[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Joel Salindong Digital Videos
kasalan culture
law & requirement
prep talk
wedding wisdom
real weddings
suppliers directory
classified ads
wed announcements


real weddings

A Small Civil Affair
by Jason Magbanua

Hi, I'm Jason. I got married last June 28, 2001 to my best friend Pang. For a guy who shoots wedding videos I thought I knew a lot about the event. I found out otherwise. Very few experiences in life can be fun, irritating, ecstatic, exhausting, happy, tense, exciting, festive, time-consuming, nerve-wracking, bankbook-draining, and tummy-filling all at the same time.

The Storm Before the Calm

Inexplicably, relationships take a turn for the worse, weeks before the big day. We got on each other's nerves more often than usual. Little things that you would normally let pass become "issues". The operative word is "IRRITATE". I personally think that men handle these times more coolly than women. After all, all we have to say is "yes, honey (whatever you say)." Unfortunately, this cool and easy-going manner is easily mistaken as "non-involvement" and "apathy". But boys will be boys and it is quite difficult to feign interest over the subtle differences of baby and powder blue.

Soon, the excitement and anticipation over the event turns into general malaise and a "let's get this over" attitude (only because you couldn't decide between carrot or butterscotch).
Ours was a small civil affair held at the Manila City Hall. I do admit that it's considerably less grueling to execute than a church wedding. Not that I've married before, but I've heard countless of brides disclosing their woes and worries. BUT, I must emphasize, it was neither a walk in the park as I expected it to be.

Gold Rush

For some strange reason, despite the bickering and never-ending arguments about the planning, the preparation all boiled down to one day, June 27. I'd like to see you beat that.

First, we set out to get the most essential part of the event, the rings of course. I knew next to nothing about them nor any other piece of jewelry for that matter. The only other time I recall wearing a ring was in college, a skull with wings number courtesy of Tony Perez. Ahh, if I could only convince Pang to get two at Silverworks. Looking at my wedding band now, I'm thankful we didn't.

It was my first time to set foot in Ongpin, with my bride and a friend who knows gold and the area. We went to a store she was a "suki" in and checked out the merchandise. I've never seen so much gold in all it's shapes and sizes! I felt like I was in a P Diddy video.

Now I am not a rich man, but if there was anything I was going to spend on, it was going to be the rings. Armed with a hefty sum of cash culled from a hectic May-June wedding shoot sked, we sought out to pick the pair of our choice. After much deliberation we eventually found three rings to our liking. The third ring, an engagement ring was part of the set. And with a little hardball bargaining we got all three. I was happy with the rings and my bride got an engagement rock to boot. Talk about having your cake and eating it too! Yum.

Feed the Hungry

From Ongpin, we went straight to SM Manila, the logical choice for the reception. Pang and I kidded about reserving seats in a fastfood joint like McDonald's or Wendy's to cut cost. Then we found ourselves walking in a restaurant specializing in Filipino dishes. They had this great buffet menu for a reasonable amount but the clincher was that it was eat all you can! We reserved seats for twenty people and paid the fee. The total transaction time was fifteen minutes.

No wedding is complete without the cake. And even if Pang said it was okay not to have one, I insisted. We checked out the designs in Red Ribbon (nope, there was no Cake Concepts branch in SM Manila). We really wanted a small fondant cake so it would look more "wedding-y". But they couldn't do it in twenty-four hours, too bad, so we settled for an icing filled-cake which absolutely looked cute in the picture. Again, IN THE PICTURE. (more on this later)

Look the Part

By this time, I was a bit tired from all the walking around but more things had to be done. It was time to look for a dress for her and a shirt for me. Early on, I originally intended to simply wear something decent from my closet. I specifically remember saying it his way over the phone, "Ako ng bahala, kahit ano na lang." However this "don't-worry-about-it" mindset was mistakenly interpreted as "You-don't-care-about-what-you're-going-to-wear-means you-don't-value-our-wedding-day-as-much-as-I-do" attitude. Needless to say, a fight and a broken window ensued.

I learned my lesson, so there I was happily picking a shirt in Glorietta. It was quick and painless, a simple white polo did the trick. But I couldn't say the same for Pang. After going out for two years I should have been prepared. But men never get used to these things. It was just one silly dress. One. My feet were aching, I was hungry and exhausted but we still had to scour all the shops in the mall so she could pick the one. I would have gladly just stayed at Figaro for coffee while she shopped. But of course doing so would mean I wasn't enthusiastic about the event again. And so to avoid any arguments the eve of the big day, I plastered a look of genuine interest and concern over the dresses she tried on, playing the pseudo-fashion consultant until she was able to pick the one she wanted.

