Six perfectly accurate birthday celebrations in 24 years of existence do not pose any problem for Tanauan, Batangas native Don Angelo Joson, who enjoys the idea of celebrating rarity during leap season, and having confused friends greeting him for two days in off years. 


Don is a leapling, aka a leap year baby - a person born on the elusive 29th of February. He was born in 2000, and so this year marks his 24th year on Earth despite only having had six day-accurate celebrations.

“Over the years, I have felt a deeper sense of appreciation for my birthdays and life in general,” said Don.

It is a rarity - only an estimated four million out of over eight billion people celebrate on February 29 - and rare things are bound to feel special. 

“Most people don't run into a lot of other leap year babies. I myself have not met a fellow LYB, kaya I'm usually told na I am the first LYB they've met. I feel like other people also put a little more energy and enthusiasm in their greetings because of that and that makes me feel special,” the Batangueño explained.

If it were not a leap year, he would have celebrated today, March 1, which he personally prefers over a February 28 celebration.

“I always celebrate on March 1 cause my logic is that I wasn't born yet on Feb. 28,” justified Don. 

Most of his friends, however, greet him on the latter because of how a popular social media platform notifies users about leap year celebrants.

“On non-leap years, Facebook announces that it's my birthday on Feb. 28 so I tend to get the bulk of my greetings on that day, but my close circle and family know that I prefer March 1. So I appreciate those who greet me on that day a little more, but don't tell them I said that!” quipped Don. 

He also finds it amusing that in off years, he gets a peculiar two-day long barrage of greetings from confused friends who are likely uncertain when to actually greet him.

“I get an extended period of greetings because of this, kaya it feels like my bday is extra long with people greeting me for 2 or more days!” 


Don and his family have been in the business of making his Feb 29 celebrations more unique. In leap years, they go all out.

“I tend to be more lowkey with celebrations in non-leap years. Like a simple dinner out lang,” he recalled.

"It was never usually this big, like with direct family (members) lang or dati nung nasa Taft pa ako, with close friends and roommates lang. This time, everyone was there talaga,” elaborated the La Salle alum.

His 24th year on Earth, technically his sixth true birthday, was therefore met with more vigor and enthusiasm, as he has always done during the past five leap seasons. 

“This year, my family felt that it should be more special so my dad flew in from New York and my mom came over from our province just to see me,” said a jovial Don, who is already excited for the next leap day.

“I really enjoyed the family time we had. It makes me look forward to the next leap year,” he added.

Don and his loved ones held a grandly planned intimate lunch, as he described, with virtually everyone from his family and different groups of friends. The 24-year-old’s sixth birthday celebration was capped by an overnight hotel staycation.