Yes, this entry is more than a week overdue, but I guess it's better late than never.
After finally buying the slippers, plus an extra bag for good measure, and getting home on a rainy afternoon, I was half-panicking about what to do. I presumed the traffic to Island Cove
was terrible, and thus I was close to rushing my dad to bring me there. Even more weirdly, I was wearing the beach attire prescribed at the invitation, and I was pretty sure things would get splittery-splattery.
Forty minutes later, I had arrived at Island Cove, in between text messages with Ariane
on her trip, and with Kim
on the change of venue. Days before, that unanticipated typhoon was probably driving her crazy, and thankfully the venue was moved to a roofed location. It was terribly raining when I finally arrived, and it felt like I was bound to get messy or something. I got in, got seated (with Lau, according to Kim) and waited. It was ten minutes before the announced time.
Forty minutes later, I realized I am still alone at table eleven. Kaymee was standing there at the entrance, not knowing what to do - she approachesd the ushers much later on, and when she arrived I was obviously relieved. I thought about the BonoSoc's location - Huey texted me hours before, everyone billeted at the Vito Cruz area, asking for public transport instructions to the area - and I also thought of the invited party animals, because quite literally, I was the only one from DLSU
waiting. Or so I thought.
So everyone finally arrived in around thirty minutes, with the BonoSoc, fresh from their reserved room, eating up part of their vacation, coming somewhat in full force, starting to chat and fill up the two tables alloted. Malia
was obviously standing out, and so was Jaja
(but for all my reasons, it was true, kids). The ushers were giving away those flowery necklaces, and it could be a coincidence, the fact that our tables were nearest to the drinks counter.
Kim's face was showing on the projector, although unintendedly. The beach girl's the wallpaper.
Finally, the announcement came out: the event proper's to start in ten minutes. It didn't quite start that early still, though. When it finally began, the host came out - his name has slipped my memory - and directed our attention to the video projector. Then, finally, all the old videos fished out from the Malicsi archives, from Kim dancing on stage to Kim being splashed with water. (Oh, and should I say she was really cute?)
In between the videos, Kim was to make a grand entrance. She was positioned outside that creaky bridge to the Kawit Pavillion. It was raining still, and she finally came in with a blue gown on. It wasn't much of a parade, however - we had to eat, and finally we did.
When we finally got to eat, we were getting bits of impatient because it was by table - it was okay, but it's past eight already - and then it was some celebratory catcall when the host finally announced table eleven's turn to the buffet table. A lot of invitations were given out to the block, but some didn't make it despite confirmation - only Ariane and Martin
were in for the party animals, and funnily Ale
asked me about Jana - and then Nico
weren't there for the BonoSoc. And so was Jessica and Dhi. Kim didn't end up getting eighteen pairs of slippers, where most of the block was, although there were the proxies that still got to send the slippers. The host found himself sending out one too many "the slippers are on their way" lines. Then again, he had to - the rain was obviously starting to ruin what was planned, but it was an oblivious fact on everyone.
In the middle of the food, Ariane performed and found new friends in the process
. Then, body shots.
Cuyeg was paired with three-class-classmate Nazrin, and Malia was paired with common friend (of theirs) JP. Oh, but Malia wasn't to be found, having left with a few others to pick up Cor's slippers for Kim. It was supposed to be some grandiose moment - at least, that's what the BonoSoc was saying. So, after couples began taking shots of tequila with dabs of salt in places - Cuyeg
got his at the nape, if I got it right - Malia came in and was ushered pretty quickly. And yes, it was exciting, and the BonoSoc was all cheers.
Malia didn't win, though. But the cheers were so loud, I found myself almost losing to the weather and the voices.
The eighteen slippers came next, and thankfully I got through my impromptu speech well, especially since some actually prepared their statements. I couldn't even remember the other surprise - Kim actually wrote down quotable about us, and the only thing i remembered her telling was about me having a "big heart". And, she thanked me for the tags.
Then there was this limbo challenge, which two kids won. Huey, Lau, Jill and Martin got a go, and the two girls ceremoniously lost the thing (and got themselves a splash photo).
By now, admittedly, everything was becoming a blur. Tables eleven and twelve were getting a bit messy, and people are starting to get drinks, and some have even been tipsier than expected. By now the eighteen leis are underway, and then there were more of the performances, which sometimes brought out tears and surprises.
And, yes, we were getting more playful by the second.
Okay. So I myself was getting tired - by then it was almost midnight, and people were getting tipsy or something else. (At least nothing bad really happened.) I remember Caresse
getting tipsy but even denying it ("I'm fine" - then she points at Ale). It was even getting a little bit sentimental, with people beginning to cry, especially Kim and her friends from way back. Even some at the tables couldn't help but cry - not because of the drama, but because of the getting-touched thing. Seems the debut was successful because they've managed to pull her long-lost friends from nowhere and get them to celebrate this lady's landmark.
By midnight, we've counted down to Sunday, Kim's actual birthday, and the birthday song's been played one time too many. Then, another surprise - the best-dressed list.
I was silently whispering Cuyeg's name, and he didn't want to win somehow. He was asking me to keep quiet. But costumes like these are his expertise, and it couldn't be helped that he win the prize - with barbie, Kim's stylist that gave her a retouch every now and then, especially after the teary-eyed portions.
So the party was over by then - the disco lights were turned on, I got to give my gift to Kim, and after more teary-eyes, I left the area. And it stopped raining.
Sunday afternoon, I texted Kim again, because she was getting sick - she was down with a terrible case of the colds, plus a slight fever. She said it's because of the cold weather - and the hot responses. Overwhelming, I guess.
Six days later, I saw her again - and she is indeed blooming. There seems to be some different glimmer in her eyes. It seems much more bluer - or it could be the contact lenses.
I'll close this entry with, of course, another favorite candid:
The photos are finally up on Fifth Year Holler
, and... there. The debut, where daddy's little girl grows up into a lady that's been loved by many.