TV and film comedienne Candy Pangilinan celebrated her son Quentin's birthday by taking him to his first international trip.
Quentin turned 16 on October 16, Wednesday.
But before he and Candy flew to Hong Kong on October 15, Candy made sure to prepare Quentin for his first trip out of the country.
As she told this writer via Facebook Messenger last October 21, Monday, "Nag-madaming domestic trips muna kami para masanay si Quentin sa flight travel.
"Medyo matagal ang conditioning bago ko siya sinabak sa international flight.
"Masaya at nakakapagod ang first international trip namin ni Quentin. Ramdam ko naman na nag-enjoy siya nang husto."
She took the teenager to Hong Kong Disneyland, where he was not shy to speak to everyone they met.
She said of her son's friendly nature, "Mahilig kasing makipag-usap si Quentin at magpakilala sa tao.
"Nakakatawa lang, kasi, ang hirap i-explain kay Quentin na hindi lahat ng tao, puwede niyang kausapin. Lalo na sa mga kuya at ate na nag-a-assist sa amin.
"Noong nasa Hong Kong na kami, pilit niyang kinakausap yung mga cab drivers at hotel staff.
"Siyempre, hindi naman lahat, magaling sa English, di ba?
"E, bulol pa si Quentin. Kaya ang hirap, pero nakakatuwa naman.
"'Pag may lumalapit sa akin, sinasabi agad ni Quentin, ‘You’re Filipino? I am Filipino too.’"
Quentin was diagnosed with autism and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
One of Candy's funny stories involved Quentin trying to talk to Donald Duck.
"Una naming nakita sa hotel lobby si Donald Duck. Excited si Quentin kaya kinausap niya nang kinausap."
But Donald Duck's response was not what Quentin expected.
Candy said, "Nagtaka siya, bakit hindi nagsasalita si Donald Duck? Kaway lang daw ito nang kaway ng ba-bye. Bakit daw bye, e, kakarating lang niya?
“Hindi daw sumasagot si Donald Duck kaya nasabihan niya ito ng 'It's rude.'"
Candy posted Quentin's conversation with Donald Duck on Facebook:
"Quentin: Hey Donald! How are you today? I’m so happy.
"Donald just waves back to Quentin. Siyempre, walang talkies.
"Quentin: Hey Donald! How are you? Greet me.
"Donald waves back again. Siyempre walang talkies.
"Quentin: Ay, Donald, ha? You are being rude. Please answer. Donald waves back again.
"Quentin: Hay, naku! Puro ba-bye! That's rude. I just arrived.
"Hay, naku! Hahahaha! Happy good vibes Tuesday!"
The next day, Quentin tried to talk to Mickey Mouse, but he did not receive any response from the famous character either.
Candy said, "Breakfast the next day, si Mickey Mouse naman ang nakita niya. Siyempre, hindi rin siya sinasagot. Sinabihan niya si Mickey Mouse na, ‘I like you better on TV.’
"Kasi nga naman, sa TV, machika si Mickey Mouse. Bakit daw kapag kausap niya, hindi sumasagot?
"Pero after a while, he got used to it."
Candy also posted on Facebook the story behind Quentin getting his photo taken with Mickey Mouse.
"Ah...e... Quentin, natatakpan mo po si Mickey Mouse. Yung hands mo po…
"Sige na nga. Birthday mo naman today. Happy birthday, Quentin! May you always be a blessing and a vessel of Joy. God bless you."
During the trip, Quentin also enjoyed riding Hong Kong's public transportation.
Candy said, “Tuwang-tuwa siya na makasakay ng public transportation katulad ng MTR. It's a good training din naman sa kanya.
“Maganda na he is learning how to adjust. We will try a longer flight to another country soon."
Candy took to Facebook to thank God for giving her Quentin.
Her post read, "Bored ba kami mag-ina? Minsan iniisip ko kung sino ang nang-uuto? At inuuto? Ako kaya o si Quentin? O matching lang talaga kaming mag-ina.
"I truly believe kung sino ang ibinigay sa iyong anak at magulang... matching iyan sa atin, sabi ni Lord.
"Hay naku! OK na ako. Masaya naman kami mag-ina. There are rough times but life goes on. Life is good.
"Have a good evening everyone!"