LA Asks: How Did You Celebrate Your Birthday? - LA Lives

With COVID still in a big reality in everyone’s lives, birthdays continue to be an exercise in flexibility.

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The pandemic may have caused many traditional celebrations like large parties and trips abroad to be canceled. But no matter how it’s spent, the symbolism of a birthday always remains. It’s a time to be grateful, and it’s a day to soak up love from the special people in your life.

Now that vaccine rollouts are advancing, and quarantine restrictions are loosening up, we ask a few of our favorite July celebrants how they were able to celebrate this year. 

Cris Roque

The gift of life, maintaining a company that provides jobs to many, and having a healthy family are some of the things Roque is grateful for as she begins another year around the sun. To ensure the health and safety of her family and friends, she shares that her last birthday didn’t call for any gathering. 

On her birthday last July 6, Cris Roque aimed to celebrate the blessing of life / Photo courtesy of Cris Roque

“But this year, I celebrated because I want to remind myself that every day and every year of our lives is a blessing from the Lord Almighty. So it is meant to be celebrated and shared with my loved ones,” shares the owner and president of clothing, skincare, and clinic brand Kamiseta. 

On her birthday last July 6, Roque enjoyed her special day with her family and close friends who she considers family. “As for this year, I hope and pray that we can go back to almost normal so we can go on with our lives as usual and be able to do what we want to do with minimal restrictions,” Roque says with anticipation. 

Pinky Tobiano 

After a year and a half of not seeing each other, Tobiano and her extended family finally reunited to celebrate her 51st birthday. “I was so so so happy. And we also shared our blessings to our lolos and lolas in GRACES Home for the Aged,” the chemist shares.

For 32 years now, Tobiano has been executing charitable works as she celebrates another year of life. (Photo courtesy of Pinky Tobiano)

Before the pandemic, Tobiano routinely celebrated her birthday at the home of the elderly, together with her employees, friends, and business partner. However, quarantine restrictions put the 32-year streak of spending her birthday with the GRACES elders on pause.

Fortunately, Tobiano’s glad she could still share her blessings with them and is looking forward to the day she can visit the seniors in person once again. 

On her birthday this year, Tobiano is grateful to reunite with her extended family after a year being separated by pandemic restrictions. (Photo courtesy of Pinky Tobiano)

Tobiano hosts “Grateful Tuesdays,” a weekly program where she helps people badly hit by the pandemic with her habit of giving back. 

“I prepare care packages, rice together with our generous friends from Mega Sardines, Walter Mart, Super Sam, and the Harvard Business School (OPM). They have been helping me since I started my program,” the tablescape enthusiast says. As of today, Grateful Tuesdays has helped over 70,000 families all over the country. 

Cris Albert 

As someone born on July 11, Cris Albert admits that she’s a true Cancer water sign that loves the beachside. As a result, she’s spent her past birthdays at the beach with a small group of people that provides “more love” to the occasion. 

“I am incredibly loyal and profoundly loving; I am grateful to have been blessed with so much sunshine,” shares the CEO and owner of Fila iSportlife Incorporated. 

With that, Abert’s closest friends decided to give back the same positivity she exudes by treating her to dinners to celebrate her birthday. In addition, she enjoyed a celebratory lunch with her family at their home. 

However, even with a positive mindset, Albert shares that living through the pandemic was harsh, although she remembers to count her blessings.”The Lord allowed me to give rise to a change in our organization which I didn’t recognize before; I was able to pivot into E-commerce with my good colleague Albet—who, by the way, is a digital wizard,” Albert adds. 

With more life ahead of her, the entrepreneur is looking forward to expanding her various businesses, taking care of herself more, and seeing how our local communities exercise devotion and compassion to those in need.

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