We were once a family of seven siblings. With the death of my mom in 1976, my brother in 1990, another brother in 1999 and my father in 2003, only five siblings are left. Four sisters and one brother. Three of them are now living outside the Philippines while my younger sister lives in Manila. Before 2010, reunions centered upon the burying of the dead or visiting a dying family member. The pain of losing yet another family member was just difficult to take photos of ourselves. The sisters had more time to be together compared to my brother who was still in medical school. We did try to make the best of these rare times by doing something together.
It started in 1996. My sisters went home for a visit but had only less than two days. Hmm, why not a photo shoot to make use of our time? We trooped to Headshots in Robinsons’ Galleria. The studio had its own makeup artist. With four sisters, it took us nearly a day to finish. All of us were in our forties, with me being the heaviest of the sisters. We had this brilliant idea to document ourselves every six to eight years.
The next photo shoot was in 2004, a year after our beloved dad passed away after a long illness. We are now in our forties. Headshots studio moved to Greenhills Shopping Center. As you can see, I am still overweight , eight years after our first photo shoot in 1996. Once again, we visited a beauty salon to glamorize ourselves.
In 2010, all of us decided to meet up up in San Francisco in support of Myrna, running for a council seat in a city in California. What better time to reunite during happier times. This time, our brother joined us. For our sibling reunion, we did our own make-up and hair and trooped to Sears Studio in Concord. Alicia, our photographer, was so good with us. This is just one of the shots she took. This time around, I lost 40 pounds.
This is the first formal shot we have as five siblings. Alicia commented that, perhaps, the four sisters had tormented David in his childhood — and all the sisters replied, “It was David torturing us!” Hahaha!
Reunions are never planned. It just so happened there was a wedding in the family, the first in the family. It was a reason to come home. Oh my, I will never forget this day. After the wedding reception, we frolicked in the garden as our photographer encouraged us to do some whacky poses.
We are having a blast! All of us are in our fifties , grinning like our dad . I know my dad lives in each one of us because of our wide smiles which we got from him.
Yes, our next photo shoot will be when most of us are in our 60s. Maybe in Cebu, our hometown.
It doesn’t seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we’ve traveled…we are still the same. Even though our parents and two brothers are not with us, I am sure they are laughing along with us everytime we are together, laughing and just having fun.
Watch the Photo slideshow: