Our Pamanhikan happened on the 4th of July (just yesterday), a bright and sunny Sunday. It started out a very lovely day. V picked me up at 10:30 a.m. for our regular Sunday Mass. We went to the Church of Gesu (as it was the first Sunday of July). After mass, we passed by Shoppersville to buy ice and additional softdrinks. When we got home I realized that we forgot film for the camera so we ventured out again to buy it. We helped fix up the house (at this point, there wasn't much to fix up anymore as I already bought the ice bucket the night before -- the only missing item for the big lunch). First to show up was V's eldest sister, Eins, together with hubby Chris and their youngest daughter, Sabrina (whom we fondly nicknamed Snobrina as she's the most sungit and aloof of her siblings). Then Funfy and Tita Star arrived next while we were at the parking area in front of our house. Vier and I acted as the welcoming committee, introducing everyone to each other. My Manong Paul was also there as he happened to be visiting his daughter, Popi, (our resident niece studying at Ateneo). Zwei arrived with his wife, Tintin, after we had all settled in the sala and Drei arrived last with his wife, Yeng, and his kids (Thea, Miggy and little Matthew).
I remember that the highlight of the Pamanhikan was one of the first things my Dad said to Tita Star: "Star, I hear from my daughter that your kids love you very much." Tita Star smiled and said, "That's one of the things I'm blessed with. We aren't rich with material things, but our family is blessed with a lot of love and friends." That set the tone for the entire day.
Despite the heat we pigged out on Naty's fare: chicken asparagus soup, her famous bihon (of which Sabrina ate 3 helpings, a feat, considering that she's very picky with food), and her yummy dry adobo. As a bonus, she also made her special leche flan (which I didn't even get to taste). V's family brought most of the dessert: my favorite coffee crunch cake, pandan cake and 3 gallons of ice cream! (pistachio, cheese and rocky road). I think the only crisis we had was the lack of forks and spoons!
We realized that it was a small world because Tita Star and Manong Paul had lots to talk about, having both worked for Fortune Guarantee. Chris, Eins' husband, also could speak Bisaya since he was posted in Iligan for several years.
All in all, everyone had a great time. Everyone left at around 4:00 p.m. already. And boy were we stuffed! Not only did my Dad give my hand away, he gave my foot and some pabaon too (he gave them a box of Bacolod goodies since he just went on a business trip there). That was the joke of the day (my aunt from L.A. called in to say that my Dad had better give my foot together with my hand 'para tapos na.'). But that's not the end of the story. Tita Star invited us over to their house next Sunday for lunch. :)