Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And baby makes three!

This was all unplanned, a tiny bit unexpected but definitely not unwelcome.

Hubby and I are still getting to grips with it . And it is not helping that we are on different continents right now :(

But I got my first sonogram (or should I say embryo sonogram. hehe).
Pray for us that we would be good parents and not screw up the life of this child. ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I am an E-book Addict

Hubby came back from a Canada business trip two months back with his most thoughtful gift yet -- an E book reader!

I was so thrilled that I chose to ignore the main reason he bought the two keep me at bay while he was playing PS3 games. haha.

This is my anti-boredom-weekday-stress-is-killing-me reliever. And it helps kill time during the long MRT rides. And since I have always been a certified book worm, it didn't take long for me to become addicted to my new fantasy series: Sword of Truth.

Ah Richard and two constant companions on my way to work and on my way home.

And at night, just before going to sleep, hubby and I share a quiet moment as we lie in bed, reading our ebooks and holding hands. My favorite way to end the day (or one of them anyway.hehe).

Friday, July 30, 2010


For a few months now I have been down and doubting myself (and my years of work experience). I have been feeling incompetent and mediocre lately which only spiralled my demotivated morale even further south.

And out of the blue, just before my week ended last week, I got a glowing letter from my bosses praising my work!

Just like that, my bleak mood evaporated and aurora borealis lights started twinkling in my nighttime sky.

*sigh* It is just way too easy to please me...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The one where I almost got deported

My jolly conversation with US immigration officer went like this. For dramatization purposes, let us call him Joe1 and Joe2 (there were two of them).

Joe1: Good am. Had a long flight?
Joe2: (just grunted and took my travel documents. He was the one inputting all the details into the system)
Me : Really long flight. I'm glad to be on solid ground now (attempt at building camaraderie)
Joe1: So where you come from?
Me : From Singapore. But had a Hongkong layover.
Joe2: (turns to Joe1 with a frown) Is this passport ok? It is handwritten
Me : (cringing with humiliation. my passport should really be the new one now)
Joe1: (to Joe1) Yeah theirs is like that.
Me : Sorry I was supposed to get the new one. But I got so busy and they had to send me here so I didn't have time (grabe. why do I always have to be so chatty at the wrong moments! Rochie shut up like now na!)
Joe1: (he just smiles. He was actually very nice to me).
Joe2: (just frowns some more. He wasn't nice to me at all).
Joe1: So you work in Manila?
Me : I used to for two years. Then I moved to Bangkok.
Joe1: So you live in Bangkok?
Me : For 4 years. Then I moved to Singapore a year ago. That is where I work and live now. I am homeless that way. (I was trying to make a joke and I ended up just incriminating myself! waaaa...akala nila mag TNT ako!)
Joe1: Hey, you shouldn't joke like that with the big man here (points to Joe2 who still looked serious and, oh dear, was he angry???).
Me : (now nervous after realizing faux pas and just smiles and has now resolved to be silent)

What can I say? I have an irritable foot-and-mouth disease -- I always put my foot in my mouth every chance I get.

Good thing I wasn't deported or else I wouldn't have worn my new (and only) Zara wintercoat that hubby bought for me as a gift. I have experienced winter in other countries three times previously. And always ALWAYS I look like a little 12 year old girl bundled up in thick jackets (I think even 12 year olds dress better than me for winter). So this time I was so excited to actually look like a grown up!

I stayed at the Wyndham Andover in Boston. Three things I loved:

1. free wi-fi (chatted with hubby and family during the night!)
2. the flat screen television
3. the nice, comfortable bed (which I was so grateful to sink into after my near-immigration fiasco)

Although on the eve of my departure, I was woken up by a screeching fire alarm and had to wait in the freezing cold in my sleepwear (with jacket of course) and there wasn't even any staff around to explain what was going on! And my great big sendoff was a nice blackout in the middle of my packing. ;) It was as if Boston wanted me to go back to Asia already. hahaha.

Friday, April 2, 2010

4th Month of Married bliss: Novotel and Clark Quay Adventures

Usually my hubby and I are not so adventurous with our stomachs. In fact, when we find a restaurant or a dish that appeal to us, we don't mind trying it over and over until finally even our unimaginative appetites get sick of it and demand something new. (no need to ask us then how many times we've had dinners at Sakae Sushi and Din Tai Fung).

Thanks to my favorite food blogger, we both tried two new places during the weekend. ;) Let me rephrase that: two new and affordable places (in light of our tipid mode these days). And we found a new mall too! hehe.

hotel stay
Using Paui's miles, we were able to get a free one night stay at Novotel in Clark Quay. I was so enraptured with the hotel. It was newly renovated (none of that old, dark and creepy aura), it had a sleek modern design and while our room was not too large (wala rin K magreklamo dahil libre), the bathroom and the bed were to die for.  In fact, our first reaction when we entered the reception was "wow! looks exactly like Langham!" Langham Place was the hotel we stayed in Hongkong during our honeymoon.

