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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1359724
Rated: E · Short Story · Family · #1359724
A surprise tribute to our mother on her 80th birthday.
                                AN EVENING WITH CONSTANCIA

Our mother wanted a simple celebration on her 80th birthday last September 01, 2007, 15 days ahead of my own BANANA PARTY. Her wish was to have a native
chicken boiled added with malunggay leaves spiced with ginger, lemon grass and
sweet basil, to be eaten with plain rice at dinner time together with my Papa, all of
her children , her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.ALREADY AGREED.

As her youngest daughter, I had other plans. I do not have the finances to give her
a big party fit for a queen, but I have the resources to let her celebrate a grandest
of celebration in her whole life. But it has to be a secret, A BIG SURPRISE!

YES ! I have the best resources and they are my brothers and their families, my
sisters and their families , my husband and my daughter , my mother's friends
my parents two adopted sons from Holland ED and BJ, and my PAPA MAURO of course. All I needed was their full support and cooperation and the code of secrecy not to be revealed.

I told them that I was the party planner or organizer and all they need is to participate with eagerness and eagerness they all did. Expected guest of about five hundred.WOW !  It needs a lot of money , a lot of effort, and a lot of love to have
this goal materialized.

The invitation card with secrecy    ( a cut out white cartolina , one-
fourth size of a small bond paper, ribbon-tied with a red yarn in the center).
The front page of the card :
                                      Mr. and Mrs.AKING/LINDA Literatura
                                    --------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Celebrate With Me On My 80th Birthday
                                                "CONSTANCIA"

The back page of the invitation :

            WHERE          :  EVE'S KIOSK POOLSIDE
                                      Panagsama Beach, Moalboal, Cebu
            WHEN            :  6 :00 P.M.
                                      September 01, 2007 Saturday
            IMPORTANT    :  WEAR SOMETHING RED
                                      BRING SOMETHING RED

The card was distributed a day before the celebration.

THE DUTCH BROTHERS,  Ed and Bj donated 2 lechons and fruits (lechon is
a whole roasted pig , dressed as in dressed chicken, open cut the stomach
place some herbs and spices, have it sewn, grilled in an open fire, using a
bamboo pole and when golden brown and cooked we put a ripe mango in the
mouth and put this in the center or any corner of the buffet table), My older
sister Eve and her husband Albert donated 2 lechons, aside from using her
place as a venue, she also prepares the rice, the plates, and all the utensils
needed including kitchen and waitering staff.Isn't that wonderful?
Not only that..
Nelson and his wife Gilda takes charge of sending cases of soft drinks and
boxes of hard drinks, while Nerissa the wife of my late younger brotherJerey,
(WHO WOULD LOVE TO BE ALWAYS THE HOST/EMCEE OF FAMILY AFFAIRS,
GOD bless his soul) donated cases of beers from Chiefmau station, the bar owned
by my late brother Jerey.Our youngest brother Eldie , the mathematics professor
offered for the sound system and the purchasing of birthday cakes. Gilda, Eve, and
Nerisse, set up the physical arrangement of the stage including the flowers and
the baloon. Our eldest sister Lindy assisted  in the program by providing the
family with the talent center who happens to be Constancia's greatgrandchildren
as the main artists or performers.My other sister Helen, who lives in Davao city
about an hour by plane to Cebu City, and Cebu City is about three hours by bus to our village, came with her grandson Khing who offered a very beautiful singing
rendition of "GIVE THANKS WITH A GRATEFUL HEART".My husband Lito and
my daughter Cathy made a beautiful slides with the entertaining pictures using
a computer showing 'CONSTANCIA THEN AND NOW'  a complete collection
of pictures where Constancia was still a child, then as a teen-ager, as a wife,
a mother, a friend, a grandmother and many more, THAT WAS WELL-APPLAUDED.Kudos to Lito and to Cathy. I am and will always be proud of you.!
There were boiled chickens ala Constancia, as well as so many recipes being
prepared, including the pansit(special noodles and many more Filipino delicasies.)
WHAT TO DO IN  CONSTANCIA'S FAMILY DINNER PARTY?
How to make this a big surprise to her?

