Monday, January 20, 2014
Everyone needs a family
Most of my friends know who Tito Jim is. He is my mom’s younger brother who is five years older than me. We basically grew up together with my cousins. From hip-hop music to rock, riding the bicycle and skateboard, I learned it all from him.
During our teenage years, we used to call his place “Paraiso” because hanging out with him was like a paradise of reality. That was something my cousins and I made up. It may sound as an excuse, but for us, it was like seeing what’s ahead of us while being in tune with the current moment and having fun.
Last January 10, Tito Jim married his girlfriend, April Policarpio. I already forgot how long they were together because it seemed like they’ve been a couple since the day they were born. April went to the US in 2012 so they were separated from each other for more than a year. But they have proven that distance is not an obstacle because their love grew stronger. They later decided to get married.
When they asked me to be one of the bridesmaids, I immediately agreed, despite the long walk that I would need to make through the aisle of Malate Church. Thanks to my ever-supportive best friend, Michelle, I was able to practice my walk since I learned about the wedding. Since the aisle is long, they asked me to just start from the middle. I know I could walk through that long aisle but it would take up a lot of time. My brother, Maro, was one of the groomsmen and escorted me. He also escorted me when I joined the entourage during my best friend Daisy’s wedding.
We had enough time to practice so I was able to walk flawlessly without getting tired or feeling like I was about to fall. But the event proved to be meaningful for me because I didn’t just wear a beautiful gown and join the entourage, but everything I did was out of sincerity. It was my way of showing my approval of their marriage. I was a witness of their strong love and I’m sure that most of the people around them can attest to it.
Even before they got married, we already welcomed April to our family, the Lopez clan. Now that she’s married to my uncle, we teasingly call her “Tita.” Although calling her “Tita” is only a joke, it’s also our way of letting her know that she officially belongs to our family now.
I may only address April by her first name, but I sure am glad to have an aunt, friend, and ate in her.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Everyone participated in putting up the wedding, from April’s family to Tito Jim’s and even their closest friends. My cousin, Paula was the wedding planner while Tita Angie, a dressmaker, created the bridesmaid’s gowns, Cathy and Mark of Timmy’s Oven brought their yummy cupcakes and giant photo booth camera. Most of my cousins acted as the ushers and usherettes of the event. As for me, I was the cheerleader who brought in the positive vibes during the stressful wedding planning. Of course, the Policarpio clan contributed as well.
Instead of giving tokens to their guests, the newlyweds opted to donate the souvenir money to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), a cause that is very close to their hearts. The couple are animal lovers and they’re parents to two fluffy dogs, Ella and Ninay.
As Jane Howards said, “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family; whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
Everyone needs a family – whether we like it or not. We need them every time, anytime and all the time. The love and support of our families will get us through in times of hardship. They can make our lives more fun and meaningful. Not only did Tito Jim and April become one, but the Policarpio and Lopez families are now one, big, happy family.