We recently attended a birthday party that incorporated some fun, new-to-me Filipino traditions. With the beautiful tropical ocean as our backdrop, birthdays are usually relatively simple affairs here in the Philippines.

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The kids were each given a straw hat, and it was absolutely adorable to have them match in pictures.

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The party was held at a friend’s beachfront restaurant before opening hours, where the birthday girl’s mom also teaches yoga. We started the party with some children’s yoga followed by a read-aloud of My Daddy is a Pretzel.

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We then played two traditional Filipino games on the beach. Pabitin involves raising and lowering a frame with goodies tied onto it (snacks, toys, etc.) Children can keep whatever they grab, but we quickly learned that this is not a game for toddlers as they all started crying when they couldn’t grab something before the frame was raised!

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The second game we played was pukpok palayok which is like a pinata, except with a clay pot. Charlie has become quite the expert breaking pinatas (having broken the one at his and Olive’s last birthday parties). He was the first to get a shot at the clay pot, and broke it!

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There wasn’t food other than homemade suman, a sticky rice cake snack cooked in coconut milk, since we had so many treats. Not that the kids minded at all!

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After birthday cupcakes, we had strawberry gelato brought by one of our friends that owns a gelato shop.

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And then even more ice cream from a local ice cream cart.

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Ice cream lovers.

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Pool, beach, games and sweet treats. The recipe for a perfect birthday!

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