Before we go any further, let it be put on record that to this date, I don’t have a single inaanak sa kasal, simply because………………………………………….AYAW KO.
The first time I was asked to stand as a wedding sponsor was when I was 28 years old. My office staff, 26 (daughter of a judge) was getting married to a law student from UP, 28. I said NO. I was only 28 and all the other sponsors were judges, deans, etc. I said I was too young and would rather be a “ninang sa binyag”.
When one of the sons of Justice Benjing Capili and ate Salud was getting married, I told Ate Salud, ayaw ko.
She was taken aback by my solid answer. She tried to convince me by saying my partner would be a very young lawyer from UP. Ah ah, nope. Without getting his prior consent, I volunteered my husband to be my replacement instead. But since he’s a ninong and not ninang, they re-arranged their line up.
At the wake of my Kuya Ben, 4 years ago, our former neighbor, Ka Tessie and Ka Peping told me that they would be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They ‘re planning to have a grand celebration with no less than Governor Ito Ynares and Bibit Duavit as sponsors. Ka Tessie and Ka Peping looked so young, parang 60 years old lang sila.
Wow, that’s great, but wait, Ka Tessie said, I would be a ninang, Oh wow, that’s not great after all.
I knew what to answer. NO. She said, I cannot say no, I would be the proxy of my mother. She said Ka Felicing was their adviser and at times, helped them with their finances. I said NO. They’re wedding anniversary would fall on my birthday, and I also planned to throw a dinner with family and close relatives and to have a simple house blessing. She suggested that I not have my own birthday celebration but to just join them in their grand celebration. But even without any date conflicts, I would still say NO. and I said NO.
One day, I found a wedding invitation on my office desk. When I opened it, I saw my name included in the list of ninangs. I was shocked and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I felt so aghast. No one asked me if okay lang to be the ninang in this particular wedding. And I would have 100% said NO, oh PLEASE.
I felt bad for the couple, I did not show up and did not send a gift either. By sending a gift would legitimatize my being one of the ninangs. I did not want to be rude or inconsiderate, but I really did not and do not want to be a ninang sa kasal. By not asking me prior, by putting my name in the invitation without my knowledge, are violations of my human rights. I would be placed in a situation which I did not want to be in.
I know what happened there. The bride was my inaanak sa KUMPIL. They probably concluded that since I was her ninang sa kumpil, it’s automatic that I would be, I should be, I may be, or I would say YES, of course!
99.9999999 % of the Filipino populace would not agree with me. Our tradition and cultural orientation bar us from saying no to things like this. I think I am the only crazy person who said No and continuously say No to be ninang sa kasal. Most people seek it, it connotes reverence, respect, stature. To others, by being asked to be ninong give them a sense of pride. Mataas kang tao, kaya ka kinuhang ninong. Naka-ugalian natin na ang mga ninong ay Presidente, Senador, Kongresista, Gobernador, Mayor, Kapitan, Kabo, etc. etc. In other words, yung mga iginagalang sa lipunan or those perceived to be someone.
Ha? tumanggi ka? Naku masama yan. (so I am now a bad person?)
Ano? inayawan mo? naku hindi pwede kasi bawal tumanggi? (And why?)
Please allow me to share with you why I am so passionate about saying NO. Maybe you’ll understand my mental state a little bit:
Long long time ago, in a far away land called Binangonan, Rizal, some 26 km from Robinson’s Galleria, there’s this young girl, named Annie, and that’s me, aged about 10, who was oblivious to the day’s scheduled events. That morning, my mother, Ka Felicing, was panicking and was screaming at me to get ready for the church. I didn’t know why I was going to church by myself. She didn’t even tell me why. She just screamed at me and hurried me up to get some nice white dress. T
She almost shoved me out of the door to go with a mother and daughter waiting patiently outside. The cute girl was younger than I was, must be around 5 years old. My mom ordered me to go with them.
Still confused, with my head bowed down, my face frowning, my eyes in tears and looking down, I just followed their footsteps which led us inside the Sta. Ursula Parish Church.
There were hundreds of people with crying children in tow. I still could not understand what this was all about. Then the priest called us to line up to the front and he started blessing the children. I was still confused. Ako rin ba i-be-bless nya, di ba “children” din ako?
My young mind soon realized that it was a Binyagan ng Bayan. And I was a ninang. My first time to be a ninang. After the ceremony, I saw people giving the children gifts and some pakimkim. I felt so awkward because I had nothing to give. My mom did not give me any money. I did not even have a single peso. Remember I was only 10.
I felt so bad for the woman, I knew she was waiting and expecting for a gift or pakimkim for her young girl.
I feel bad for this girl. The two of us found ourselves in this precarious situation. Her mother made the mistake then of getting me, a young girl, as her ninang sa kumpil and then she repeated the mistake by getting me as her ninang sa kasal.
Worst of all, she didn’t ask me beforehand before printing my name in their wedding invitation card.
A lot of parents and young couples have asked me, and I always said no. My husband knows this too well, kaya minsan, when his kumpare’s daughter was getting married, he told Edmund “si Annie, ninang”. Edmund answered to him “Pare wag na lang si Annie, kasi never pa yun pumayag, ayaw nun, may problema tayo dyan”.
To those who asked me to be the ninang sa kasal of their children, maraming salamat pero pasensya na kayo, ayoko talaga. Alam ko masama ang loob nyo pero mas masama kung tatanggapin ko, dahil ako naman ang sasama ang loob.
There are dozens of women who are more suited to stand as wedding sponsors and perhaps more successful that you can replace me with. By saying yes to you, ako ma de- depress and when that happens, I don’t have anyone to replace “me” with.
The only time that I can imagine right now, that maybe, just maybe, I will agree on walking down the aisle (as Ninang sa Kasal) is if Justin Bieber is getting married to Selena Gomez, and Justin Timberlake would be the ninong, my katuwang. Only to convince him to be my son-in-law.
All the best to those young couples, pls go find another ninang. Not this crazy wolfberry bruha.
Thanks for your forgiveness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!