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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

My cousin (sort of) and her new husband. Posted by Hello

This is a shot of the wedding that E and I attended a couple of weeks ago. This whole scene was part of what made E so nervous because not only was it a "church wedding," it was a Filipino wedding, and on top of that, it was done old-school Filipino style. For instance, it means the people in the wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen) are relegated to a status about half a step up from the guests (and even sit with the guests at the reception) and the bride and groom are surrounded by "sponsors." Sponsors - of which my father was one - have different names depending on what "Old Country" you happen to be from, but in short, these are older folks (usually your parents' compares) that are to the marriage what godparents are to a child.

I mentioned that the bride was sort of my cousin. There is in fact, to my knowledge, no blood relation between us. It's another Filipino thing. My father, her father, and another man (my dad is his children's godfather) were best friends ("were" since the third man passed away some years ago). Also, the bride's family and my mother lived near each other in the Philippines and there's a possibility that distant cousins of theirs might be connected somehow to distant cousins of mine. So what does all this mean? What did it mean in Spaceballs when Dark Helmet revealed himself to be Lone Starr's father's best friend's roommate? To a non-Filipino, absolutely nothing. To a Filipino, she's as much a relative as any blood relation. Truth is, I got to know her sisters a little better than I ever knew her. The whole lot of them would travel back and forth from the Philippines to live for various periods of time with their parents who emigrated here, and I think the bride was the one I saw the least. No, I take that back - the youngest child was the one I saw the least.

So, throw in the social, cultural, and religious expectations of two cultures, and you can see why it would make one nervous. The way E saw it, whenever we were asked "So, what do you guys have planned for your wedding?" we were really being asked "So, when do we, and the other 20 people in my family, show up to the to-do you're going to have that had better bear a close resemblance to this?" Now, that was probably true for a few of them. But the people who really felt that way were probably people who wouldn't lose a minute's sleep over what E and I have or don't have in our wedding. The people that might really truly care are probably people that would respect whatever E and I chose, no matter how they'd feel about it.