The Day We Hosted Our Annual Family Reunion

This weekend was choc-full-of-activities, not just for Miguel, but for the entire family. It was our turn to host the annual Jacob Family Reunion. It’s an event that’s been a year in the making, officially starting with the arrival of our out-of-town (or more like out-of-the-country) guests last March 30th. My aunts Amy and Maila, along with her fiance Jens, flew in from Norway, and we’ve been busy taking them out shopping, dining, and casino-hopping since they arrived.

We held this reunion in honor of my maternal grandparents, the late Amado Marasigan Jacob, and his wife, Verania Liwanag Jacob. Though they could not both be here for the event (Lola Vering, in her old age, decided to forego traveling all the way from the Philippines, and instead just await her children’s visit this coming June), we made sure their presence would still be felt by all who attended.

The stunning Jacob couple--my grandparents--Verania Jacob and the late Amado Jacob.

This is the banner I designed for our reunion…

On the days leading up to the reunion when we were not happily gallivanting with the family, I kept busy putting together the welcome bags for our reunion attendees. Here are the contents of the attendee giveaways

The giveaway bags included Jacob’s Creek wines with a custom label, custom dog-tag key chains, Jacob Reunion t-shirts, Norwegian chocolates and sardines (pasalubong from our Norwegian delegates, no less!), Arizona caramel corn, and various colored bandannas to indicate each attendee’s team for the games. We placed all items in a reusable recycled tan shopping bag.

Here is a picture of the finished product:

Our attendee giveaways. Yup. If you're should have come!

Besides the giveaways, there were also preparations we made for the games, entertainment, and getting the house in order for the event. Of course, the rest of the family contributed a LOT in making this reunion a success. We all pooled in money from each member of the Amado-Verania lineage (down to great-grandchild Miguel) to financially support the entire reunion. Not only did the money go to the giveaways, but also to the food, drinks, party supplies, game props, and prizes.

While everyone cooperated in ensuring the reunion’s success, the weather unfortunately did not. It got briskly cold for Arizona’s standards the night before the reunion, when the rest of our out-of-town guests arrived. And it poured rain through the morning of, leaving our backyard too wet and mushy for any outdoor activities. We did not let this stop us though. Instead we brought all the games and partying inside, beginning on the night prior to the reunion.

On the night before the reunion, we…

...had dinner and drinks.

...welcomed our Elders.

...played card bingo.

...greeted Great Uncle Manoling a Happy 84th Birthday.

...took group pictures.

...took MORE group pictures, this time with Tito Jens' butt in the way. Hilarious (You HAD to be there).

And then we took EVEN MORE pictures. As if they weren't going to see each other the next day!

The official day of the reunion was Saturday, April 9th. We started with food of course. Then we handed out the welcome bags so everyone can put on their shirts and their team bandannas.

And then we proceeded with the games, starting with a getting-to-know-you ice-breaker game of M&M’s (a non-team game). I went around the room and asked each family member to get a handful of M&M’s from a bowl. Some took only a few pieces, while other dug into the bowl…LOL. Only after everyone has had a chance to get some M&M’s did I tell them what they were for. For each piece of M&M that they took, they have to say something about themselves. Of course, those who took a LOT panicked and laughed it out! Hahaha!!!

Tito Jens won this game: I am Jens. From Norway. I live in Oslo. In Norway. I come from North Norway. I am engaged to Maila. Also from Norway. LOL. He said a whole lot after that, but I can’t remember them anymore.

And then came Uncle Manoling’s turn. He called for a few moments of silent prayer for all those family members who have departed and those who were not with us, which tugged at my heart because I so wished my Lola Vering could be here, and then Lolo Daddy (Amado) who is no more, but who lives within all of us in spirit.

One thing Uncle Manoling said about himself was he in fact was the attending physician who assisted my Mom in giving birth to me, my sister Anna, and my brother Tedi. So we would not be here if not for him. Which made me cry some more. Good thing we paused for pictures, which was a good diversion…

We then surprise greeted our parents, for it was their 30th Wedding Anniversary that day.

After this we had a team game where each team had to put together a family photo puzzle, and the youngest family member in each team had to name the person/persons in their photograph.

We then took a break from the games and ushered in the entertainment.

Tina Turner came to dance.

In between the dancing, Tito Jens proposed.

The Chicago delegation proved, "It's A Beautiful Life!"

We proceeded to "Just Dance."

Miguel decided to join in the fun!

And then we continued the games

Egg Relay

The Mummies. LOL!!!

And then DANCED some more…


Miguel's own dance


Ocho Ocho

We took a break to take some photos

And then proceed with our next and final game of…PUTUKAN NA!!! This is the game played in the Philippine game show Willing Willie, a variation of balloon pop.

