lunch with the vera perezes

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but prior to coming to Dubai, I had worked as a Personal Assistant/Secretary for (now) Congresswoman Gina de Venecia for more than 3 years. Back then she was simply called Manay Gina, wife of Speaker JDV.

Anyway, we were fortunate to spend a Sunday lunch with her and her family during our vacation. The last time Hubby and I had seen her was at our wedding where she was one of our godparents, so I thought it would be nice to see her and for her to meet our daughter. So I sent her an SMS, to which she replied with an invitation to their ancestral home in Quezon City the following Sunday to meet up with her and the rest of her family and attend the mass before having lunch.

That morning, Hubby, Caila and I took a cab and set-off to the Vera-Perez Compound. We were a bit early, but Ninong Boy (also one of our godparents) arrived a few minutes later, giving me a huge hug. After a while Ate Pentay came out, then the priest arrived, and finally the rest of the Vera Perez family members and their close friends followed.

A few minutes later, the mass began which was held inside the house. That day happened to be the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, so naturally the priest mentioned it in his homily, which was actually apt to the day’s theme of forgiving those who have wronged you. After the mass, we were all invited to serve ourselves from the buffet table which was full of delicious food, and we then settled into the chairs at the tables that were set-up just in front of the main door. Of course we greeted JDV, Mama Nene, Manay Ichu, Manay Betchay and Manay Chona. Chris was also there bonding with his cousins, all of whom had really grown since I last saw them (which must have been almost 8 years ago).

Lunch was a lively affair, with everyone talking about what had been happening since they last saw each other while enjoying the food. From time to time, Ninang and her sisters would exclaim how cute and adorable Caila was (proud ako, syempre!), and Chris even said that if she wanted to become an actress, we should just let him know (oh haaaa!). There was an instance when we had finished eating and Caila was sitting on Hubby’s lap when Regine and Lander (who were sitting at the same table) noticed that she was pinching Hubby’s elbows. Smiling, they revealed that one of their daughters (I can’t remember if it’s Reigne or Reigen) also had the same habit when she was Caila’s age, which prompted us to share all the uncomfortable positions we had to put up with just to satisfy her habit, which Lander said he could totally relate to.

Finally, lunch was over and one by one the people stood up to leave. But of course before we left, we just had to take pictures. Here are a few snaps we took:
our little girl enjoying her ice-cream
with Ninang Gina
with JDV and Ninang Gina
with Ate Pentay
with Ninong Boy

obviously, this is Ninang Gina's gift to Caila, which was almost as big as her
The photos with Ninang Gina and JDV were actually initiated by Ninang herself and taken by her yaya. But since it was a private family gathering, and even though I know that they’re really nice, I was just too shy to ask to have our pictures taken with Kuya Germs and Lander and Regine. Anyway, maybe next time.

All in all, it was nice to see everyone else again. And being that it was Hubby’s first time to set foot in the Vera-Perez Compound and meet the matriarch of Sampaguita Pictures, you can bet he was excited to tell his family all about it.

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