11 Oct2008


Thirteen!!! Yikes! This is the Kid’s birthday weekend, and regulars of this blog will recall last year’s posts (Part I, Part II and Part III) of what I thought was the last elaborate birthday party for the Kid, now officially “The Teen”. So you might understand our (MM and Mrs. MM’s) stress levels on Thursday night, still sick, knowing that we had only done roughly 10% of the prep work typically needed to pull off one of these birthday sleepovers/parties. The Teen didn’t ask for anything this year EXCEPT that she wanted a treasure/scavenger hunt of some sort built into the sleepover — and hunts usually take days of planning and preparation. And as if that wasn’t enough, Friday was nearly fully booked with other earlier commitments which were almost as important… Read on if you think we gave up on this year’s effort…


We had to have shortcuts, we had to keep the boundaries under control to prevent an unprecendented flare-out. So the easy answer was a hunt of some sort at the Rockwell Mall on a Saturday afternoon. First a lunch of pizza and burgers, then some clear instructions. And the first set of “clues”… I really feared that this was going to be considered rather juvenile, or possibly even “beneath” them, but both Mrs. MM and I were utterly amazed by these teens. Two teams coursed through the mall with almost “Amazing Race Asia” intensity, mindful of dire warnings that they could NOT arouse the ire or attention of mall security by being unruly, loud or excessively excitable. There were easy tasks, dopey tasks, embarrassing tasks, fun tasks, grown-up tasks and memorable tasks, in a two-hour hunt that included 20 different items…


Mrs. MM and I spent an hour and a half at the mall on Friday afternoon, jotting down potential things to do on the treasure/scavenger hunt. Back home, I spent some two hours on my computer tapping out roughly 20 tasks/items/activities that they would do the following day. I had to mix things up for two teams to criss-cross the mall and coordinate joint tasks and periods where they were all together. Clues were printed on bond paper, cut and grouped together. Some money was inserted into envelopes. And while I won’t bore you with all the details, here are some of the funnier, more embarrassing or memorable things they did… they all spent half an hour at The Picture company at a pre-arranged photo shoot and after several dozen snapshots, they ended up with two pictures and each guest will receive a copy of as the “favor” from the party. The pictures were terrific. One team had to go to Calvin Klein and ask for a red “de-jewelled” item. It turned out to be a pair of red briefs with red sequins around the waistband. They had to calmly find out its price, politely decide to pass on it instead, and head out of the store. This team had a really good laugh on this one. The other team was spared the red underwear but had to acquire adult diapers at the grocery instead, and while I didn’t dare ask them to wear them at the mall, those are the rear ends of the guests up there in the second photo with the adult diapers on… The kids had to find out the top speeds of cars on display in the lobby, figure out codes around CD’s, use up playcards at Power Station, try on ridiculous shoes, identify heroes, seek out food items, and possibly best of all… they had a task that read:


“20. Go to Mercury Drug. Look for a tube of Preparation H. If you can’t find it, seek help and ask for “Almoranas Cream.” How much is the smallest tube available?”

Here is a composite of the reactions to this task:

Girls : Miss where is the Preparation H?
Saleslady: Ano?
Girls : Preparation H?
Saleslady: Ha? (Then asks the guard, not another saleslady, then sends them to the counter)…
Girls : Preparation H?
Pharmacist : Do you have a prescription?
Girls : Huh?
Pharmacist : Do you know what this medicine is for?
Girls : No
Pharmacist : Hemorrhoids, ALMORANAS…
Girls : Huh?
Half the customers within earshot: Mouth agape…
Girls : We just want to know the price of the smallest tube, please…
Pharmacist : Ay, we don’t carry that anymore…
Girls : Oh no, but Marketman said Preparation H… but quick thinking teens say… what other lotions do you have?
Pharmacist : Names two kinds of lotions and prices…
Girls : Write down information and run out of Mercury to next task
Later with MM in post-hunt de-briefing : Girls… hemorrhoids are…
Girls : Uncontrollable giggles…


From roadblocks that involved possibly burning the roof of your mouth to brain freeze… to finding specific items in certain shops… to buying a hundred grams of green peeled pumpkin seeds… this turned out pretty well, if you ask the girls… They are back home now… chatting about things that make it clear that they are indeed getting older… And maybe, just maybe, this was truly the last party with a silly activity like this one. Next year they will all be in high school. It would be so uncool to have dad and mom do this. But I would wager a hefty bet that each of these girls will fondly remember at least one of the tasks they had to do at The Teen’s 13th birthday party today…


And for Mrs. MM and myself, we will cherish the photos of the girls in adult diapers up top (the uncropped versions) and store them in a safe place. Because 20 years down the road, when these girls become pilots, captains of industry, leaders, musicians, mathematicians, princesses or social workers, WE WILL have the photos that the tabloids will pay millions for, when the girls become famous or infamous… :)

P.S. Spectacular Ipod birthday cake up top, was custom made by Marta’s Cakes… It was the only thing we had ordered before the food poisoning struck…



  1. millet says:

    happy birthday to The Teen! you’ve just entered the “funnest”, craziest, sweetest time of your life. enjoy!

