Cheers to 40 years!

Before this crazy long week ends, I just want to dedicate a space on my blog to thank the people who made it extra special.

Honestly, I thought of planning something unique – the concept was already prepared since December. I thought it will be a cool idea but felt a bit awkward having to organize it for myself. But you know, sometimes, what you’ve planned could turn out to be not time appropriate or due to some more urgent priorities. And so the idea was shelved (maybe for some other occasions) and I thought I’ll just let “that day” pass, hoping that it won’t create a buzz… and kalas, I’m 40!


I used to organize surprises which often times require me to make up stories (in short… lie) in order to conceal our hidden agenda. Eventually I got so anxious of being dubbed as master of surprises, which pretty sounds like master of lies, to me (lol). And so eventually, I have to find ways to make surprises without having to lie (I’m only not telling everything)… and that’s the most difficult part aside from conceptualizing and executing a plan.

And surprise, surprise! I was conned! Like taking a dose of my own medicine (in a good way). My wife and our friends organized a party for me (though it wasn’t really the first time but this was out of nowhere). They said it was extra challenging to make a “surprise” for someone like me. But, while keeping myself composed, I actually thought I was already happy with what I got during the last few days and a party was something I didn’t see coming.

There were my first friends during my first years in Qatar (we’re all family men now), my “life group” during my single years (look how far they’ve come), our ever-dependable friends from the couples/married group (where help is always available), our spiritual leaders and mentors (love overflowing), our kumares and kumpares (through thick and thin)… most of the people special and dear to us were there.

I got a throwback of all my favorite childhood sweets and snacks. I blew the biggest candle-lit cake I’ve never seen anywhere. I got several gifts that I really appreciate. I have a frame of 40 adjectives that described me (or so they say). And most of all, I got to realize how blessed I am having these friends around me – even though some were not able to make it – my friends and fans all over the world (I definitely understand and your thoughtfulness was well-received). Mind that “fans from all over the world”, hahaha!

As a side note, people used to call me with different names. And those name show the seasons of my life when my family and childhood friends in Mindoro call me “ESEK”, my highschool friends would call me “EXEQ”, my colleagues in Camella/Crown Asia used to call me “EX” until I grew tired of becoming an “EX” (dig it), my bosses in Qatar fondly call me “EXI”, but I thought the name of the ex-PBB housemate looks good on me too so I took it out and used “ZEKE” as my born-again name.

Few days back, I posted these lines on my social media account – “…Though I’m not afraid of the years that will add to up to my age. I’m concerned if i got the wisdom that’s right for that number…” – but the celebration re-assured me not to think of anything else since I have these faces around me (and everything that was written on that jar of messages just melts my heart away).

Forty years had passed like a bullet train and it was one “adventurous” ride. A young boy who grew up in the Province of Mindoro, dreamt of working in an office with his paper-drawn computer, got a college degree through my able benefactors, worked in a very competitive field of real-estate for a decade, had a son at the age of 25, working as an OFW in Qatar, got born-again in the Lord, met my wife and had a daughter. I have few investments and now working on our savings and liquidity (thanks to my mentors), travelled few cities and now looking at possible futures ventures via blogging, real estate and events organizing (thanks to my business partners and to the companies who are continuously trusting me) – feeling “artista” hehehe.

This sums up what happened during the last 40 years… and I’m already very excited to what the next 40 years or so will bring. As they say, life begins at forty… then I just have to eagerly anticipate and use the wisdom that the first 40 years had taught me.


Special thanks to my wife, Khatie (the mastermind) with her accomplices: Ivy (the hostess), Charisma and Rhael (decors, sweets and cake), Karen and Wally & Jessa and Vince (for the souvenirs), and everyone who helped popped the confetti, took photos and helped in anyway. Also, our family would like to thank Ms. Layla of Eve Catering (our dependable go-to party venue for the amazing food  – catch them when they re-open at B-Square Mall in Al Thumama starting February 2017).

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