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).
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)
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.