FOR the second straight year, Gary David missed celebrating his birthday with his family, opting to once again give importance to the national cause.
Worse, he might even miss celebrating his 12-year wedding anniversary with wife Jenny Rose as he fights for flag and country with the entire Gilas Pilipinas team in Wuhan, China for the Fiba-Asia Cup.
To make up for the absence of the celebrant, Mrs. David decided to throw a mini-party for relatives and family friends at the family residence last Sunday (July 13).
“Normally, pag birthday ni Gary nung bago siya nag-Gilas, nag-se-celebrate siya sa mga restaurants. And since nga wala siya, kaya nag-invite lang ako ng kaunti. Mahirap din kasi wala siya,” said Mrs. David.
Highlight of the occasion was when Jenn and the family’s close friends were able to hook up with the celebrant from his hotel room in China through a video call.
Here's a video of Gary David's party:
David also failed to celebrate his birthday with his family last year as he was in Lithuania for Gilas' training camp prior to its campaign in the Fiba-Asia championships in Manila.
“Nakakalungkot kasi lagi siya hinahanap ng mga bata. Lagi nga nagbi-bilang ng araw ang mga bata kung kelan aalis at kung kelan babalik,” she added.
Jenn, though, is still hoping David make it back home in time for the couple’s wedding anniversary on Sunday.
“Sana dumating siya ng on time, kaso gabi ata ang flight eh. Di ko alam kung paano pa kami mag-celebrate. Pero walang magagagawa, para sa bayan yan eh,” added Jenn.
David and the rest of the Gilas team are set to arrive on Sunday from Wuhan. But four days after, the national team will again leave for Miami for its training camp for the Fiba-World Cup in Spain set to start at the end of August.
“Matagal yun, 45 days yun. Yan ang pinakamatagal na mawawala si Gary sa tabi namin. Hindi ko pa sinasabi sa mga bata 'yun. Tiyak ko malulungkot ang mga bata kasi kalaro nila si Gary dito. Super close siya sa mga bata,” she said of the doting father to his daughters Maxene (11), Gariel (6) and Jeylaa (1), whose image are tattooed on the arms of David together with Jenn.
“Hindi ko rin alam kung paano ko i-explain sa mga bata na matagal mawawala si Gary. Tiyak ko iiyak ang mga ito,” she said.
David said he doesn’t regret becoming part of the national team, where he further gained experience as well as international exposure.
“Ganun talaga ang ginagawa namin na ito. Sakripisyo talaga ito. Kahit dalawang sunod na taon na kong nag-birthday at di nag-celebrate kasama pamilya ko, trabaho ito. Maiiintindihan naman nila. Para sa kanila rin ito,” he said.
“Lahat ng sakripisyo itong, kasama ito sa pinirmahan kong commitment sa Gilas,” he added.
Asked how he celebrated his birthday in Wuhan, the jovial 35-year-old off guard replied: Nagpakain ako ng buffet dito sa hotel. Araw-araw (referring to the team’s smorgasbord meals at the hotel).