Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pops' First and Last Banner

In January 2006, we celebrated Pops' 70th birthday. It was the grandest celebration I had ever organized and managed in my entire life.  No stones were left unturned to make it a very memorable occasion. Banner, 70 balloons, wines, cake, & lots of food! It was held at my friend's restaurant, Vieux Chalet, in Antipolo City, east of Manila. I asked Pops to invite his very close friends from way back his RCC (Republic Cement Corporation, his first employer) days in late '50s.  Three of his best pals, together with their wives, went to celebrate Pops' special day. Family, church friends and relatives were also there.

Our family picture during Pops' 70th birthday at Vieux Chalet in Antipolo City, January 2006.
One of my sisters, Nenette, is not in this pic. She lives in the US.
Four years later (September 2010), the banner we used for his 70th birthday was the same one we hang at his wake.  This time, not as a reminder of another year of his life, but of his final day on earth. It was posted strategically at the entrance of the funeral chapel, near the snacks & coffee bar.  Pops' happy face welcomed every visitor with a sweet smile that portrayed his contented and calm demeanor during his senior years.  His banner became our "photo wall" where many of those who mourned with us posed for some photo ops with "Pops"...for the last time.
Pops' same banner became our photo wall at his wake. September 2010
Pops' 9th day memorial, Sept. 15, 2010

(To this very day I am very thankful to the Lord for giving me persistence, patience, and love to convince my parents, especially Pops, to celebrate his 70th birthday. I am also forever grateful to some of my dearest friends, who made Pops' banner: Toto the Artist, who unselfishly shared his talents by making the layout, and; Orange Lim, who printed it on tarpaulin, free of charge, as his "gift" to Pops.)

We've used Pops' banner in all his post-mortem memorials: ninth day, 40th day, and first anniversary. It may have been rolled away and stored after his death anniversary, but his smile will remain in my heart and mind as long as I live.


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