Brothers Bonifacio: Our Father’s Favor

I was wondering
Was I dreaming
But it’s true
Life’s unfolding
I’ll be growing
Old with you
Still many things unplanned
But take my hand
The future’s vast
Let’s make our love last
– Let’s Make Our Love Last (the song I wrote for Joseph and Carla’s wedding)

“I promise to constantly pursue you, make you feel loved and wanted… because you’re worth it.”

January 28, 2010
The night before the wedding, while sharing our last casita with Joe before he clamped on his ball and chain, I asked him, “You sure about this? It’s not too late to back out you know?”

He just looked at me and shook his head.

January 29, 2010 – right before marching
Me: “Joe. This is your last chance. Once the music starts there’s no turning back.”
Joe: Shaking his head again.
Me: “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

So we marched. Like guards escorting a convict down his final green mile, we walked the sandy aisle. Then Pastor Steve administered his last rites, and before you know it pronounced the sentence: man and wife.

I’m convinced Cupid has us fooled. He isn’t a baby in Pampers with a mini bow and arrow. In fact, I think he sort of looks like General Rommel, The Desert Fox, and drives around in a massive tank. When that turret is aimed at you, it’s not to pierce your heart. It’s prepared to blow you away. Blow you away for good.

I’ve taken a few shrapnel wounds myself but Joe sustained a direct hit. The blast was so strong it threw him into a white suit and Korean bangs.

Seriously, my “non-showbiz” brother, Joseph’s wedding to his “showbiz” best friend Carla “Rica” Peralejo was amazing. I was so proud of my brother because he looked every bit the man that he really is, still slightly geeky with his Zoolander Magnum look, but also decidedly confident, and prepared to take on this responsibility. Most importantly he was a testimony of God honoring a man that has dedicated his life to honoring Him.

It was both an encouragement and a gentle rebuke to me.

Carla looked especially beautiful. I mean she’s pretty, everyone knows that. She’s an actress – she has to be. But the way she looked that day was something else. It wasn’t “hot” or “sexy” or “cute” or “pretty”. It wasn’t the kind that makes you think “Wow, Joe’s going to have one heck of a night tonight.” (Though that was probably in Josh’s mind.) This one was BEAUTIFUL – pure, unadulterated, un-manufactured radiance.

Before the wedding was over Josh and I had agreed, “Joe’s going to have one heck of a night tonight.” (“But you just said…” I know. I know. That’s what you get for growing up in a group of three boys.)

I heard a lot of hearts were broken that day. I’m not surprised. People like beauty. Carla is beautiful for obvious reasons, Joe, has a beautiful… um… mind?

A lot of hearts were also lit alive with love on that perfect day, in a perfect place, with a perfect sky, and a perfect breeze, when two imperfect people were perfected in love by a commitment to a union with each other and our Lord.

Thank Yous
The wedding was executed very well. Thanks to Pastor Steve (officiating minister, and really our third father: God, then Pop, then Pastor Steve), Teena Baretto (amazing wedding planner), the master storytellers Lito Sy (photos) and Jason Magbanua (video), Seren8 (music), Josiah’s (food), Tita Pin Antonio (renowned hair stylist and another close friend of the couple’s), Tito Gary Valenciano (song numbers), always a treat to have him, Donita Rose and Pastor Dennis Sy (hosts), and I must add Franco Laurel and Archie Castillo (who respectively sang and arranged the song I wrote). I’m sure I missed people but this isn’t really my job. Joe for sure will be thanking everyone when he’s not so preoccupied.

You understand of course. As he said in his own speech, he has to “conserve energy”.

I was actually surprised they showed up at the house yesterday. If I was Joe, and had a license to kill, I would fire away.

That’s probably why he’s the married one.


Joshua Strikes Again
Earlier before the wedding, my dad and I were trying to get Joshua to prepare for his toast. He couldn’t understand why he had to prepare anything when all he had to say was “CHEERS!”

So he thought…

When Paula, Carla’s sister, shared a well-prepared heart-felt message, Josh all of a sudden felt pressured to say something. So to buy him some time he did an impromptu dance that was followed by an incredibly funny impromptu speech. I can’t do justice to what he said so I’m hoping someone posts a video of his toast.

He ended his speech by toasting to “Beuwolf!”

Why? Who knows?

Josh and I are opening a Bestmen for hire business with Teena. This actually matches Proposals by David. Isn’t matrimonial capitalism beautiful? Back in William Wallace’s day all you needed was a guy and a girl, a priest, a horse, and a lake. Today, you have a billion dollar industry.

I get the thought process. My older brother gets married so it’s only logical that his direct younger brother is next. But that logic only works if age and birth order were the only criteria for eligibility. In reality both aren’t as important as, let’s say, shared values and same taste in music. (Seriously, the former is a need, the latter a want.)

I don’t know if this is true, but about 4628 couples get married every day. So there have been more than 12,000 couples who have gone next already, and if, let’s say again, I stay single for another 10 years, that would give us a formula and results of 4628 couples/day X 365 days/year X 10 years = 16,892,200 couples X 2 person/couple = 33,784,400 people next.

In short, I’m not next.

There’s going to be a few changes in our household. For one, there’s going to be more food in the fridge. Joe eats a lot. And my clothes won’t keep disappearing. Looking forward to that.

But we’re also going to miss Wyatt Earp aka King Arthur aka D’artagnan aka Simon the Chipmunk. I feel like a comrade in arms was lost – lost to matrimony, that great unknown where none come back the same – if at all.

The bar is really set high, now that Joseph “sapster” Bonifacio has joined the leagues of Lord Byron with his “I promise to constantly pursue you, make you feel loved and wanted… because you’re worth it.” I’m seeing his quote all over the place followed by statements such as “Can I clone you Joe?” “I’m waiting for my Joe.” “the Legend of Joe Bonifacio” and my personal favorites “Oh my Joe” and “Santa, wrap me a Joe I’ve been good this year.”

Ok, I made those last two up.

Being positive about it, we do gain something my brothers and I have always wanted: a sister. Finally, my mother has another female to plan tea parties and cross-stitch with.

Just kidding.

I have a sister now, and I love the thought of it.

Technically, Joe doesn’t have one yet. He’ll have to wait for 33,784,400 people to go first. Unless Josh surprises us.

Now I need a new title for this series. Bonifacio Brothers and Chick, Bonifacio Brothers and Female, Bonifacio Brothers and Wife, Bonifacio Brothers and XX Chromosome. It’s late. I don’t want to think.

Our Father’s Favor
My brothers and I, like many other children, have had to live under the shadow of expectations for most of our lives, such as spiritual expectations, moral expectations, achievement expectations, behavioral expectations, conduct expectations, financial expectations, relational expectations, and others, some of which we have placed on ourselves, but many of which just comes with being the children of my parents. I’ve struggled with the knowledge that given all my flaws there’s no way I can live up to these standards. I’m sure my brothers have felt the same at times, and maybe some of you have your own versions.

But standing at my brother’s wedding that day, watching a miracle called marriage take place, and it was a miracle, I felt our Father, Joe’s Father, my Father, your Father, our Father, impress in my heart, “Isn’t this greater than what you expected? See what I can do when you let me?”

And again, another humbling moment for this arrogant middle son. I thought to myself, “Yes, I see.”

So I’m reminding myself to forget the expectations, and release the criticism, to stop struggling and striving, and to remember to obey and to trust. Because even as I was brought down another notch in my never-ending need for humbling, I heard His voice once again in my heart say, “Then let me do greater things for you.”

About the Author

David Bonifacio Husband, Father, CEO of Bridge, Managing Director of New Leaf Ventures. #DB

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