Thursday, February 27, 2014

March 1st

March first, significantly, used to be the founding day of my St. Martha School. Tomorrow's March 1, excitedly I will be embarking on a trip to Japan with my siblings. I hope the short vacation goes well without a hitch. I'll be posting pictures when I come back. See ya!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

40th Wedding Anniversary Pictures

 Lucas and Heddy


 Eugene and Sharleen

 Middle row - My Canadian guests Bibi, Luson and Sharleen

 Tan's first generation siblings: Lucio, Lucas, Rosita, Antonio and Jose

 With friends and family

 Friends and family

 Friends and family

 Doing the line dance after dinner.

The ladies line dancing.

Monday, February 17, 2014

40th Wedding Anniversay

Today, February 17, 2014 is our 40th wedding anniversary. Lucas and I are very simple people. We wake up early in the morning to attend the first mass in grateful thanksgiving to God, at the same time to petition for many more years of blessings to come. We specially requested Monsignor Antonio Pueyo to bless us after the mass. For my intention, I specially pray for my children. They do not live with us here in Cotabato City; but Lucas and I do constantly worry and pray for their safety, good health and well being everyday. As of present, Tom is the only one who is married (to Angel) with two children. I  pray to God to also bless the unmarried ones with good and worthy spouses. O Lord, please bless them with your abundant graces. Have mercy on Lucas and me. We give you thanks for your great love!!!

Today, the second eldest brother of Lucas, Luson together with his wife Bibi and daughter Sharleen are here from Canada for a short visit. Since it coincides with our wedding anniversary, Lucas and I decide to double celebrate the two occasions. Family members and old friends are invited to the homecoming. I have the family cook prepare all the dishes. Hoping my guests will like my party's preparation.

We have a great and wonderful time tonight! Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Remembering Prom Nights

When I was reading the papers yesterday, I was amused by the advertisements and write-ups about "Prom Dates".  Let it be known that here in the Philippines, the culmination of the academic year is in March; February therefore is the valentine and prom season. While looking at those beautiful frocks displayed on the spread of the newspaper, I began to reminisce at my own prom nights..............

My high school JS Prom in 1967 was a school activity supervised by school teachers. It was kind of a formal introduction to social graces. It was a send-off party for the senior students by the juniors (us). Hence we, the lower batch took care of the party fare, the decoration of the gym and also the program of the night. Our class advisers of course had a lot of say with regards to everything. The students specially the juniors were just all too eager to follow. Everybody was ecstatic. In fact, the JS proms two previous years ago were all cancelled out by our former principal Dr. So Heng Sam because he deemed the affair as a decadent American influence. He was too conservative. But now that we had a new principal, Mr. Kho Siok Kee, the affair was revived thanks to the school faculty.

For the affair, female students were assigned specific colors to wear: blue for the senior girls and pink for us juniors. The male students were also tasked to wear identical white trubinized outfit, with tie or string bow to set them apart as senior or junior boys. I requested my dress to be sewn in Manila. It arrived several weeks before the event. My sisters in Manila sent me a beautiful pink lacy dress with the latest cut around the hip called "long torso", but I did not like it because it made me look babyish. I quickly had another dress tailored in Cotabato. The material was not as nice but I got to look more mature with a 'crystal silk' mini dress with  false flowers randomly sewn on the lacy top. I went to the local parlor for my hair. My make up, together with Rita Cua, was done by one of those 'Ang' Chinese teachers who lived near the school. I did not like my hair and make-up. I looked stiff. I did not like my appearance at all, but I did not know of any other better way to look nicer. I was all jittery that if I didn't look pretty enough, I would end up a wall flower during the night.

I was also tasked to bring 100 pieces of bite-sized meat balls to the party. The family cook prepared the dish for me. I remembered my classmate Soo Uye Wong commenting thus, "Why is your meat ball so round?" I looked at them and indeed they were! Everybody who was anybody involved in school attended the party: The board of trustees and all the English and Chinese teachers too.

The program that night literally started with a long promenade walk inside the huge school gym. The junior girls were paired with the senior boys and vise versa. The pairing was done according to heights. I was the fourth girl in the front row. My partner was Chin FooYing. He was a skinny nice Cantonese guy. I remembered vividly that we had to exchange tokens. The girls would pin corsage on the guys lapel. In exchange the boys would give us their lighted candles. That night, I was so embarrassed to see my corsage in comparison to those of the others girls. Theirs were made of orchids or rose blooms with ferns and ribbons, while mine (I did it too early and too hastily) was a complete disaster made up of a single wilting daisy and few dried ferns. I was doubly shamed when Chin Foo Ying handed me this beautifully lighted candle with paper doily and blue ribbon hangings. How grateful I was though that my partner did not take offense at my crude token, in fact he did his gentlemanly best and took me for his first dance. He looked pleased and happy. He and his barkada (peer group) also took turn dancing with me several times during the night. Thankfully I did not turn out to be a wall flower after all. In fact I was sought after during the dance by both the seniors and the junior guys. And my crush of a teacher Mr. Johannes Go (aka James Bond), sat a few seats behind my back watching me dance! Yes, my JS Prom was indeed one of my most memorable high school experiences.

Then came my senior year.....our class adviser Mr. Romualdo Sumayo wanted us the seniors girls to be in uniformed attire. During the prom, the girls wore white empire-cut 'tent' dress with a small blue ribbon in front. That dress was going to be our graduation outfit too. That year I was kind of chubbier and worst, I had my hair cut short a week before the prom and it turned out to be too unsightly, not befitting my round chubby face. Compared to my classmates, I was also darker in complexion. White was such an unbecoming color to me. I knew before hand I looked round, dark and fat and ugly. Even my classmate Soon Gee Du commented why I had my hair cut too short, I looked like a boy according to him. My feeling of being ugly may have had some effects on me not enjoying that prom night. Although I was not a complete wall flower but definitely I was not popular among the boys. What more, the senior boys were uninterested with us. They were going gaga over the younger batch. The class ratio was one girl is to 7 boys. We were dancing one girl to 5 or more boys at a time. That night,  sadly I was usually one of the remaining few on the seats to be asked to dance. The rest of the evening was forget-able.

But oh I love prom nights because I love to see young girls in beautiful dresses all gussied up. I am also in favor of young boys and girls mingling and learning social graces. And while still young, it is worthwhile to learn a lesson or two from our own mistakes and awkwardness. To the prom goers, make hay while the sun is shinning. :) Time will not wait for you.