Today we mark the first anniversary of our Silver Wedding Anniversary! Confused? Okay, it’s our 26th wedding anniversary. And it took me a year before I decided to share Marvin’s spectacular wedding gift.
I don’t remember if we gave each other special wedding gifts back in 1989. Maybe letters? Probably, we assumed that the wedding and our forthcoming honeymoon were already the wedding gifts for each other. You see, Marvin paid for our wedding and I paid for our honeymoon. #ProudFQMoment
Marvin and I are weird in the sense that we believe that anniversaries, especially the milestone ones, should even be more special than the first wedding. Why? Because ideally, there is more to celebrate and be thankful for. Hey, you’ve survived, and hopefully, flourished as a couple. Hopefully also, you have more money to spend now compared to when you were younger.
For others, it may be the trauma that they went through with elaborate wedding preparations that make them want to do away with renewing their vows. Still for some, it may just not be their thing to hold parties. But let me share this story with you that confirmed how important it is to mark your milestone wedding.
Anton, our youngest, recently had a team-building seminar where everyone shared his/her innermost feelings, challenges and struggles. They were asked the question what are your saddest and happiest moments? Being so into dancing these days, his saddest was when his team didn’t qualify to compete internationally a couple of months ago. His happiest were two moments: When his team won the World Supremacy Battlegrounds championship (an international hiphop competition) in Sydney, Australia a couple of years ago and … during our Silver Wedding Anniversary. I was delighted to hear this from him. I asked why and his answer is something I will forever keep in my heart. He said, “I know that each child has a RIGHT to have a loving family but somehow that’s not what I see. It has become so rare that it now seems to be a PRIVILEGE to have one. During your Silver Wedding Anniversary, I just felt so happy, blessed and lucky to really realize and celebrate that I have that PRIVILEGE!” It was a big Awww moment for all of us to hear this from our bunso. This is what I mean when I say it’s important to mark our milestones – coming of age, important birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It is something that we, human beings, need to help us “locate” and understand where we are in this journey called life. It is an opportunity to honor, celebrate, assess and understand what we have accomplished so far, and how to proceed from where we are.
And part of marking milestones is the gesture of giving special and meaningful gifts. So let me share with your our Silver Spouses Exchange gifts.
The Bride’s Gift:
I thought of giving him something really meaningful and symbolic. We have been admirers of the art pieces of Michael Cacnio. I asked my high school batchmate, Abie Cacnio-Mulles who’s his sister, to introduce me to him. You see, I wanted to request for a special piece from him that would be symbolic of our marriage.
I met Mike Cacnio and wife Tess at their shop along Kalayaan Avenue in QC. Mike is such a jolly fellow who really laughs his heart out! He’s one of the youngest masters in Philippine art and a TOYM Awardee in 2006. He’s quite cool and very open sharing his stories with me like we’ve been friends forever. Tess is a tall model-looking lady. I admire their client interface set-up: The customer talks to Mike about the art part, and to Tess about the price, great business sense!
And so I discussed my dream gift to my Honey, “I want this to become a family heirloom that has all five family members on it. Then each time a family member is added, ‘say one gets married, have children, we keep adding the members. When Marvin and I are gone, we’d like the boys to take turns in hosting Christmas parties. Whoever hosts the Christmas party hosts this art piece and it will stay with him for a year. Then the following Christmas it is symbolically transferred to the home of the next host who will keep it for a year, and so on…”
Both of them liked the idea. We were all excited! Unfortunately, when they gave me the study and the quote, it was waaayyy beyond my budget. I can’t help being an FQWife! So I settled for just the two of us first, then we will just add the rest in the future.
When it was done, I secretly picked it up from the shop and hid it wrapped in a nook that Marvin doesn’t always go to. On August 12, our anniversary, I made excuses for him to please check out my desk in that nook. Of course I followed him, armed with my iphone to capture his reaction on video. He was surprised! Success! He stared at the images and imagined us growing old together. Then he became teary-eyed. I told him the kite has his initials because at that time he just availed of his early retirement and off to do things on his own and the kite was my wish for him to soar high. He breathed deeply and looked at me and said, “Ang ganda, thank you Hon.” Then he hugged me. It was a beautiful moment all captured in my phone. Unfortunately, I cannot share that video with you because I was so excited with his reaction that I pressed a key on my phone and inadvertently deleted the entire video! Fail! But anyway, I can still vividly remember his tears and smile and hug.
The Groom’s Gift:
On our anniversary, I received flowers from Marvin as usual and there was a simple “decoy gift” so I wasn’t really expecting anything else anymore.
On our Silver Anniversary celebration, he called out Jim Paredes who was one of our guests. We got to know this great Filipino artist when Marvin and I separately took up his Creativity class. When Jim went up the stage and started talking about who contacted him about our wedding anniversary, I thought he was making a mistake because he mentioned Marvin’s name but it was I who invited him. Then as I listened to what he was saying, my oh my! the biggest surprise gift I’ve ever received in my life!
He commissioned the Jim Paredes to write a song for me as his Silver Wedding gift!!! I was so thrilled! How major is that? In chikka lingo, “Ang haba haba ng buhok ko!”
Recently, Marvin and I were talking to my friend and her American husband who came to the Philippines to celebrate a milestone event. We were telling them about our milestone wedding, then Marvin shared about this mega gift, “My gift to my wife was a song composed by the Paul McCartney of the Philippines! He’s the great songwriter of a popular singing group the Apo Hiking Society with numerous songs that helped shape our culture, much like how the Beatles songs have affected the entire world.” And when he said that, I felt the value of the gift even more.
During our wedding program, Jim sang it together with Bangge Mabanta, his sister-in-law who’s also a singer and an invited guest. I really didn’t know that they were all in this together. So after a year of keeping the song to myself, I’m now sharing it with you.
Just like the other Apo songs, nothing complicated and bombastic (pretty much our marriage), just a simple song that grows on you. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. And the bonus is that after our anniversary, Marvin would actually sing this song to me almost everyday. Thank you once again for this wonderful gift Hon, a really thoughtful, how-can-I/you-top-that? kind of gift! ❤ Happy Silver plus one!
- I will speak at the Cavite State University (yup the same school where Binay delivered his “TSONA” on August 19, 2015 at 11 am to discuss FQ with the students.
- I will speak at the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations on August 22, 2015 at the DLSU, Taft Ave. at 3pm together with my son Martin. We will discuss financial literacy before an audience of young entrepreneurs, graduate and undergraduate students from US, Europe, South America and Asia.
- You may be interested to watch Ang Tatlong Yugto; Tatlong Babae – a play by Liza Magtoto, which features a story of 3 women and their journey through life on August 28, 2015 at 2pm at the GSP 901 Padre Faura St., Ermita, Manila.
- The Family FQ Workshop by the Faustos goes to Iriga City on September 6, 2015. This is being arranged by Beam and Go, an online platform that caters to OFWs and others support their families in an affordable and transparent way.
Rose Fres Fausto is the author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon. Her new book is the Filipino version of the latter entitled Ang Muling Pagsasalaysay ng Ang Pinakamayamang Tao sa Babilonya. Click this link to read samples of the books. Books of FQ Mom Rose Fres Fausto. She is also the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards.
Attribution: Photos and videos from the author’s wedding archive.
This article is also published in PhilStar.com and RaisingPinoyBoys.com.