We got robes and slippers, cable television, and best of all, bathroom toiletries in these cute tube-like containers. I was packing a few of them into my bag before we checked out and Paui just shook his head and muttered something like 'typical pinay'. Burgis! hehe.

We even tried their pool and lounged around trying to drain away hours of stress from the office. It was a bit awkward going to the pool clad only in a bikini and a wrap as we had to go through two formal-looking Chinese restaurants.

new food tries
Our stay, since it was free, did not include my favorite hotel treat: breakfast. And looking at their room service menu (which ranged from 16 SGD up), we both decided that lunch, dinner and any kind of activity involving cuisine would have to be done outside hotel premises.

And here the HT couple from came to our rescue! For lunch after salivating at the pictures of bakuteh, we tried the Song Fa Bak Kut Teh restaurant, located just right across Central Clark Quay. To the cognoscenti, bak kut teh actually refers to the soup which is a complex mix of herbs, spices and boiled with pork bones for hours (how many I never ventured to ask). My hubby loved the soup! He felt the taste was so unique and the flavor so rich. He almost wanted to buy the herbs sold in the store. (I stopped him as he expected me to cook this dish myself.funny ha-ha). And the meat was so tender. I just cut into the rib using my teeth and the meat separated cleanly from the bone without any resistance at all. Ahh heaven.

Together with our soup, we also ordered braised pig's trotter. It tasted like (my favorite dish) the Cebuano humba! Only the latter is sweeter I think. But just as good. And as we both were not health conscious-people (I know, we really have to change) the best part of this dish was that piece of well-cooked fat just marinating in that thick sauce.  *sigh*. I suddenly miss dad's humba.  And to assure our heart that we still wanted it to keep beating after all that cholesterol, we ordered some vegetable kai lan (which I had to force feed to my reluctant husband).

We had an early dinner that day (as we just wanted to luxuriate in the confines of our room for the evening after all*ehem*).  Since we were so near Liang Court already, I convinced hubby to try one of the top 10 ramen in Singapore and one which my FT friends recently tried -- Black Pig Delux Shabu Ramen with Dragon Ball (parang anime lng noh).  We asked for the chili to be put on the side so we can savour the soup flavor first, untarnished by spiciness.

And our verdict? We are addicted to the soup (ordered the same thing.Neither one willing to not try the much-touted ramen. Competitive much?). The noodle was not too thick or hard. Just the right kind of chewy-ness to it. And we felt the soup was really tasty and flavorful and not the type of soup that would make your throat parch-dry after having it. Of course, we couldn't resist putting in more chili afterwards (laking Thailand ata toh). The dragon ball was minced black pig meat shaped like a ball. Paui said the meat tasted game-y. I couldn't distinguish, so I have to take his word for it.

We checked out at 12 the next day (huhuhu. good bye hotel living). We wanted to find some brunch place in Liang Court. Most of the restaurants there were Japanese and they even had a Japanese food festival on the first floor. On the second floor, we spied a Sizzler lookalike...only with more reasonable prices. The restaurant? Saizeriya. It looked and felt like an Italian diner (even their menu promoted Italian fare). But google informed me that apparently this western looking resto is owned by a Japanese. Globalization. Or food fusion. It confuses us all.

They had set meals where you can add some small amount to add soup and unlimited drinks. Wow, you can stay there forever. No wonder the place was jampacked on a Sunday morning with families towing kids on strollers. It reminded me of Golden Corral in the US. I don't have any complaints about the food (though it was nothing special, it was at least appetizing). The staff however seem to not know how to compute the bill, having changed our bill at least 4 times, despite us informing them of what we ordered (and ate) several times.  The place is a bit noisy, so if you are someone who wants a quiet brunch on Sunday morning, this place is not for you.

going back to hdb life
Then we could put it off no longer. It was time to put an end to our Clark Quay adventures. Paui still had to finish packing for his biz trip and I had to sort a lot of laundry before work starts next week. Ah. The tediousness of everyday life beckons.

But it was a refreshing change from our normal weekend routine. We got to spend time with each other, in a relaxing environment (i.e. nice hotel) without the pressure and stress of having to go sightseeing as you are wont to do when visiting another country. It was just perfect. :) In fact it was so perfect, we are doing it again. Ha ha ha. Shangri-la Singapore, you are next ;)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Photobooks Galore!

