Thursday, December 21, 2006


I took this picture during the latter part of Canon’s Shoot & Run event. My shooting buddy and I were walking from Palacio de Manila heading south when we passed by Malate Church and came upon this wedding, which was about to begin.

This photo was taken quickly without any preconceived intention; a spur of the moment kind of thing because in just another second or two, the bride began to march down the aisle.

Later that day, back inside the event venue, a newly-found photographer friend advised me that through the magic of Photoshop, those hands that were included in the frame could be eliminated. However, at home, I thought that the hands and shadows play an integral role in the overall composition of the photograph. So I decided to leave things as they are.

Weddings are invariably big time productions whether realized or not. Besides selecting the church, reception venue, and service providers (caterer, band, video crew, photographer, make up artist, hair stylist, seamstress, tailor and etc.), there is also the task of coordinating the time and date of the wedding itself so as to assure the attendance of significant family members, friends and guests. Suffice it to say, weddings are emotionally draining and stressful; therefore, choosing the right people to become part of one's production team becomes even more important, for they can help provide a seemingly flawless presentation. And this is why the wedding industry constantly thrives despite a bleak economic condition.

Personally, I grew up despising weddings. I would much rather attend a funeral if given a choice.

You see, as far back as I can remember, at least once a month, I had a wedding to attend to as a ring bearer. It wasn’t because I epitomized the picture perfect image of a ring bearer; it was simply political, meant to please my parents more so than anything. And if my parents were asked to sponsor the marriage, rest assured, I would be the appointed ring bearer as well. I never liked the entire setup because a Sunday spent at a wedding meant a day less for playing. On the other hand, at funerals, I could at least play with my cousins the whole afternoon. But at wedding receptions, I was expected to act like a grown up gentleman; never to soil my spiffy white shoes and shiny satin outfit with a gigantic bowtie.

On top of all that, I also have an aunt who, if she were still actively creating wedding gowns today, could easily give Vera Wang a run for her money; her creations were truly outstanding. She has two daughters who were very cute and doll-like (when they were young); hence, often asked to be the flower girls. But how I found myself in the picture as ring bearer when she has two sons of her own puzzled me. Last month, I finally mustered the courage to ask her — if my two cousins as flower girls and I as ring bearer — were part of the package deal that she offered to her wedding gown customers. She gave me the heartiest laugh I’ve seen from her in ages.

I was tall for my age and at 12 I stood almost as tall as some grooms or their best men, but that didn’t stop people from asking my parents to have me as their ring bearer. Although my two cousins had retired as flower girls, I was still quite in demand. I must have been the only ring bearer in the annals of wedding history who was already going through puberty. I started to get paranoid. I was afraid that I was fast becoming a wedding tradition — the generic ring bearer for everyone’s wedding. And that silly white costume was making me look more like a dreaded apparition; worse, a court jester. I had to do something and fast.

The only solution I came up with wasn’t nice, but I just had to do it. At this one wedding, I hid the rings in my pocket. When everyone was getting frantic looking for them, all I said was that I was handed the pillow and didn’t notice if the rings were there to begin with or not. But in the end, I felt so bad for the bride who was about to cry so I pulled the rings from my pocket and handed them to her. Everyone heaved a sigh of great relief. However, much to my dismay, no one berated me for my antic; in fact, they seemed even amused by it. Someone mentioned that I had actually done a good deed by lightening up the situation which was getting overwhelmed by a group of sobbing ladies.

On the way to the reception, my father put his arm around my shoulder and whispered, “Don’t worry. No one’s going to make you a ring bearer anymore.” Thank God! After that summer, I was heading for high school.

At my cousin’s wedding in Castillejos, Zambales. Never mind the dog, guess who the ring bearer was?

posted by Señor Enrique at 11:18 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

pogi mo siguro kaya lagi ka kinukuhang ring bearer, hehe.

ako naman laging abay, pero ni minsan di naging groom, huhuhu.

hindi mo ba naiisip na mag business nalang tulad ng wedding photography? you have the talent and equipment already.

December 21, 2006 12:26 PM  

Blogger bugsybee said...

Eric, only those who are considered cute or gwapo are invited to be ring bearers so that should have been good reason to celebrate. **wink** As for removing the hands holding the veil with Photoshop, I'm glad you didn't do it. I still believe that, notwithstanding the advances in photo softwares, the best is still the untouched, original photo. P.S. I like the typewrite image in your "About Me" section- yours? I have a weakness for really old typewriters. Any story attached to this typewriter?

