The date was December 15, 2008. The venue: Tagaytay Midlands.
The scenery was breathtaking but it almost took our breath away... literally. Our driver (Tita Nitz) thought the wedding venue was somewhere near People's Park and she stopped every now and then, asking the locals for directions. Joel and I were jamming together using the guitar and beatbox respectively while the rest simply enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the cool, crisp air.
Our joy was short-lived though as we passed the guard house and the L300 PUV took a sharp turn to the right and entered a very steep incline. I told Tita Nitz to keep the vehicle on first gear but I was too late. She's on third and she can't bring it back to first gear because if she stepped on the clutch the vehicle just went faster. We continued our treacherous descent along the road that seemed unsure of its destination and then I smelled something burning. I knew it was the brake lining and Tita stepped on the brakes in a pumping motion but it was useless.
After what felt like an eternity, the road finally straightened out and became level so that Tita managed to slow us down gradually until we reached the venue.
Diane's little nephew, TJ cried after the ordeal. Poor kid. He must have sensed the tension that gripped everyone when the L-300 went for a rollercoaster ride. The security guard who escorted us said that the stretch of road that we travelled was accident prone and its usual victims were delivery trucks and other large vehicles.
I swear to God, I have gone to Baguio and found it far safer than this joint. However the majestic scenery of Taal and the surrounding areas it affords is something to live for.
The chapel for the wedding ceremony is just awesome. It is called Madre De Dios and unlike the other churches we've gone to this one stands out for its sheer beauty and simplicity. I know for a fact that it was a recent structure unlike the old churches that stood for hundreds of years. However it sure looked like it was built by the early missionaries. Its architecture is something you would find in the old mission churches in California.
Our performance went well indeed despite the tension earlier. As choir members we know that during the Liturgical celebration we were supposed to sing in order to help the faithful lift their minds and hearts to God. In order to achieve this we made sure that our mouths are at a certain length from the microphone. For my part I would adjust the volume level of the pickup on my guitar accordingly. If the the song needed plucking, I would turn up the level and if I'm strumming I would turn it down making sure the level won't drown our voices and cause a distraction. All these were designed so that the attention of the faithful would be drawn towards the Sacred Mystery which is Christ Himself descending on the Host and Chalice instead of us. Despite the necessary precautions we took I would still notice a lot of eyes and faces turned towards the choir section.
During the pictorial, Joel sang, "When I Met You" for the first time and I sang "Forevermore" as well as the usual sequence. After the recessional as we were exiting the chapel the groom invited us to the cocktail. Diane's mom was quite apprehensive and reminded us to be back before sunset.
We went home taking a longer, bumpier but safer route through Calamba.
I'm sorry I don't have any pictures to share because I don't have a camera. I have tried looking at the photo albums of my co-singers, Joel and Shiela on their friendster profiles but it seems that they haven't uploaded any pictures yet.
*photo above courtesy of Dino Lara Photography