Monday, September 9, 2013

How to stage a surprise party in less than 2 weeks

...which was all the time I needed to work my phone and find out if my friends in Manila and Baguio could help me spring another surprise (the last was in 2009 at our silver wedding anniversary) on 63-year-old Rolly Fernandez. Ninety-eight percent of those I texted were game, the rest had other commitments that they couldn't get out of. The odds were in the birthday boy's favor.

My fellow conspirators had a credible cover: a Sunday meeting of the Baguio Writers Group combined with a thanksgiving lunch after BWG was conferred the Gawad Pedro Bucaneg by the Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas (we did meet yesterday after the party spirit settled down over coffee to talk about future activities; the meeting wasn't just a clever diversion ploy).

The guests were game for the "roasting" of the diamond jubilarian. His quirks/habits, particularly the way he takes his job/s over-seriously (as journalism professor before he retired last year and as a working journalist), were uncovered by "grillers" Anna Leah Sarabia, former student Avigail Olarte (she said she and her female classmates from Batch 2000 were all sick with the Electra complex when they dealt with their teacher), Upsilon senior brod Des Bautista and Linc Drilon. Heckling from the sidelines was Rolly's UP Baguio colleague Del Tolentino. Maryland-based Baguio boy Benjie Abellera sent his message by email. Thank you again, fellow grand schemers, dreamers and heart-breakers. 

Well, for those who didn't make it, here are the photos from Anna's and my cameras that say, "Wish you were there!"

The yogurt-fed, organically raised roast suckling pig  was supposed to have been Rolly's offering to the BWG folks. He later realized it was also his gift to himself.
Our daughter Kimi picks Mario's key lime pie instead of a birthday cake. Good choice because everyone loves its lemon-y taste (pampaalis suya).
Early arrivals Oscar Pacis, who leads a Saturday Bible fellowship at his home with wife Toottee (seated rightmost), Anna Leah, who came all the way from Tagaytay, BWG vice president Jenny Cariño and Auring Bautista who made a lovely fish ceviche.
Linc Drilon with our youngest daughter, who also pulls her own surprise by coming home from abroad while awaiting a new work permit, and Kai of the tantalizing eyes
Scholars Del Tolentino and Ben Tapang bring in some booze. Therese Jison and Heiner Maulbecker bring up the rear, the apple pies and ice cream following them.
The girls at Green Valley (from left): Ida, Kai, Kimi, Luchie Maranan, BWG treasurer Merci Javier Dulawan and Anna Leah
Linc croons "Moon River" while Guido
Canero plays the violin.
Guido's solo of The Beatles' "Yesterday"
Mira Abaño accompanies herself in her cover of "Keep Breathing," her advice to many senior citizens in the audience.

Jenny Cariño heats up the afternoon with her "Volcano."
Avie Olarte speaks in behalf of UPB Journalism Batch Class 2000 whose members often wondered where Rolly got his perkiness for a 7 a.m. class. It must've been the beer from the night before.
Des Bautista (left) regales guests with anecdotes about how he, his family and circle of friends initiated younger fraternity brod Rolly into Baguio life. 
Scholars Ben and Del listen by the foot of the stairs. Ben tells Rolly that his made-to-order bulol buffet table is too Caucasian-looking with its tall nose and pointed chin.
Baboo Mondoñedo arrives in time for the BWG meeting with a box of Cafe by the Ruins ensaymada to go with the coffee. By quiet consensus no liquor allowed during said meeting. 
After his roasting, Rolly responds with the story of how 1992, the year our family moved to Baguio, remains the best year of his life. Born to parents from Cavite, he now calls himself a Baguio boy through and though.
They all laugh at what Rolly is saying.
Post a Comment