I witnessed a miracle on that sunny Sunday afternoon as a young bride walked down the aisle on her own, towards the man of her dreams.
The walk was already an amazing thing to witness in itself but for this particular bride it was nothing short of a miracle.
You may have heard of the story of Raissa Laurel. Just two years ago she had lost her legs in a bombing during the De La Salle University bar examination due to a fraternity war. She had the worst injuries and it was a devastating time for her family and friends. But despite her circumstance, she praised the Lord. When she was on the ground after the blast waiting for someone to help her all the to way when was carried to the ambulance and rushed to the hospital, she was singing worship songs to God.
For the past two years she has been going through therapy with her prosthetic legs and learning how to walk again.
And on this Sunday, she was a bride walking down the aisle in the garden of the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay, with more than 300 awestruck witnesses. This is what made her walk a miracle.
There was a second miracle. It had stopped raining.
It had been a rainy weekend and that morning the weather forecast said that the rain wasn’t about to stop. I later learned during our conversations at the dinner table with the wedding gown designer that the organizers were pressuring Raissa to make a decision, whether or not to set up inside the hotel or outside for the ceremony. But she just asked them to wait.
The clouds were grey in Manila. On my ride to Taal Vista, it was raining. It seemed as if the rain wouldn’t stop. Amazingly, when we got to Tagaytay there was no trace of rain. It was no doubt a miracle.
I had to stand up and walk closer to the aisle to get a better view of Raissa walking. In fact, a lot of the other guests stood up as well. It was a sight that could not be missed.
“How can I stand here with you, and not be moved by you?” sang the wedding singer to Lifehouse’s ‘Everything’ as Raissa walked down the aisle. This probably captured everything we were all feeling as we witnessed this miracle. The groom, Raine, was in tears. And not just as men would excuse themselves and say, “sweating from the eyes”, but he was really weeping. I couldn’t blame him. I was weeping myself.
Raissa was all smiles as she half walked and half wobbled down the aisle. The sun was shining bright as if smiling back at her.
During the ceremony I sat in the back under the shadow of the trees. Behind me were elderly ladies who I assume were relatives of the bride and groom. They commented on almost every sponsor that walked down the aisle, and especially on the artistas like Coney Reyes, Vicky Belo and Rica Peralejo.
“Nandyan si Coney Reyes!”
I decided to ignore the noise by going to the back-middle of the aisle and watch the rest of the ceremony.
Everything was beautiful that it overshadowed all the mishaps of the day.
All except for the horrible host. He was something else. He just kept on talking about himself and adlibbing in the middle of special numbers. He wasn’t even good, yet he just kept publicizing himself. It was pathetic.
I went home that night laughing at all his bloopers and awkward improvising. There was no point in being mad; the miracles I had witnessed that day were too amazing to allow anything to ruin the day.
Miracles happen once in a while, I’ve heard it said. I am just grateful that I was able to be a part of this occasional miracle. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
This column was written as a requirement for my J103: Opinion Writing class under Sir John Nery of The Philippine Daily Inquirer