My Guided Wanderings: Sequel 2

“Let me see if tomorrow will set my mood on fire for My Guided Wanderings: Sequel 2…”

My ‘tomorrow’ has been perfectly set ablaze to narrate my going home to Bicol last October 5!
Touted as the highlight of this month’s list of events, Edwin Maldo Manjares’ 45th Hawaiian luau party merits a page in my blog. I can only use one word to describe it – FANTABULOUS! 


Not expecting to be able to attend it, I was very grateful to my husband Larry for giving in to my cajoling. Oh well, it did not take me long convincing him to allow me to go home. Why? First and foremost, he knew that the celebrator is a good friend/batchmate/kumpare of mine.
edwin and i1
edwin and i2
I had to tell him also that Edwin changed the date from October 4 to 5 so I could make it to the party since the former sked was a class day for me in my graduate studies at UST. It likewise became a good timing since October 6 was declared a holiday which means to say my sons would have no classes. So with my sister Nano, whom I could request for the nth time to accompany my children overnight. Edwin’s changing the date made me feel really important; thus, my simple way of showing how I also value our friendship is making it to the celebration. But I think, what made it easy for my husband to give his nod is his being a former Saipem co-employee of Edwin in Angola, Africa. Prior to that, he already met him when I requested Edwin to bring a handy package for Larry when both of them were still working in different companies in Qatar. Yes, I think this is what goodwill is all about.
As agreed upon, my brother Yul fetched me from Ninong’s Hotel. My sister-in-law accompanied him. The moment I saw their amazement when I emerged from the lobby in my chosen Genevieve Gozum Hawaiian attire and accessories, I could say that I did prepare. Well, this is an understatement! Hahahahaha…
I was one of the early guests who arrived in Patio De Cagsawa, which was beautifully and creatively decorated by the husband and wife team of Carmelo “Meloy” Manalo and Jane Gee “Den” Mape.






The tropical motif was perfectly achieved. I felt like Lilo, minus Stitch, as I made my entrance and joined Edwin and three of my good friends/batchmates and a kumare. The official photographer, the great Custer Cano who happened to document my historical finish at the Mayon 360 last April, was there to capture every body language and emotion. Well, we were all game to “romance” with his lens. Hehehehe…





How I wished the other members of our BUHS Tribu 86 were able to join this thanksgiving party of Edwin whose generosity and kindness have kept our batch glued together. Ironically, I think we should be the one hosting a thanksgiving party in honor of him who has remained humble and dependable despite being successful in his career and life. But you see, he planned this party-cum-mini-reunion to provide a chance for our batch to heal whatever hurts were unintentionally inflicted to each other and to strengthen the brotherhood which we aim at keeping for the rest of our lives
Indeed, it was a day I left behind all the tensions, stresseand problems in Manila to be with Edwin and great friends. I seized that day for I know it would never have a repeat.







When the program commenced with the pandemonic and phenomenal one-man stand-up comedy show by Joel Carrascal, my batchmate and cousin, I knew the night spelled FUN and ENJOYMENT from all corners! 






juice pic








We felt like we were high school students again! The only difference was we did not have the luxury of having and attending this kind of parties back then. Yes, Edwin deserves all the cornucopia of blessings for he is never selfish in sharing them to us. So when he blew his 45 candles that night, I silently wished and prayed with him for continuous good health and luck.





Cheers! Applause! Wishes! 
For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow…” The lyrics of this song run short of the things we would like to say about Edwin. He is beyond good. His face exudes that.
I know we have varied ways of showing how much we love Edwin and I am confident, he has felt that. It was no surprise that he was able to “magically” make three batchmates resurface in his party but not in our major batch reunions. Obviously, it was their silent way of telling Edwin and us how extraordinary he is for them. 



Beautiful smiles… beautiful people… they are the reasons why my life can never be monochrome.

My stay in my own province was again fleeting, but it would always be one moment worth cherishing until my last breath. 


Photo Credit:

Custer Cano
Edwin Manjares at

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