One of the main reasons why we flew to the Philippines was to be at my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary. We had the said event on the 31st of January at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City. I and my siblings planned it for 2 years and I was tasked to be the event organizer. I had lots of fun putting the details of the event together. A sales representative from the hotel did a great job of preparing the venue and the food. I made the program for the ceremony and the reception with the approval of my siblings. Our goal was to make it super special, elegant and a "big" surprise for our parents.
We didn't tell them how we were going to celebrate it. They thought we would just have a simple dinner at a simple restaurant. When we bought them their attires- a Barong Tagalog (official formal dress shirt for Filipino men) for Papa and a Filipiana (official formal dress for Filipino ladies) for Mama, they were wondering why they had to wear them. When they saw the men dressed up in Barong Tagalogs and the women in formal long gowns, the two still had no clue what we were gonna do. We drove to Waterfront Insular Hotel, a 5-star hotel, without telling them what we were up to there. As soon as they read what was in the backdrop in the beautifully decorated party room, they realized that we would celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary there. They were so stunned and moved that they had tears of joy in their eyes. They didn't have the slightest hint we planned a special celebration for them. The photographer and the videographer we hired didn't waste time and started the fun in picture and video taking immediately. We had pictures taken outdoors... oh, it was blazing hot! We were practically bathing in our own sweats but we gave our best smiles anyway. My parents looked stunning in their attires! And watching them posed for the camera was very cute!
We started the ceremony as soon as Papa's brother, Uncle Josh, and his wife arrived. Papa and Mama looked very cute on their processional march. We all stood for them as they walked down the aisle. Auntie Leah, Uncle Josh's wife, opened the ceremony with a prayer. It was followed by Kuya Dan's (our oldest brother) speech to welcome every one. Then, Kuya Dan's wife, Ate Babette, led us in singing a worship song. After that, Papa was called to recall and tell us their love story. Oh, it was very romantic! I will write it here sometime. He also said his special message for Mama. Then it was her turn to say her message to Papa. As soon as they were done with their messages, I and my siblings sang their favorite song. Growing up, we heard them sang that song over and over. It was our chance to sing it to them. It's called, "I'm going higher someday". The rest of the ceremony was Uncle Josh officiating the reenactment of Papa and Mama's marriage vows and the promenade of their grandchildren to pay respect and honor to their Lolo and Lola with their presents and flowers. Kuya Nemrod was our MC, so it was a "knockout!"
For the reception party, we had buffet dinner and talent time. The food was excellent and more than enough... we got to bring quite a bit of left-overs. The kids got to show their talents in singing and dancing and dedicated them to Lolo and Lola. The big people said their love speeches to Papa and Mama. The two also had a cake and wine thing, which I think was adorable. Then, we danced the night away!
It was a dream-come-true to all of us in the family, who wanted something special for our parents. It did come to my parents as a big surprise. And I am pretty satisfied with how the whole thing turned out. It was memorable, beautiful and inexpensive.