I’ve always heard about how a kid’s seventh birthday should be celebrated with a bang (just like their first). You can keep it simple on their second, or just go eat out on their third. You can just order in/call for delivery for their fourth, or just cook spaghetti for the family for their fifth. But it must always, always be a big, grand, bongga celebration for their seventh, they say.

I don’t know where this came from. I don’t know if it’s a Pinoy thing. But I don’t really believe in it. I don’t think my parents believe in it, too. I don’t remember my seventh birthday, to be honest – and what do you know – I’m a well-rounded, productive, successful, and happy citizen. I didn’t die and I don’t hate my parents for not giving me a big party (I’m sure we celebrated, though).

Sadako just turned seven last March and we didn’t have that big, bongga celebration. I have to admit there was pressure for me to do so, because of certain family members, but I knew long before my daughter’s birthday that we really wouldn’t mount a big party, and that I don’t want one.

We didn’t even throw a party at school. Blame it on bad timing; school ended two weeks before her birthday. We thought about throwing one before school ended, but I felt like it would be weird for a kid to celebrate their birthday not on their actual birthday.

There are two reasons behind my/our decision to not give Sadako a big bongga party.

First, it’d be hard to get everyone together since most family members live in the south and all of Sadako’s friends and classmates live up north.

Second, I don’t feel good about spending for a big celebration. Part of me wanted to use the money for a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland. Another part of me wanted to just save a big chunk of it for school. And another part of me just wanted to use all the money to buy Sadako surprise eggs, surprise capsules, and blind bags.

And so we ended up going home and spending a lot of time with family because Sadako rarely sees them and misses them a lot.

My mother-in-law’s birthday is a day before Sadako’s so we ate out with the whole family.

We ended up at Shakey’s and it was pretty cool to see the staff member who hosted Sadako’s first birthday party over there still, well, there (but promoted!). That was six years ago.

Sadako loves it when the staff sing happy birthday so imagine her reaction when the Shakey’s staff sang happy birthday for her and her grandmother – but to the tune of some hit tune.

The next day, we had a party at our old house. It was a simple one but Sadako went bonkers because my sister and my dad prepared balloons, and my brother printed out some Suicide Squad-inspired party hats and cake toppers (Sadako was into Harley Quinn that time).

My daughter loves her cousin Inigo (she’s Tom and he’s Jerry daw) and my cousins so she was very, very happy to spend a lot of time with them. We had some games and we watched Sing and we just ate and ate and ate. It was a lot of fun, not just for Sadako, but for me, as well.

That night, Sadako happily snored, and I knew it was perfectly fine even if we didn’t go to Disneyland (maybe next year) or have that big bongga celebration with everyone.

I really admire parents who save and spend for huge seventh birthday parties, but looking at Sadako snore that night and replaying all the fun moments she had with the family, I knew I gave her the seventh birthday party she wanted.

Nakatipid pa ako. HAHAHA.