This is a continuation to Truth and Lies – part 25.
Two weeks after their Sagada vacation, the Kiu Hun or pamanhikan (asking of the hand in marriage) was scheduled. It was Saturday late afternoon and they expected Richard to arrive at San Nicolas for the formal event. So, their family driver fetched him at the airport. The moment the Dela Rosa’s family van opened, Maya and her parents were surprised. After Richard emerged from the vehicle, his parents followed suit.
At the front porch of their house, the two families faced each other in awkward moment. The Dela Rosas wasn’t expecting his family to be with him. Richard had been transparent to her parents about the issues with his family. But, he assured them that he will was firm on his decision to marry Maya. With such openness, it endeared him more to his future parents-in-law.
The initial discomfort was broken when Maya smiled and welcomed the newcomers.
“Tita Esme, Sir. Good afternoon, po.” She kissed his mom. She hesitated first on how to greet his father. But the senior Lim, took a step towards her and shook her hand and pulled her closer.
“Maya” Robert Lim kissed her on the cheek. Maya was pleasantly surprised. Richard approached her parents and greeted them too. Then, he spoke.
“Dad, Mom. These are Maya’s parents. Mr. Arturo and Mrs. Tessie Dela Rosa.” Then, he added. “Pa, Ma, ang mga parents ko po.” At that time, Richard was already calling her father and mother, Papa and Mama respectively.
His parents quickly realized how Richard has been accepted in their family. His mother, smiled genuinely. “Mga balae, good afternoon. Ang ganda pala dito sa bayan n’yo.”
Arturo and Tessie smiled tentatively. “Good afternoon din, balae. Salamat. Ayy, pumasok na tayo sa loob.” Tessie invited everyone to enter their mansion.
As they settled in the living room, Robert Lim immediately spoke. “I’d like to start this formal meeting with you to extend my apologies to Maya and also to you.” He took a deep breath before continuing on. “Whatever was mentioned before, I hope we can forget them. My son loves Maya very much and I understand how that feels since I broke our family tradition too. I have nothing against Maya nor your family. So, please accept my sincerest apologies.” Robert Lim facial expression and tone of voice showed them his heartfelt apologies.
Then, Esmeralda also spoke. “Pasensya na rin pala na hindi na kami nakapag-pasabi na kasama kami ni Ricky dito. Kaninang umaga lang din kami dumating mula sa China at kanina na lang nakapag-usap mabuti.” She sounded really apologetic.
The Dela Rosa coupled looked at each other for a while as if evaluating what the others said. In the end, one of them spoke.
“We also had plans for our daughter to arrange her marriage with a family friend. But we saw how much they love each other. So, in the end, we also supported them. So, Mr. Lim, do not worry, we understand how you feel. So, we suggest that we just move forward and put all these behind us.” Arturo patted the back of Robert Lim.
“Ahh, ehh, I think we should start calling each other Balae. Anyway, our children are going to get married soon. We will become one big family. How about it balae.” Esmeralda transferred seat to sit beside Tessie and held her hand in an offer of friendship.
“Aba, Oo naman, balae.” Tessie agreed.
“Thank you very much.” The fathers shook each other hands in acceptance of their new alliance as in-laws.
Richard and Maya beamed after observing how their parents shared their thoughts and feelings. Soon after all the initial issues with their families have been settled, the discussion on their wedding started. The Lims presented their gift to her family that included boxes of round fruits, sweets and cookies. This is part of the custom for the Chinese pamanhikan.
Since Maya also did her research, they also prepared Cha Misua and sticky desserts for everyone. That night, they finalized the dates for the Tin Hun (engagement) and their wedding date.
Exactly one year after their first meeting, Richard and Maya had their traditional Filipino wedding at the San Nicolas church. A week after that, another wedding took place in Richard hometown in China.
It was fortunate that the dates they chose were auspicious dates based feng shui. They have decided to have two weddings to give respect to their families and culture.
During their traditional Chinese wedding, Maya wore an empress-like gown with phoenix design while Richard wore his attire with dragon design. Going to their wedding venue, they even observed the traditional wedding parade wherein she was placed in a carriage while Richard rode a horse as he led them to the wedding party. Occasional firecrackers lit to ward off bad spirits.
During their recital of vows, Richard was gazing lovingly to his wife as their guests looked on.
