My Brother’s Wedding: My big sister speech

My brother got married last January and even though I’ve always been terrified of public speaking (a shock to a lot of people,  considering that I’ve been told I have a mouth on me), I was tasked to give a speech in behalf of our family. Writing the speech made me feel a bit sentimental and nostalgic especially since when we were younger, my brother was my sworn enemy.

I swear, this is is not an exaggeration. We took sibling rivalry to another level, and our fights would sometimes get WWF-violent. Infact, I remember bashing his head on doorknobs on a couple of occasions (I still feel guilty about this until now because I think I caused permanent damage. I apologize to his wife and future kids for his loopyness, I take full responsibility). Given our bloody past, it amazes me how great we get along as adults. We’ve managed to keep bickering to a minimum in the last decade or so. And even though I’m sure we still get on each other’s nerves every so often, we’ve learned to deal with conflicts in a mature manner (rather than engage in potentially hurtful and damaging confrontation , we  breathe, take a step back and do the sensible thing: we backstab each other :P).

Over time, my brother has grown to be a confidant and one of my closest friends (we really have no choice, no one can truly understand our  family’s crazy better than the two of us, so we have to stick together), and it turned out to be a joy to be able to say some nice things about him and his wife during one the most monumental milestones of his life.

I pretty much copy -pasted the speech verbatim, including the niceties, but added a couple of anecdotes  that I did not share during the wedding.  I had to keep the speech to 5 minutes max, in order to be considerate to guests. But since this is my blog, I can write as much as I want and feel no inclination to be considerate since you can always stop reading anyway.

Good evening everyone. I just wanted to start off by saying, that in behalf of our family, my mom, my husband and most especially my dad, who is probably happily watching us from heaven, drinking all the beer that he was not allowed to consume when he was alive,  thank you so much for being here to celebrate Det and Sheann’s wedding with us. It’s very heartwarming to see friends, and family from The Yu, The Gliane, The Dysangco and The Garcia side, all here to show how much they love my baby brother.

And to the Moleras and the Sorillas, to Tito Gene and Tita Lina, to Paolo and Tracy, thank you for welcoming us, most especially my brother,  with open arms.

To tell you honestly, I never thought this day would come. Not Det marrying Sheann ofcourse. They’re actually perfect for each other, but me being able to walk my brother down the aisle without the two of us killing each other. I wish we could say that we’ve always had the close relationship we have now, but the truth was, when Bodet was born, it was dislike at first sight.

I wanted a baby sister. Instead, I got a bald, flat -nosed baby brother. My mom said I was crying so hard when he was born and I wanted to have him exchanged in the nursery.  Unfortunately, they did not let me.  As a way of consoling me, my dad let me name him. So if you’re wondering where Det’s funky name came from, it’s all my fault. I wanted to name him Voltes V. My dad decided to legitimize it a bit, and went with Voltaire.  (The Vitus, however, was not my doing. You can blame some  saint calendar for that).

That naming incident probably characterized the first decade or so of our relationship. I called the shots and my brother had no choice but to go along with whatever I said. BUT before you feel sorry for him, please note that he wasn’t exactly a joy to be with either. He used to follow me EVERYWHERE, and would play with all the toys that I wanted to play with. He wasn’t even very careful with my stuff. Infact, I had to bury a dozen headless Barbie’s because of him.

Eldest child woes: It  seriously baffled me  that my little brother got all the attention when I was obviously the cute one

Eldest child woes: It seriously baffled me that my little brother got all the attention when I was obviously the cute one

To add insult to injury, he wanted the toys that I was interested in at the moment. So the minute I gave him the toy that I had, and I started playing with another one, he would discard the toy I had just given him, and go after the one that I was holding.

There was this one instance that I couldn’t forget. I had this very cool Fisher Price sink. It spouted real water, so I was using it as a bathtub for my Barbie’s. Siyempre, because I was playing with it, Bodet wanted it too. And he cried and threw a tantrum until I gave it to him.  Knowing that getting a new toy would just cause a vicious cycle, I decided to one up him. I scrounged around in the carpet for something to distract him, and found a piece of hair. I played with that piece of hair with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, until he finally noticed.  As predicted, umiyak nanaman siya and demanded that I surrender my new find. I gave it to him, snatched my sink back and locked myself in the room.

So Sheann, if you want some advice on trying to get Det to do what you want, we can have coffee sometime. Promise, expert na ko dyan.

