I only have one ninang and one ninong. When I was little, I kinda resented that, since I only get two gifts from my godparents on Christmas day. On the other hand, my brother has lots of ninangs though he also had just one ninong (who is based in the US and wasn’t here to give Christmas gifts), so he receives lots of gifts on Christmas. Of course, at that age, I didn’t know any better. Now, looking back, I realize how fortunate I am with my one and only ninang. She has given me much more than the annual Christmas gift. She gave me her time, her love and support the way a second parent should. For most people, being a godparent means giving birthday and Christmas gifts, but my ninang took her “job” seriously by being involved in my life all year-round. She is there with me on my major milestones – winning contests, graduations, my wedding, etc.

Last May 19th, Ninang Oying celebrated her 82nd birthday. Her hair is now mostly grey. She needs assistance walking around. She no longer cooks my favorite meatballs and her physical limitations deter her from joining most of our family celebrations. In recent years, I find it more and more difficult to pick a gift for her. What can I give an elderly ninang when she has everything she needs at this point in her life?

I decided to give her a birthday card made by my own two hands. I just wanted to thank her for being the wonderful ninang that she is.

The birthday card

With the tag pulled out

I used Daisy D’s patterned papers, Bazzil card stock, and the white paper that comes with the paper protectors as the base card. The “Happy Birthday” title is made from MAMBI vellum stickers. The bookplate is from Crafting Studio. The vellum envelop is hand-cut using my own template (I made one by drawing an envelop outline in Powerpoint and printing it on card board, which I then cut and use as a template). I embellished using metal clips, charms, fibers and ribbon.

It’s a gift that doesn’t cost a lot, but is worth more than any material thing. Hopefully, through this, I was able to tell my ninang how much I appreciate her presence in my life.

Written by Alby Laran

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