Jul 23, 2010

Never Missed A Beat In 60 Years ~ Cecilia’s Surprise Birthday Party

If you know my family, you know that we have parties for EVERYTHING. I don’t know if it’s a Filipino thing or if it’s simply a “we like to eat” thing, but a few weeks don’t go by without us having some sort of gathering … because it’s summer, because the Lakers’ game is on TV, because it’s daylight savings time, because somebody won $200 on a slot machine, because somebody happened upon a great shrimp sale at the market, etc. etc. See what I’m sayin? We celebrate ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.

That said, I actually never get sick of parties, especially the truly big and momentous ones where there’s a plethora of food, everyone is filled with joy and there’s dancing!! *WOOT WOOT*

Well about a month ago, Tommy and I had the pleasure of documenting a very special 60th birthday party at Simon’s Waterfront Banquet Center in San Pedro. But this wasn’t just any ol’ party, this was a *SURPRISE* party and yes Cecilia, the birthday girl, was truly surprised!!!!!

Her children Elba and Francisco carefully planned the amazing event, inviting all of her closest family and friends for a daylong celebration at the waterfront eatery along the LA harbor.

After Cecilia walked through the door and discovered an afternoon she thought was designed for a friend’s celebration was actually for her, she made her way through the crowd to give and receive warm embraces from each and every guest. Each time realizing that 60 years of her life had been blessed with so much love and friendship …

The celebration began with a delicious sit down lunch.

Then moved onto a fantastic mariachi band that also provided some comic relief!

And in between all the fun, we managed to sneak Cecelia away for some quick family and group pictures.

But after all the photos, she was eager to return to the party because this birthday girl had dancing on the mind!!!

And boy did she dance 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever seen 60 years move like this!!!

It was an amazing feeling to be in the midst of such a lively celebration. With the sultry sounds of Nicaraguan music filling the air and bodies intertwined to the beat, I saw nothing but smiling faces and joyful expressions through my lens. And I have to admit, the love for Cecilia in that room was so powerful and overwhelming, I cried behind my camera. Happy tears of course simply because I felt lucky to have been a part of something so special.

To Elba, Francisco, and Becky who invited Tommy and I to be party of this amazing day, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your kindness and warm hospitality. But most of all thank you for the opportunity to surround ourselves with your incredible friends and family. Fun-filled celebrations like this one remind us how lucky we are as photographers to be part of some of the happiest moments in people’s lives.

And to Cecilia, Happy Birthday once again ~ 60 years young and you’ve never missed a beat, so please never stop dancing 🙂 We hope the love and joy you felt on this day is just a precursor of what’s to come … and may the next milestone in your life be just as sweet!

To see more of this wonderful celebration click here for a special slideshow.



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  1. […] forward … the party was more than we could have ever imagined, filled with beautiful surprises, tears, and lots of […]

  2. […] forward … the party was more than we could have ever imagined, filled with beautiful surprises, tears, and lots of […]

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