A funny wedding: The tale of two stand-ins

Posted: August 17, 2009 in Uncategorized


Abbie, you finally got your wish. Here’s the first blog on our ‘beautiful family’!

Exactly six years ago, our eldest daughter, Tricia, got married to Joey at the San Agustin church in Malate, Manila. The couple met each other as officemates in Bayantel but Joey soon moved on to Globe Telecom after they got married. A month or so before the wedding, my eldest brother, Manong Eddie, stood in for me for the traditional pamamanhikan, where Joey with his family in tow, formally asked for Tricia’s hand in marriage. He had to do it for me. I was down with the flu at the time. To this date, I maintain that that flu did not mean I was objecting in any way to the marriage of my first born child. Could simply have been the proverbial butterflies in my tummy. In truth, I was quite happy that Tricia will get married.

After the successful pamamanhikan, both families got involved in the web of preparations for the wedding—the wedding entourage, trousseau, reception, invitations, etc. On the day before the wedding, we billeted ourselves in a nearby hotel so we could, take note, and get to the church on time. On the day itself, everybody dressed up but the trip to the church was delayed by the seemingly endless picture-taking. As the hour approached, common sense prevailed and we started to travel to the church. Rosalie and son Aarlo joined Tricia in the bridal car while I drove the family car. With me were our daughters Ma. Lorena and Sabrina, and a niece, Katherine. Olayne, Sab, and Kat-Kat were all members of the bridal entourage.

While we driving to San Agustin, the Tourism Department then headed by now-Senator Dick Gordon was holding a huge parade-cum-extravaganza in the area. Needless to say, we got caught in the jam and I tried to find a way through the narrow streets. We then decided to park the car somewhere and make a RUN for it. I was wearing the traditional round-necked T-shirt that serves as an undershirt to the formal barong
I was carrying in a hanger. All of my companions were in long gowns and high-heeled shoes. And we were all running like crazy towards the church with me leading the way. Every once in a while, I would look back and see the girls who were struggling as their heels occasionally getting stuck between the cracks of cobble-stoned streets of Intramuros.

To cut a long story short, the father of the bride and three members of her entourage were missing. The wedding coordinator was quite frantic since San Agustin was quite strict about wedding schedules. She made a nifty adjustment though. Instead of simply waiting for me to show up, she asked my brother-in-law, Manong Ed (who was otherwise not tasked with any formal role in the wedding and who happened to be in a barong), to stand in for me for the bridal entourage’s entry—the part where the bride and her father march along the aisle up to the groom and the father symbolically hands over his daughter to his future son-in-law.

The wedding entourage started moving. It was this point that the four panting and sweating stragglers arrived in San Agustin. Since she was on the look-out, the wedding coordinator immediately saw me and signaled me to get in place. I was running with both hands up so she can help me slip into the barong. I think she was assisted by one of her staff. She took care of one sleeve while the second one was taken care of by the other. Of course, a good number of family and friends gathered in the church did not know what was going on and were simultaneously perplexed and amused.

Manong Ed’s wife was preparing to take a picture of Tricia and Manong Ed. She looked away for a sec, then focused her camera once more—and Manong Ed morphed into moi, Bong(!), whose perspiration was being wiped away by the same dutiful wedding coordinator.

Happily, no additional mishap marred the beautifully solemn wedding ceremony. But then everybody was amused and laughing over what happened. At the reception’s start, Tricia laughingly complained that I stole the limelight from her and her handsome groom and that perhaps I did it intentionally. But she ain’t seen nothing yet. When I was asked to give a few words of advice to the newly-weds, I did so but also sang “Smile” a cappela. With all modesty, that brought the house down especially when I wiped the tears off Rosalie’s face with my handkerchief.

Happy anniversary Tricia and Joey! Hindi ko talaga sinadyang agawan kayo ng eksena (I didn’t intend to steal the limelight from you both). If there is anybody to blame, that’s Dick Gordon!



  1. Tricia Contreras says:

    Thanks Papa! LOL! Everbody said Mama will steal the show, but the real star was you. Hehe. I love you!

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