For me, a debut is not practical for an average-income family like mine.
Besides, I come from the North, where many families are sometimes too frugal. My mother never cooked something to celebrate my birthday, neither for anyone of my siblings. So birthdays are never special for us, siblings.
Now that I’m a mother myself, I see that I got some of the frugality. The months and weeks before my own daughter turned 18, the issue of debut was an issue. My daughter says she understands we can not give her a hotel debut, but I can feel she wishes she has one. So I took her with me, and we went to some of the bigger restaurants here in our place, and made inquiries. After a time, she emphatically said she doesn’t like a debut. She must have been shocked by the prices, and she must have also realized that another 45,000 pesos for her tuition is up.
The situation was even made worse because almost all of her high school classmates and friends who celebrated their 18th birthdays ahead of her all had their debuts in hotels, restaurants or resorts. And a number of them are not rich, they’re just like us — and I wondered, and felt guilty. Am I too frugal?
As her birthday got nearer, she probably had talks with her friends, probably surfed on the Internet, because one day she just asked us to stop thinking of a debut, and just buy her a lhasa apso, and some thousands for her to spend with friends.
So lhasa apso it is. And cash.
On her 18th birthday, we enjoyed some time in a resort in Laguna, with just us, her family, and then traveled to a big subdivision in San Pedro where we bought a PCCI-documented lhasa apso. The following five days, she treated her groups of friends separately to mall restaurants. The total expense? Still much more than what I budgeted, but much lower than what we would have spent for a debut.
And the tuition was paid.