A Lifetime of Happiness

One fine afternoon, I was about to give the traditional Best Man’s toast at my friend Pong’s wedding. It was the 28th of January, 2012, and as I held my phone where I had written my speech, I still couldn’t shake the feeling of nervousness one has when he’s about to speak in front of an audience. It wasn’t the first time I’d be doing this, but this.. this was definitely something else. This was a monumental event.

I take a deep breath, and I start talking…

I’d like to start this speech, just a small speech, by once again thanking all of you for being here, sharing this most wonderful event in the lives of my good friend Kristopher.. Pong, and his beautiful bride, Chesa. I’d like to thank their parents, most of all. Mr. Wilfredo Daluz & Mrs. Myrna Daluz, & Mrs. Asuncion Francisco. Since they were born you have been there for them, and as they start their new life together, I can only imagine how hard it feels to see your son, your daughter, all grown up and ready to take on the married life. If everyone would please join me, let us clap our hands to Kristopher & Chesa’s parents!

I couldn’t stop saying uhm, even if I already had my speech in front of me. It was as if I was worried that my phone’s battery would go empty, that there would be a sudden blackout, or that there would be someone from the audience who’d come forward and stab me with one of the swords that was used during the couple’s entrance to the reception. Yes, I was that nervous.

I’m really overjoyed to be here today, for my friend’s wedding. I’ve known Pong since college, and for lack of a better word, he was.. shy when it came to women. Imagine my surprise, our surprise, when Pong told us one day that he was going to introduce us to his girlfriend. We were excited. We were skeptical; and we probably had wondered if we were just dreaming.

Someone from the audience say’s “Kami rin“, and I learn later that it was Pong’s dad who said that. I could hear the laughter that followed, but I was too focused on trying not to slip up while delivering the speech that at that time, I couldn’t hear anything else.

I had come to the end of the 1st note that I stored on my phone. With swift fingers, I close the file and open Note #2.

And yet all our doubts were dispelled when Pong introduced us that one night to Chesa. She smiled at us as one by one we were introduced to her. And Pong? Well we were just amused with how he couldn’t stop smiling whenever we caught him looking at Chesa. He’d always go like this– (I mimic Pong’s smile, and the crowd roars with laughter). It was the kind of look that told you, “This guy’s in love, pare”. It was the kind of look that told us, it was as if he was telling us, “She’s the one“.

I remember when Pong told me that he could see himself being with Chesa for the rest of his life. Those weren’t the words of a schoolboy with a teenage crush; those were the words of a man who knew what path he wanted to take, and had the resolve to take it.

My voice nearly faltered at that point. I remembered our college days, and how we were.. amusingly cheesy. I remember those days spent in hopeless waiting, and how there were times when my friend was foolishly sweet, with more emphasis on the foolish part. As I recalled the words that my friend told me that night when we first met Chesa, I knew that Pong was more serious than he had ever been in his whole life.

In closing, I’d like to quote a saying about marriage that I read in an article before. Marriage, is not about finding that one person you can live with; it’s about finding that one person you cannot live without.

My friend Pong, I’m happy to say, has found that person… And she’s standing right there beside him.

Therefore, I’d like to propose a toast, to Pong and Chesa. Let’s raise our glass: May you always be blessed in your hearts with the wonder of your marriage, and for the rest of your lives, may you be forever blessed with a lifetime of happiness. To Pong, and Chesa!

I drink the contents of my glass, which I thought was just water, and then I realize with certainty that it was NOT water. I later learn that I just drank white wine. Hehe.. Oh well. Sometimes in life, there are moments that look inviting at first, that makes you want to pursue them. And then all of a sudden, you are faced with the bitter taste of reality. And yet, for all the bitter hardships that you might face in life, you know that there are moments worth taking, because at the end of it all, these are the moments that make life worth living.

To Pong and Chesa, I wish you all the best in your new life as husband and wife! MABUHAY ANG BAGONG KASAL! :)

Though the sea will be strong
I know we’ll carry on
‘Cause if there’s somebody calling me on
She’s the one

-Robbie Williams, “She’s The One”

-Ed. E.

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