It was six o’clock in the evening when the first couple arrived. We were somewhat in a panic since we hadn’t finished setting up the tables. Not only that, but we were lacking water glasses, knives, wine glasses, and we hadn’t put the grapes on the tables yet to keep our honored guests busy until the main meal. Although the evening didn’t start off as smoothly as we would have liked, it definitely was a success.
I’m talking about the Seniors’ Social during the Feast of Tabernacles in Baguio City. It was my first Feast over there. I knew a few people from camp and those I’ve met at the Iloilo Feast site, but overall, everything (and nearly everyone) was new to me.
My family and I are originally from Canada. We moved here to the Philippines in 2003 and have been keeping the Feast in Iloilo all these years, which is also where we reside. My sister returned to Canada earlier this year. Sad to say, she wasn’t able to join us for the Feast in Baguio—I’m sure she would have loved it here.
So not only was I in a new environment, so to speak, but I’ve also never been asked to be a waitress before, and that’s exactly what I was doing!
I was told that it was the “tradition” at the Baguio Festival site, during the Seniors’ Social, for the youths in the Church to be the ones to serve the meal and to help clean and cook. Kuya Abraham explained it was supposed to help bridge the gap between the generations—which I think is a great idea. We even had eighteen seniors at the Feast and eighteen youths! The youth group met the previous day for a little overview on what was going to happen. We were briefed on how to serve, our dress code, and so on. I was glad for that, because I have to admit, I’m pretty ignorant on which knife is the fish knife ha-ha.
By seven-thirty in the evening, we started the program. Our emcees were the young and vibrant couple, Robert and Synnove Teetaert from Canada. We had a five-course meal, which included soup, fresh vegetable salad, sweet and sour fish, beef stroganoff, pizza, and of course, ice cream for dessert. While the youths served the dinner, some of the seniors gave special numbers for everyone to enjoy. I really loved how energetic and enthusiastic our entertainers were, proving that the age of the heart is the true measure of the age of a person.
The whole affair ended at about nine in the evening. By that time, our guests had left and it was finally our turn to eat!!! All the youth servers, dishwashers, and cooks came to the hall to eat, and I must say, there was a lot of food to eat! We all enjoyed eating with each other. I found this experience a nice way to bond with the other youths in the Church while serving our elders. We were even teaching our Canadian guests some Filipino words, and I must say, they were pretty good!
Although we were bustling back and forth between the hall and the kitchen, carrying food, bringing dirty dishes, waiting on our guests, and checking on this and that, we all had a lot of fun. If given the chance to do this again, I really would. I hope by the time I’m a senior, this tradition of the youth serving would be more common, and I also hope that all those I served with now, would be enjoying the evening with me then and that they would be the ones giving special numbers!