Quezon City, the Philippines
June 1, 2008
For the occasion of our parents’ golden anniversary, my sibs and I had envisioned a grand event: PowerPoint presentations, video interviews, buffet galore, and hundreds of friends and relatives sharing the joyous occasion with us – the works! We thought our parents deserved nothing less than a fantastic fete with high (not to mention, tacky) production values.
Thankfully, good sense and logistical issues paved the perfect way for us to celebrate our parents’ wedding anniversary. Simple and low-key, yet genuine and meaningful – much like the love and marriage we were celebrating.
My “unstoppable” sister, who originally made a reservation in a swanky Makati restaurant, had a light-bulb of an idea. She thought of going back to where it all began – in U.P. (University of the Philippines in Diliman, where my parents met). And so it came to pass that we ended up with the most appropriate golden anniversary celebration that my parents would be delighted with.
It was a surprise. They knew we were attending a Sunday service, but didn’t know where. It was at the Church of the Risen Lord in U.P. (a Presbyterian church inside the campus), where they were married on June 1, 1958.
My parents had not been there in decades as they have since become ecumenical. It was quite a walk down memory lane for them. The pastor simply announced their presence and the occasion. Then we had some photos taken after the service. Later, the family converged at a gazebo on the church grounds for lunch and a short program. With us were two pairs of representatives from each of our parents’ paternal and maternal sides. We were also joined by a few family friends who helped in the preparation and video-recording.
Since there were only a few of us, each one was able to give a message, including my U.S.-based brother who had sent his message on video. The messages, of course, were both touching and hilarious: anecdotes of their young love, memories of our childhood with our parents. Most touched on how inspiring their marriage was – for lasting this long and staying this happy.
Most wondered aloud what their secret to a successful marriage was. Well, I’ll let you in on their secret (see photo below).
Yes, they still do that…and quite often too!
Laughter, a good measure of cheesy kissing, constant conversation (after half a century together, they haven’t run out of things to talk about!) and the grace of God – that’s how they have strengthened their Golden Bond.