Last Sunday’s wedding was the first my family ever attended on my husband’s side. We failed to attend an older nephew’s wedding last year due to many reasons. Now, this May 30 wedding at the 400-year-old Manila Cathedral was a time for a family reunion of sorts that had never happened (rather happens only with a few groups of close relatives during birthdays or Christmases).
There she was, Rova, our nephew Hector’s beautiful bride beaming in her ecru wedding gown with a long, long virginal white veil traversing the red carpeted aisle as she savored this once-in-a-lifetime walk escorted by her equally beaming parents.
Hector was also escorted by his father, my husband’s elder brother who is as dignified as the groom. The groom’s mother, radiant in apple green and royal blue terno, was teary-eyed. Reaching the altar, he embraced his father and kissed his mother bidding his final goodbye to singlehood. The groom, handsome in his barong, took Rova’s father’s right hand to his forehead to do the traditional mano and kissed his bride’s mother on the cheek, then escorted his bride to the altar.
What a beautiful couple!
While preparing to go to this wedding, my husband blurted out: “Parang tayo ang ikakasal ah.” It was the first time our family of five went out shopping to buy barongs, sarongs, alampay, closed formal pairs of shoes and evening bags. Good that the wedding couple decided the motif to be Filipiniana. It was so practical and easy to prepare – and very Filipino, too. Husband wonders why the Philippine-made clothes are expensive though they are made locally. It must be because they are labor-intensive.
Husband and son had to go to the barber shop to have a haircut. I also had to go to the nearby parlor to have my hair coiffed up. On the way to the church, our daughter who is used to putting on make-up put on her Nanay’s lipstick and powdered my face which is not used to even a face powder or a lip gloss. This she did while the car was running along Roxas Boulevard after we picked her up from a three-day youth camp along the way. I am glad we have a daughter who is smart and presentable enough to do these things for me happily. I am happy too we have a son who can drive for us safely and patient enough to wait for his young sister who is as stubborn as me. (Second son was in Davao attending a youth leadership conference but bought a new barong just the same for this annual conference).
I could imagine how taxing and difficult it is for both the bride’s and groom’s families to have planned a well-organized activities leading to the success of the wedding. Hector and Rova are lucky that there is this person called wedding coordinator during this time of frenzy who can arrange things for them and make their life easier during this important moment of their life.
Wedding reception at the Maynila Pavillion of the historic Manila Hotel was well-organized too. My daughter and I who are both vegetarians feasted on the fruits that bedecked the dining table. Husband and son who are meat-eaters feasted on a sumptuous dinner joyfully.
Seeing Ate Beth, Hector’s mother, cry as mother and son danced on the ballroom, I cannot help but think that weddings are not only joyful unions of two persons loving each other but also are bitter-sweet moments as mothers and fathers become ambivalent and foresee vacant bedrooms or vacant seats at mealtime when a son or a daughter finally decides to leave the home they had shared for many years to establish his or her own family.
Congratulations, Kuya Oca and Ate Beth. You have raised Hector to be a strong, well-mannered and principled man. Congratulations too to the parents of Rova. You have raised her to be a dutiful, loving and wonderful woman.
Cheers to the newlyweds!