A Wedding Anniversary Feast

Dr. Nestor Alonso II (The Freeman) - September 6, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Celebrating wedding anniversaries all began during the Holy Roman Empire when a husband crowned his wife with a silver wreath on their 25th anniversary and a gold wreath on their 50th.

The 75th wedding anniversary is called a diamond anniversary. The 60th is also called a diamond anniversary for practical reasons, as very few couples reach the ripe old age to celebrate a 75th anniversary. In fact, I know only one couple, a relative from the Reynes side of our family who were able to celebrate two diamond anniversaries, the 60th and the 75th. (They died at age 105 and 104, respectively.)

A lovely couple, David and Daisy Barnes, recently invited me to their 25th Wedding Anniversary. The rites were held at the St. Therese Church, in Lahug. Many marriages of Filipinas and foreign nationals are officiated by a judge or a mayor because there are lots of requirements for a church wedding. The Barnes’ vow renewal was not meant to be a second wedding, but the opportunity for a church ceremony came and it was the fervent desire of Daisy Barnes for the rituals to be made under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church. And that would include a walk down the wedding aisle, excuse me, in an elegant bridal gown.

The wedding feast was held at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel. Welcome Drinks were Gin Cocktails, with Roku and Silent Pool Gin as the main characters. Traditional gins are infused with juniper berries while these two millennial gins have included other botanicals. Roku Gin, distilled by the House of Suntory has unique Japanese botanicals like Sakura leaf and flower, Yuzu peel, Sansho pepper etc., while the Silent Pool from England has infused at least 24 botanicals.

Soup served was Chinese Minced Beef Soup with Coriander served with soft rolls and butter while the Greens served were Classic Caesar Salad with Condiments, Lumpia Ubod with Garlic Peanut Sauce, and Mixed Vegetable with Parsley Butter.

There were two wines, Sun Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Cadet d’ Oc Cabernet Sauvignon, to pair with the Main Dishes – Beef in Black Pepper Sauce with Broccoli, Chicken & Pork Adobo, Medallion of Fish with Chinese Ham & Mushroom, Sweet & Sour Pork, Cebu Lechon, Steamed Rice, and Pancit Canton with Shrimp, Chicken & Squid.

Choice of food for the wedding feast falls under the bride’s domain while the drinks are left to the groom. The dishes such as Adobo, Sweet & Sour Pork, Fish Medallions and the Pancit Canton are typical food preparations I have seen served in fashionable Filipino weddings in the 80s. Cebu Lechon and Steamed Rice were always permanent fixtures during those celebrations.

David Barnes also brought several bottles of Chateau Ste. Michelle Meritage 2009, Johnnnie Walker XR 21 years and Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whisky 25 years.  Now, here was a mate who knows what his buddies like to drink during this memorable occasion.

The lovely finish to a wonderful meal were Desserts – Freshly Cut Fruits in Light Syrup, Tiramisu, and English Trifle.

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