the past couple of years so when I do, it floods my brain with memories from the past decade (Past decade!!! Gosh, we’re old!). Back then, in 2007 particularly, Ortigas was the site of so many photo and video projects I did back in college, in part because it was the most accessible venue to everyone, and mostly because it had the least hassles involved in securing a location permit for photo and video shoots.

This is one of those projects, shot along Emerald Avenue in early 2007.

But there’s a particular place in Ortigas where I have the fondest memories. It was here that we made tambay for two consecutive weekends during breaks while shooting that video.

It was also here that a classmate in high school celebrated her 18th birthday, something I’ve wanted to do as a kid but did not have the opportunity to do so.

And that place is McDonald’s in El Pueblo.

mcdo el pueblo

I can now add another event to associate with it: one of my nieces, Mischa, celebrated her first birthday here. It doesn’t seem possible, but my cousin Abie’s and her partner Estong’s sweet baby girl has officially reached a year old! It feels not so long ago when Abie was still a carefree, young woman (we went to Palawan together… and she’s even in the video above!)  but time truly flies when you’re just so preoccupied with a lot of things.

The birthday girl
The birthday girl

So, yun nga, the birthday party was held at McDo in El Pueblo, and there were the usual games and kainan.

Birthday cake made by Abie
Cupcakes, also by Abie

abie and mischa 1

abie and mischa 2

blow candle

gift giving

mcdo food

The mascot of the night was Birdie because, according to Abie, Grimace was out of the country and couldn’t make it.


Occasions such as this always provide the opportunity to truly appreciate the people in your lives. And your own life as well. Especially now that my birthday’s coming in a few weeks. Eek!

Again, happy birthday Mischa!


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