FACES OF THE PHILIPPINES...Meeting Liliram's Extended Family


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July 19th 2014
Published: July 19th 2014
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FACES OF THE PHILIPPINES...Meeting Liliram's Extended Family.

I've travelled the world enjoying the hospitality this great planet offers...enjoying smiles and meals with peoples of the four "Cs"...various countries, creeds, colours and cultures.

And it often strikes me...we don't really know the soul of the four "Cs"...until they embrace us with hospitality...welcome us into their family...their way.

We welcome people from around the world into our home...it's our way.

Recently Denise and I were embraced with Filippino hospitality...and it blew us away.

Welcome to the world of Liliram's extended family...gathered together to honour a matriarch...no better excuse for a get-together.

No better excuse for me to share my portraits of these beautiful people...smiles and love for each other aplenty.

******



Lili we know as Liliram...lives in the Philippines...that country of 7,107 islands in South East Asia...waves the flag for Travelblog in that island nation.

Imagine our surprise and pleasure when we received an invitation from Lili for Denise & I to attend a Birthday Party...in our hometown...so that at long last we could meet on a visit by her to Australia.

******



We travelled across Sydney on 27 April 2014 to meet Lili...Denise with beads in her hair...me as just me.

It was a Great Gatsby themed Birthday Party and I had nothing Great to wear nor anything Gatsbyish to attract a stare.

Maybe I can just blend in and thus no one will be aware.



A bit over an hour later arrived at the Mount Annan address...door open...knock knock knock.

Lili sees us...breaks off her conversation and races to meet us...biggest hugs...never met before but you wouldn't know it.

Wouldn't happen this way except through Travelblog.

Friends through the ether...even better friends in person.

******



And so began an amazing afternoon and evening.

Lili introduced us to all her family...and there were heaps of them...each greeting us like old friends...each eager to engage us in conversation...each eager to welcome us into the fold.

Couldn't help but think I've never seen so many smiling faces in one place...Filippino...but a few with a dash of Japanese.

But this was no ordinary birthday party.

It was the 70th Birthday Party for Lili's older sister...the irrepressible Matriarch of the family...Levy.

She had been very ill less than one year ago.

But you wouldn't know it.

Dressed in red...she painted the town red...cheeky...vibrant...full of life.

A product of the power of prayer Levy and Lili will tell you...a testament also to the healing power of the love of her family.

******



We ate Filippino food exquisitely cooked...cakes and more cakes...food and more food...delicious...all served with a smile...delightful to consume.

The children put on a show...singing, dancing, drumming...as doting parents played guitars along...each performance greeted with cheers aplomb.

And a highlight for me...yeh...blew me away...the garage had been converted into a photographic studio.

Lili's nephew Rookie had everyone pose for photos...behind a cutout car...with Great Gatsby background.

Each attendee received four photo prints of themselves to remember the day by.

Denise and I with Lili professionally done...mighty fine I must say. Hope to receive them some day.

Lucky I brought my camera.

Lucky everyone was happy to also grace my lens.

Happy little camper this portrait photographer be.

These are for you Lili.

Portraits of your family and a fabulous day.

Next time we meet you can remind me of everyone's names so I can add them to the pics.

So until then...



Relax & Enjoy,

Dancing Dave


Additional photos below
Photos: 82, Displayed: 24


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19th July 2014

I'm touched beyond words!
David and Denise (happy birthday!), it was our pleasure to welcome you to our way-extended family! My sister Levy, her hubby Bobby, and 4 children and 4 grandchildren have all "adopted" you, "Tito" (uncle) David and "Tita" (aunt) Denise. You just met my fam and each nephew/niece's best friend's family, including nephew Ryll's Filipino-Japanese family. I'm on my way to comment on each photo now, but not before sending a link to your blog to my sister. She'd be so delighted!
19th July 2014

