Special occasions knock down physical boundaries


As I See It


Filipino Americans work so hard that they can hardly find time to socialize with their friends and relatives except for special occasions.

Special celebrations include baptism, wedding, birthdays, and funerals.

Lately, they included Pacman fights (boxing icon Sen. Manny Pacquaio) in the US. If they fall on a weekend or taking place in a city away from their homes, relatives and friends find time to file for vacation leave to attend.

This weekend was the wedding of two nice and awesome couple:

Michael Estioko and Michelle Cordoza. The wedding ceremony was officiated by Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento Pastor Rev. Fr. Michael O’Reilly. In his homily, he challenged the newly-wed to love one another as Jesus loved them but they need each other’s support to be able to really love each other according to the scriptures.

Fr. O’Reilly said it as a great challenge to live with this kind of love for married couples but they really need each other’s support for one another.

Pursuant to the gospel during the marriage ceremonies, we can define married life as a vocation to holiness. From their first days as husband and wife through their golden years, married couples have the awesome task of witnessing to God’s faithful love to each other, their children, and society. No couple does this perfectly, and everyone needs help when love feels drained and the going gets tough…

There are no magic formula but here are some tips for effective marriage that are self-explanatory coming from couples who have long lived together as husband and wife. Here they are: respect your spouse; Give priority to your spouse; Work to keep your relationship in the present; Take the time to listen; maintain strong communication; don’t break marital confidences or use them as a weapon during an argument; and be attuned to your partner’s moods.

Michael’s parents are Leo and Amelia “Amy” Estioko from Bakersfield, California while Michelle’s parents are Leslie and Suesta Cordoza from Stockton, California.

Michael is a graduate from UC Sta. Cruz major in Sociology (B.S.-Sociology) while Michelle, also a graduate of UC Sta. Cruz, major in Community Service (B.S. – Community Service).

Unlike other FilAm weddings where there are a lot of principal and secondary sponsors, in Michael and Michelle’s case, there’s only one set of sponsors. Principal sponsors were Chris and Roxanne Bacher; secondary sponsors Raul and Imelda Sta. Ana from Bacolod city, Philippines, (veil) and Elpidio and Delia Estioko from Milpitas, California (cord).

Other sponsors include Samantha Sta. Ana, Maid of Honor; Matthew Estioko, Best Man; Meleza Sta. Ana, Bridesmaid; Angelique Pedrola, Bridesmaid; Matthew Cordoza and Charles Jayson Estioko, groomsmen.

Ring bearer was Nicole Orca.

Sis. Victoria Sta. Ana, who traveled all the way from the Philippines, led all the prayers during and after the ceremonies. First reading was done by Meleza Sta. Ana and Second reading by Valerie Estioko. Hannah Moll led the Prayer of the Faithful.

Not minding the physical boundaries that separates the US from the Philippines, 22 of Michelle’s relatives from Bacolod City attended the wedding to witness the wedding ceremonies of their relative whom they haven’t seen and met for many years. It was a time to renew their relationships, a great bonding moment for all of them. The Philippine delegation was led by Sis. Victoria Sta. Ana, Michelle’s aunt and Raul and Imelda “Mi a” Sta. Ana, also Michele’s aunt and uncle. The rest of the brothers and sisters and other close relatives of Michelle’s mom also attended the wedding.

The rest of Michelle’s relatives came from adjoining cities of the city of Sacramento, numbering about 50 more people.

Michael’s relatives were led by his three uncles and their wives/aunties: Leo and Amy Estioko (parents) from Bakersfield, California; Romulo and Ermina Estioko from San Jose, California; and Elpidio and Delia Estioko (secondary sponsor – cord) from Milpitas, California. Michael’s relatives were close to 40 attendees. Well, Simo and Jugend Estioko-Castillo from San Jose, California together with their children also attended and Rocky Marciano 111 and Myrna Estioko from Milpitas, California were likewise present together with their children too.

Reception was held at the function room of Hyatt Regency Hotel Sacramento located at the 15th floor. Program, dancing, story-telling, and merry bonding lasted for four hours. It was fun, full of dynamism and active participation coming from the attendees who came from various parts of the globe knocking down physical boundaries.

My sister-in-law Amy, the mom of Michael was telling me, she was excited but likewise sad too because her son will be having his own life, his own family. That was the first in the family. I was also reminded when my daughter Rose Anne Joy Tweety” got married to Jonathan Rasay last June. That was a moment I will also not forget as I walked my daughter to the altar and handed over to Jonathan. That was a moment signaling their own life and having a family of their own. Since Jonathan is in the military (US Army), they settled in Oahu, Hawaii, Jonathan’s assignment for about four years.

In the case of Michael and Michelle, they will be settling in Sacramento because that’s where both of them work for a living. By the way, they plan to visit their cousin Tweety in Hawaii next week. They will have bonding of their own together in the island of Hawaii.

Yes, special occasion knocks down physical boundaries to be able for attendees to socialize and bond together with friends and relatives!

(Elpidio R. Estioko was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).