    Oct 11, 2008 | 11:20 pm


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  3. Tricia says:

    Wow! This was a really FUN way to celebrate a 13th birthday!

    Happy Birthday to The Kid!

    Oct 11, 2008 | 11:23 pm

  4. betty q. says:

    Birthday Greetings, Kiddo!!!!! …or rather I should say….Brthday Greetings, Teeno?

    Indeed you’re right, MM! …Those pictures are PRICELESS!!!!!…truly a Kodak moment…..

    Oct 12, 2008 | 12:05 am

  5. marilen rodriguez says:

    happy birthday to the young lady! MM – wait till she learns to drive – pu-puti ang buhok mo. hope you and mrs, MM are on the mend from food poisoning.

    also no leaks on the new roof?


    Oct 12, 2008 | 12:54 am

  6. edel says:

    happy birthday, THE teen!
    wishing you more fun and memorable birthdays to come =)

    Oct 12, 2008 | 1:16 am

  7. k. ramos says:

    The Prep. H task was hilarious! Will you really keep the adult-diaper pics MM? You better watch out if one of them becomes a hacker! :p Before I forget, happy birthday Teen!

    Oct 12, 2008 | 2:00 am

  8. Vanessa says:

    Happy birthday to MM’s little girl. And great job with preparing for the party!

    Oct 12, 2008 | 5:01 am

  9. natie says:

    wow…i’ll miss ”the kid”, but time goes forward. what fun! i bet mom and dad had as much fun preparing for the activities.
    belated birthday greetings to “THE TEEN”!! you are blessed to have very loving and attentive parents.

    Oct 12, 2008 | 6:08 am

  10. sister says:

    Tell the girls hemorroids are one’s big intestine peaking out of one’s rear end…

    Oct 12, 2008 | 6:41 am

  11. Mila says:

    Happy Birthday to the Teen (what will you call her when she hits 21? The Adult? or at 18, The Able to Vote?)!

    Oct 12, 2008 | 7:29 am

  12. lety says:

    How, FUN! Happy Birthday, The Teen!
    You are so lucky to have parents like MM and Mrs. MM.
    May God continue bless your family.

    Oct 12, 2008 | 7:54 am

  13. Lani says:

    Happy birthday, teen kid. Your dad and mom are so proud of you.

    Oct 12, 2008 | 8:49 am

  14. cumin says:

    Happy birthday to The Teen. Gosh, it’s been fun sharing what, three, four, birthdays now through this blog!

    Oct 12, 2008 | 9:06 am

  15. bagito says:

    Happy birthday, “Teen”! Wish my parents were that creative when I was growing up. You lucky girl, you! :)

    Oct 12, 2008 | 9:08 am

  16. lyna says:

    Happy birthday to the Teen and to the parents… well done! for the 13 years that have past. Welcome to teenage life and will pray that you can cope as well as you did during the pre teen years… ALl the best to your family MM

    Oct 12, 2008 | 11:08 am

  17. eustressor says:

    Happy birthday to The Teen!

    Oct 12, 2008 | 11:23 am

  18. Jenny says:

    Happy birthday to the Teenster! :)

    Oct 12, 2008 | 11:40 am

  19. linda says:

    Happy Birthday to you young Lady!

    MM,you’re such a fun Dad!

    Sister,you’re so funny!

    Oct 12, 2008 | 1:47 pm

  20. bluestars says:

    happy birthday to The Teen!
    that cake looks awesome, by the way =)

    Oct 12, 2008 | 2:12 pm

  21. zena says:

    Awesome cake! And yes, the girls will cherish the memories of their wacky antics. Priceless. =)

    Oct 12, 2008 | 5:13 pm

  22. siegrez says:

    Happy Birthday to the TEEN!!! You are very lucky to have real “cool” parents :-)

    Oct 12, 2008 | 7:15 pm

  23. estella says:

    a very happy birthday and all the best to your young lady! i salute you, mm and mrs. mm, for being such great parents.the party was surely a blast!!!

    Oct 12, 2008 | 8:04 pm

  24. witsandnuts says:

    That’s pretty cool. Happy birthday to her! =)

    Oct 12, 2008 | 9:49 pm

  25. Mrs. G says:

    Sniff… I wish I was 13 again.