I'm touched beyond words!
Thank you for your generous response Lili. I am pleased the pics came out so well and you enjoy them. What a photogenic lot...wow. This blog is like a Family Album and my pleasure to assist. Your explanation with your posts where each face fits into your family are priceless. I am adding names to the portraits as you advise which also helps brings back memories . I need the name of your cousin the Chef though. Today we have Denise's family visiting us for her birthday as we are the only ones in Sydney. I gotta say we are the lucky ones in this blog...being welcomed into your family...we are honoured. Tito & Tita say "Hi" to your Filippino family & friends...and salute you.
19th July 2014
BOBBY

Bobby
My brother-in-law, the poet, and when egged by the clan, an occasional crooner :)
19th July 2014
ROOKIE

Rookie, Levy's eldest
Executive on weekdays, a hobby photographer on weekends. That is, when he's not rock climbing or babysitting.
19th July 2014
JOAN

Joan, a cousin's daughter
Nurse by day, souz chef (to her mom) by night
19th July 2014
BOY & EVELYN

Atty. Boy and wife Evelyn
Family friends to the core. Flew in from Manila for the occasion.
19th July 2014
XION

Xion
Youngest child of Rookie and Vanie. The little boy with mushy brows and several expressions. Just don't get him started on the solar system or human anatomy. You'd never hear the end of it. :)
19th July 2014
JOSH

Josh, the social worker's youngest son
He must have heard the word "hostile" endless times from his mom, Reia. a real sweet boy who can be ruthless with the drums.
19th July 2014
XION

Xion
Our little boy with the many facial expressions and bushy eyebrows. Just don't get him started on the solar system or human anatomy :) You'll never hear the end of it.
19th July 2014
XION

Xion
Our little boy with the many facial expressions and bushy eyebrows. Just don't get him started on the solar system or human anatomy :) You'll never hear the end of it.
19th July 2014
DELIA...THE CHEF

Our Cousin, The Chef
She got all our favorite foods on the table. A gem in the kitchen!
19th July 2014
SHELLY

Shelly
Shelly moved out of our house in 2005. Now an oz citizen, i'm hoping she'd get hitched soon so we'd have additions to our still growing family!
19th July 2014
ANNA PATRICIA

Anna Patricia
Our teenage "apo" or grandchild. All of 16. Back in. Manila with me now.
19th July 2014
ANIKA

Anika
The singing and dancing grandchild. Rookie's eldest.
19th July 2014
MARTIN

Martin
Anna Patricia's not so little 13 y.o. Brother. Also back in Manila now.
19th July 2014
RILEY

Riley
Eldest son of Reia. Brother to Josh. Both sons of Reia.
19th July 2014
RYLL

Ryll
3rd child of Levy. Brother to Rookie, Rahnee and Reia.
19th July 2014
REIA

Reia
Youngest child of Bobby and Levy. Mom to Riley and Josh.
19th July 2014
TISSIE

Tissie
A family friend now based in Sydney.
19th July 2014
VANIE

Vanie
Married to Rookie. She did all the Great Gatsby motif decor in their house for the party. Plus the cakes and give aways, with help from Shelly and the girls.
19th July 2014
SARAH

Sarah, my niece
She is sister to Shelly, but based in Manila.
19th July 2014
KEN

Ken
Son of Butch and his lovely Japanese wife. Butch is Ryll's longtime buddy now based in Sydney.
19th July 2014

Very fun!
How great to read Lili's account of your visit, and now yours of meeting her! Sounds like the archetypal TB coming together of kindred souls enveloping the world in their love. Lovely!
19th July 2014

Very fun!
Thanks Tara...my friend in the ether always somewhere in South America. Now for the homework of putting names to faces from Lili's posts. Say it again...wouldn't happen anywhere but on Travelblog! Boy oh boy...I love the TB community.
19th July 2014
DELIA...THE CHEF

Delia
Name's Delia. Sorry i dont have names of my nephews' and nieces' friends with their respective families (told you. It's wayyyyy-extended).
19th July 2014
RAHNEE

Rahnee
Levy's 2nd child, with her 12 y.o. dog everybody adores...... Elvis. As in Presley!
19th July 2014

