Street but Sweet


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Family affair

Tita Au, my mom's only sister and one of my most favorite people, celebrated her 70th birthday with a big bash--complete with an insane amount of food (there was quite a bit of pasta left over), relatives that looked vaguely familiar, and lots and lots of dancing!

Kuya Roji, Ate Bing, and their five kids flew in from Bangkok, and Ate Monette and her five kids were in town from Baguio. And then you have all the other kids based here (and when I say "kids," I mean my cousins' kids--my nephews and nieces, or as someone said before, my "cousins twice removed"--ranging in age from 3 to 18, more than half of whom are taller than me) for a grand total of 17...that's minus the two who couldn't make it from Chicago. They're a fun, rowdy group, and are amazingly down-to-earth considering most of them go to international schools! It warms my heart to see that they're a tight-knit bunch, and a part of me wishes to be 10 years younger so that I could be take part in all the madness. Haha. (A side note though--age didn't stop Iggy and me from taking a few of them to Antipolo a few days before the big event. We played Gotcha against Iggy's of whom shot me in the head at point-blank range even when I was already a "dead woman walking"!)

So anyway, I didn't expect to have that much fun at the party. I had been in a melancholy mood, for various reasons, on the days leading up to it. But it was nice that I got to hang out a bit with the kids, and we reminisced about my debut when all of them were these tiny things in frilly little dresses. Little cards were scattered over the tables, with factoids about Tita Au and her family. I found out, for one, that Ate Udes was born in Switzerland. The family truly is international--the two eldest were born in Jerusalem, if I'm not mistaken, a couple conceived in Laos and born here, and another was born in Pakistan. One was baptized in Bethlehem, and another at the River Jordan. How cool is that? Makes me want to work at UN myself. Haha.

Of course there was the standard AVP, where I got to hear super adorable Claire singing "Happy birthday" to her lola, all the way from Chicago. And there was that hilarious bit with my cousins lip-synching to a Josh Groban song. Messages of love were interspersed with pictures and videos of the family in all these places around the world. What rich experiences this family must have had together, and what wonderful memories they must hold!

Dance fever

After the senti moments came the highly entertaining ones. First up was a pair who demo'd a sexy ballroom dance number for my ballroom-lovin' tita. (It was so sexy that my 16-year-old nephews suddenly took an interest in's weird thinking that they're not that innocent anymore! Haha.) Then a surprise for my tita--the men/boys in the family had been practicing one dance each, and took turns leading (or trying to lead) her. My brother did the samba, and I must give him props for pulling it off despite having learned it right before the party. Notable ones were Migo doing his trademark hiphop moves and Kuya Dave shakin' his booty! And of course, Gedo's two left feet! He's an amazing athlete, but I swear he has no sense of rhythm, and we love him for it! (I had memories of a six-year-old Gedo in a cute little suit at my debut. He was one of my roses, and he was looking at his feet the whole time, trying to figure out where they should go.)

And then the kids performed their dance number to Gwen Stefani's Wind It Up. I love that song, and man, I would've killed it if I had been part of it. Haha. It was a trip seeing Hashana moving to one side while everyone moved to the other. Haha.

Afterwards, it was time for everyone to dance, with music courtesy of Nonoy Lopez and his band. There was a fair number of DIs on hand, and pretty much everyone was game. I loved it when my nephews would dance with their moms, and it was cute that my mom found a paso doble partner in Andrew. My titas kept pushing DIs towards me, and since my family is under the impression that I could dance, they gave me the more, uh, challenging DIs. One smelled of cigarettes, another had sweaty palms, and one had a fake smile perpetually plastered onto his face--he was very good though! (My favorite remains to be our "family DI," Mark! He tried carrying me and remarked, "Ay, parang bumigat!" Hahaha. Well, I did still have my holiday weight on! Haha.) Oh, my poor, aching feet in my non-dance heels.

(From top) Tito Nanding and Tita Cecile flew in from Vegas. I love this pic--Gedo looks like he knows what he's doing! (Haha.) Ate Monette and her kids, and Francene and Hashana.

A couple of hours later, once the dancing had ended, all the DIs were going nuts over Kevin, Tita Au's oldest male apo, based in Bangkok. Both "male" and female DIs were having their pics taken with him, some even taking solo shots. (Nag-pose naman siya! Hahaha.) We snickered and he muttered, "It's not funny!" and I just had to say, "No, Kev, it actually is." The funniest exchange:

"Male" DI: Kevin, how old are you?
Kevin: (visibly uncomfortable) Uh, 16.
DI: Ah, really? I'm 30...


Wow, I didn't think I had this much to write about. But I just realized it's one of those nights that reminded me why my family rocks.

Harley acted like it was the end of the world when he discovered what I did. "Why'd you put the bunny ears?!?!" he moaned. What an evil tita I am! (P.S. Note Tito Nanding's tummy in the background! Haha.)


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