Birthdays are celebrated because they are about life and living. And life ought to be celebrated. The celebration is always a salutation to the divine. The merrymaking in itself is a prayer.
Businessman Frank Evaristo Jr., or Frank Jun to his friends, celebrated his 52nd birthday recently via an intimate dinner at the Empress restaurant in BGC.
The celebration, Frank Jun said, was necessary — for thanksgiving.
“I consider my life very special because I had a stroke two years ago,” he said, adding he was in the ICU, fighting for his life. “I am grateful for all the blessings by God. I thank God for another life. In return, I share my blessings with others. Life is too short. But I am always grateful to God for every day that passes by.”
At his birthday party, 35 of his close friends and a few members of his family feasted on delicious Chinese dishes, including the house specialty, Peking duck. Convivial was the mood. Happiness was the motif of the night as each dish was served for the eating pleasure of his guests. The evening was made even more relaxing with the live music by a talented violinist.
I pray that many people who have a good heart continue to value and cherish their works for others and that may God continue to bless them with the success that they deserve.
Among Frank Jun’s close friends who graced the occasion were House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Senators Grace Poe and Cynthia Villar, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano and Philippine STAR president and CEO Miguel Belmonte. Former presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar and his lovely wife Alelee were also in attendance.
The happy celebrant also received video birthday greetings from President Bongbong Marcos, former President Rodrigo Duterte and Senate President Migz Zubiri.
“I thank God for giving me such kind friends, family and relatives. All of them supported me and believed in my capabilities. They have been with me through successes and hardships in life,” he said.
As is Frank Jun’s practice every birthday, he is making a generous donation to a government hospital for the cancer-stricken children. He said it is his way of thanking God for all the blessings he has received in his life.
“I believe 52 means learning from my mistakes and being mature and a bit wiser in life. I realized that living a simple life and spending more time with my family and close friends is what makes 52 years of living memorable for me,” Frank Jun said, adding his birthday wish “is for me to have good health, to spend more time with my family and friends; and for me to be able to help and share with other people who are in need.”
At 52, what are the hopes and dreams of Frank Jun?
“I must say, indeed, I have achieved my dream already at the age of 52. The meaning for me of achieving my dreams is for me to be able to help the people around me. And with that said, I have nothing more to ask for, nor dreams to wish for. Only for me and the people around me to fulfill happiness every day,” he said.
Frank Jun believes in simple living and being a blessing to others. “My philosophy in life revolves around living simply and sharing the blessings with other people. I share as much as I can. For me, as a matter of philosophy, caring and reaching out to people who need help is important. It’s very fulfilling,” he said.
What is his prayer?
“I pray that many people who have a good heart continue to value and cherish their works for others and that may God continue to bless them with the success that they deserve.”
Frank Jun is a grateful man. He said the best present that he has received for his birthday is the gift of life.
“I believe that I am beyond blessed by God for allowing me to live more years of a prosperous life, including to spend more time with my family and friends,” he concluded.
Everybody left the simple dinner party that evening with a big smile on his or her face. But the happiest that night was no doubt the man of the hour, the birthday boy Frank Jun Evaristo.
Happy birthday, Frank Jun. *