December 21, 2006 3:42 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I wish I was that pogi, Iskoo, but look at the old pic (kaya ko nga isinali) I'm basically a typical looking Pinoy kid. However, look at my cousins who were the flower girls. Cute di ba? Mga tisay! Mga kapatid nilang lalaki mga tisoy at gwapo. Bakit di sila pig ring bearer ... hahaha! Sabi nga sayo, political lang yon, eh!

Siguro bago ko isipin pumasok sa wedding business, tutulong muna ako as second or third unit photographer sa mga bago kong kaibigan na kumikita na as wedding photographers. Sa ganitio lalo ko matutunan mas mukhang maganda ang special day ng mga brides!

December 21, 2006 5:05 PM  

Blogger abet said...


i love weddings....i can be your coordinator if you want hehehhe...kaya lang dapat 6 months in advance kasi i prepare it that long hehehehe..nice old pics u got...cguro ang cute mo nung nag ring bearer ka.

December 21, 2006 5:18 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Trust me, Bugsybee, I wasn't all that ... hahaha!

There is a local photographer being hailed by the industry magazine as an upcoming star in the realm of photography. Great photos he has; however, the more I see his other works, the more I realize how software manipulation tend to only degrade his shots in the long run. They seem tiring at some point compared to minimally retouched photographs.

Yes, I bought it in NYC and brought it to Manila with me. It serves as reminder for something I have to pursue. I will blog about it because it is rather interesting. BTW, glad you told me your fondness for old manual typewriters; at least now I know kung kanino ko ipapamana ito :)

December 21, 2006 5:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

natawa naman ako don 12 years old na ring bearer pa rin? nowadays e abay na yang age na yan diba? hmmnnn super duper gwapo to the max ka siguro nung bata ano?

December 21, 2006 5:26 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I hope you're serious about what you said about being a wedding coordinator, Basey. That is one very important role to fill, especially if you can also integrate being the day of the wedding's art director along with it. If you're interested I can refer you to a local magazine's special feature about this particular growing field.

You should hang out with us one day next January and who knows? You might actualize that dream to become a wedding coordinator.

December 21, 2006 5:26 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I-click mo yung bottom pic, Melai, tapos tignan mo sa magnifying glass -- average looking Pinoy kid lang ako. Sabi nga sa inyo political lang yon, eh.

Oo nga, dose anyos na ko naka-costume pa ako na parang multo ... hahaha! Dapat mga ring bearer six years old and below lang, eh. Kung ako naman ay super gwapo, trust me, nag artista na ako kasi isa kong tiyahen ang gumagawa naman ng costume sa mga pelikula ni FPJ. At least doon may kita pa ako; sa pag-ring bearer walang diskarte at pagkaaga-aga pang gumising! Ano ba yan!

December 21, 2006 5:35 PM  

Blogger sheilamarie said...

Hola Senor, you made me laugh with your story, especially with your hiding the wedding rings in your pocket. Haha! Sabi nga ni Melai, cute kid sigurado :D

Lovely picture of the bride, by the way. It does capture the moment... I can just imagine the bride's thought at that very second she's about to march down the isle....

...which could've been "I WISH ERIC WAS OUR RING BEARER".

December 21, 2006 9:56 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I just hope, Sheilamarie, that the bride wasn't having any second thoughts at that very moment ... hehehe.

Glad I made you laugh. It is a funny story though I was miserable when experioencing it that time. Cute kid? Put it this way, all children are cute no matter what. But I wasn't "that" cute.

Actually, I was discussing this incident with my mother and sister about two weeks ago; they did remember that particular wedding in which the entire bridal entourage was getting stressed out looking for the rings. My mother claimed she had an inkling I was hiding them at that moment; that it was my way of rebelling.

December 21, 2006 10:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the exact opposite experience: no ring-bearer duties at all. I was waay cuter back then, but the only significant role I had was in the offertory of the very first wedding I attended (I was 12 then). I guess it boils down to my family not being that prominent or sociable.

The laptop "downgraded" to typewriter: nice. What's up with the nostalgia? I'll be waiting for that blog :)

Wait, erisac and Señor Enrique are just one person? Oh... Is erisac the Google account? I agree with Toe's suggestion in your previous post, posting comments using a Google account instead may work.

