BEFORE the 50th Wedding Anniversary party of my parents, I asked my mom how many suitors she had before finally married my dad. My mom replied, "Isang kilometro ang haba!"

Who? I persisted, and she only said, "AB", "AS", "RH", and etcetera. Who they are?--secret!

I asked my dad how many girls he courted before marrying my mom. His reply was, "Secret!" I asked him to name a few, his reply was the same. (Pshh... corny.)

My mom's family moved to Davao from Bataan because my late grandfather, Colonel Numeriano Quindoy, was with the Philippine Constabulary and was assigned to Davao. Mom enrolled at Ateneo de Davao. My father went to school in Ateneo de Manila. On his third year of college, he went on summer training for the Air Force at Villamor Air Base. The training was so tough he got sick and went home to Davao.

He then decided to continue his studies in Ateneo de Davao. And that was where they met.

My father told the story of how he invited my mother to go on a date with him one evening at Talomo Beach (Baduy! hahaha!). His friend offered to drive them there. They walked on the beach while his friend suffered in silence inside the car in the company of mosquitoes.

My dad appreciated his friend's sacrifice although he wondered why. He later learned it was because the friend was interested in dating my dad's younger sister, Tita Inday. (Sipsip!) This friend eventually married my dad's sister, went into politics, and is now the incumbent governor of Davao del Norte, Governor Dolfo del Rosario.

The story does not end there. My mom's parents eventually moved to Manila. So when my mom graduated from college, she was told to follow them in Manila. I guess my parents got worried about parting ways. They drove to Panabo and had a secret marriage administered by a judge. By the way, ‘chismis’ travels fast now as before. My paternal grandparents, former Mayor Leon Garcia and Milagros Monteverde Garcia, learned about the marriage the next day.

And so my mom left, and my dad finished school. Months later, my father went to Manila, and on January 7, 1950, my parents were officially married at Ermita Church in Manila.

Fifty years later, they are still together and 50 pounds heavier. Ha! They are blessed with four children: Jackie, married to Sonny Dizon; Albert, married to Ria Suarez Garcia; Imee (that's me, described by architect and writer Michael Dakudao as 'single and satisfied' haha, I like my description!), and Teddy, married to Melissa Jaugan-Ng Garcia. They have eight grandchildren: Bianca, Rosanna, and Marco Dizon, Joshua and Jacob Garcia, and Cheska, Johan, and Kenji Garcia.

My parents' Golden Wedding Anniversary was held at the grand ballroom of Marco Polo Hotel last January 7, 2010. It was a very intimate affair participated only by my parents' immediate family, relatives, and closest family friends.

My parents renewed their marriage vows that afternoon. Cocktails were served at 6 p.m. The doors to the ballroom opened at 7 p.m. When all the guests were seated, it was time for us to be introduced. Siblings first, family after family, according to age. Since I didn't have a family, I was embarrassed to enter by myself, and so I forced our youngest member of the family, Kenji, to walk with me. I had to bribe him by saying he can play with my iPhone if he walks with me! Then came my parents who looked very happy.

A toast was made by my brothers Albert and Teddy. Tita Pat Montemayor gave a wonderful speech. My sister Jackie and her partner Nash performed a belly dance. Tita Inday del Rosario, Bobby Leonor, Pete and Sonia Morales, and Inday Montero sang for my parents. All the grandchildren performed as well. Ballroom dancing came afterwards.

My parents requested that they be given wedding gifts in the form of money to be given to the following: the Maharlika Foundation c/o Doctor Rizal Aportadera, the charity of Sr. Baby Banzon from Bataan, and RC West Davao Foundation c/o PDG Bading Angala.

What I can say about my parents' 50th wedding anniversary is that everything was just absolutely marvelous! Thank you to GM Nigel, Art Boncato, and Queenie of Marco Polo for the great service. The food presentation at the formal sit down dinner was excellent. The ballroom was elegantly designed, thanks to wedding coordinator, Noel Tanza. Great job with all the preparations! I would like to thank Michael Dakudao for being the gracious emcee. Thank you to Aztec, Dodjie and Popoy of Patahian for the outfits. Otoi and Joanne for hair and make up.

Thank you also to my friend An-An Te of Imagine Fotofun for the pictures.

To all who attended, thank you for making my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary absolutely a Golden one.