The only thing I DIY myself for our wedding (oo wedding na naman!) was our guestbook. :) It took me one whole afternoon to layout our prenup pictures on a small square image wrap photobook and order it online from Photobook Singapore. In four days (I had express delivery), I got my guestbook and I was so happy with the quality. Better than I expected.

A friend told me it was cheaper to order back in Cebu for this other photobook brand. But my issue with them is they either do the layouts for you or you have to go to their store so you can do the layouts there. With Photobook Singapore, I can do the layouting from the comfort of my bedroom. So convenient for sloth-y girls like me. hehe.

This is me happily reading our guests messages on our guestbook cum photobook....

Now I am  busy doing three photobooks for our honeymoon pictures (yes 3 because 7 days worth of pictures is not enough to put into one photobook. hahaha). And I am going against time because the Valentines Special promo will soon end this weekend. Sayang din ang 45% noh.

Sige got to go back to photo-booking now....

***UPDATE: Photobook Singapore has an ongoing promotion of 40% off till end of April! ***

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

daddy and living in a materialistic world (haha)

He used to not be brand-conscious. Heck, he even wore proudly the roy-gaew-gaew (199baht) shirts from Bangkok Chatuchak market. Now he is different.

It's all my fault, I know.

I bought him a Ferrari shirt during F1 Night Race in Singapore as a souvenir. Now he almost always wears it. I bought him some Lacoste shirts from the Outlet Shop in Bangkok (freaking 600 baht only for a Lacoste factory overrun shirt), now he specifically asks for those shirts.

No way was I buying 150 SGD worth shirts noh! Too expensive. Yet I want him happy and comfy. And thankfully, my friend Chinchin was selling lacoste factory overruns at half the price! yey! happy me :)!/photo.php?pid=16868&id=100000736747892


I ordered around 7 shirts for Dady and my hubby. So excited for them to get the shirts. Hopefully they will be happy.  Strangely, I feel more excited and happy buying stuff for people I love, than buying stuff for me.  hehehe.  :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

one month na kami!

Rochie: baby, mag one month na tayo bukas.
Paui:      huh? sinecelebrate pa ba yan? Di ba anniv nlng if married na?
Rochie: *gives her new husband fierce, glowering look*
Paui:      joke lng. hehe *sabay hug para walang away*

(the above situation really did happen). As it turned out, we were not able to go out and have dinner in a fancy restaurant because Paui got sick. But we had something so much better --- a fancy dinner by moi!

Ok so it wasn't really fancy or chic. But it was a quick-and-easy-to-do dinner. I made him pesto linguini with fried salmon. Yes it was so easy that I was done in less than 30 minutes! So easy I can outline in five steps all I did:

1. Marinated my salmon in soy sauce and vinegar (I wasn't sure if you are supposed to do that but it turned out well) and placed it in fridge to chill.
2. Mixed butter, garlic, pesto and pepper in pan and cooked it a bit. Added some cheese.
3. Mixed in the linguini (obviously I boiled the pasta a bit beforehand) with the pesto sauce.
4. Fried the salmon for maybe 2 to 3 minutes then I just let it simmer in its own oil.
5. Served it to my husband ;)

Some days ago Paui bought some wine from Duty Free in Singapore (yep we always buy from Duty Free where it is waaay cheaper than buying in Carrefoure). So we had our alcohol in place. ;) And according to my husband, the flavors of the salmon and the pasta blended perfectly with our Riesling and I couldn't agree more.

Paui was actually surprised and thought the whole meal was so difficult to concoct. Needless to say, I got loads of compliments from him and several expressions of gratitude. bwahahaha. Here is a pic of him all happy and grateful and hungry (just got home from work).  A bit hurt though that he seemed so flabbergasted I can make such dishes. Tsk tsk tsk.

Happy First month of marriage baby. :)  Let us have many, many, many, many more!   I love you. *mwah*

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the morning after

I woke up on December 30 a brand new woman (*ehem*). 

During breakfast, we had a good view of the place where we held our wedding reception just the night before. It looked so different under sunlight.

Last night it had a glitzy and magical ambiance. Small but numerous  lights flickered and played rapidly around the trees and over the shrubs, as if in tune to the Millenium Choir's jazzy rythm. Last night, we slow danced under the moonlight with flashbulbs going off at the slightest provocation. I felt like a princess in my gown everytime he twirled and kissed me on the lips (and in front of so many people too!). December 29 was definitely and arguably the greatest and most eventful night in our lives (or at least till the birth of our babies).

I almost expected to feel a slow let down the morning after. But I didn't.

