Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My (painfully) long Christmas weekend

December 23, Saturday: a not-so-bad beginning

After lunch, I went to Vina's house to visit the new mommy and her baby boy. Although I am allergic to babies and children in general, tiny Tyler was docile enough for me to find him absolutely adorable. He was napping when I arrived, but woke up to be fed and burped (it was all over rather quickly, which surprised me-- that's how placid a baby he is), and then he went right back to sleep. I hope he does not give his mom too much trouble as he grows bigger.

I rushed back home because our mother-side cousins were gathering at our house for song rehearsal. We were so bad, it was comic. Half of us couldn't carry a tune to save our lives (I belong to that half), and those who could were drowned out by the booming baritones of the boys at the back (thank goodness there are only 5 boys out of 18 grandchildren). After going through the 2 songs several times (every repetition increased my fear we'd bring down our living room chandelier), our parents let us adjourn. My mom and sibs and I accompanied Auntie Lua and her family from Australia (she married a Scotsman) to the Mall of Asia, then we had dinner with our grandparents and some relatives from China (yawn).

December 24, Sunday: when things started going downhill

My mom, my sister and I headed to our neighborhood salon to get hair treatments and manicures/pedicures, only to find that their air-conditioning was busted. But since I needed my nails done and my hair trimmed before I went to Cebu for Bel's wedding, we stuck it out and sweltered under our hot oil steamers. Then we met with the emcee for Guama and Guakong's party to iron out the program details, after which we met up with Pa and Bens to watch The Nativity Story at the Promenade (yes, it was kinda cheesy watching the story of Christ's birth on Christmas Eve, but there was nothing else worth seeing).

With many restaurants closing early and since all of us were feeling uninspired, we decided to grab a quick dimsum dinner at Gloriamaris. Stuffed with noodles and dumplings, we felt even more lethargic and decided to attend the 10PM Christmas mass at Mary the Queen instead of high mass at midnight (my brother was voting for Xavier's 10PM mass but my dad didn't want to walk the extra few feet, and celebrity-shy me didn't want to run into dozens of my former students).

After a very dry mass (the homily was wooden and uninspiring, the selection of Christmas songs not to my liking), we headed home and waited for midnight to start opening the presents under our tree. Bens opened a bottle of wine (well, actually I opened the bottle, since he couldn't work the corkscrew xp), I whipped out my trusty digicam, and Hanks distributed the gifts. Half of the stash I got this year went into the "regift/recycle" pile, but the other half I just luuuved.

Unfortunately, things turned kinda nasty when my sister and I got into a snippy exchange that led to a huffy silence for the rest of the night. To make me feel better, I polished off half a pint of Haagen-Daz Choc Choc Chip, ignoring the fact that I'd be part of a wedding in 2 days and I still needed to fit into my gown. My pomelo pink gown.

December 25, Monday: major Christmas day blunder

In the afternoon, we picked up Uncle Keith (our Scottish uncle) and Ewen (our half-Scottish cousin). Bens was going to take them to the Wack-Wack driving range to hit a few buckets. We were running early, so we swung by the Promenade to grab a cup of coffee at CBTL. On my way out of the minivan, I stooped down to grab a piece of Kleenex from the box on the floor, because I needed to spit out the gum I had been chewing. However, I misfired and my hair chose to fall into my face at that exact moment, and the gum wound up getting stuck in my hair. Worse, when I attempted to pull it off, it got even more entangled.

I went home with a clump of gummy hair dipped in a cup of hot water, and of course our arrival just had to coincide with the arrival of my other aunts and uncles who were meeting at our house to discuss the party next week. I refused to even consider cutting my hair (I had just gotten a trim and treatment the day before!), so thankfully my brother found a solution to my errr... sticky situation on the Internet ( is a lifesaver!). I applied baby oil to the gooey mess on my hair and it came off like magic (Bens was pushing for the other suggested remedy, peanut butter, but I think he just wanted me to take the funnier way out of an already mortifying mishap).

