Wednesday, January 30, 2008

THE NIGHT OF THE REUNION REFORMED (To Be Remembered Laughing - 3)

You couldn't pick a better night to hold a roof-deck family-reunion party. The moon was a no-show but the stars were in full attendance. Plus there was just enough nip in the air to make one want to hug each batch of newscomers tumbling in from the stairwell.

The laughter was a decibel louder; the table hopping, a bit bouncier.

It was a gold and magenta night. Or was that just me imagining colors?!

It was the night of the reunion reformed.

At 8:30, the program began "without much ado," when most families had been accounted for.

Rising to pray, we said thanks for the gathering of precious people, the food on the table, the gifts by the tree, the love that binds, the merriment that waits. We lifted up members of the family who were sick, needful, in trouble. We remembered those who have gone on to parts unknown.

We ended the party with singing and dancing.

Between the first number of the program and the last, there were:
  • A show, featuring singing-dancing-declaiming families competing head to head for prizes -- showing doubtlessly there was no shortage of talent in the family
  • Potluck buffet dinner, starring my lengua and food-for-the-gods and co-starring their karekare, spicy chicken wings, pancit, ihaw-ihaw, potato salad, carrot cake and leche flan
  • Announcement of talent contest winners and acknowledgment of the judges (chosen for being newcomers to the family and therefore with perceived impartiality), with their names kept secret until then to save them from attempts to lobby
  • Parlor games for kids, e.g. the reliable "give me" and the energetic "the boat is sinking," etc.
  • Parlor games for adults with husband-and-wife teams being asked about long-ago stuff they did together, like first movie (title), first gift (what), first kiss (where), first fight (why) -- with a sideshow of fights actuallyerupting when answers don't match.
  • Raffle of grocery bags, fruit baskets, holiday ham, and cash -- from Php 500 to US $ 100) solicited from the mucho- dinero members of the family (with "Auntie, how do i know my name is in that raffle box?" questions being answered with "Hijo, there are things you have to take on faith).
The party broke up at 1 a.m. There was hardly time -- yehey! -- for the traditional wassailing of the menfolk. No time for anyone to remember old grudges, play cards, sleep in the bedroom. No time to look for a computer to YM-chat or play online scrabble. There was just enough time in the end to hug each other extra tightly and say: "Wasn't it fun?!"

Was it? Let the pictures answer.

Isabela, being stage managed by mom Melissa

Alvin and Nicole's dad-and-daughter act won 2nd place.

Issa and Megan: sister act

Another (bigger) sister act: Krissha and Maikha

Jenicka won special prize by declaiming "we need a chaperon because we must be saved from ourselves. " (Wanted: a chaperon, an old declamation piece)

Alan with one of the judges

Bonch and Doc-not-yet with their favorite "kulit" -- Cycy.

Rhoda, Melissa, Chinchin and Monica with the venerable one.

Making a beeline for the buffet

Tomorrow's heartbreakers: River, Carcar, Topeng, Darwin

Pretty girl Aina wasn't in the mood to dance dance and just stuck by mom Monica's side.

Jaime is protective patriarch to this goodlooking family.

Apo Andeng should have been hot star of the night, but couldn't stay out in the cold.

Congrats to all winners. Thanks, Chin-chin for facilitating the games; Monica for emceeing the show; sister Zeny for the buffet setting and physical arrangements; Ela for stocking up on Unilever products for the grocery bags. Bravo, Red, Ariel, Melissa, Mylene, and Inang for allowing your arms to be twisted into donating cash. May your fortunes prosper and may your donations increase next year!)


lady cess said...

those are great ideas AM.
last christmas i was chosen (well, bec there was no one else) to head the family programme. it was against my will, i was busy so i arrived very late and therefore did a poor job.
maybe i'll do it again and will do a better job this year thanks to your ideas :)

vernaloo said...

happy to know you really had a blast last December Anna...too bad walang pics, di namin makikita ang mga happy faces :)

Anonymous said...

it sounds like the party/reunions we have, all of us have. typically pinoy.

