Friday, November 25, 2011

A Wedding and a Funeral

I. Here Comes The Bride

My sister was getting married. Shobe, as I fondly call her, was marrying Junie, her boyfriend of nine years. Armed with a Barong Tagalong and accompanied with seven of my closest friends, I flew to Davao to attend the wedding. I had been preparing myself for this.

"OMG!! Bakit ang dami ninyo? (Why are there so many of you?)" my sister Honeylet asked me.

"Bakit? (Why?) I need my own entourage. Akala mo ikaw lang?" I replied.

"Hahaha. Gaga ka talaga. Baka matalo niyo pa ang entourage ko!" she said laughing.

"Humanda ka! (Be ready!)" I said.

A month ago, Carlo, Fran and I observed a wedding in the island of Boracay.

"How strange no," I said. "How weddings make you sentimental. Every time I witness two people getting married, it makes me want to get married as well. It makes you feel you're ready. All of a sudden, you become the relationship girl."

They both nodded, agreeing. We were all lost in our respective reveries while sipping mojitos at the hotel's bar.

"But then, when you're in the club and some cute guys are flirting with you, you suddenly think 'parang hindi pa ako ready' (or, maybe not)," I said and we burst out laughing.

"Exactly!" Carlo said. "That's my ultimate test. If I can give up all the fun of flirting for one guy."

"Oh God. It's just soooooo hardddd honey," I said and we laughed. We all know what I meant

She was the most beautiful girl I have ever seen, that was the first thought in my head when I saw her. Her face shone with a light that revealed the happiness she was feeling.

"Oh my God. Is that a Vera Wang?" my friends asked me when they saw her wedding gown.

"Yep. Love?" I replied. "But then again: what do you expect? She's that kind of girl. She deserves the best." 

The gown was my present for her. She chose it and I wanted her to have the wedding of her dreams.

The ceremony took place in a garden overlooking the sea. The sun was setting and the dying light cast a golden glow on everyone. Their vows were simple but true. My sister started with "I believe in the life we have..." I cried, of course.

I was asked to say something during the dinner.  "And now, we would hear the bride's brother speak," the host said.

That was my cue. I stood up, and walked to the center of the room. I was nervous. I had little time to prepare and only made notes in my head. I looked around and saw the happy faces of the bride and the groom, their friends and families. Oh how everybody glowed.

"For those who don't know who I am, I'm Honeylet's brother," I said, introducing myself. "I used to say she is my favorite sister in the whole wide world. She always answers by saying I really didn't have a choice."

The audience laughed. I saw my sister smile. It was our favorite joke.

"During the past year, I've seen my sister got so stressed planning for the wedding. It was really a roller coaster ride. And I wondered why people made such a fuss about weddings. And I realized it's because they want their weddings to be perfect.

I paused. "Because they want their marriages to be perfect."

"I used to have a friend," I continued. "Her husband left her after they've been married for almost 20 years. And she told me, 'Marriages can be so fragile pala talaga no?'"

"Relationships are fragile," I said.

Relationships are fragile. I've learned that myself. I thought of all the lovers I had and the promises we never kept. I thought of all the failed romances in the world and the odds that two people will love each other forever.

I brought back my focus to the wedding. "Sometimes, I can't help but be worried after seeing many couple divorce or end up unhappy. I mean ... she's my only sister."

"But then I realize I really don't have anything to worry. Because we have the best relationship heroes one can possibly have in this world," I said and stopped.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to give a toast to my Mom and Dad who I've seen have loved each other more and more as they grew older. They've taught us how to love our partners, how to care and nurture each other, how to be patient and understanding."

My parents were stunned. I knew they didn't expect that. But I wanted to give them credit for what they have achieved in their 30 years of marriage. Without knowing it, they have inspired me and made me wish I can have a love like that.

"They are my relationship heroes," I said. "And I'd like to think that a love like theirs can happen all the time."

"Shobe, Junie, masaya ako para sa inyo (I am happy for you both)," I continued. "It's a beautiful day and I am excited for the life you will have. Mahal ko kayo (I love you both) and I will always be here for you."

Hours later, my friends and my sister's friends have finally depleted the open bar of its entire contents. Everyone was laughing and smiling, and dancing and taking lots of photos.

The night was ending and I was tired but happy. I looked around and I saw how everyone was having such a great time. I went to the bar to scavenge for any last bit of alcohol and I saw my ex boyfriend Marvlitz there. He was my first boyfriend and we were together when I was still sharing a room with my sister during my college days.

"Kamusta? Having fun?" I asked him.

"Oo naman,. I'm really glad I came," he said. I drank the wine in my glass and finished it. We were both watching the crowd.

I turned to Marvlitz and hugged him.

"You know what, Marv, we may not have made it as lovers but I'm glad we we made it as really good friends," I said. He smiled and hugged me back.

"And I couldn't have had a better first boyfriend," I said. "I'm glad you're here to send our little girl off."

