The Ultimate “Tita” Tips from the Aunties of Roma

A week ago, I had a pocket-celebration with some family and friends instead of throwing a party for everyone.

Pocket-celebrations work well when celebrating birthdays or occasions with just a small group of families and friends. I like it this way because usually, the setting is laidback and chill. There is a chance to catch up with everyone because the celebration is very intimate.

This month I invited a distant family that I don’t get to see often for lunch, my Tita Cristy and Ninang Cora. It was a chance to know them more and learn their Ultimate Tita Tips. You might be thinking, what is a Tita? Tita is an aunt in Filipino. You would see Titas of [a specific city] as a hashtag to caption a post on social media with friends, let say #TitasofManila, to connote getting older but becoming better.

Here are only some of the Tita Tips I got for my birthday.

There’s no such thing as “age gap” when you are genuinely open to connect

It was the first time that I get to celebrate my birthday with these two awesome women, Tita Cristy and Ninang Cora.

One way to celebrate your birthday is to reconnect with a family that you don’t get to spend time with. My Ninang (Godmother) Cora spent most of her years in Rome, Italy. I would see her only once every three years whenever we go to Italy for short vacations. The same thing goes with Tita Cristy. Whenever we are in the city, it became a mandatory trip to visit their homes. We would have dinners or would plan out a trip to meet in the church or during Filipino community days. But those were years ago; I was 10 years younger, there was no chance to sit and chat with them. So, this time, our bonding time over lunch gave us time to talk about so many things. It was where I discovered how much we could relate to each other, especially now that I became a mom too. The chat with them was like those chats I have with friends, lots of laughter and some tears.

My little one giving mommy a birthday kiss.

We had our lunch at Mesa, Evia Lifestyle Center. It’s a Filipino restaurant serving their recipe of Pinoy favourites from Pancit, Sinigang with a twist, Crispy Pata and so much more. They enjoyed the flavourful meals. I remember them promising to return soon.

There are different ways to define a person’s strength

Life will throw us challenges all throughout our lifetime. It will continue to test our capacity to overcome those challenges at our own pace. At some point, we might feel we’ve been defeated but eventually, we learn to adapt and accept things as they are.

Our life choices always boil down to one thing, our happiness

There are so many times that I’ve told myself that I didn’t like the situation I am in. I am unmarried living with my daughter’s dad. But whenever I see my daughter spending time with her dad, climbing his back like an old tree and bonding with him over Pokémon, I knew then my choice to stick around was all worth it. My daughter’s happiness is mine too.

To sum it up, it was nice to have that chance to bond with them. They may be old enough to be my mom, but we laughed like we were from the same high school. From the silliest of topics to sharing those heartbreaking ones, my Tita and Ninang gave the advice I needed to hear on my birthday.

A winner Mango Cheesecake from a restaurant at Evia Lifestyle Center in Daang Hari Road.

As we get older, we choose to celebrate in ways that would give out the best meaning. Whether it be organising a charity for a day, simple dinner in a restaurant, staycations and more, any is fine for as long as you are having a great time.

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