I received an email from one of our closest friends- Dr. Bob Santos- regarding an anecdote he wanted very much to share through this blog. He calls it “The Introduction” about the first time he met Mariel. By the way, Mariel was the very first lady I had formally introduced to my close friends and even to my own family too. She was after all the ONE. The only woman who really stirred my heart enough for me to joyfully shout to the world that the long wait is over. I have finally found my soul mate, life partner, wife and best friend.
I leave this article unedited for Bob to tell it like it really was. It is both funny and heartwarming.
“THE INTRODUCTION by Bob Santos
Friday was D-day. How could I forget that fateful evening in the 90’s! our very own Bong Bello, the last of the bachelors, was formally introducing his “conquest” to this band of UPSCA brothers.Now we have heard of this or that damsel he met in one of his electric forays. But a formal introduction?!!! No way! Not Bong.Not his style.Slam bam, thank you ma’m. She is probably one of those nameless ones. This I got to see.
That evening at Pilo’s Restaurant in Katipunan was quite a revelation. To my surprise Bong actually brought along a lady! It started a little uncomfortable for the rosy Mariel, surrounded by “bubuyogs” Bong, Allen, Monser and myself (Dr. Albert was out butchering patients) all ready for the roast. The guys were their usual boisterous and foolish selves, but Mariel was trying very hard to remain composed. Not for long.
“so what kind of music do you listen to?” Mon blurted out. Suddenly the table was silent. For the boys, her answer was important. We were bonded together by our common love of rock, jazz and progressive music, with Bong as the high priest of guitars. The question was definitely a probe. Anything less than Holdsworth, Hendrix or Zeppelin was blasphemy! A Michael Bolton would have driven us to tears. And a Sharon Cuneta answer would have soured our friendship irreparably.
Sensing a trap, it took Mariel an eternity to answer, glancing at darling Bong, fishing for reassurance. Finally…”Gershwin”, she said nervously, hoping for acceptance. Silence followed. Then Mon, the true friend that he is, came to the rescue — “Ako rin Gershwin…Gershwind and Fire!” The table suddenly exploded with laughter with Mariel also teary-eyed from laughing. Composure definitely gone, Bong heaved a sigh of relief. At that point on, I knew it was just a matter of time.
Congratulations Bong. You finally took that leap of faith. It was now our turn to be your best-est men.”