BY: Pilar Mateo

MARCH 28, 2021 could have been the most special day in the life of Reysheel Abellana.

The girl turns into a lady. As the Society welcomes her. Her debut! Which was most awaited by her parents and kin.

It’s been more than a year of planning for her special day. The very reason her Mom Sheena decided to come home and stay for a while in the country, leaving her business in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Dad Rey still is active with his acting chores both on films and television. And continues to moonlight as a balladeer. But didn’t miss every moment in being hands-on with the preparations.

Her only brother RJ, who is so close to Reysheel was excited to portray the role of his Ate’s escort in the debut that should have been celebrated at Patio Ibarra.

Rehearsals for the 18 roses, 18 candles, 18 Treasures have been made. Especially Reysheel’s dance with her brother and closest friends.

Blending traditional and modern structure of an 18th birthday celebration, the excitement in the very shy Reysheel’s eyes were evident.

Then, the sad truth came. The event will be postponed if not cancelled because everyone has to observe the IATF’s protocols.

Most cities and places have to be placed on quarantine, lockdown, strict guidance.

It was okay for the family to postpone it to April 4, 2021. As that is in itself is a time of the real meaning of celebrating. Easter Sunday!

But still, every day continues to be a challenge. April 4 is the day that ECQ is still observed as well as the curfew.

For the very short time I have come to know Reysheel, I saw how her parents were able to bring up a very good girl. With good manners and practicing the values in a good family. Loving to her parents and brother, to her friends and the people around them.

Rey and Sheena are very proud of Reysheel, especially when it comes to her academic performance. In school, she’s doing great. Her creative hands will earn her a niche in the Animation World in the future.

Her parents made sure that she and her brother get to know the many things around them in this lifetime. Thus, travels abroad are part of their bonding moments. To see and learn things from nook and cranny in the world that God gifted us with.

Well-rounded, Reysheel is the type of girl who looks at life through rose-colored lenses. But doesn’t discount the fact that there are grey if not black areas that has to be faced in life.

She turned 18, yes. The debut didn’t happen. Yet! But Reysheel is looking forward to many great moments she will share with her family. And friends. And the world.

For the now, a very special lunch prepared for her at home is the sweetest and most memorable as she turned a year older.

18 will give her many things to think about. And learn to live with. A different life. A different stroke. A different feel.

“I am happy. More than anything, I want my parents and those who love me to be the ones to experience that joy of what celebrating is all about. As long as we are together, healthy and safe by God’s grace, that’s what matters and my wish for my birthday!”

Rey and Sheena’s wishes for their daughter is, “We wish her all the luck & happiness in the world now and always.”

Everyone’s looking forward to that day. When all can still celebrate this milestone in a girl’s life. Her coming of age! If not, Reysheel will still shine in who and what she will become!

Happy Birthday, dear Reysheel. Thank you for making me a part of your 18 Candles. Which I pray with love to continue to light your path in your journey in this life.

Blessed be, dear girl!


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