can anyone invent more parlor games for pinoy parties? I was in charge of parlor games at our reunion last summer and I had a hard time with it. sure, we had trip to jerusalem (trip to heaven for the adults), bring me, the boat is sinking, paper dance, etc. but those are soooo old! I was tempted to try some of the more risque games we have at the office but my common sense prevailed. I had to shelve it since there were kids. in the end I was saved by the ever reliable karaoke!

lazarus said...

when I was a teenager, I always wanted to avoid reunions, but couldn't really find a way. Being the eldest among cousins, the younger ones always line up behind me in every games. Now that we've grown up, we only get to see each other when someone marries, or someone dies.

but my wife's family always has this annual get together. she leads the program, hyping up everyone for games and variety shows.

Gina said...

You've really turned your yearly reunions into something to look forward to by everybody in the clan,ha. Way to go , Anna!

Yummyumm, ang sarap naman ng mga pagkain sa party ninyo. Starring talaga ang lengua and food for the gods mo ha? I hope I'll be lucky enough to sample them some day.

Here's to many,many,many,many more festive /happy family reunions !

Leah said...

So much joy..I can imagine the giggles of the kids and the reactions to the husband and wife games. It sounds like so much fun.

I heard there was a cable that snapped under the Mediterranean Sea, maybe that's causing your cable issues. Send me photos. Would love to see them.

ScroochChronicles said...

Woohoo..I love reunion parties. After ignoring all the taklesa comments ("uy ang taba mo ngayon" and "uy pagod na pagod ang hitsura mo" and last but not the least "uy, magbuntis ka na uli ang tanda mo na eh"..grrrr), family parties are always fun.

Uy, sarap ng pagkain niyo. Invite naman next time..hehehe :)

bbr said...

memories, that's what annual gatherings are made of. this time, no sneaking for a chat or scrabble--lol! am sure the most memorable one was introducing the new members of the family--proudly introducing your little un!

we had one 2 weeks ago, in the comforts of a clubhouse in ayala heights, para no hassle. all we needed was to be present and have fun.

niceheart said...

Sounds like a fun reunion. Ay ba't walang pictures? :(

ysrael said...

I envy that kind of reunion even reunion happened in the movies. Very seldom na magkaroon kami ng reunion madalas pa nga kapag may patay sa pamilya, yun na ang pinaka-reunion namin.

Anna said...

how i miss those big family reunions! because we had a remarkably large clan, we used to have weekend reunions that usually included a mini parade, pigging-out galore and yes, a talent show among us grandkids. now we just see each other on christenings, weddings and funerals. sigh...

i sure envy you and your family, tokaya!

Belle said...

anna, what a fun reunion you had...very well organized and well-thought out! lahi ka pala ng mga magaganda!

Toe said...

Oh, I'm sure I've commented here before... nawala. :(

Anyway, I said that of course... kelangan bida yung lengua and food-for-the gods (which are my favorites, BTW). :)

Hey, that's another career option for you, oh venerable one, when you retire... you can be an events organizer. :)

Heart of Rachel said...

Great photos! I have no doubt it was a successful and fun-filled occasion. I suddenly developed a craving for kare-kare, my favorite Filipino dish.

lady cess said...

hi AM. ngayon ko lang nakita ang pictures.
i know some of your relatives! maila is an old friend, i know rhoda and chin and their kids, and monica herrera- who was very popular in school because she was a showbiz star (but i think monica doesn't even know i exist, hehehe!).... small world!!
our paths may have crossed many times already in the past. gosh, how thrilling!

Chateau said...

Oh wow, your reunion sounds like so much fun.. No time to wander off to a PC eh?
Maybe I should try your tricks next time. Actually, my sisters and I always plan a program, but palaging hindi natutuloy. We end up just giving away the prizes. We lack the political will. Para kaming govt officials. haha
My PC seems well na. Thanks again for all the help ha. :)

febeth said...

Just like you we enjoy holding reunions. SO far in my family, for the last 25 years we have reunions every year and we even go back to Manila just because of these reunions

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