“Words are not enough to express my love for you, being with you is the ultimate dream for me. Babe, our wedding formalizes the bond we have each other. The two ceremonies make it stronger. You are my inspiration and I look forward to spending the rest of my days with you.”
She responded. “Ricky, thank you for coming into my life. Sa lahat ng kakulangan ko, sa lahat ng pagpapasensya mo sa akin. I’ve never felt so loved in my life. This life will be incomplete without you. I love you.” She was crying as she recited her vows.
A week after their wedding, they spent their honeymoon at Sanya, Hainan southern part of China, the city dubbed as the Hawaii of China. They chose to stay at Anantrara resort and span which is one of the popular hotels in the area.
On their second day of the vacation, they chose to eat again at the hotel’s Thai restaurant. Richard was staring at Maya with amusement as he watched her eat her 2nd serving of sticky rice with mango. She seemed to be relishing every bite of it and it was evident in the way she chewed her food. She was almost done with it when she noticed Richard’s eyes on her.
“Babe, bakit?” She asked.
“Parang ang sarap-sarap kasi ng kinakain mo.” He commented.
“Huh? Bakit yang order mo hindi? Pareho lang naman tayo ah. Di ba sabi nila, ito ang most popular dessert nila dito? Ang sarap kaya.” She wondered why he made that comment when in fact all the food they ordered tasted very good to her.
“Yeah, masarap nga. Pero when you eat it, there is so much enjoyment sa dessert mo. Pangalawa mo na ‘yan. Yesterday din, lunch and dinner, you had those. Hindi ka ba nagsasawa? Wouldn’t you like to try their other desserts? The coconut ice cream is also nice.” He suggested. He has been noticing something different in her eating habits lately. She had been eating a lot especially anything that had mango in it. At first, he thought it must be just a cyclical but he is gut feel tells him there was something different.
She pouted after hearing his suggestion. For some reason, she didn’t feel good when he said she should try other desserts when she loved the sticky rice with mango.
“Ricky, basta ito ang gusto ko.” She sounded upset and so Richard immediately touched her hand.
“Babe, don’t get upset. If you really like it so much, sige you order some more. I was just reminding you of other options.”
A smile began to appear on her face. “Thank you.” She lit up, obviously happy to be given the go signal to have more of what she liked.
Unconsciously, Richard’s eyes thinned as an idea crossed his mind. Maya’s eating habits and her emotional swings has changed in the last few weeks. He attributed it to the wedding jitters but now that they are in honeymoon, he thought maybe it was more than the wedding jitters.
“Babe, pwede magtanong?” He decided to ask her point blankly. “Is it possible that you are already pregnant?”
“Ha?” Maya was surprised by his question. She had never thought about it since they have been quite busy with the wedding preparations. In fact, she had taken an indefinite leave from her company and allowed Ethan to take over the management of it.
“Ricky, I am not sure. Busy kasi tayo and I’m not into monitoring.” She responded but she thinking of the possibility.
“I noticed that you’ve been eating a lot kasi and you’re having some particular liking to certain foods, like that sticky rice and mango. Anyway, should we get tested? I’m very excited.” Richard moved his chair close to her chair as he reached out to touch her tummy.
“Excited mo naman, babe. Dito pa tayo mag test, we are still on our honeymoon.” She responded.
“Why not? I’d really like to know babe. Besides, kung hindi pa, eh di we’ll work doubly hard para we can have honeymoon baby.” He insisted. “I’d like to see our little Maya or Ricky soon.”
In the end, Maya relented. So, they planned on going to clinic in the city of Sanya to check.
Later that night as they lied down in bed, Richard cuddled Maya tightly. A wide grin has been plastered on his face since they came out of the clinic. He was right in his suspicion, she was pregnant. She was 6 weeks pregnant.
“Babe, thank you.” He kissed her forehead. She just looked at him with a smile and questioning eyes.
“Hmm, for what?” Maya countered.
“For this.” He touched her tummy and rubbed it gently. “I’m just so happy that we are going to have a baby.”
“Ako din.” She giggled. “I should be thanking you too. Kasi, you made this possible.” She kissed him on her lips.
“Ha,ha,ha. Should we just say, I made it possible because you willingly cooperated?” He hugged her tighter as he kissed her the lips. This time their kiss was intensified by passion and love for each other.
“Wo ai ni, Mrs. Lim.” He whispered. “I love you too, Mr. Lim” She answered.