    Happy birthday to the Teen :)

    Oct 12, 2008 | 10:43 pm

  26. MrsKookie says:

    Happy Birthday to the Teen :) Dad and Mom must be so proud :)

    Oct 12, 2008 | 11:14 pm

  27. Katrina says:

    Happy birthday to the new Teen! She must be so excited about this new phase of her life! Though, perhaps her parents are only partly excited, because they’re partly bracing themselves for the Terrible Teens? ;-)

    Oct 12, 2008 | 11:28 pm

  28. kitkathie says:

    Happy Birthday to the “Teen”! you have now reached the next level…=)

    Oct 13, 2008 | 3:41 am

  29. APM says:

    Happy Birthday to the Teen!!! This makes me wonder Marketman How do you top this birthday? If I recall your first post was about a scavenger hunt in Punta Fuego, the next year it was a sleepover with a fashion shoot, now a mall scavenger hunt. What’s next?

    Oct 13, 2008 | 9:43 am

  30. zee says:

    wow you are COOL parents!!!
    i hope i can come up with fun birthday events like these for my (still to be conceived) kids years down the road :)

    such precious memories for the MM family!

    Oct 13, 2008 | 10:07 am

  31. rocoi says:

    coolness! what a fun way to welcome teen-hood! happy birthday to the newest “teen”! :)

    Oct 13, 2008 | 10:32 am

  32. mikky says:

    Cheers to the Kid’s entry to the teen-age world… but double cheers to you and Mrs. M for raising a good one… :)

    Oct 13, 2008 | 11:49 am



    Oct 13, 2008 | 11:57 am

  34. The Steak Lady says:

    Hey MM, you always come up with the best parties!! :D Looks so much fun! Happy birthday to The Teen!! :))

    Oct 13, 2008 | 12:33 pm

  35. peterb says:

    Happy Birthday to the Teen! Great party!!

    Oct 13, 2008 | 12:49 pm

  36. Lei says:

    Happy Birthday to The Kid, rather to the The Teen!!! =)

    Oct 13, 2008 | 1:04 pm

  37. Marketman says:

    APM, actually if I recall them correctly, the birthday sleepover themes…

    13th – Mall Treasure/Scavenger Hunt
    12th – Look for Less with Fashion Shoot
    11th – Beach Amazing Race Meets Fear Factor
    10th – Safari Theme + Treasure Hunt
    9th – Arabian Nights with Fortune Teller + Belly Dancing
    8th – Camp Theme with Spooky Outdoor Treasure Hunt

    Whew! And that is it. From here on in, it’s up to the Teen! I should probably write a book about Adolescent Treaure Hunts… :)

    Oct 13, 2008 | 1:52 pm

  38. momsy says:

    happy birthday to the teen :-)

    Oct 13, 2008 | 2:12 pm

  39. GayeN says:

    that was so coooooool!!!

    happy birthday, the teen! =D

    Oct 13, 2008 | 3:20 pm

  40. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Happy birthday Teen!! Wonderful parents you are!!!Five children made me sooooo resourceful,wish i had read your blogs way back!! Hahaha… I can suggest them when I have grandchildren!! Really great ideas!!

    Oct 13, 2008 | 4:22 pm

  41. ragamuffin girl says:

    Wonderful ideas for all her parties! Wish I could be half as creative for my boy’s parties when he gets older… let me wait for him to “find” his group of friends first. Happy bday to the teen!

    Oct 13, 2008 | 6:46 pm

  42. Cien says:

    Happy Birthday Teen! I remember my 13th birhday, i treated my friends to a snack at Burger Machine! Simple lang pero masaya!

    Oct 13, 2008 | 7:20 pm

  43. Eileen says:

    My son’s turning 2 on October 17 and I can’t wait till he’s old enough to experience a scavenger hunt birthday party! :) I’m pretty amazed how you were able to pull off such an activity inside a mall! Pretty cool and impressive! :)

    Oct 13, 2008 | 9:52 pm

  44. navyGOLF says:

    Kudos to MM and Mrs. MM!!! Happy bday to the Teen!!! You’ll definitely enjoy high school…

    Oct 14, 2008 | 3:37 am

  45. mojito_drinker says:

    happy birthday to the teen!

    Oct 14, 2008 | 9:49 am

  46. RobKSA says:

    Belated happy birthday to the kid! I’m sure she’s now looking up to her sweet 16th. My kid is also 13 but our party is much more simple though.

    Oct 14, 2008 | 1:16 pm

  47. portugalbear says:

    happy birthday the Teen. You’re so blessed to have parents who are so creative and who will spend time coming up with such cool parties

    Oct 15, 2008 | 9:56 am

  48. SuperKai says:

    i love “the teen’s” cake! happy birthday to her!


    Oct 18, 2008 | 7:29 pm


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