Thereafter, we met our respective families for a nice evening of dinner and talk. We proudly showed off our wares and talked about the adventures of the day. The great thing about that dinner was that everybody was getting along with everybody else. There was absolutely none of the usual "in-laws" troubles. And it wasn't just between me and her parents or the other way around. My mom and her mom hit it off like long time "kumares".

The day ended, we were tired yet happy.

The Jitters

I couldn't sleep that night. I thought I was going to hit the bed like a sack of kamote but I didn't. I was excited and anxious. It was the last night of my bachelorhood. Questions popped up like thought balloons in comics. Will I be a good husband? Will I screw it up? Will we cut it? How will I provide? Most importantly, who'll wash the dishes?

But all the apprehensions about marrying were wiped away when I simply thought I was marrying Pang, the one person who knows me inside and out, the good the bad and the ugly, the one person who was with me constantly in failure and triumph, the one person with whom I feel most loved.

And the thought comforted me to sleep.

All Roads Lead to Manila City Hall

The morning of June 28 was a comedy of errors. The ceremony was set at ten in the morning so I woke up early to get a haircut. I planned to look dashingly handsome that day. My bride deserved nothing less. My tiny condo unit bustled with activity. Everybody was excited. Too excited I suppose because in a very rare instance, my mother, with a flat iron, burned the pair of pants I was supposed to wear. I wasn't at all affected by the incident, I simply pulled out another pair and off we went (only later did I realize that blue pants and a white polo was a bad combination, they said I looked like a high school kid cutting class).

By NOT getting run over by a speeding train (our able driver got us smack in the middle of a railroad track in a full stop), we were able to get to the City Hall in one piece.

The place was a circus, literally. There was a brass band honking out their version of Hawaii Five-O while majorettes were busy twirling away. There was a dizzying crowd situated at the quadrangle of the city hall. Right at the center was the reason for all the commotion, Manny Pacquiao!, basking in his two minute's worth of glory from his recently won title fight.

Thinking about my wedding day, and the countless wedding days I've shot, I realized that no matter how you plan every minute detail of the event, something always comes up unexpected, be it rain, a bad sound system or a roaring brass band. It's all a matter of taking everything tongue in cheek.

Is this Guy for Real

We found our way to the attorney's small office which had a breathtaking view of Manila's traffic. And just like the recollections of the couples I've shot in the past, the proceedings were a blur. The only distinct memory I have is holding Pang's hand, staring at her eyes and saying I do.

Romantic eh? But that's not what really happened. Actually, we were trying hard not to laugh because the attorney\reverend was spewing out his words in a monotonous drawl much like Kuya Cesar. I bit my tongue so hard and I could see Pang just looking straight down. The witnesses around us also had this sly smile on their faces. It was a riot!

Feed the Hungry (part 2)

Amid the din of the chanting horde we trooped our way to SM Manila. And yes, we fed the hungry to their stomach's delight. Contrary to the norm when brides and grooms fail to even taste the reception food which they paid for, we gorged ourselves with all the pusit, hito, mangga't bagoong, halo-halo, shrimp, and liempo (in no particular order), that our tummys' could accommodate.
The lunch was festive and pleasurable. Everybody was enjoying each other's company. The wedding was not merely the union of two people but the merging of two families.

We capped the afternoon with a cake-cutting ceremony. Unfortunately, the cake was a minor disappointment (I told you it looked good in the picture). The "cake" was actually a mass of overly saccharine icing topped with a bride- groom figurine made of plaster. Worse, the figurine resembled deformed blobs with splotches of color more than us. At least the chocolate interior was edible.
Everybody went on their own way while I and my new wife spent the rest of the afternoon doing what we like best, malling! We ended up buying an oven toaster for ourselves and a nifty pair of Italian shoes for moi (I spent so much on everything, I just had to buy something for myself, it's an illness!).

At the End of the Day

There we were, lying on the bed . . . talking. Regaling ourselves with the day's events, recalling how it was in the past, how we were starting out, musing how we would become, what lies ahead. Finally, it was over. The tension and anxiety dissipated. Everything turned out alright.

For all the troubles we went through preparing for this wedding, it all boils down to the warm hugs and the sweet kisses, to the endless conversations about anything and everything, to the tampuhans and suyuans, being together for the rest of our lives as husband and wife. And of course, the sex doesn't hurt either.


I'm gonna be a dad this October! Pang and I are very excited. We're going to name the baby Alaric Jakob. Tell you all about it when the big day comes.

Postscript 2

We married June and will be having a baby October, save yourself some trouble and don't do the math. All things happen for a reason. 'Nuff said.

= = = = =
About the couple: Jason Magbanua is a wedding videographer who after attending so many of his clients wedding, decided to jump in the bandwagon himself. Jason is now officially out of the 'bachelors' market' effective June 28, 2001 when he married Pang.

return to top return to home page

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Site design by custom-made wedding websites.