To my father who taught me to be cordial with everyone, to spread goodness amidst difficulties, to value relationships over money and to be thankful for all the blessings and challenges – happy birthday Papa Ramon! Cheers to the great life! Abundant blessings & good health! God bless! #grateful #loved #healed


Special thanks to our dear friends and relatives who brought decadent cakes during the 60th birthday celebration of Papa/Engr. Franco Bayot. It was sugar- overload Sunday!

Why do we celebrate birthdays with cake?

Why do we put candles on it?

And why do we sing over these cakes?


A dose of sugar high during the 60th birthday celebration of Papa/Engr. Franco V. Bayot

TheVintageNews.com shared that some historical records say that the Ancient Romans were the first to celebrate birthdays with a specially made sweet pastry that resembled bread (cake and bread were rather interchangeable terms in the past).

The content of the Roman cake would be a winner recipe for any modern hipster-patronizing restaurant today: flatbread made from nuts, yeast-leavened and no sugars added–only honey (hopefully, organic).

The Romans had three different types of birthday celebration: a personal, private one with family and friends; the birthdays of past and present imperial emperors who were honored with celebration; and finally, a person’s 50th birthday, which was particularly special and was celebrated with honey cake made of wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and cheese.

Other historians think that the Ancient Greeks, with their honey cakes and bread, were the ones who initiated the custom of having a birthday cake.

Yet another theory regarding the tradition of a celebratory bread or cake suggests that it originated in Germany in the Middle Ages as a sweetened baked dough previously shaped as baby Jesus, as a commemoration of his birthday.

This cake was upgraded in the early 15th century when it began to resemble what we enjoy today.

The Germans celebrated young children’s birthdays with cake, naming the celebration Kinderfest–the nearest prerequisite of contemporary children’s birthday parties.

These cakes were similar to the Romans’ festive bread but progressed into what was called Geburstagtorten–a sweeter, richer cake version.

The design of the cakes, as well as the content, became more pleasing in the 17th century, when sugary icing, decorations, and layers were introduced.

These new cake elements required high-quality ingredients and production, which were quite expensive and only affordable by the upper classes. This changed with the onset of the industrial age, when baking utensils and food became more accessible.

Desserts and cakes saw a considerable price drop while the production increased. Due to mass production, bakeries started offering ready-made cakes at lower prices.

It wouldn’t be complete to talk about the tradition of the birthday cake without mentioning the origin of the lit candles, which, like a sparkling crown, adorn the top of each cake.

According to some, the Ancient Greeks not only came up with the birthday cake but also the lit candles.

The goddess of the hunt, named Artemis, was regaled with cakes that people brought, each adorned with lit candles that were supposed to imitate the moon or moonlight, Artemis’ popular symbol.

It was believed that the smoke from the candles carried people’s prayers to their gods. Supposedly, this ancient belief explains why today people make a wish before they blow out their birthday candles.

Another theory suggests that the Germans were the initiators of the birthday candles’ tradition. A record from the mid-18th century about Count Ludwig Von Zinzendorf’s extravagant birthday party talks about an oven-size cake containing a number of holes with a candle in each, the amount totaling that of the years being celebrated.

These customs are present even today, as a silent wish must be made prior to blowing out all the candles that total the person’s age.

Finally, what would any birthday candle-blowing be like if not accompanied by the “Happy Birthday” song?

It may surprise you that the first title was “Good Morning to You,” written in 1893 by two teachers, Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill, as a student-welcoming song before classes.

The song became popular in America, so in 1924, Robert H. Coleman presented it in a songbook with an alternate stanza.

This version became highly popular and quickly overshadowed the original lyrics after it appeared in some films and Broadway musicals. It was even used for Western Union’s first singing telegram.


We celebrated today the 60th birthday of Papa Franco Bayot, a loving father, a caring husband and a passionate servant of God.

Papa Franco at 60

Turning 60 may add wrinkles to your face, dark circles under your eyes and pounds to your tummy, but it will never take away your beautiful outlook on life (and that’s what counts, anyway). Happy 60th birthday, Papa Franco!

