By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS -The glass with the lighted candle inside it perched gingerly atop the lovely maiden’s head as she swayed to the beat of the music. Then, in unison with the four other dancers, she dropped to the floor, and kept the graceful dance in perfect harmony.
With flourish, they rose, holding the glasses in their dainty hands, one glass on their heads, as the “Binasuan” folk dance drew to a close and the three dozen or so people gathered erupted in warm applause.
The performance of the Kalahi Choreographers at the Las Vegas Hilton on Sunday was the highlight of the 40th wedding anniversary of Jim and Leah Patterson of New York.
Their renewal of wedding vows at the Hilton’s Labella Chapel drew friends and relatives from seven states and continued a love story that started four decades ago in the Philippines.
“We’re blessed to share this occasion with friends and family,” said Jim Patterson, who is retired from the U.S. Air Force
“I thank Leah for putting up with me all these years,” he joked.
Leah, a nurse, hails from San Saturnino in Borongan, Eastern Samar. The couple has a son, Jason, who also has an 8-month-old son himself, Tyler. The family lives in upstate New York.
Among the guests were Jim’s three other brothers and a sister, while Leah had cousins, Christie Anacta and Gary Miralles, who are Las Vegas residents.
Their maid of honor, Minda Steele, who lives in nearby Mesquite, was also their mad of honor 40 years ago.