Thankfully, our relationship started improving when he got older.  A part of it was because we both matured. But a bigger part, is that almost against my will, I started seeing that despite his pesky, annoying ways, mabait talaga si Det. And as much as it pains me to admit it, mas mabait talaga siya sa ‘kin. He has a big heart and does not hesitate to show people around him that he cares .

He is also very loyal and protective. When you are a part of his life, he will love everyone that you love, and even fight with the people who are not treating you right. 

My younger nieces can attest to this. Whenever they had a new guy crushing on them, my brother would make it a point to “drop by” whenever that particular suitor was there. Then he would find a particular flaw to harp on and would tease my nieces mercilessly, until they give up and stop inviting the guy over.  In hindsight, I’m not sure if it was Det’s way of making sure that they don’t get a boyfriend until they’re old enough, or if he’s just being a pest. Either way, their dad, our cousin, is eternally grateful to him for helping drive these boys away. 

His friends  know that Det would always have their back and would always be the first one  there  whenever they get into car accidents (which seems to happen quite often in their group),  or if they simply needed to drink and lament about life  and/or  ex girlfriends.  

My brother would also always make sure that he got to know his  friends’  significant others, and would be one the first ones to to make them feel comfortable. Infact, their girlfriends actually call him for relationship advise quite frequently. The thing is though, these girls understand that  the minute something untoward happens and you end up messing with any of his  friends, it’s friendship over. Infact, there was a certain incident  .... (let’s just save that for another day)…

Because I’m older than him, he really doesn’t meddle with my love life unless I ask him to. Takot lang niya di ba? But whenever he sensed that I was nursing a broken heart, he would offer to take me out, or bring me to his barkada gatherings just to cheer me up.  I also find it very endearing, that Det, who is four years younger than me, makes it a point to hold my hand whenever we cross the street (he knows I’m spatially challenged and did not learn basic life skills like dodging over -zealous drivers). 

When my dad died, I saw my little brother transform from a carefree young adult, to the man of the house. He took it upon himself to take care of me and my mom. And if you know how emotional we both can get, this is no easy feat. Until now, years later, my brother still takes this role vey seriously. He would take my mom on dates and trips, whether she liked it or not, and would call me up regularly to schedule family pow-wows or  to  consult with me about pressing  matters. 

My brother and I get along splendidly when we engage in one or a combination of these activities: 1. drinking 2. making fun of people 3. making fun of each other.  The endeavours have kept us entertained in various trips and in otherwise uneventful family gatherings.

My brother and I get along splendidly when we engage in one or a combination of these activities: 1. drinking 2. making fun of people 3. making fun of each other. These endeavours have kept us entertained in various trips and in otherwise uneventful family gatherings.

Needless to say, I was very happy for him when he found Sheann. After all the emotional responsibility that Det took on after Papa’s passing, it was nice to see someone taking care of him for a change. More importantly, it was nice to see him happy.

Sheann, my brother loves you very, very much. I know because I’ve always been his confidant when it comes to girls.  And I can give you the low- down on just about every girl he has dated.  Truth be told, I’ve never seen him so excited and so giddy about anyone.

I know he will make a loving husband and God-willing, a fantastic father because he’s always been a great brother, son, friend, cousin, tito and nephew to all of us. I won’t even wish you guys a happy life because I KNOW you will have a great life together.

Just a piece of sisterly advice though, ingat ka. Masungit si Det pag gutom. Siguraduhin mo na lang na laging may combos sa bahay niyo. So cheers guys!  Cheers to finding each other and cheers to a lovely life together.

I was perfectly fine during my walk down the aisle until I saw my brother crying. Naturally, I started bawling myself.

I was perfectly fine during my walk down the aisle until I saw my brother crying. Naturally, I started bawling myself. (Photo taken by Jorem Catilo of Catilo Photography)

 

My mom, my brother and I watching my sister in law walk down the aisle.  My annoying husband  taught him to smile when he  feels he's about to cry, so it doesn't reach sobbing and snorting levels. Damn you husband! You have robbed us of poignant wedding moments! (Photo taken by Paolo Molera)

My mom, my brother and I watching my sister in law walk down the aisle. My annoying husband taught him to smile when he feels he’s about to cry, so it doesn’t reach sobbing and snorting levels. Damn you husband! You have robbed us of poignant wedding moments! (Photo taken by Paolo Molera)

 

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