22 April 2008

Winnie's wedding

The main reason for us going to the Philippines at the time we did was that we wanted to attend the wedding of Winnie, an old friend of Minnie. So, on Friday the 18th, we drove to Subic, the place Winnie chose for her wedding. Subic used to be a big American naval military base, and is therefore more like an U.S. town than a Filipino town. The biggest difference is the traffic, here are lots of stop signs (like in the U.S.), and you actually have to follow the traffic rules, which certainly isn't the case most places in the Phils...

On friday evening Minnie and I went out to eat in an Italian restaurant called "A Tavola", which was recommended by Cookie. From outside the place didn't really look that nice, but inside it really had a nice feel of old rustic place. Minnie wasn't that hungry so she just ordered a bruschetta, while I ordered spaghetti bolognese. My bolognese was really good, and when Minnie tried it she got so excited about it that she ordered one for herself as well :)

The day after was the day of the wedding. Minnie and her girlfriends were off to the salon for the makeup artists, making sure their dresses were perfect and other preparations for the big event, while my preparations consisted of sleeping a bit late, eating a rich breakfast, watching tv and relaxing, and using 5 minutes to try on my barong (traditional Filipino formal outfit for men). Its easier for us guys :)

We were getting worried about the bride though. She was doing so much of the preparations on her own, and had been super busy since Thursday. From Thursday till Saturday she had only slept one hour. We were just hoping she wouldn't collapse of tiredness in the wedding. However, when i got to see Winnie, I couldn't tell that she had slept so little before the wedding, and it didn't seem to bother her during the wedding ceremony and reception either.

The wedding reception gave me two good examples of the differences between Norway and the Phils, the first being the climate. If having a party indoors in the Phils, especially during summer, air conditioning is very important. Sadly, the air con broke down in the house the reception was held. To add to the crisis, the owners of the house had no contingency plan either, not even fans... With a lot of people in not that big a room, it got very warm and stuffy, resulting in a lot of guests leaving shortly after the dinner. I know Winnie felt really bad about this, but at least her close friends (which were the group I were in that evening) and family stayed so the party didn't die all together.

The second big difference is how the filipinos party compared to Norwegians. It's amazing to see for a Norwegian how filipinos are partying hard from the first dance, while Norwegians needs to marinate in alcohol for a couple of hours first... This meant that a lot of the guests, including Minnie, had a blast from the first song the band played, while I just sat by the table drinking wine and beer. After a couple of hours I had drunk enough to dare take part in the dance floor in the same way as the other guests. Then the other big difference in partying showed itself, the party was at its end and it was only 10pm! I was just getting started... To sum up: Filipinos party intense over a short time, while Norwegians takes a long time to warm up, but the party lasts much longer.

I really liked Subic, its a good place for spending a long weekend I think, both because of the American standard on everything and the number of activities available. The plan was to leave first thing in the morning the day after the wedding, but I made a deal with the other girls riding in the same car as us that we'd stay until lunch and I'll be treating that lunch. So, the day after, I had time to go go-karting, which I love :)

What I did not predict though, was how big the lunch were going to become... I think the word "feast" is more correct than "lunch", hehe... However, with Filipino prices it's still OK to treat even a feast, and we did have fun, especially since the newly weds decided to join us. You'll see in the picture that the table is cramped with plates of various foods, but that still isn't all the food we had...

I had a good time in Subic, attending my first catholic wedding, karting and everything. I also hope that Winnie will be able to remember the good times we had with her in the reception, not only the problems caused by the air-con failing, when she in the future think back to her wedding reception.

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