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Location: Chicago, United States

I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Dear Auntie Patti Koh,

I have a friend, who was an ex-seminarian just like me from the same congregation,back in Pinas. His name is J. He was sent by the seminary from the Philippines to study in the states at their seminary in Iowa. But, as you know --'many are called but few are chosen. J - left the seminary and also got married. He married his childhood sweetheart from their home province.

J. had a younger brother whom he wanted to meet a girl from the states. Here comes a girl from J.'s workplace. She was given pictures of the brother, stories about Pinas and the culture of the people. She then decided to come to the Philippines and see for herself what is really the people and the culture back home in Pinas.

Let us call her Tisay! She went to see the place and hometown of J. and she was really so elated with the warmth and the affection given to her back home. The first visit was followed by a second visit then third visit. During those visits, Tisay was introduced to J.'s young brother, we will call him JR. For some reason, JR and Tisay had an immediate chemistry between the two of them.

Then suddenly, we found out, that Tisay already petitioned JT ad fiance and arrived in the States a month and a half ago.It is then, that this time -- they were advised by the Immigration and Naturalization, that they have to get married at a certain period of time or else, JR will have to return back to the Philippines if by the stipulated time of the Immigration, that they get married will not happen.

And so, this Saturday, 24 June, Tisay and JR will be married.

Tisay belongs to another christian denomination and wants JR to convert. But the boy said -- he'd rather die or cancel the wedding if he will be forced to convert to his Fiance's religion. I will not mention Tisay's religion, but it is a Christian denomination.

For the rehearsal dinner this Thursday 22 JUne, myself and my wife is invited to attend the dinner rehearsal. I will be the one to cater and cook the food, together with my younger son who is taking Culinary Science. It will be a garden wedding and garden reception.

I wanted to help, Auntie -- so I accepted the responsibility of catering for this couple. They told me that the guests will be between 100 to 125 people. Okey with me, but they are only spending $1,000.00 for five 'entrees. My son can work around the budget and the menu. My wife is in disagreement on this, but I told her, I am doing this to help our kababayans. I don't cater nor do I accept any of this sorts of favors. These people knows that I have studied cooking at the Del Monte Kitchen back home in Pinas and my son is also at the Culinary School.

I am excited, of course. I will test again my expertise and my ability to cook and entertain the gastronomic travails of the many guests that will attend the wedding.

Of course, I am not cooking Dinendeng!

My menu includes:

Steam rice and or Java Rice
Pollo Gallantina
Chicken and Pork Adobo (requested by the Bride and Grrom)
Shrimp and Green Mussels in red pepper sauce
Mince Beef in Five Spice with French Cut Beans
Stir Fry mixed vegetables with Chinese Barbecue Pork
Chili Garlic Pepper Beef with Pea Pods
Shanghai fried egg roll and Pinsek
Fruit salad for dessert

Auntie Patti Koh, I have to chip in some money. I told the family of the boy this is my gift to them! (Please play the violin and applaud later)


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