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Jobelle Galapate Apr 21, 2020

Eight Ten

It’s a Saturday morning the warmth of the sun is kissing my face. I immediately got out from my bed and opened the door happily. I was greeted by my relatives, so many familiar faces. All I can hear is the word “Happy Birthday Belle”. I am smiling from ear to ear. I saw my mom and she’s kind a hysterical. Looks like she can’t compose herself, I guess she wants to make everything to be perfect. I decided to go out to check the venue. The organizers and the caterers arrived already. Round and long tables were all over the place. Then it hit me if the organizers were here then my gowns are already here too. I am half jumping when I went to the organizer and asked them if my gowns are with them too. They made me wait in the extra room of our house which will be my make-up room. I am smiling, grinning like a crazy woman.

I saw three men approaching towards my direction every one of them is holding a gown I can’t help myself from staying in my place so I meet them half of the way and hold the first gown. I can now see a beautiful yellow off-shoulder corset ball gown. I can see from the cover that it has black details on it. I am sure that it will really give justice to the theme of my debut which is Beauty and the Beast. They asked me if I want to fit it so I did. Looking at the mirror caressing the soft fabric of this gown with my messy bun and bare face, grinning widely with my twinkling eyes I can’t believe that I am having my own party. They made me fit the second gown, it’s a pastel orange-pink deep v -neck backless gown it is beyond beautiful. The details, it has gold crystals all over the gown and it’s so heavy. The last gown it’s a breathtaking blue off shoulder gown it is not as glamorous as the first two gowns but for me, it’s the best of the three. After the fitting the gowns my grandmother arrived together with the other elders to begin the “luwalo”.

It’s six in the evening the visitors were arriving, the booming sounds of the music and the music of arriving cars is enveloping my ears. My make-up is done. The vanilla scent of the hairspray is soothing my nostrils my hair is simply curled and place on the right side of my shoulder. My brows were on fleek, my cheeks were tapped with a little bit of blush on, my lips are in cherry red color and I have this cute little tiara in my head. I can feel the bullet of sweats in my forehead together with my cold hands and cold feet.

Time check, it was 7:30 when I heard the emcee asking everyone to stand for the prayer. The familiar angelic voice of Sister Audrey enveloped my ears. I almost cried, my heart is swelling from too much happiness I couldn’t ask for more. Everyone is here with me to celebrate my special day. When the prayer is done I am surprised that they have prepared a little compilation of my videos and pictures since I was a baby, I can hear the roaring laughter of the crowd from my room.

The time has come, as I heard my name announced by the emcee the door opened I got out from my room and meet all their eyes. I walked gracefully until I reached my princess seat in front. I can hear the clicking and flashing sounds of the cameras, they made my parents deliver their message as they change my shoes as a sign that I am now moving forward to my next step in life. The first 18 started, the 18 Roses was composed by my cousins, Uncles and my 18th dance is my Dad. Seeing them again after so many years I couldn’t help but smile. My dad’s wearing a blue coat as the beast and me wearing the yellow gown. Yes, I am Belle and my Dad is my Beast.

As the other 18’s comes like a wave every one of them gives a heartwarming message some of them can’t stop their emotions, we cried and laugh, ah! good old times. After the emotional part of the program, the place is already alive together with the new vibe of booming sound of music. Everyone is having a great time dancing and singing along with the songs. I stopped and looked around. I am smiling while watching the people around me I closed my eyes and let their voices envelop my ears. I feel contentment. I feel at peace. I look up to the thousands of twinkling stars and whisper a Thank You Prayer to God our Father for this successful night.

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19 year old pharmacy student-businesswoman from Pampanga. I, Kimberly Chaile D. Ocampo, started planning my own business back when I was 18 years old. Despite being a student, that did not stop me to work and start up something for me to earn my own money. I was also influenced by my parents who are both hands on when it comes to the marketing world. I have decided to start my own mini restaurant/fast food restaurant recently (Feb 2020) and it was named as “Hungry Hubb”. From the word itself which is “Hungry” we thought of something that would give people the biggest hint that we sell food.

Because of the sudden quarantine, every store was forced to close for our own safety that is why there was a sudden decrease on our sales. But Hungry Hubb managed to survive by focusing on online selling and social media promotion. Our best seller would be Shawarma salad which is mediterranean style. We add authentic Garlic sauce to our shawarma (Which is available in Wrap, Salad, & Rice). Every product that we sell are very affordable and delicious. Our starting price is only 50php. (Shawarma Wrap). For Shawarma Salad (70php). We also have Milktea (60php) and Rice meals such as Lechon Kawali, Chicken barbecue, and Pork Barbecue for only 120 pesos.

And of course, I wouldn’t make it up this far without the help of my family and friends who have supported be from the very start. This is an open letter and inspirational especially to students that want to earn their own money. Nothing is impossible. You just have to be determined enough to turn your plans into reality.

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