I first met them in a town fiesta. Maila, a childhood friend, has this habit of bringing visitors in town whenever she returned to Merida. At first, I thought it was one of her cousins but no, this time, it is a boyfriend. We stayed in the disco until 2am until it was time for us to part. I have already graduated from college back then and was working on my first ever job. I was involved in a relationship that time but unfortunately, it ended after three years. I’ve been in several jobs after that but amidst changes around me, one thing remained: she and her bf are still together! Thus, when I received her text saying that she’s getting married, I considered it as something inevitable and what happened in the last years finally wind down to this one event that will finally conclude their love.
The wedding is set in Cebu, the place where my friend and her guy, Alrei met. In 2008, I used to meet them for lunch or a mall hangout. I had stayed in Panganiban and Junquera Extension in those times and my friend in Villa Leyson. They are inseparable. Their bonding goes beyond erotic love or friendship. They look like siblings at times. It was a common sight to see Alrei wipe sweat in my friend’s face or offer to carry a bag of groceries. These gestures that can be likened to complete submission are very sweet. They got me envious.
However, years later, when I went back to my hometown, I received texts or chats from my friend saying that they’ve been in a fight or there was news of some affairs that broke her heart. And with my independent, willful nature, I readily advise her to break free from the relationship. But like any successful love tales, they always managed to get back together and continued what they have started. New faces may have appeared in their facebook posts, Alrei may have found a new job or my friend may have promoted to a new position but they were always there for each other.
I arrived in Cebu one day before the wedding. Since 2010 in a three-day writer’s convention, I have never set foot in the city again. Thus, when I went out from Weesam in pier 3, I feel like thrown in a new jungle. I felt like a fool not to even remember where to hail for a jeep going to SM. I took the taxi instead and waited for a friend in SM. We decided to engage in a sinful pizza-pasta trip in Yellowcab Ayala and forget the weight loss regimen, for a while. My cousin met me there. Being one of the bridesmaids as well, she got her nails cleaned and bought a new pair of high heels for the wedding.
I slept in my cousin’s place and we reminisced memories in grade school. My cousin, Doreen, Maila and I were one of the famous trios in grade school class. We were seatmates, and since we are more or less of the same height, we stayed near each other in dance practice, girl scout line-ups or group singing. However, they have enrolled in Saint Peter’s College while I, being in a struggling family that time, got enrolled in a public high school, the Ormoc City National High School.
In church and in the reception, I had the chance to meet their high school buddies in SPC. I was introduced to Miko, Jenneth, Leah and Mark. Maila’s relatives, some of them who were my playmates before, were also there. Popong, who had a crush on me, is now working as manager in one of the departments of Robinson’s Fuente. He is now a father of three kids. Goldie, who used to visit Merida on summer vacations, is now an I.T. expert in an outsourcing firm in Cebu. I cannot help but overhear their conversations with her narrating her experience in Russia as part of a training in her job. Na Amparo and Noy Nanding, Maila’s parents were there with her aunties and cousins. It was like a mini-reunion.
In the reception, I never got to talk much with my cousin because she was busy catching up with her high school classmates. I just seek refuge to my Nikon point and shoot camera and took pictures of the food, the singer, the flowers on the table, other visitors in the next tables, the view of the metropolis and some scenes during the couple’s wedding dance.
I don’t really care. It was enough for me to be in the same room with my friend, watching her transform and took this grand step that separates her from the aimless roads of being single. It was enough for me that I have been in her wedding and made her feel that I am willing to be part of this new chapter in her life.
Doreen, who sounds gullible and believes that getting the bouquet will bring good love vibes, unfortunately, did not get it during the games. I am also currently single and I have decided months ago to live life as it is and forget about the stereotypical idea that girls should be married before 30. I’ll be 29 this year and I just CANNOT care yet. There are plans, endless plans for myself and for my mother at home. I even do not know where, in these plans, my man would come in.
I went back to Ormoc, on board the overnight Roble trip, feeling happy and refreshed. Despite my work schedule, I had managed to get out from the routine I have followed for years now. I am uploading wedding pictures on facebook, sometimes, looking at Maila’s wall and some news in their first week of being married. But no news yet especially of announcements of having babies. I am not in a hurry either. It was just good knowing that despite this world of skepticism and greed, people get married and prove once again that love remains and love is all that matters. I can only hope, pray and believe that this new couple will continue being happy in their marriage life, infinitely.