Sunday, July 26, 2015

Against all odds we made it to our 31st year

My husband Rolly and I made it to our pearl anniversary last year, and I did a Beatles gig on this space, rewriting Lennon and McCartney's "When I'm 64." Philstar's Millet Martinez Mananquil took note of it and appreciated that blog entry, and she ran it on a Sunday issue of her Life section. Sure! I said. Rolly, I felt, needed more affirmation how kainis guwapo he is.

On our 30th, we treated ourselves to a yoga and wellness retreat organized by poet Marj Evasco in her home province of Bohol. Rolly was open to the idea--that was triumph enough when I asked if he'd like to join us. I told Marj he would join the healthy meals, Bimboy Peñaranda's book launch and talk on disaster preparedness and a different spiritual view on how to get ready and not be in panic mode. But I couldn't guarantee if Rolly would be there for all yoga sessions with our teacher, Ajita Reyes.

Damn right the missus was, but he looked quite relaxed from that look weekend. I have these pictures to remind me of that rare couple holiday that we enjoyed.

Rolly admires the Chocolate Hills of Carmen, Bohol. Photo by Babeth Lolarga

Ajita Reyes, yoga teacher (middle), is flanked by her students Babeth and Marj Evasco. Photo by Rolly Fernandez

Now that we made it to our 31st year, radical changes are being made here and there, one of which is reaffirming a commitment to one another (walang iwanan muna) in the spirit of our Roman Catholic vows of "for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part."

We affirmed not to make promises of obedience to either one as coached by our Life Coach Gilda Cordero Fernando when she hosted a tsokolate't pinipig afternoon following the lunch Rolly treated us to at Alab by Chef Tatung on Scout Rallos, Quezon City. Love, honor, yes, but "obey"? Only dogs go to obedience school, no slur aimed at dogs. Our witnesses this time included Gou de Jesus and her Ernie (Ernesto Enriquez), Gilda Cordero, Bobbie Malay and Nash Tysmans.

Gilda made us switch roles for the "wedding picture" with Rolly seated and I standing with Bobbie's face reflected on the mirror. Bobbie's Dad Armando was our July 26, 1984, wedding sponsor. All wedding sponsors are dead. Of the two women who signed their names on our marriage certificate, Nieves B. Epistola is especially missed during the month of July. (She had a birthday the other day.)

Our wedding photog in 1984 was Jerry Araos. When we celebrated our 31st jubilee in advance on July 23 this year, Nash Tysmans, Wig and Carole's daughter (herself a skilled photographer, writer, educator--a woman wearing many berets) did the photo documentation duty. The luncheon was as intimate as our wedding dinner in '84 at Nielsen Tower was.

And on the seventh day, the God we recognize rested. We two are resting, too, he in Baguio, I in Pasig.

What's new, pussycat? Sing it to me, Rolly!
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