Taking delight in the company of family and friendsBy Conchita C. Razon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It’s been a busy couple of weeks. My inbox overflowed with announcements and invitations to varied events, from birthdays to prenuptial parties and weddings; seminars on how to keep young; lectures about aging gracefully. Most of them, I’m happy to say, were truly interested in my personal attendance. The others, well, they just wanted to sell me something.
The bridal shower “e-vite” surprised me. People my age often get bypassed for these parties, which are celebrations of that dreamy time of life when one still feels like the main character of a love story. We are no longer at that stage, and, yes, the concept of “happily ever after” has faded more than a tad.
But it was for my granddaughter who was about to marry her best friend. And for her, I polished the slightly tarnished forever sign in my heart and joined the party.
Their wedding was a grand, beautiful, emotional, Christ-centered ceremony that evoked tears and cheers from the guests. The vows were personal, intimate, tender and brimming over with their hopes and dreams. I sat with their other two lola. The three of us sighed a little, and cried a lot. We took it all in, happy to see that in spite of all the technology that surrounded us, tradition was faithfully served. We were, however, totally astounded by the two Storm Troopers, straight out of “Star Wars,” who arrived to escort the bride and groom to the reception. No, the newlyweds did not honeymoon in some remote galaxy. They discovered the beauty of Bohol.
‘Kung hei fat choi’
On my smartphone, via text, I was asked to join the celebration of the Year of the Snake. It was lunch at the incredible buffet of Escolta. Excellent. But then, you can always count on the finest and the best at The Peninsula.
Some of the people at the party I had not seen in many years. It was a happy time and lovely to renew old bonds of friendship.
There were five long tables of ladies and a few brave gentlemen, most of them mahjong and bridge players facing one another, this time in friendly camaraderie, not counting cards or chips; only calories, if that. Thank you, Madeleine Lim and Kay Young.
In our neighborhood, I was invited to a gathering to discuss the merits or folly of building what some residents call “an outrageously expensive and totally unnecessary facility” in Ayala Alabang Village. A great many homeowners are violently opposed. Pity, I could not make it to that one. The contenders promise to make this an interesting and colorful debate. Abangan!
This just in
Still in line with the celebration of the centennial, I received an e-mailed announcement from my alma mater about a lecture to be held at the Veritas et Caritas Hall of College of the Holy Spirit on Feb. 19, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Speaker will be Patricio F. Reyes, MD, who is executive director of the Philippine National Institute on Aging. The lecture will focus on the value of learning and understanding the process of human aging. For information, call the CHS Alumnae Foundation office at tel. 7355986.
What’s on TV
Watching the news can be a very disturbing pastime and could even be hazardous to your health. I know; it gives me indigestion.
I heard that campaign season for the May elections officially started last Tuesday. No kidding! I could have sworn it was launched months ago. Judging from the illegal posters and streamers festooned all over the streets, so did the candidates. I had to laugh at the new and creative ways they tried to escape the Comelec rules. Happy Fiesta, said one sign. Happy Valentine’s, said another. Pathetic!
Anyway, television networks had both big events on prime time. I saw very few welcome faces. The rest of the lineup on both teams left a lot to be desired. It was a cool and breezy evening. I went out to catch a sorely needed breath of fresh air.
News from the Vatican is disturbing. What makes a shepherd leave his flock? The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is of great concern. It brings to mind part of a verse in Scripture, “For it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd. And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’” (Matthew 26:31)
I always thought popes died in office. A pope has not stepped down in six centuries. As much as I want to believe the reasons offered, my heart tells me there may be more than they want the world to know. Something sinister? Politics? Intrigue? What do you think?
The other night, just when I was becoming exasperated with the endless commercial breaks between the exciting scenes of my favorite telenovela, I watched the latest Coca-Cola advertisement. It is as charming as it is heartwarming. Their tagline, “Sino ang napasaya mo today?” is a winner! I have decided to ask myself that same question at the end of my every day.
About Valentine’s Day
And here’s a postscript to my midweek Valentine’s experience. I went to see “Foursome” at the MOA Arena. Two couples took to the stage; one at the peak of their relationship, and the other one tending the pieces of hearts once broken but now restored. Can this often overrated day of hearts and flowers still have any significance for ex-lovers? For ex-spouses, even? I don’t know. I don’t dare guess.
Granted, I am an incurable romantic. But listen to my heart. I believe that love changes; it may grow or diminish, but it remains. Sometimes it transforms into a loving, caring, beautiful friendship. What keeps it alive? Memories stoke the fire. Music fans the flames. I wish I knew. But on Valentine’s night, there was magic, real magic.