ellen at the talbe yolly prepared for ellen's 50th birthday

Fabulous 50th birthday at HangOut Beach Resort

For a few weeks before my 50th birthday, I studied up on my solar return chart. As an amateur astrologer for decades, only recently have I tried to make sense of solar returns. Maybe it’s because this birthday was such a big number – I mean, five decades of trips around the sun!

Last year when I turned 49, Theo and I took a few days away on Boracay. Just us. No big deal. No party – I didn’t want any of that. I just wanted to travel, and we couldn’t, so Boracay was the only ‘getaway’ we could do.

Even that wasn’t possible this year because of a coronavirus surge in Aklan Province. Leisure travel is banned and we cannot stay on Boracay overnight.

We ‘live’ on the mainland. Our apartment rental has a view of the island. We chose to stay in Motag, at the Hangout Beach Resort because we like it here, we are comfortable, and we also love the owner. For as long as I live, I will never forget how the owner took us in when no one else would as the pandemic began.

Today, I feel good giving our rent money to Yolly. Times are tough for everyone in these parts with tourism ground to a halt. Hell, there haven’t been any international tourists here since March 2020.

In my 50th run around the sun, shrinking ego, karma and higher learning will be a few themes in my life, if you give solar return charts any credence or faith.

When Yolly told me dinner was at 4:00 p.m., I tried to talk her out of doing anything special. She wouldn’t take no for an answer, and with love, she told me to shut up. Brave woman. Also, such a kind woman.

Yolly enlisted the help of some family for decorations and ‘catering’. And the beautiful, delicious spread of Filipino food really moved me.

Friends aren’t technically allowed to visit households outside their own families during this latest surge in COVID cases. So it was an intimate gathering of socially distanced ‘family’ – most of whom are not pictured as they spread out on the Hangout open-air grounds.

I got to make a birthday wish this year with the candle on that gorgeous carrot cake. My wish is for the women who created that birthday spread to make my birthday so memorable — Edenia, NingNing, Joelynn, May, and especially Yolly.

Funny thing about the candle – I used my hand fan to ‘blow it out’… just in case.

And so I turned 50 years old in the Philippines, during the second year of the pandemic that brought our world travel to a halt. I was honored to be here to celebrate it, surrounded by love.

Thank you, Yolly. You are right – 50 will only happen once in this life. xo

Thanks for reading, “Fabulous 50th birthday at HangOut Beach Resort.”

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