Since in the earlier days it was agreed that the party is done in a simple way,
we told her to have the dinner celebrated in Eve's Kiosk second floor airconditioned
function room for about 50 persons, eating with the boiled chickens. The pool area
was blocked and we had to see to it that Constancia would never find a way about it.
She went to the function room with my father , we also put some food in the
function room especally the highly requested boiled chicken so she would not have a clue of what is going to happen the rest of the evening.
When CONSTANCIA noticed that it was only her and my father with a one waiter
at the function room, she was asking my father " Where is everybody?" My father
who was with us in our secrecy code, told her" We will go down first because
Nelson told the waiter, that somebody is waiting for you downstairs."
The plan worked out so well..
In the absence of my late brother Jerey, I assigned his teenage  daughter Trisha
to be the emcee for the program, as I have to see to it that the physical arrangements and the tokens ( a gift basket with Cafe Constancia, whom I personally made) be given to one and all.Trisha has the complete essence
of showmanship that evening and was well recognized by family and guests.

When my father, walking with my mother to the poolside, one of the guitarist strummed a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TUNE, TRISHA ANNOUNCED
'HERE COMES, CONSTANCIA, THE QUEEN OF THE FAMILY, THE MOTHER,
THE WIFE, THE FRIEND, MY DEAR GRANDMOTHER, MAY WE WELCOME HER
WITH A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE".
oh.... it was overwhelming Constancia cried and smiled.

We started the program with a prayer, everybody sang the "OUR FATHER".
There was a blowing of the birthday cake candles by the celebrant, my
father gave his welcome address, my brother Nelson made a short speech,
my sister Helen sang the theme song of my father and my mother, I was misty-eyed as well as everybody.There were some dancing while we had the sumptous
dinner. There was a crowd control done by five usherettes all grandchildren of
Constancia. There were telephone calls through Cellphones from Constancia's
grandchildren working across the globe, from Australia, from Sweden, from
cambodia, from Switzerland, from France, and my mother said " I could
only hear them singing happy birthday over the cellphones". The business
group headed by my sister Eve offered a ballroom dance number with a
tango, a boogie, a cha-cha that made the crowd danced with them.
Wow ! and the weather was perfect. Bright stars in the sky..of course
the dead were not forgotten. We offered a two-minute of warm applause, one
minute for my late brother Jerey and one-minute for my pretty niece, Pear
from Davao City, the late mother of Khing.I have to take over for the program in a while giving time for Trisha to be back in composure as she was crying hearing
the thunderous applause for her late Daddy Jerey.Oh... tears were flowing.
My daughter Cathy gave Trisha a glass of drink and the show must go on, Trisha
made her way again to the stage.
DINNER CONTINUES, CONVERSATIONS IN A HAPPY MOOD AFTER THE TEARS ROLLING BY, AND THE CROWD WEARING SOMETHING RED AND
BRINGING SOMETHING RED....( I was in my white slacks and a very red red blouse).
THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE PROGRAM WHEN THE DESSERT WAS SERVED:
TRISHA:  Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. Before we go back to our
              respective homes, one thing is in our hearts and minds, and we have
              this common denominator why we are all here. Our LOVE  for the
              birthday celebrant.May we call on Marvin to sing for us a special song
              dedicated to Lola (Lola is a Cebuano term for grandmother), to all of
              us here, while Marvin is singing, we fall in line, two lines actually,
              one line for men and one line for women, boys with the men, girls with
              the women in no particular order. SO GET READY WITH YOUR
              BIRTHDAY GIFTS, BIRTHDAY FLOWERS AND BIRTHDAY KISSES
              FOR CONSTANCIA, THE BRIGHTEST STAR OF THE NIGHT...
right then and there Marvin sang" THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS, EVERYBODY
SANG WITH HIM!  The crowd of more than five hundred followed Trisha's instructions, and there,Constancia was receiving the most number of gifts in her
whole life including hugs and kisses from the people who loves and respected
her a lot..I was the last to give my gift to my mother, following Cathy and Lito,
I whispered in her ear, "80 years full of blessings, Happy Birthday Ma" with
a hug, with some tears as I put the right hand of my mother in my forehead.
Ed and Bj the adopted Dutch brothers of my family announced, We will celebrate
something like this , even more than this at CONSTANCIA'S 100TH BIRTHDAY.
There was a warm applause.

THAT WAS AN EVENING WITH CONSTANCIA..


         
© Copyright 2007 tsurtidogni (paglaum at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1359724