The wedding is now over. But, it was certainly a celebration to be remembered. Just like in my prom, there are so many memories that the images just flash and flash back. Let's go through some highlights which are not in any particular order.
1. My brother-in-law sang the song by "Seal" and the Ave Maria. Now, the last time I heard him was five years ago when he performed in various shows at the Alameda Civic Light Opera. Several years away from Oakland and a couple spent in Choral singing in the South created a man who evoked the emotion of the music while singing. I wanted my camera when he was singing the Ave Maria. I could capture the music visually!!! That's how good he was.
2. The bride and I were blessed in a Halad by Tuhan Joseph Arriola. It involved two masters of Kali (Guro Neil Rivera and Marcel Ecclavia) executing their Halad and then sparring together. After that, the bride was invited to join the sparring. As others have said in Blogland, have you ever seen a bride spar during her wedding reception?
People commented that when Tuhan offered me the knife that I had the deer in the headlight look. I wasn't exactly sure what I was supposed to do. But Tuhan did. He asked all the elders to bless our wedding. Of course, it took everyone some time to figure out if they were elders or adults. I guess most of our guests were really children at heart and did not want to admit that they were adults.
3. My best friend from high school C.M. was one of my groomsmen. Twenty years is a long time. I believe the last time I caught up with him was with his wedding. Meaning that's the last time I saw him personally. He now has three kids. That's awesome. He mentioned that watching the procession down the aisle was a very touching moment. He felt it in his heart.
4. The Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble performed at the Mass. The music made me float on air. It made me want to march down the aisle with a spear and a shield. It was very different from the other weddings we knew because the music came from the Maranaos in Mindanao. The irony is very juicy in that we have music associated with a Muslim area being played in a Catholic church. However, we thought it was appropriate because the music was pre-Muslim.
5. My brother and sister and her family were there to celebrate with us. Twenty-three years ago, we came from the Philippines as children and teen-agers. Now, my sister has three kids and I just got married. My brother was taking photos and boy, some of those shots were awesome. He's enjoying his TWO digital SLRs. Hahahhaa.
6. We now have the one ring. The ONE ring to LOVE them all. Okay, so originally, we were referring to our wedding like it was our PRECIOUS. Why? Because everything we wished for happened. And I mean everything. So, why not? But as we were lying in our beds, I mentioned that it might be messed up to keep saying "One ring to rule them all". So, we changed and voila, new motto.
7. My father-in-law telling a story during his welcome address about the wife and my graduation. It was very touching that he mentioned my mother. And in that same breath, my mother-in-law who has enough energy to clean the Empire State Building. Boy, she unpacked, prepared, reset, did everything at the wedding!!!
8. Can you say three hundred bamboo giveaways? The little pots with bamboos were heavy and caused much grief in the move. But they got there in time and were given out. Most of them were taken.
9. We were making up stuff during the wedding reception. We danced our way into our introduction. She rotated around me so that everyone could see her. We teased the ting-tinging of the people asking for a kiss. I kissed her on the cheek; I did the Hulk Hogan I can't hear you sign; we blew bubbles and we blew flying kisses.
10. I held my own during the Mass and the wedding ceremony. I did not faint nor did I mess up my wedding vow. It was great that Fr. Rich said two words at a time.
11. Father Rich. In his sermon, he mentioned how my aunt was combing my uncle's hair. He wondered out loud how long she had done that. Father Rich was amusing, funny and very welcoming. Now, if only other priests were more like this. We were very honored for Father Rich's participation in our wedding. It made it complete. He also mentioned the reality of life. That not everything is always happy. That there are some who are in the celebration without their special someone. And it was hard.
12. The cantor Alex Ramos singing and the piano playing by the church musician. Beatufiful music. It made me understand the role of music in church liturgy. That one can be transported from the common place to the heavens. Spritually uplifting if not for anything else.
13. The money dance. I managed to spin, and make the partners enjoy the money dance. And they helped in paying for all the wedding stuff.
14. The toasts by the BestWoman and the Maid of Honor. Dr. Sushma was awesome as always. She mentioned how I was the Berkeley experience: intelligent and very intimidating. And she gave me the same compliment that I gave her nine years ago in a Spyro Gyra CD. Later on, I spoke to her and thanked her profusely. There were an amazing number of people who had the "bright eyes" during our wedding night. People who were remarkable for their abilities to change lead into gold.
15. Professor Dana was fantastic in lecturing about the mythology of creation from the Philippines. It has got to be one of the longest toasts. I wondered why she needed notes. I think she was giving footnotes while talking. Bwahahhah! Awesome!!! And greatly appreciated from one scholar to another.
16. The bouquet toss became a football play. From the brother-in-law to the wife to me, and I tossed it into the crowd.
17. The garter was on my arm. There was nothing conventional in this wedding. Everything with a twist. The bride threw the garter.
18. The father daughter dance was interrupted with a football score update and a jersey change by the brother-in-law. Man, I knew UCLA recruited better than we did. Dang. But then again, the brother-in-law made up for it for his beautiful song for the father daughter dance.
19. And finally, my dance with the wife.
Check out the the blogs about it: