FAMILY CELEBRATIONS

Silver Wedding Anniversaries

 


Photo explained by Nila during the reception at Villa Angela.

Silver Wedding Anniversary is for the grown-up children to witness their parents’ love for each other and the sacrifices they made in bringing them up. It would be a subtle way for parents to teach their children that it would bring them joy if their children will also live up to commitments they make in their lives in their chosen vocation. That is the reason why they are wedding anniversaries for married and sacerdotal anniversaries for priests and renewal of vows for the sisters and nuns.

When papa and mama celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, we, their children, were witnesses of two people happily in love.

The 25th wedding anniversary celebration at Calereguega, Batangas with the Image of Jesus’ Transfiguration of Jesus was a perfect setting for Luz and Danny’s “second wedding day” to reaffirm the seriousness of the vow they made during their wedding day. It was for them a reminder that God touches us for He loves us and wants us to live happily ever after. 

            In our wedding invitation you saw pictures of our parents. Those pictures hang on the wall at the staircase of our home. As I look at it I make a mental picture of Chicoy and I celebrating our own. The wish became stronger as my elder sister Dr. Rose Martinez and twin sister Luz Bolong celebrated their silver wedding anniversaries. Our celebration today is therefore the realization of that dream.

            I have prepared a backdrop a and may I request that you listen for a few minutes as I explain its significance.

            Our church wedding 25 years ago was held at the Ermita Church.  In the church the image of Nuestra Senora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance), the oldest Marian image in the Philippines is enshrined.

            This year we celebrate the Eucharistic and Marian Year. Rev. Fr. Amador Foz gave us a calendar with these beautiful images of the Eucharistic Jesus and Mary that he made. The CBCP proclaimed the year 2004-2005 as the Eucharistic Marian Year. The Archdiocese of Manila launched on August 14 at the Ermita Church.  Indeed we are very happy for our wedding anniversary coincides with the Eucharistic and Marian Year.

            Marriage is a love story about believing without seeing in the power of love that makes it last a lifetime. By the pictures of our parents (our first teachers) celebrating their silver wedding anniversaries, they showed the meaning of commitment. The picture of Chicoy signing our marriage contract shows that marriage vow is sacred “to have and to hold…until death.”  This is the reason why we are celebrating our silver wedding anniversary to teach and show our children that they, too, may follow our footsteps.

            God has showered us his abundant blessings most especially with three wonderful sons. But like all marriages, ours has its shares of ups and downs

            Couples need to reaffirm their love for each other. In 1990 I told Chicoy that we join a Marriage Encounter Weekend in Tagaytay and he consented. Then in 1999 we attended another ME Weekend here at Vigan. These two Marriage Encounter Weekends made us closer for we responded in God’s call of love and forgiveness.

            Marriage is until death but love for each other is to be in heaven for eternity. Three years ago my husband was sick and had to undergo an operation. I took care of him at the Cardinal Santos Hospital and I asked a priest to give him confession. We pray daily the Holy Rosary before we sleep.

            Through Jesus in the Eucharist with Mary, we pray that we will be blessed with another 25 years of love and be blessed with our children’s children.

Indeed we agree with the words of wisdom uttered by the late Bishop Fulton Sheen “It is only on your 10th or 25th wedding anniversary that you really have loved.”

Luz Message
    Welcome to Caleruega: A Beautiful Stopover in Life’s Journey. Today us my 6th  visit here and Danny’s first, And I could now say that Caleruega, popularly known as the setting of Christopher de Leon’s and Sandy Andolong’s wedding, is the place where we Danny and I _ held our silver wedding.
    Why Caleruega?
    The holy air at Nasugbu, Batangas where I found serenity and beauty and the flyer bearing the caption “Close to Nature Closer to God” made me smile. I knew this is it _ the place.
    Its garden’s pathway imitates the life journey of each person: it follows and accentuates the natural curves and slope of the hill. Just like life, the path leads to the resurrection, with the stunning Transfiguration Chapel at the peak. Pine trees are planted to mimic the Mediterranean setting where St. Dominic was born in Caleruega, Spain.
    This Transfiguration Chapel is on the cover of the Liturgical Guidelines on Church Architecture approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. It attests of the place significance.
    Interestingly, both Caleruega and Sea and Sky were created in 1994.  Caleruega as a venue for retreats and seminars of the Dominican Institutions and Sea and Sky offers college education that specializes in tourism. Also, these institutions are situated on a hill. Here we are on the Batulao hill derived from the words bato or stone and ilao or light. Sea and Sky is located at Greenhills Subdivision with a panoramic view of the sun sinking into the San Fernando Bay of La Union.
    Being a product of the University of Santo Tomas myself, an institution of the Dominicans, Caleruega is truly apt for our wedding. Bishop Antonio Tobias, the officiating prelate, is also an alumnus of UST.
    Mark 9:2-10 is about Peter, James and John being led up a high mountain by Jesus where he was TRANSFIGURED before them. The climb must have been difficult but the view must have been so magnificent that Peter ended up saying, LORD, IT IS GOOD FOR US TO BE HERE!
    During our Jubilee Pilgrimage at Holy Land, my twin Nila and I were privileged to go up to Mt. Tabor, the site where the transfiguration of Christ took place.
    Something beautiful awaits him who climbs a mountain. The view at the top is beautiful and literally breathtaking. This is the reward for one who persevered.
    But something beautiful happens also within the beholder: a sense of achievement for having persevered, a deep feeling of CONFIDENCE TO BE ABLE TO CLIMB MORE MOUNTAINS. They say that some kind of transfiguration occurs whenever you climb a mountain. YOU DO NOT ONLY GET A BETTER VIEW, YOU ALSO COME DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN A BETTER YOU.
    Climbing mountains _ this is how I describe my 25 years with Danny and the children.
    Marriage is a story we tell ourselves as we live it, a story about believing, because we begin it without seeing the ending, trusting in the awesome power of love to help us live happily ever after.
    The paradox of marriage is that in becoming one new entity as a couple, a family, we do not lose ourselves. Instead, the qualities we bring to our relationship _ the gifts, the strengths, the unique characteristics that make us who we are _ are enlarged and encouraged and given a new impetus to grow. We become more ourselves.
    Those of you who are and have been in and out of marriage must agree that there is no one road map for the love story of marriage. It is not all paved; it is strewn with mountains and hills and potholes that call us to profound growth, asking of us to reaffirm the CHOICE to love over and over.
    There are some things that make the climb easier, however, the journey less perplexing. One, communication, the sharing of words and feelings and even long silences. Two, celebration, the setting apart of times out-of-the ordinary, the building of traditions for good things and bad. Three, community, with each other, with the larger family, with friends, with the whole world…and with God.
    These things are not in themselves the recipe for a happy ending, but they are found in abundance in every love story that lasts a lifetime.
     Our picture at the wedding invitation superimposed in front of the Transfiguration Chapel was taken at a Hotel in Singapore six years ago. Danny and I posed near the elevator where a foreigner just got out of it noticed our smiling faces and offered to take our picture. The pictures I have selected of my family from courtship to marriage, to children make me happy recalling the past.
    I would like to share a story. A bishop threw some questions to the congregation. Why are you here today? Why am I here? We may have lesser reasons, but our true reason for being here, whether we’re aware of it or not,is to have fellowship with the mountains.
    He quoted the majestic words from Psalm 121: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
    Again the bishop continued. And so I say to you, when you go forth from this place, find a mountain to climb. Find a difficulty and overcome it. Find an obstacle and master it. All around you are the great life-giving life- sustaining forces of the universe. Give yourself to them. Trust them. Lift up your eyes to the hills. Keep them fixed on the highest peaks…and you will always find the strength you need.
    At this point, I would like to introduce to you my three lovely children. Twenty year old Marie Diane, a graduate of De La Salle University, works at the Rural Bank of Luna; Daniel lll, 20 years old, taking up Entrepreneurship, is a graduating student from the same University; and sweet 16 Luz Daniel is a freshman at Ateneo de Manila University taking up Legal Management.
    My children at first opposed my plan of celebrating our silver wedding anniversary. “Ma, just wait for our wedding. We will marry naman.”
    But here we are, atop a mountain, where the view is beautiful.
                    Give Your DREAMS
            To GOD
            BUILD your marriage,
            Your family, and your life
            on the wisdom of the world!
    In closing, Danny and I would like to reiterate our thanks to our parents that by their shelter of homely affection, ably transformed us to be responsible adults. We are grateful that through the years, they continue to share our desire to keep our covenant, sealed 25 years ago, everlasting for another 25 years, where we say “I do” for each other. Two words that entail reality to be borne faithfully by us: to build a HOME of our own and make it a HAVEN OF LOVE TODAY AND FOR ALWAYS.

Danny Speech

            First and foremost, I would like to thank the Almighty for giving us this beautiful time and weather that giving us. Last night it was raining we were hoping that it stops and it did. So we thank God Alleluiah!
         
            Secondly, through I thankall of you who came all the way para sa Ilocos Sur and I saw one from Laguna and those who came all the way from Mindoro to be with us today.  I pray for your safe way back home especially all of us will be going back to our own world. So this 25th anniversary is held on a 21st of September. Although our wedding was last September 17, I do hope that Luz doesn’t remember the memories of Martial Law. I hope it doesn’t stay in the house but I say she had a first word but I have the last say today as a response to your coming over. I know each and every one has a schedule of your own but you come all the way to be with us today. And I thank you very much for coming over for this occasion. All of these are a surprise to me when I saw the invitation; I never went to this place although it was imposed already there. When I came over it was a beautiful place. I give admire to my wife for being a director and the actor herself. I admire her for that although everything will come out with my pocket. To all of you, I thank for your coming over to this 25th anniversary. Maybe Luz give the idea for having it here and getting closer to our destiny is become closer to the Almighty. In the next 25 years maybe we’ll place it in Mt. Apo beside of it we can hike all the way there. At our 75 or more years, maybe the grandchildren will push-up stairs. (You’re laughing Steve but your coming next.) And also my in-laws there is Chicoy, so how could I thank you more. I salute you all for coming over especially the Ninongs and to all of you.

I love you and thank you.








 
     

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