Friday, May 18, 2007

Life Begins at Forty

On Sunday, May 20, 2007, my parents Lourdes and Cecinio del Rosario will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. True to form, they have shunned any ostentatious celebration. With their children living in different continents and their grandchildren on holiday abroad, they just want to focus on the basics for that day.

We, meaning the couple and me their driver, will relive that fateful day by hearing mass at Malate Church (Nuestra Senora de Remedios) where they exchanged vows one early Saturday morning. Then, we'll dine at the venue of their wedding reception, the nearby Aristocrat restaurant.

Mama preserved the negatives of their wedding photos. When she had copies made a couple of years ago, the photo center said that the negatives could win if they had a contest on oldest and best-preserved negatives. I wish I had a scanner so I could show you how they looked like then, the young lawyer who married the young music/piano teacher in 1967. Papa thinks he looked like Jude Law then. Mama had such a tiny waist! Why didn't I inherit that?

My parents are low-profile, simple people. Their conversations are not about their achievements and they are not fond of lavish parties. I've always said that people need only ask one question, however, and my parents would proudly recite that they have five children, all graduates of the University of the Philippines - an architect/businessman, a mathematician (Ph.D./ Ten Outstanding Young Scientists of the Philippines - this always comes up), an accountant, a lawyer, and a scientist. They have four children-in-law, two from U.P. and two from other countries. They have two handsome grandchildren who are very talented and loving. Their listeners should brace themselves for more where this came from as this is their favorite topic.

Like any married couple, they went through the ups and downs of raising five children, but looking at them now, sharing their passion for traveling and gardening, one a Sudoku lover and the other a Koreanovela fan, still criticizing each other's cooking, watching movies that are free for senior citizens at movie houses on Mondays, and united in their love for family and music, I am (and I'm sure my siblings are,too) very, very grateful.

We'll have a reunion with the immediate family later this year and we'll drink to those 40 colorful years. I want to thank God that Mama and Papa are still healthy and happy together.

Photo taken during their vacation in Europe last year. It's one of my favorite shots of the two of them, taken by Kuya Ric.

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