December 21, 2006 11:57 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Do write and shoot more about historic Malate Church, my regular place of worship for several years, and where celebrities living in Malate then congregated with the hoi polloi.

December 22, 2006 4:15 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

natawa naman ako sa story nyo senor! kawawa naman yung bride pero at least natigil ang iyong pagiging ring bearer. naalala ko kwento ng friend ko naging flower girl naman sya nung HIGH SCHOOL sa isang wedding anniversary, 25th or 50th ata.

December 22, 2006 5:24 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Dave, erisac and senor enrique is one person. I sign in with my blogger account when respoinding to these comments yet my name that gets registered is either one of these two, which never happened before the beta blogger days.

There you go, my popularity as ring bearer was indeed more political. Thanks for supporting my claim, Dave.

I've already started to compose my entry about that old portable typewriter when I used its photo as my avatar, but I had put it aside and neglected to finish it altogether. Now I will return to it to complete and post.


eric aka senor enrique aka erisac

December 22, 2006 7:23 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I had gone to Canon's Shoot & Run event quite eraly so I went to Malate Church and stayed to hear mass.

The security guards of the church, Amadeo, have been strict lately when allowing photos to be taken of the church itself and its premises. I'm not really sure how this all come about.

However, I have some photos already taken a month or so ago and will use them as soon as I have enough interesting material to post an entry about this particular church.

December 22, 2006 7:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

A flower girl when already in high school? Wow! Your friend broke my record ... hahaha!

BTW, Carla, next big event coming up is the fireworks competition at the MOA. Will keep you posted.

December 22, 2006 7:30 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a cute story, Eric. No matter what you say, I think you were a pretty good looking kid. :)

"A Sunday spent at a wedding meant a day less for playing." Sounds a lot like my kids. :)

December 22, 2006 12:12 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Had it been once in a blue moon, Irene, I wouldn't have mind it at all. But there were times, especially during the summer, when there were grand plans for a picnic in the province and I wasn't able to go because of those weddings. No exagerration; it was at one point at least once a month.

Playing should be the priority for all kids for they are kids only once :)

December 22, 2006 7:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had been a flower girl...hmm...just once. It wasn't fun at all. I was so so scared of walking down the aisle with all those people staring down at me. I guess it's almost the same with being a ring bearer. But hey, at least you didn't have to wear those itchy, ill-fitted things they dare call gowns for little girls.

I have a particular comment about the B/W picture. Is it just me, but doesn't it appear as if the people in the picture were not smiling at all?

December 22, 2006 11:06 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Considering that rings are more significant than flowers, I sometimes wonder why ring bearers dpn't get as much top billing. Hehehe.

My two cousins detested being flower girls also, Kathy. I guess once or twice in one's childhood is fine, but on a more regular basis, darn ... a pain!

I think those folks weren't used to being photographed that was why they looked stiff ... hahaha!

December 23, 2006 12:49 PM  

Blogger Unsugarcoated Reviews said...

buti pa nga kayo, naka-attend na ng wedding...ako, sa edad kong 27, never pang naka-attend ni isang wedding hehe...

laging me palusot...

December 26, 2006 1:57 AM  

Blogger bugsybee said...

"... now I know kung kanino ko ipapamana ito." Eric, I won't say no! LOL

I look forward to your post about the typewriter.

December 26, 2006 3:49 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Kanya naman pala, Cyberpunk, eh ... iniiwasan mo talagang umatend :)

Ang pag ring bearer ay parang pagkain ng lobster ' yan -- once in a long while is great, but all the time, well .. kakasawa agad, di ba?

December 26, 2006 8:41 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Okay, Bugsybee ... deal! hehehe.

Will post it soon!

December 26, 2006 8:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like that photo of the bride. it's very symbolic. a young woman entering a new world - the dark entrance of the church depicting the unknown, the life she is yet to discover. reminds me of me years ago... :)

December 29, 2006 8:24 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Rhodora -- the step into the unknown! I had no time to prepare for the shot so this was more a snapshot than anything else. However, like you, I had the same reaction once reviewing the picture.

Trust your journey turned out to be a blissful one!

Thanks for dropping by.

December 29, 2006 8:36 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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