After this last game we all just hung out, had some halo-halo, sung Karaoke, and enjoyed each other’s company. We celebrated with the family well into midnight, and this reunion proved to be one of the most fun family gatherings we’ve ever had, and we are proud to have hosted it. =)


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mom
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 08:20:57

    Thank you anak, you did a good job


  2. Evelyn Laraya
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 08:25:41

    Hi Kaye: Great pictures and site. The reunion was so well planned and executed, it could not have been any greater. You made your parents very proud and we too, your Tita`s and Tito`s are so proud of you and your leadership. Keep up the great work. Please tell your sisters and brother that we are all so proud of you all. Your Mom and Dad`s kindness, generosity and love are all very well reflected in you, their children. God continue to bless you, your family and your parents and siblings. May His blessing always fill your hearts that you all may live your lives to the fullest and with abundant love for each other and for all of us whose hearts you have touched during this family reunion.
    xox Tita Evelyn (Jacob-Lesaca ) Laraya


    • newmamma
      Jun 10, 2011 @ 14:58:28

      Hi Tita Eves…I know this is a late reply. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and for your heartfelt comments about the reunion and our family. We are all so glad you guys made it! Your presence certainly made the event THAT much more enjoyable and complete!

  3. Robert Lesaca (Bob)
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 12:07:58

    WOW…what more can I say ! It certainly was a highly organized event and seem getting better and better. Kudos to the Arizona kinfolks. Uncle “Ado” must be smiling and so is Auntie Vering…ang galing Maye. This is one event we surely missed. Till next time.

    Bob, Malou, Robbie and Tommy


    • newmamma
      Jun 10, 2011 @ 14:56:02

      Hi Tito Bob…thank you for posting a comment on my blog. I do hope we can see each other at the next reunion, wherever it may be. Philippines or Miami daw? Hehehe. Take care and regards to your whole family!

  4. Bessie Belarmino-Naguit
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 16:04:12

    Dearest Kaye, Ate Mae, Kuya Ted & all the Mogols+ the Norway siblings (Tiyo Ado’s and Tita Vering’s children):

    Hats-off to the Mogols on a well-organized, fun-filled reunion. Despite the large number of attendees, your family welcomed us in your (beautiful) home with so much warmth and hospitality. Ate Mae/Kuya Ted: you’ve raised your children well. So proud of how they turned out.

    Wow-moment: (very tasty) food and drinks galore a-flowing!! Now I miss Ate Mae’s palabok and halo-halo:-( the thoughtful giveaways (wow, clever idea with the Jacob-brand wine + imported chocolates/sardines from Norway, and yes, the “cool” AZ shirt!).

    The marriage proposal by Jens to Maila was a welcomed treat! Amidst the laughter were poignant moments (like seeing Tiya Caling’s and Tatang’s picture in the puzzle game).

    You have all made my Papa’s birthday special (yup, after that 11-hr. drive)!

    Bart is thankful too, for letting him golf in Superstition Springs (truly one of “America’s Best Golf Courses”).

    Extended thanks to Ate Dulce and Kuya Gus (with the help of the energetic Dilay sisters and Auntie Inday) for continuing the fun at their place in Vegas.

    Thanks, everyone, for keeping the Jacob spirit alive. Though we remain geographically distant – let’s keep that bond strong & solid.

    Kaye, you rock! You have a second career as event planner!! Kisses to the the cutie munchkin, Miguel.

    So next stop..FLORIDA – in 2013?! Ya’y.




    • newmamma
      Jun 10, 2011 @ 14:54:33

      Hi Tita Bessie!! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my blog. I love that you recapped your favorite reunion moments. We are so happy to have hosted it, and that you and your family were there to be part of it. I can’t wait for 2013. Miami ba?? I am rooting for that one…

      Take care,

  5. Amado Jacob Dilay (Boy)
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 17:08:19

    Congrats Kaye and Family,

    What a wonderful and enjoyable celebration of Jacob Family Reunion.I”ll gave you 9 for that,it should have been 10,you missed 1 pointcause I was not there.The setting and preparation was perfect and the participation and timing was excellent.I wish we were there but due to my health condition I decided not to go.First time I took blood pressure pills it made me sick.My blood pressure goes up and down.Hope everything happen good next gathering.
    Love to see Arizona still.

    Missed you All

    Love from Boy Dilay and Family


    • newmamma
      Jun 10, 2011 @ 14:51:53

      Hi Tito Boy…I know this reply is a bit late. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog. We certainly missed you at the reunion. Hope you and your family are doing well. We are praying for your improved health.
      Love and prayers from the Mogol-Guerrero Family

  6. sheila dilay jacob ramiro
    Apr 25, 2011 @ 17:23:57

    kaye and the whole jacob clan [arizona] thumbs up.fantastic. good job.kaye you could start your own business,party planner. well you’re hired for tita mayla and tito jens wedding.miss you all. fun,bonding with the family is all worth it. one thing i really miss the halo-halo. masarap diba? god bless.


    • newmamma
      Jun 10, 2011 @ 14:49:07

      Auntie Sheila!!! Yup…we certainly had SUCH a blast at the reunion! So glad you guys made it. Never a dull moment…LOL!!!

  7. Chona
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 04:32:08

    The Jacob Family Reunion was superb inspite of our absence,he,he.
    Cheers and Many thanks to the Mogol Family esp. to Kaye!
    God bless the Jacob Family!



    • newmamma
      Jun 10, 2011 @ 14:47:56

      Thanks Tita Chona! Wish you could have been here! We are super excited for the next one, Miami Cruise or Philippines, wherever it may be =)

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