With my hair gum-free, Hanks, Abi and I crossed the street to Starbucks Ash Creek where I comforted myself with a Java Chip frap (again, in sheer defiance of the gown I had to put on in less than 24 hours' time). Over an hour of solid girl talk made me feel much better too, and by the time we returned to the house, I was ready to get dolled up for dinner at Mi Piace with my family (immediate family, that is) and Auntie Nene.

December 26, Tuesday: the ordeal

My mom and I were taking the 9:30AM PAL flight to Cebu for Bel's wedding, so we had to leave the house before 8AM. My alarm didn't go off, and when I jerked awake, it was already close to 7:30, so my day got off to a panicky, frantic start. Fast forward to our arrival in Cebu, and my rushing to the Waterfront's bridal suite to get my hair and makeup done (kudos to Bel and her family for being so wonderfully organized, from pre-arranging guest check-in to stocking the minibars in our rooms). When I got to the suite, my soul sister was looking more lovely than ever, and she wasn't even in her wedding gown yet (I suppose that whole "radiant bride" thing really is true). I had no doubt that she would be the most gorgeous woman in the room that day (on normal days she usually is already, yihee, I hope she's reading this ;p).

After I was made presentable, I got into my gown, my pomelo pink gown (as I told Bel, "ONLY for you!"), and hoped it would be the last source of discomfort to me for the rest of the day. Naturally, it was not.

We got to the church around 4PM. It was already pretty full, with many relatives and friends milling about the entrance. Then the wedding coordinators asked the members of the bridal procession to line up. We obediently stood in line for about 30 minutes, sweating in the afternoon humidity (I could feel my makeup melting away), until the last principal sponsor made her dramatic entrance. Who was the sponsor we were waiting for? Why, it was Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, no less. Now I have no great love for our nation's leader, and seated behind her, I was sorely tempted to put bunny ears on her head while the row of sponsors were being photographed, but I respect Bel's family too much to have made a scene (plus, all the PSG dudes hovering around us scared me).

Pink gown, insufferable heat, and GMA aside, my biggest beef with the wedding was the dozens of kaisiao offers coming at me from all corners. I thought being me was bad enough, me with "single, well-educated Chinese girl from nice family" stamped on my forehead. Put me in a pink gown, set my hair, and paint my face, and you might as well slap one of those police sirens on top of my head, blaring "SINGLE! SINGLE! SINGLE!" Diminutive grandmothers descended upon me like vultures circling a camel carcass in the middle of the Sahara . Friends of my parents lacking in the arts of subtlety informed me of nephews who are "very much available", wink-wink, nudge-nudge. Some would even slyly suggest that I had already caught the eye of said nephews (which was creepy more than flattering). And out of nowhere, old people I barely knew would come up to me just to ask how tall I was. I felt like I was up for auction or something. It was a relief to get back to our hotel room after the reception and get out of my gown and shower before I attracted any more unwanted attention.

However, I can honestly say I would gladly go through all that torture again in exchange for the look of pure joy in Bel's eyes that day. It was the first time I had met Erwyn, the groom, in person, but I could tell straight away that my soul sister had found her match in him. Bel's not the type of girl who would let just any guy sweep her off her feet (1 of the reasons we get along so famously), so I trust that when she chose him from among her legions of suitors, she picked the guy she's truly meant to be with forever. I wish them all the best in their life together. =D

* * *

So that painfully long blog post summed up my painfully long Christmas weekend. Tonight, the Go cousins are congregating at our house again for 1 final rehearsal (God I hope our chandelier holds), and I am sure to endure some merciless ribbing from Kev about my gum-in-the-hair disaster. Our aunt who lives in Japan has already arrived with her Japanese husband and 1 of her daughters (the other one's flying in from Japan on the day of the party itself, talk about cutting it close). My mom's cousins from Hong Kong are all arriving tomorrow, and we're having dinner with them at Heat. Then it's showtime on the evening of the 29th at Gloriamaris. I just pray none of my students or any of their parents are invited to the party to witness our performance. I've endured enough holiday stress this year.


At Thursday, December 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just goes to show you, I suppose: When things can't possibly get any worse, that's when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo shows up. :)

At Saturday, December 30, 2006, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Haha, good one. It didn't help that she was wearing the exact same color I was. Me and GMA, color-coordinated... in pink. Eww.


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