"Grabe no, kinasal na talaga si Honeylet samantalang dati tinuturuan ko lang siya sa mga assignments niya. (Can't believe Honeylet's really married. It wasn't so long ago I was just helping her with her homework.)"

"I know ... She's all grown up now, isn't she?" I said.

"She is. And you ... when are you going to get married?" Marv asked.

"Sigh ... I'll probably be an old maid," I replied and gave him a small smile.

"Well ... you'll always have me," he said and squeezed my shoulders.

They say weddings are one of a person's happiest moment. From what I have seen, I tend to think it's true. Whether it's a simple ceremony or a lavish one, at the end it's just two people promising to love each other forever.

"To have and to hold 
from this day forward, 
for better or worse, 
for richer or poorer, 
in sickness and in health, 
to love and to cherish, 
till death do us part"


rudeboy said...

Ah, weddings. They turn even the most jaded of us into sentimental saps, even if only for a little while.

You look like you had a blast, Kane. Thanks for sharing your sister's special day with us. Everyone looks so happy, as they well should.

As for you being the marrying kind, I could only imagine Kim Kardashian and her New York minute of a marriage. Of course, the fat-assed famewhore also wore Vera Wang for the entire wedding travesty, damaging the brand like the Nazi bombings of London.

Then again, the crafty bitch walked away with like, a $17 million profit from the whole scam, so...yay, I guess?

But so much for the wedding...where's the funeral part? Or was that referring to you and Marv's dead romance? Mmm dead romance...sounds like a nifty song title.

Leomer Apolonio said...

Congratulations to your sister! All looked like they had fun including you. :)

Mugen said...

Glad you have heroes to remind you that a marriage (and love, for that matter) can endure.

I'm happy for Honeylet. :)

The guy in brown shirt looks familiar. Kuwento mo sa akin yan when we get to talk.

Guyrony said...

A beautiful and poignant post.

After seeing your sister walk down the aisle, you see yourself ready for a relationship.

And then you see the weekend fast approaching, and, well, O Bar is open.

What's your choice then, K?

Relationship girl or party girl?

Spiral Prince said...

You are not ending up as an old maid, K. Definitely not.

At talagang nagdala ka ng sarili mong entourage ha! I like it.

Best wishes to your sister!

P said...

chweet!!!! fun!!!

Lovelove. =)

Nate said...

@Kane: poignant.. really poignant.. best wishes to your sis and her hubby! :)

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

She is gorgeous! And the husband, well! Why all cute guys are taken by beautiful gels, di tuloy maagaw. Hahaha... Joke lang po.

Anyways, wishing them the best in life! God bless!

Oh, how i love Filipino weddings. Sentimental, family oriented.


Btw, ganun talaga dapat, may sarili kang entourage esp if it means flying to the location. The more the better! And assured na di ka mag-iisa... Hahaha!... Love this!...

imsonotconio said...

love the gown,

congrats to ur sister

citybuoy said...

Weddings. They always make me cry. I don't know if it's envy or if it's fear. I know so many people with bad marriages. Nakakashokot!

At oo nga (rudeboy), saan yung funeral?

bien said...

Wow, your sister's glowing.

ןıuǝ oɟ ɟןıƃɥʇ said...

how strange. my tita is is one of your pictures. anyhow, can't wait until divorce and gay marriage is legalized.

Anonymous said...

in his debut novel the gargoyle, andrew davidson wrote:

“I once knew a woman who liked to imagine Love in the guise of a sturdy dog, one that would always chase down the stick after it was thrown and return with his ears flopping around happily. Completely loyal, completely unconditional. And I laughed at her, because even I knew that love is not like that. Love is a delicate thing that needs to be cosseted and protected. Love is not robust and love is not unyeilding. Love can crumble under a few harsh words, or be tossed away with a handful of careless actions. Love isn't a steadfast dog at all;"

my congratulations to the groom and of course, best wishes to your beautiful sister...

-the geek

Spiral Prince said...

Kane, I'm wary of the continuation of this post. I hope and your family are okay.

Kiks said...

where is the funeral?

of a love once had? was that it?

your sister is the v-version of you. she must be as fun as you, if not funner.

now death is not something Kane talks about. unless...

♥N said...

You and your sister are gorgeous. The gown is fabulous. Everyone looked like royalty that night.

This post made me weepy. I have to try and analyze why. Weddings make me nostalgic and tragic at the same time.

Brian said...

Definitely one of my favorite posts of yours, Kane :D And the dress is really pretty!

Hunie said...

Thank you my brother. The more i look at the photos, the more i see the beauty of my dress. It was just perfect, everything was perfect. To all your friends who came, thank you for their time. It was really nice seeing old and new faces from the 250 crowd. The marvlitz story was really classic. I was one the happiest bride :) One day, you will find yours too. I sent the dress out for preservation, who knows we will put it to use someday. You just have to fit in it haha. I love you, always and forever! - your baby sister.