Sunday, June 11

Like Champagne Supernova

The coolest part about growing up in a small town is that, everyone knows everybody, every face is a familiar face. But invariably, the small town promise doesn't endure and everyone gets the hell out of dodge. And if nothing else, it makes for really really great reunions of sorts the next time you see these familiar faces, whenever or where ever that may be.

Luke Henry's christening, Don Modomo's first born brought such a reunion. Faces i haven't seen since the Philippines, and although i didn't get the chance to say hello to everyone, hindered by the fact that i didn't know everyone's name, seeing the familiar faces was almost intoxicating. It felt somehow at home. Manang Doti's was the most pronounced among the sea of familiar faces. And even though i probably haven't seen her nor heard her unique name uttered by anyone in more than 13 years, when i saw her it was instant recognition like i saw her just the previous day. I could tell she recognized me right away too when we first made eye contact because i could read her lips muttering "ni Bam Bam ajay" -- That's Marc--. When i approached her for the obligatory greeting inside the reception hall a few blocks from the church, she perked up and seemed very happy to see me (...and was i). A woman sitting immediately to her left, prying during our small chat, had this face i vaguely remember. "I know that face" i kept telling myself. Manang Doti, seemingly sensing my curious interest, introduced her "This is Rachel, from San Vicente" and then turns to Rachel to remind her who i am "ni Bam atoy" -- this is Marc-- (San Vicente is the next town over from Sta Ignacia). But that face and name was evidence enough, i knew then exactly who she was. But Rachel apparently did not need any reminder, she knew at first glance. "Yea we were classmates in the 3rd grade" she informed manang Doti... Champagne fell from the skies and we lived happily ever after. Ok i'm kidding.

I wonder if she knew that she was my first crush hahaha. It was nice to see her, and although her first question was the very bromide "married yet?" which raised manang Doti's speculative eyebrow when i said Not Yet, inciting yet the inquisitive "why not?"... i guess i still enjoyed their company lol. Rachel's older brother gave me the 1 1/2 inch scar on my left temple during a basketball game, we collided temple to forehead running after a loose ball (4 stitches), so i remember him quite well. I told my sister about Rachel when she arrived at the reception. But about the only thing that she remembered about her was her first boyfriend OB (Onofre Bonifacio, who is Ryan's first cousin. Ryan is Married to Che Che (Don's cousin) who's brother Gerald (Kabong) is married to Rachel's older sister... follow?) who incidentally is the Jersey girl's first boyfriend as well... I guess OB is batting .1000 against me. Thanks for the stat flash Nols...

I sort of explained the genealogy to Trixy (Adrian's girlfriend) who observed that most of the Sta. Ignacia folks marry into families within the town limits. Yea it's like the Lycan clan, you marry outside of it and you're pretty much a hybrid.

I felt almost half-guilty that i didn't stay and chat more with Rachel. Not that i was obligated, i just love to reminisce. But duty calls on Sunday evening and so i must. But anyway we welcome Luke Henry Modomo unto this world. The christening ceremony, except for the enormous amount of Godparents that the deacon did not fail to notice, was typical but nice nonetheless. The food at the reception was excellent, a mix of Tagalog and Ilocano cooking. There's the omni present egg rolls, one of the all time favorites beefstik, the Ilocano specialty dish pinakbet etc and a slew of mouth watering desserts.

That's good shiet man. Good times...


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