Sept. 27, 2005, 10:04 a.m.

Filipino Birthday Tradition

I don't know if it's being done in other countries, but here we always have the pabitin in children's birthday parties. Prizes, toys or goodies are tied and dangled overhead and children jump repeatedly to get them. There may be nothing to it but it's a tradition here. It fosters healthy competition, but unfortunately sometimes get awry--children sometimes fight in the end, defeating its purpose. Another tradition is the food, lots of food for the guests; I guess this came from the Chinese, and of course it is a symbol of prosperity in the coming year, not different from what happens at the New Year celebrations.

Even if the Catacutan clan is apart geographically, we are united.