emotions in black and white

fifteen years… seemed to be so remote, yet i would always revisit the day my husband and i made a very important decision in our lives when we asked  for the blessings of our parents to get married.

early morning of september 7, we decided to take the first trip to legazpi city. i decided to absent myself  from school which provided additional colors to this event in my life. well, this will definitely add excitement to this article of mine, but this is not a good detour. for the meantime, just come along with me as i go down memory lane…
larry and i took an ordinary bus at the pasay terminal. it was a wish granted since i had an aversion of airconditioned buses. blame it to my motion problem and repulsion toward the scent of  air freshner. there at the station, we patiently waited for the bus to leave while the other passengers took the few vacant seats. it was a typical sight of a travel to the province. bulky baggage was placed inside the compartments and cartons of unknown contents were hauled through the windows of the bus. with the humidity starting to creep in, i silently wished for us to be on our way. i stole a glance at the man beside me and asked what he was feeling. his reply was what i already expected. it was a mixture of various emotions — excitement, nervousness, happiness, and worry.  he knew he would be facing an inquest.  i smiled, heaved a sigh and gave him the reassuring words that he also would like to hear from me. i had to make  him feel that we’re partners in that very important phase of finally sealing our relationship.
twelve looooong hours. the trip seemed to be endless… but we were both glad that we reached our destination safely.
my parents were already fast asleep when we entered my eldest brother’s house around eight o’ clock in the evening. silence met us. the typical scenario in the province at night. you know, night life starts ceasing as early as 6:30 p.m. when you are in the rural area. my ever gracious sister-in-law warmly welcomed larry again (since that is his third visit to their house) and directed him to his room at the second floor. she kidded him to rest well for the next morning’s challenge…
i, too, went to my room  which was at the first floor. tiredness coupled with dizziness made it easy for me to catch a decent sleep. i also had to ready myself.
september 8, 1997 was a day to reckon with especially for larry. clearly, he was the one who was suffering  the  pressure. simply asking for my parents’ blessing in marriage was  difficult in his case since he was not yet confident whether he had already established a very positive impression on my parents and even my eldest brother in just two short encounters. i could almost hear the bionic beating of his heart…
papa and mama were actually surprised to see the two of us that day,  but it did not take them long enough to think for the reason of our unannounced visit.
yul (long to us ), my eldest brother, was the one who verbally expressed our intention. he was the one whom i immediately informed why we had to go to bicol.  ate mer, his wife, had already arranged the narra chairs in a small circle in the living room. the entrance of  my widowed sister signaled the start of the proceedings…mama took her place beside papa, ate mer beside long, and i beside larry.
i silently waited for the first question…
first…second…third question…i decided to stop counting as  my parents and siblings started grilling him.  larry was on the main spotlight…i only had the minor role. thus, when the interrogation ended, i gave all my applause to him for he had succeeded in answering all the what’s, the why’s, and the how’s making him deliver the first best performance of  his life in our territory. he had convinced my family that he has all the good intentions in wanting to marry me.
the talk lasted for almost an hour after setting the date for the “pamamanhikan”  of larry’s family in bicol which was set in october of the same year. we became relieved and thankful. everything went on smoothly. so far, so good. we were positive our target date in tying the knot would be followed since we already made a reservation at st. pancratius chapel, paco park  as early as may without our respective parents’ knowledge. for us, the day’s mission was accomplished!
our remaining hours there in bicol before we returned to manila in the afternoon gave us the chance to go to daraga church, and then later on watch the parade. you see, september 8 is the daraga town fiesta with the  our lady of the gate as its patron saint.
Nuestra Señora de la Porteria (Our Lady of the Gate Church) in Daraga, Albay
Nuestra Señora de la Porteria (Our Lady of the Gate Church) in Daraga, Albay
larry and i in front of the daraga church
larry and i in front of the daraga church
coincidentally, today is also the birth of mama mary. in naga city, devotees of the lady of penafrancia participated in the “translacion” where the image of our lady of penafrancia was  brought from the shrine to the cathedral. this marked the first novena mass for naga’s penafrancia festival  in the lead-up to the week-long festivities beginning september 15. fortunately, larry and i were able to visit our lady of penafrancia shrine on his second visit to bicol.
Our Lady of Penafrancia Shrine
Our Lady of Penafrancia Shrine
the beautiful glass mosaic
the beautiful glass mosaic
inside the shrine with my two sjcs close friends and co-teachers who were vacationing with me in bicol
inside the shrine with my two sjcs close friends and co-teachers who were vacationing with me in bicol
photo-op at the gate
photo-op at the gate
a shot with my eldest nephew before leaving naga city
a shot with my eldest nephew before leaving naga city
being a non-bicolano, larry enjoyed these visits the same way he enjoyed tagging along with me that day as i went through the crowd to have a very good view of the participants in the parade. i was beaming with happiness. it had been ages since i had watched and joined the fiesta celebration in daraga where i spent major part of my young life.
today, as i go through these events, i am happy and partly sad. happy because the positive answer which my parents gave  us when we asked for their blessings was the one that really directed us to where and what we are right now as husband and wife. partly sad because i could have been in daraga,  albay at this very moment for i am one of the godmothers in the baptism of a cousin and good friend’s daughter. today could have been a chance to set foot again on the place that made my childhood years very beautiful. today could have been a moment touching base again with siblings, relatives, and friends whom i haven’t seen for quite sometime now. today could have been…
unfortunately, things have to be prioritized.

let the COULD HAVE BEEN a COULD HAVE BEEN…i know that day will come. i will be patient lest i will be branded as impractical…

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