“But at the beginning of creation, God made them male and female, ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’. So they are no longer two, but one.” Mark 10:6-8
the month of June was named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. for this reason, it is believed that couples who tie the knot during the month of June would enjoy a happy married life. this explains why most women preferred to be june brides. aside from harvest time and that flowers are still abloom, this perception about the wedding month of june influenced our choice of a wedding day.
our wedding preparations began in March right after the “pamanhikan“. a “pamanhikan” is a Filipino tradition when the parents of the groom meet the parents of the bride and discuss over a sumptuous meal the details of the wedding. before the meeting, bhoy and i had our wedding plans already written down from the most important such as the church and the venue for the reception, to the most trivial like which ribbon to use for the wedding souvenirs. but it turned out that both our parents had a different agenda so we considered it was best to let them have their way.
though major changes were made in our wedding plans, one remained constant. we decided it had to be perfect. so we did all we could to follow our revised list to the letter, even minus a wedding coordinator or event organizer, which was non-existent that time.
the wedding was to be held in our parish church to be decorated with exquisite flower arrangements ; so must be the reception in our house. the motif was light yellow, sky blue and baby pink (we call it rainbow though none was even in it). my off-white gown was similar to Princess Diana’s (if i had known that i’d grow this ‘bulky’, i would have worn the strapless, body-hugging type. sigh!) as wedding souvenirs, we bought tiny heart -shaped scented candles which we personally wrapped in tulle in hues that conform of course with our motif. again, light yellow, sky blue and baby pink. our invitations were printed especially for us by the printing press of my daddy’s friend as his wedding gift. everything was right on schedule, and things seemed to work out as planned. or so we thought…
the much awaited day finally came – June 15, 1991… the wedding mass was to commence at 9:00 am. but when we woke up at 5:00 am, it was raining cats and dogs and whatever furry house pet you could ever think of! a gatecrasher named typhoon Diding came uninvited… and early. we had offered not only three eggs at the altar in honor of St. Clare the day before, but a dozen to ensure good weather on our special day. and yes! miracles of miracles! the rain stopped and the sun shone just in time for the wedding ceremony.
after the wedding march, i can hardly remember anything that followed. and i discovered only later, that bhoy had almost the same experience. it was like we were both in a trance. what we were sure of was there were lots of people and that something very special was unfolding. it’s just that we didn’t see faces or recall how the wedding exactly took place; like a jigsaw puzzle, only bits and pieces of what Fr. Bitoon said during the homily, which now also seem too vague and difficult to connect all together. during the reception, we were still dazed. we were mentally blank at most, and yet we were absolutely sure our emotions were overflowing with joy and excitement.
but at 2:00 pm, we were suddenly jolted out of our state of euphoria. the sky turned really dark that most of our guests who came all the way from as far as Pangasinan and Tarlac, suddenly bade goodbye and left hurriedly. still bhoy and i were still on cloud 9.99, so what looked like a freak weather condition no longer mattered. in no time, all the guests and relatives had gone home. wedding day ended abruptly. it turned out that the same time that our love affair was being written in the stars, a volcano began to shoot up sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere which would affect the earth’s atmosphere over the next few years . June 15, 1991 mt. pinatubo in zambales erupted. and the rest is history.
nineteen years had passed since bhoy and i solemnly vowed to God and our families, to take each other as husband/wife, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from that day forward, till death do we part.
the wedding didn’t turn out perfect as we planned. at some point, i even thought maybe nature was working against us. even life didn’t happen as we wanted it to be. but we thank the Lord for each other, for the children that we have and for all the other blessings we have received in our marriage and beyond.
bhoy and i now realize that it really doesn’t matter what season of the year is the best time to get married. what is essential to a happy marriage is love that endures regardless of what the weather is. ours was nineteen years of laughter, sweet smiles, butterfly kisses, warm hugs and corny jokes. there were some tears too from time to time, but only to strengthen the episodes of vulnerability that falling in love usually caused.
and it is amazing how, everyday as we wake up in the morning, we fall in love with each other all over again.
do you know what our secret is? we have a third party between us. and that is the Lord who bonded and painted our marriage with hues more than that of our wedding motif, and even more than the colors of the rainbow. that rainbow that will forever hold the promise, as God made this promise to Noah:
“Never again will I destroy the world with a flood.
I make this covenant with you and with all creatures.
From this day on,
there will always come a time for planting,
and a time for gathering up what was planted.
Day will always follow night,
the warm days of summer
will always follow
the cold and snow of winter,
as long as the earth shall be.”
so too shall our love, we pray in Jesus’ name…