The year 2014 – 2015 was a year of celebration for the Santos family. For people who know us, our family is known to be, “the group who knows how to have a good time”, “The family of dancers”, “The family with the best pies”. Ever since I was a child, I would look forward to vacations in Manila to be with my cousins and grandparents. Looking back, we always had the greatest time together, we played outside, rollerbladed, biked till our knees were bloody and picked plants pretending it was spaghetti and soup. Being one of the youngest I was constantly bullied by the older cousins *until now* haha. As the years passed quickly, we outgrew that stage; all of a sudden everyone was an adult, faced with new challenges, and we started finding ourselves separately. We went through University and one by one, making his and her mark in the world.
Each one was unique, some ventured in sports, the others excelled in theater and some loved computer programing, some became financial consultants, the others focused on agriculture, some became bankers, and the others child nurturers, pastors, corporate workers and business men. Our careers and adventures shaped each one uniquely, making each one special as they are. Each one excelled in their field, making all of our parents proud. Our late grandparents, Ernesto and Teresita Santos instilled a very strong bond of family amongst us, they taught us how to keep the family intact through family traditions and open communication. One of those loved traditions is “Pochero Sunday”. Everyone who’s gone to our compound has at least once or twice tried the famous Pochero dish, an original recipe of Nanay Sili (or Nanayi) our former cook and Lola Tess. We would have this dish religiously every sunday after church, a practice where until this day we do. There was one thing missing, most of us were not yet married. We saw it in our parent’s eyes, the longing to have grandchildren. Two of our cousins, Anielle and Carlos had married their significant others, and paved the way for everyone to be pressured. haha!
2013 – 2014 was the year everyone got engaged, the year of the brave! After Albi and I announced our engagement, a few months after, Evan got engaged with Amanda, then Tessa with Paul, and then Janelle with Jerome. It was like a diamond ring fest!! We all had to plan the next months strategically or we would all go broke by 2015. Having weddings in the same family in the same year meant everyone had to be in every occasion, no excuses. Albi and I had ours in Bukidnon (September 20, 2014), a crazy logistical nightmare for us to arrange, but it turned out well, while Evan, Amanda (January 24, 2015), Tessa and Paul (February 13, 2015) had theirs in the northern side of the Philippines. Janelle and Jerome’s (December 22, 2014) was the easiest, we could have just walked to the venue which was the next street and spared ourselves the traffic of Manila.
Despite the challenges of constant planning and financial budgeting that year, we pulled it through with flying colors and a truck load of memories and laughter. My family will always be a very big part of my life, I’m blessed to have these people in my life, we may not always be together, but everyone makes an effort to keep in touch. At the end of our lives, we won’t take with us riches or wealth, we will remember those who were there for us unconditionally, through the imperfections and doubt, we chose to love each other always. That is what family truly means…
ALBRECHT AND JEMINAH (September 20, 2014)
JANELLE AND JEROME (DECEMBER 22, 2014)
EVAN AND AMANDA (JANUARY 24, 2015)
TESSA AND PAUL (FEBRUARY 13, 2015)
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