Everything was all set for my BFF Jennifer Solis’ bridal shower. And then “Yolanda” happened!
So, from a nail salon, Cynthia David, Cecil Alegro, Tiffin Solis-Parco, Jenny and I ended up at the Santuario de San Antonio Parish Center (thanks for the recommendation, Sonja Ocampo!).
We showed up unannounced, without knowing anybody there, lugging bags of Spanish bread, cupcakes and ensaymada.
Our baon was warmly welcomed and one of the organizers even cried when we showed her the cake. I thought she was kidding when she said, “Naiiyak naman ako.” Totoo pala!
We got separated from each other during the mad packing but we didn’t really mind; we were there to work, after all.
I was blown away by everyone’s efficiency. Each volunteer moved at lightning speed even if the organizers reminded us to relax and not be so stressed.
I never got the names of those beside me in the assembly line, but we talked, exchanged jokes and explored ways to do our tasks in the best way possible.
Every time our supplies ran out, all we had to do was shout “ulam!” (or noodles or whatever) to nobody in particular, and a new box would be in front of us.
We didn’t even have to call out; replenishment would just appear! I loved how everything flowed with precision! It was so organized and systematic.
Every so often, somebody would walk around with a tray of glasses of water inquiring, “Water, water, who wants water?” They really took care of the volunteers. Galing!
After the noodles ran out, the volunteers trickled to the corridor where we had our humble merienda spread. I was so happy to see everyone enjoying the food and greeting the bride-to-be, biglang ang laki na ng party! It was exactly how I imagined it to be.
But the Youth of San Antonio had something else in mind. Next thing I knew, Jen was being tied to a chair next to a pile of boxes and everyone was scrambling for music. The phone speakers weren’t loud enough so we decided to sing.
To the tune of “Like A Virgin,” three guys popped out of boxes and began gyrating! It was a hilarious sight! Forty seconds of pure fun! I was touched beyond words!
We wanted to give Jen a bridal shower she would never forget and I think we did it because of a very special surprise segment cooked up and done by tired, busy people who were complete strangers to us. But not anymore!
To the Youth of San Antonio—Paul Macasaet, JJ and Tonton Yulo, Charo Amio, Alli and Alla Raval, Cres Rodriguez-Yulo and Aileen Payumo—you are amazing! Thank you, thank you so much! You have made more than just the victims of Yolanda very happy.
Nana and Jen have been friends since Grade 3 at UP Integrated School. They became close because they both liked Hello Kitty and hated PE.