Thursday, December 28, 2006

tis the season to be jolly...with SOLV!

in case you're wondering why i'm actually using capital letters in the start of all my sentences in this post (which is so unlike my usual entries), well this is actually an article i wrote for the January issue of The Vineyard. i added a few sentences here and there but majority came from the newsletter. can you tell i'm feeling lazy? hey, i'm still on a holiday! :D

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It was truly a night of music and fun as the brothers and sisters of Servants of the Lord’s Vineyard (SOLV) celebrated the community’s 22nd Anniversary on December 16, Saturday, at the Verve Bar, Makati City.

After dropping off the December issues of The Vineyard (it's our best yet!), I met up with my special guest, Tet, in Greenbelt 1. We had a quick snack (Auntie Anne's pretzels, yum!) then headed towards Verve, which was a few blocks away. By the time we got there, a lot of people already trickled in. I was immediately given a copy of the newsletter (got my own already, thanks :D) then ushered to a table by Beauty.

Shine Like Stars
Based on the passage from Philippians 2:15, You must shine among them like stars lighting up the sky, the event was not only a celebration and thanksgiving for the year that passed but also served as a reminder for everyone to be bearers of light so others may experience God’s message of life and love.

The anniversary aptly began with an inspiring talk by Bobby Quitain, a brother from Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon and long-time friend of SOLV. Bobby talked about the issues that shape the world today and what everyone, as Christians, can and must do to spread God’s Light to the people. Filled with Scripture passages and touching and amusing anecdotes, the talk was a welcome wake-up call to the brothers and sisters. Following his power-packed talk was the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Let's Dig In!
The dinner, agreeably one of the most anticipated components in any occasion, was worth the wait. The brothers and sisters lined up along the buffet table and filled up their plates with the delicious food and desserts. The venue was packed and some people opted to dine al fresco. Soon, the ground floor of Verve was filled with sounds of utensils scraping against the plates as the hungry guests eagerly enjoy their dinner; warm greetings from the brothers and sisters who just arrived; laughter as people exchanged stories and caught up on each others lives; the pages of the Anniversary Issue of The Vineyard issue being turned as some brothers and sisters pored over the articles and pictures; and shutters clicking while the “camera shy” different groups posed and took photos of each other.

Algie and James with the Starstruck Batch 2006 (haha)

group pictuuuuure!!

Tet and I are obviously part of that "camera shy" group, as you can tell from our outdoor photo shoot. Hehe.

huh, the band's playing already?

It’s Party Time!

While everybody was finishing dinner, the house band, H and the Gang, took their spot on the stage and performed their first set. They began with slow songs that the crowd soon sang along to. Towards the end of the set, the band encouraged people to join them. After much cajoling and cheering, some brothers and sisters eventually obliged. Isco Karamihan joined Gloria Palomar in a rendition of “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang.” After the first few lines of the song, Ramil Catcalin took Isco’s place and finished the beautiful duet. Apparently, Ramil and Gloria were being teased (why am I always the last to know??) and I could hardly hear their voices amidst the cheers of the eager crowd. Ross Hernandez closed the first set with her version of a popular song (sorry, can't remember!)

Isco and Gloria; Ramil and Gloria

uuyyyy! :p

go Ross!

Beauty Aycardo introduced the next part of the program, an Audio Visual Presentation (AVP) that she created as a tribute to God and the community. The three-part AVP began with a touching production entitled “Catch The Tears,” based on the song by Russell Watson. The heart-warming music was indeed the perfect background to the beautiful images and scenes. The second part, “Faces of SOLV,” featured some of the brothers and sisters who have played significant roles as active members of the community. I was really touched to see my name on the list (as well as photos of me that I didn't know Beauty had.) The slideshow, which earned countless cheers and applause from the audience, displayed a collection of amusing and memorable photos and videos that showcased the lighter side of SOLV. The AVP concluded with an acknowledgement of the people who contributed to the anniversary party and The Vineyard as well. Another surprise, an old dance video, was included in the credits portion.

Right after the video, I saw Mitch Co stand up to greet the people before she left. "So early?", I asked. Well, she said she had no choice because she was riding with somebody who had to leave. Before she left, I requested for a photo with her.

Star and Waltz, this photo is for you. Hehe.

Of course, the night was still young and the party was just getting started. The brothers and sisters kicked off with their dancing shoes and grooved to the beat of the house band as the group sang popular tracks that kept the crowd on their feet. Since I had less than 4 hours of sleep - thanks to the December Vineyard (not that I'm complaining :D) - I had to take a break after what felt like hours of dancing. My energy level wasn't that high so I really didn't feel like breaking a sweat. But when it was time to take photos, who was I to refuse? :D

with my cellgroup sistahs!

with Tet and Hazel

the real F girls: Beauty, Gloria, and Arlene

water break!

Anyways, after a very exciting set, the band took a break and the community’s own singers took over. Jay-r Rivera, with James Mendoza playing the keyboard, entertained the crowd with a few songs. Later, Jay-r performed with the band and was soon followed by Gloria, Ross, and Ramil. Even if I see those guys every Tuesday, I am still amazed at their talent. Makes me proud to be a part of SOLV, that's for sure. :)

the last set

Our final round of picture-taking with the last men (and women) standing:

the beautiful women...

...and the crazy men of SOLV :p

An empowering talk, a touching and memorable AVP, and a community filled with talented men and women of the Lord. The 22nd Anniversary Party was definitely a time for everybody to shine!

(more photos of the anniversary party

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my night wasn't over after the party. tet and i headed to her house for an after-party celebration. wait, before you call us party animals, this is just my way of saying that we stayed up til the wee hours of the morning eating holiday sweets and watching Desparate Housewives on DVD. party animals, right? in the last holiday party i went to, we had a lot of fun, especially since we used our hands more than our mouths... coming soon! :)

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