A Typical Saturday in March

[Commemorating the 25th Wedding Anniversary of JunTabs and Faith.]

I woke up with a terrible hangover that Saturday, March 3, 1984. College graduation was forthcoming in a matter of days. Rules in the seminary for us graduating students were relaxed on the premise that we were moving on to Theology and were ... a little bit mature.

The night before, Ding Zamora, for no specific occasion, prepared food and drinks in Taning’s place and invited some of us to a feast. Present, besides Ding and me were McAbs, Yves Yu, and Ingents. Many of my classmates were not present. It was because that weekend was our Monthly Going Home. The seminarians had gone home on the Friday afternoon and would not be expected back until Sunday afternoon.

Anyway, we didn’t end in Taning’s place. We continued enjoying our vacation at the Taloto convent. Fr Silex was not around so we had the convent to ourselves. Well, that night 2 gallons of tuba, 2 cases of San Miguel beer and ¼ pocket-sized Andy Player was consumed. McAbs liked the tuba, I liked the beer.

We even found time to serenade. I can’t remember whose house it was we serenaded that night. I only remember that our singing was terrible.

We slept in the convent and woke up early that morning, very dizzy. McAbs and I walked to the Seminary where I took a short nap. I washed up and prepared for an event that meant so much to me. I was tired and sleepy but I had to go.

At the church in Taloto, the wedding mass started at around 10AM with Frs TQ Solis, Khing Vaño, and Silex Darunday officiating. Together with me in the choir were Vale, Ding, Cañete on keyboards, Yves, and Ingents. Eric Oclarit attended with his wife.

It was unfortunate that not all our classmates could attend. There was a frenzy of activities in the Seminary during that time for it was towards the end of school year. Exams and all school requirements were completed. Preparations for the graduation and what comes after at their high points. So the wedding came amidst the flurry of school activities. And only Ingents and I could attend from our college batch. It was also our final Monthly Going Home.

Eight long years we were together in the seminary, starting in first year high school. Eight long years, were were on the same side looking out, going through several misadventures. That day in March 1984, everything changed.

We didn’t practice any of the songs that we sang that day. But it was superb for we were inspired and sang from the heart. After all, we were singing for a special friend who was, not long ago, one of us and who was marking a very important milestone of his life--his wedding.

At the end of the mass, we sang love songs, like we normally do. But JunTabs couldn't contain it. He cried unabashedly. He must have remembered those times when he used to sing those songs with us at another guy’s wedding. That day, it was his wedding and he wasn’t on our side. He was standing alone with a woman he vowed to live and love for all eternity. He signaled for us to stop the singing since he couldn’t bear to hear those songs again. But we were ruthless. We continued singing until one of the principal sponsors begged us to stop.

There was the usual picture-taking after the wedding that afforded us the opportunity to come near him to greet him and exchange lame jokes with him. Then we joined the crowd for lunch at Hotel La Roca.

There was a lot of merry making activities in La Roca. While they were at it, we slipped away, as quietly as possible, out of that place without bidding good-bye to JunTabs.

As for me, I went straight home and spent the rest of a typical Saturday afternoon--alone. But for JunTabs and Faith, who were married that morning, it was not typical for it was the start of a new life for them. (nox arcamo)