Saturday, September 5, 2009


Kamae used to be a tall slim girl but not skinny; shy but not an introvert; silent but not despondent and was addicted to the internet the last time I learned about her activities during one of our family gatherings. And that was not very long ago!

Today, Kamae has graciously metamorphosed into a sweet trendy lady. She is now a sophomore coed at Miriam College taking up MasComm. By the camaraderie I observe when she is with her classmates and friends, I know that she enjoys their good company as much as they do, too. This sweet lady is Mon's and Cherrie's eldest and only girl in their brood of 3. She is a loving sister to Migo and Raja. The proud parents lavish their children with love but not to a point of spoiling them. To show such affection, they threw a dinner party for Kamae's 18th birthday last August 29, 2009.

When Mon and Cherrie called us up to inform us about their plan they insisted a 100% attendance of the Castro clan to which I belong as Kamae's Lola on Mon's side. Immediately, I imagined Kamae on her debut as the typical Cinderella wearing sparkling shoes, a glossy floor-length gown, a tiara on her head, gloved hands, the cotillion of friends, her first dance with Dad, 18 roses, 18 candles, 18 gifts, etc. You know, the traditional type of debut party.

The red-letter day finally came! The moment I, with my other siblings together with our families, arrived at the venue, the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Sunset Pavilion, I was thrilled by the glamorous facade with Kamae's name at the entrance competing in beauty with the sunset at Manila Bay. Our party was the first to arrive so we had sufficient time enjoying the famous sunset. Cameras clicked here and there catching even our reactions whenever spray of seawater was all over us as waves broke against the wall of the Baywalk.

I watched in awe as the host's visitors, friends, and relatives arrived in their formal European-inspired get-ups. It was the suggested party theme and so every male wore dark suits with matching vests and tie and most females donned fitting formal dresses and gowns as well. I felt we were transported into a dreamland called Europe with the imposing Eiffel Tower, other high-rise structures on the stage setting and the freezing cold of the dimly-lit pavilion. We were like characters in a fairy tale.

The celebration began with Kamae emerging from the back of the hall , with all the fanfare, fireworks, light effects as in a Wowowee-inspired show- her dream come true debut march in a very beautiful long train of layers and layers of yellow ruffles at the back of her skirt and which was open thigh-high in front to show her flawless legs and sparkling sleeveless top with a be-jewelled crown, not a tiara. She looked more of the fancy character Barbie than Cinderella to me. She marched toward the stage with such an elegance and gait to the loud applause of the audience. And how she danced with her Dad Mon, Lolo Raphy and the rest of her 18 roses offerers. But that was not all. As the evening progressed she changed costumes that fitted her parts in the program. She was in a tight-fitted orange mini dress with gloved hands and lady's shoes and sat with elegance as the 18 candle offerers gave each a message to her on center stage.

We were totally caught by surprise at one point of the program when the lights went out. However, the full blast of music introduced a group of dancers. The very good emcee had grasped all the magic that thrilled me as I watched the dancers in dim light focusing with my strained eyes on the tall silhouette of a girl dancing like Luningning or Saicy of Wowowee, so fragile-looking but full of energy. When the lights went on- there was my beloved apo(granddaughter)Kamae, beaming triumphantly in her blood-red sparkling tops and black shorts and dancing black leather boots!

There were many highlights of the birthday bash. Ronnie Liam, a Pinoy Dream Academy runner-up was there and he serenaded the debutante with his songs. He also entertained the audience from table to table singing as we helped ourselves with the food that was of a very fine cuisine, very healthful and teased the palate of even the choosy diners like a diabetic like me. There was also the Smiles Photo Booth that took pictures of all the guests and gave away snapshots for free.

Well, that was Kamae at 18.

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