Father (Joseph) and Son (josh)
The guitarist and the drummer. The other son and the mom croon!
21st July 2014

Beautiful!
This blog had me smiling all the way - how lucky we all are that travelblog has bought us together.....and I LOVE ant Levy's red dress :)
21st July 2014

Beautiful!
"How lucky we all are that Travelblog has bought us together"...it blows me away too Cindy. How lucky are we?
22nd July 2014

Travel blog is amazing
The world has become even smaller since we joined Travel blog and made all these new friends. Amazing photos as always but looks like you had some beauties posing for you. We loved meeting Lili. Wish we could have joined the party looks like great fun. She is so wonderful and it is great they opened their arms and invited you to the gathering. What an experience. Lili thanks for commenting on the photos so we know more about each person. Very cool.
22nd July 2014

Travel blog is amazing
Well said MJ. I certainly had many beauties and handsome guys posing for me which I didn't mind at all!!! Not only am I meeting other TBers but their stories and our meetings make for fabulous blogs. Lili's was the latest and more to come!
22nd July 2014

What an amazing experience!
I've read Lilis post about this before so I knew that you and Denise went there, I think it's amazing how sites like this can bring people together across the borders. =)
22nd July 2014

What an amazing experience!
Gives you some idea Per-Olof what an amazing community we have in Travelblog. Look at my Travelblog's 10th Birthday, Travelblog 2013 Sydney Get-Together, Inspiring the Nomad and my Mischief on the Mekong Parts 1, 2 & 3 blogs for other great examples. My next blog will include another!
22nd July 2014

A photo studio just for you!
Well Dave, that must be the ultimate - great hospitality, smiling faces and a photo studio! Superb portraits as always - you are certainly the portrait master of Travelblog!
22nd July 2014

A photo studio just for you!
Thanks Shane. Rookie took amazing pictures of all the guests which set the scene for this ring-in to get into the act. The clarity of the portraits shows the advantage of photo studio set up for lighting etc. I was like a pig in mud you could say.
23rd July 2014

blog greater than Great Gatsby
To read a blog about us is something that never entered my mind. Never had an inkling of its beauty. But reading your blog is quite an exciting experience. You have captured my attention not only by your woven words, but more so by the way you portrayed the characters of our friends and loved ones. That you and Denise considered yourselves as extended family members is for us an honor. And from now on, an invitation will always be ready for you two. And though it's water under the bridge, we can't help feeling having lost an opportunity for you to be with us on a just finished occasion, themed "As you like it, A Shakespearean Experience" to celebrate my three scores and ten seasons of life. See you sooner than soon. Thanks and God bless,
24th July 2014

blog greater than Great Gatsby
Thanks for your comments Bobby...wow...humbling I must say. As you are the Patriarch of your family and friends the credit is much due to Levy and yourself for nurturing and enveloping such a large group into a cohesive loving whole. Not many families exhibit that so well done to you. We look forward to seeing you again when Lili is next in town.
24th July 2014

AMAZING BLOG !
If my sister, Liliram was touched beyond words by your blog, I was SPEECHLESS for several days and it is only now that summoned all my senses to realize your gift portraying individuals through the lens. But the depth of your blog is really amazing! You had a knock of showing each one's beautiful side, most especially Me, the BIRTHDAY GIRL. We welcome you with all heart and soul to the family. Belated Happy Birthday, my dear Denise.
24th July 2014

AMAZING BLOG !
Delighted to hear from you Levy and that you enjoyed my presentation of your family & friends. While Lili was the title of the blog...we know who the star was don't we? Pretty obvious it was the hot number in the red dress...kinda reckon you might agree...yeh...reckon you would!!!
3rd August 2014

We have yet to meet Liliram, but this blog does seem to capture the celebratory and welcoming image I've come to associate with her. Everybody looks fantabulously Gatsby-esque. I'm sure you and Denise brought the dance to the party. ;)
3rd August 2014

We have yet to meet Liliram
Thanks Michelle. The photos show so well how welcoming and embracing is Liliram and her family. She is truly a gem of Travelblog.

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