Getting dad into a motor

fter taking our seminar certificate to the church and stopping my Emelda's friend Hansel's house to make sure that she would be coming to the wedding, we returned to The Plaza Beatriz with two motors to pick up my family. The six of us filled the two motors. Of course, normally, it would be considered a waste to spread so few people across two motors, but my American relatives and I were much larger than the usual passengers. My dad had the hardest time of getting into the vehicle, but we were eventually on our way.
Dad poses like a ham with Emelda

When we arrived at the end of the dirt path which led to Emelda's house, my family shared with me how much they had enjoyed the bumpy, loud motor ride. My mom took a few photos with one of the motor drivers before we made the trek down the dirt path.

We were welcomed like heroes returning from war. While Emelda and I had been gone, Emelda's family had placed a welcome banner on the wall of their living room. It said, "Welcome Hollis family" and bore my family's names as well. On my first trip to Ozamiz, I had been given the honor of such a banner and this one evoked more memories of my first trip.
The in-laws laugh together

The afternoon was spent laughing and talking and meeting new visitors. I was no longer the center of attention. My family was. I enjoyed watching them interact with the dozens of people who came to see them. My sister was wearing a very short skirt and her legs became the number one topic of conversation among Emelda's male relatives. At the dock, one by one, the male members of my family's welcoming committee had come to me and told me how pretty they thought my sister was.

From the reactions to my sister, I had discovered the only thing rarer in Ozamiz than an American white man; an American white woman with blonde hair. In fact, when my sister walked through the downtown streets, the men present went crazy. There were comments and whistles and occasionally, a man would walk by her and slyly run his hand across her thigh. This was quite unwelcome and after a short time, my sister ceased venturing out into the chaos of downtown without at least a few escorts. In Emelda's barangay, she didn't have to worry about such behavior.

After a day full of fun and far too much food (Emelda's family put out a wonderful spread), my family returned to the hotel, escorted by Emelda and I. As we returned to her house, I asked Emelda how she felt. She said that she was "very happy" and I could see from the look on her face that this had been an understatement. She was beaming. I said, "I told you there was nothing to worry about" (Emelda had been worried that my family would not accept her) and we held each other tightly. Her nervousness had evaporated hours before and we were without a care in the world.