Together with my wife Judith, here are the 60 Things We Love About Papa Angkoy:

  1. You love us, me, Judith, Kle, Aya and Mama Dorie unconditionally and it shows.
  2. You exposed your children to the importance of serving God first before anything else.
  3. You chose your children’s interests over your own on countless occasions. We appreciate your sacrifices.
  4. Your example of how to parent is exceptional and we hope to apply it soon.
  5. You inspired us to see the beauty in every thing.
  6. You have supported your daughters every day of their life.
  7. You take care of yourself emotionally and mentally.
  8. You are a brilliant electrical engineer.
  9. You are a gifted teacher, mentoring Kle & Aya.
  10. You are a fantastic cook.
  11. Your pantry and fridge are always well-stocked.
  12. Your homemade hamonado is delicious.
  13. Your homemade everything is delicious.
  14. You teach Math like an expert.
  15. You have a knack for finding solution to complicated Math problems.
  16. You have a good taste in the best things in life.
  17. You admire good craftsmanship.
  18. You surround yourself with inspiring people.
  19. You enjoy learning new things.
  20. You listen carefully.
  21. You always know the diplomatic thing to say to people or about situations.
  22. You always remind us of what’s truly important and allows us to see the bigger picture.
  23. You believe and trust in God.
  24. You do not judge quickly.
  25. You give openly to those who are in need.
  26. You celebrate the talents of others.
  27. You are patient with others, but…I have never known you to be a doormat.
  28. You are a skilled mediator, even in difficult situations.
  29. You are unflappable in every situation.
  30. You pursue your interests with your whole heart.
  31. You maintain your masculinity while asserting your power and strength.
  32. You have experienced setbacks medically, but continue to try to improve your health everyday.
  33. You are a talented leader, especially in the trenches of a job or project.
  34. You have honed that difficult-to-master skill of saying “No.”
  35. You are not afraid to dream of something better, more creative, more interesting and satisfying.
  36. You like adventure.
  37. You have a large vocabulary.
  38. You are a good storyteller.
  39. You remember fondly events of your childhood and enjoy sharing stories these treasured moments.
  40. You are fun to play games with and are a good sport.
  41. You are fun to tease.
  42. You are a good joker.
  43. We love your laugh.
  44. You are the McGyver of the house.
  45. You are a morning person.
  46. You give glory to God on how you live your life.
  47. We are proud to claim you as our Dad.
  48. You are always willing to try new things.
  49. Looking to the future, you see possibility, despite your current struggles.
  50. You are not afraid to start over.
  51. You are so brave.
  52. You are an optimist.
  53. You always believe that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
  54. You are a Marian devotee.
  55. You believe that every problem has a solution.
  56. You love your siblings and Nana.
  57. You find ways to appreciate life amidst challenges.
  58. Your enthusiasm is contagious.
  59. You have a winsome smile.
  60. You are a loving son of God.

Happy Birthday, Papa Franco!

May this next chapter of your life bring everything you deserve, every good thing.

With love,
Me & Judith


My wife is a certified lola’s girl.

Last Sunday, she missed the family celebration of Andang Polonia or Nana Nonie’s 85th birthday (the loving mother of Papa Franco).


Andang Polonia’s 85th birthday celebration with the family.

On her behalf, I attended the gathering.

I felt her sincerest desire to be with us.

If she had a chance to share a poem to Nana Nonie, it will go like this:

I was thinking of love, and you came to mind.

I have many memories I would like to rewind.

Do you remember those days I would lie in your lap
As you doodled my ears, I would take a short nap.

I’m remembering the nights that we spent together.
You would scratch my back gently, ever so tender.

As I rewind a bit more, I am seeing much fun. I know as a child I was full of sumpong, maldita, stubborn, selfish, and strange,

But look at me now, and how much I’ve changed.

I close my eyes and try to form a complete picture of everything about you.

I took a deep breath, smell coffee, and then I open my once closed eyes and see you.
You are there.

I reach to touch your comforting face and realize just how much I miss you.

You are part of me.

You are the one that can take a spread of margarine and a pandesal and turn it into a feast for God.

You are the one who taught me to find beauty in everyone and everything and that judgment is unnecessary.

I look up at the light blue colored sky and thank God.

You, the woman that is everything positive and strong,

You, the titanium wall that stands 60 feet tall and blocks evil, prejudice, and all wrong in this world is my grandmother…my Nana.

Loves solving puzzles and a lover of life.