There is something quite life altering about being asked to be a Ninong to a wedding! You begin to look at things a little bit differently. You begin to realise your true age. Age in a sense that perhaps you are wiser and the honour that is given you is important. Most specially if the couple is someone that is very close to your heart.
I first met Thea when she was barely 12 years old. Her mother Kitty was a dear friend and client. Kitty would often bring her girls to my studio when she was having her clothes made. Even at that age Thea had a very strong affection for the arts, particularly in fashion design. This led her to apprentice with me during her summer breaks. Because of this Thea and I became really close, cemented by an amazing Safari adventure she became family.
As she went off to college in Rhode Island School of design she never ceased to amaze me with her talent and determination. When she graduated she landed a prized job at Ralph Lauren! She was living in New York and I would visit her almost every year and we would have the best times. She was game to do whatever what was on our to do list from visiting museums all the way to going to the grimy and dingy clubs on the lower East side or to the gay clubs in Chelsea. She was no longer my little girl but she was turning out to be this formidable woman who was literally taking New York by it’s horns. On my last visit Thea prepared a beautiful dinner in her apartment where she cooked everything from scratch and I by then had met Andy on several occasions but it was only at that time when I saw how she looked at Andy and how they reacted to one another. It was as if they had this amazing celestial chemistry and it I thought to myself…Wow they are really perfect for each other.
So when Thea called me long distance from NYC telling me that she was engaged I was really over the moon with joy! Then she asked me if I would like to be her NINONG and I was really quite floored as I never imagined that I would be that in anyone’s life. So several moons after…. there, we all were in TALI at the home of Andy’s family. Where many many happy memories were made and many more were being made. There was this really easy vibe with the entire wedding starting with the entourage which were asked to wear tropical themed dresses in either a plain or a print pattern. I thought that it was all so very chic! The weather could not have been more perfect. The was no summer heat as only the cool wind and comfortable weather was with us. The wedding vows took place in a quaint chapel in a sugar plantation and the reception was at the The Ugarte beach home made more beautiful by Anton Barretto, Judith Zapanta and Tina Bonoan.
There were generous amounts of delicious food and copious amounts of fine wine and spirits that made the wedding truly a merry occasion. My highlight was seeing the bride and groom beaming with delight. As I prepared to retire from the wedding I saw of a glimpse of them , just a silhouette really of them holding each other so tight filled with love and happiness. For me for now I thought the world was all right and everything is all right. Congratulations my loves Thea and Andy! Wishing you both a long and happy marriage. You both know that I am always here for you both.