Saturday, December 20, 2003
I got to their office around 7:30 p.m. Jorge and Sheila were there drinking some lite beer and the only guests around were Jorge's father and a couple of military officials. All thoughts of regret over the huge amount melted away when I saw the recipient's face light up. He was all thanks and showed it to his girlfriend Dana. Jorge showed it also to his dad when he came out looking for more beer. They handed me some drinks and I also got a few sticks of pork barbecue. The spread on the table looked very appetizing: Italian spaghetti with sun-dried tomatoes, salmon topped with creamy garlic sauce, beef with broccoli, beef caldereta, lechon, whole chicken, potato salad with fruit cocktail, etc. (cholesterol city but drool worthy). Jorge also told me that since the party was going to extend till the wee hours of the morning it would be best for me to stay at their house to pass the night. The guests started arriving soon after among them was a batchmate of ours from high school and his closest friend Dennis (I based one of my comic strip characters on this guy), his wife Jen. One of the brothers' barkada Carol was also there. Joel soon arrived after bringing his nephew home.
The guests were divided according to rank: the "oldies" (their dad's friends and Joseph's associates) ate in the other room while the rest of us settled at the reception room near the door. At first all our conversations revolved around our day jobs and the like, entrepreneurship and the pros and cons of owning a business. I also found out that Joel's taste in music ran close to mine: lounge and 80s classics. We talked about the CDs that he has played them on the PC providing the party with some lively but relaxing music. Though it was already somewhat late and most of the guests were already leaving there were still some who managed to come in at the eleventh hour (turns out there was a monstrous traffic in the Quezon City area because of some corporate Christmas parties). One of those who was able to join us at the last minute was Joel's girlfriend Ivy who also came from another Christmas party.
Sheila and Jorge look on as Carol is entertained by Dennis' banter.
Dana, Sheila, and Ivy enjoying their bonding session.
Jen and Dennis getting tips on the food business.
Old friends sharing a private joke
... and having a grand time laughing about it.
Things turned a bit substantial when Carol mentioned that she was getting married next month. At first they all talked about recommendations for preparations for the ceremony then the topic slowly veered to her apprehensions about her expections after the ceremony. She generally asked what's it like to be married and how do you make things work between two married couples? Dennis gave a lot of sensible answers and sound advice in between cracking jokes and laughing out loud, Jorge shared some great advice and so did Mang Danny whom everyone treated as one of our despite the large age difference. At first Joseph just stood at the sidelines quietly listening to the discussion but soon gave in and threw in some practical advice. This discussion turned out to be really fruitful because it was the men who rose up to the occasion to give sensible answers that you have to understand your partner, know him first as a man or a woman before knowing the individual, make sacrifices and leeway for each other, husbands are the providers and security givers while wives should submit to their better-half and provide emotional support, etc. I wish I had a tape recorder last night and transcribe everything that was said (well, not including the jokes and crass humor in between).
Jorge gets serious on the topic about relationships.
Dennis in one of his rare serious moments.
Joseph gives his two cents worth on married life.
The brothers get into discussing the finer points of marriage.
Jorge and Sheila gave notice that they were leaving at around 1 a.m. since they were already drowsy (Joel wouldn't let me leave at first but I told him that I was spending the night at his brother's house). Everyone also thought that it would be best to start packing up.
We got to the house twenty minutes later and they prepared my bedding right inside their room and I fell sound asleep as soon as I lay on it. I woke up at 10:30 a.m. today (at last I was able to sleep over as long as I always wanted). Jorge had left very early in the morning to attend to his construction business. I helped Sheila prepare our brunch before saying goodbye. I will see them again tomorrow at the Star Wars convention since they promised to watch me conduct a short lecture on the field of drawing. Thank you God for these good friends of mine.