The morning after was devoid of the glitz and fanfare. We weren't the center of attention in a party. There were no twinkling lights , no confetti thrown as we slow danced, no band playing our favorite music as we kissed. Like our reception area, the morning after was simple. Simple yet neither dull nor ugly. For it had an ambiance all of its own -- a quiet serenity and beauty that only a deep-seated joy could bring. It sits there almost naked in the sunlight,  cradling happy memories of the night before and harbinger of many more happy memories to be made.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

more wedding stories

I am not totally obsessed about our wedding. But before our 1 monthsary comes up, I can definitely not stop talking (or writing) about it. haha.

I wish I can tell you I've given more thought to wedding details. But the crux of the matter is...I forgot a lot of stuff. Important but little stuff. Stuff like pens for guestbooks, fake rings for the pillow, petals for the flower girl baskets. Like I said. Lots of stuff. Totally. Forgotten.

And I wish I can tell you I've already forgiven myself. But I still give me an emotional kick in the head whenever I remember it. Sigh. Now I'm remembering again *emotional kick*. Sigh.

But there are things that I did remember. And did get right. And for these, I give myself a personal memento...a collage to remind me that yes, the wedding was not a total wreck after all.

Even the Bible here was borrowed from the hotel.  *kick kick kick*. Sigh. Looks like forgiveness is so far around the corner I can't even see it yet.

I love our invites though. And if I haven't said it enough, it is simple, elegant and sweet just the way I want it. Thanks Ate Emily! Hmm but why didn't Jim's team include a pic of my uber pink envelope? bwahahaha.

Monday, January 25, 2010

a bangkok itinerary -- made for PARENTS

In our first family trip abroad to Singapore, I made a rookie mistake in planning our itinerary --- I forgot to factor in my parents' age.

So I created this busy itinerary for their two week stay as I would for friends, which meant a lot of walking around Singapore, eating local cuisine and cramming visits to tourist sites. I forgot to anticipate that my parents would be tired from walking even 10 minutes to the MRT station (we had to rest at the bus station first and they hated the MRT due to all the walking), they got antsy and frustrated with lining up (long queues around Sentosa effectively ended our sentosa plans) and they didn't really like spicy food (which had us eating Dad's cooking at home). Well of course they still enjoyed the trip (I think)  but it would have been better had I foreseen the things that would cause them discomfort.

So tips for planning a trip with parents:
1. ensure lots of rest periods (taxi rides preferable)
2. cuisine that is as close to home cuisine as much as possible
3. a packed itinerary is simply not possible. Either the whole morning is packed , or the whole afternoon. But not both..please (if your parents are anything like mine, they would sleep immediately once back to the hotel or apartment).

So with these important life lessons in mind, I have drafted a parent-friendly itinerary for our next vacay in the land of smiles and beautiful (and super thin I swear) people --- Bangkok!

Day 1: Arrival in the afternoon
             Check in and rest at the Condotel
             Dinner at my favorite Thai resto along Thonglo : Thon Kreung
             Back to Condotel to Rest
Day 2: Temple Tours in the morning and early afternoon (Grand Palace, Reclining Buddha and Wat Arun)
              Go to MBK and have lunch there
             After a bit of roaming around, back to apartment to rest (trust me, they really need this rest)
             Dinner at Ekkamai One
Day 3:Floating Market Tour and Rose Garden Tour . Kuya Jco will help us book the tour here.
             This already includes lunch and would take the whole day. So I am guessing by afternoon, my   parents are exhausted. Dinner brought up to room from Brighton Kitchen. hehe.
Day 4: Mommy has tour with colleagues
Day 5: Safari World
             Dinner at Soi 13 (bwahahhaha. mango sticky rice here I come)
             Dessert at Spring and Summer  . This has this cozy, outdoor ambiance that just relaxes and soothes. I miss this place.
Day 6: Chatuchak Market tour
              Platinum Mall
              Lunch at Fuji at Central World Plaza(cheap and really good Japanese food in BKK)
              Rest back at apartment              Dinner at Khao San and walk around a bit
              Coffee and Dessert at Patpong Bug n Bee and then due to my sister's wish to see the "cultural" Pingpong show, we will watch one very briefly. My parents would have to sit this one out. haha.

pic lifted from:

Day 7: MBK to buy souvenirs for home
              Paragon and Siam Square
              Lunch at Paragon
              2 Hour Massage at Healthland Spa Ekkamai
              Rest and chill at condo (and of course prepare to pack)
              Dinner with BKK friends  at Fuji RCA

And our transpo the whole time? Taxi! hahaha. Thank God taxis are so cheap in Bangkok . :P

Saturday, January 23, 2010

my super aunti coordinator

Jim (my photog in case you haven't been following my obsession of his work) told me I was lucky to have Aunti Chary Bianes as coordinator for the suppliers. She is "abtik" in contacting the right people, have great instincts and most importantly, never even attempted to skim wedding money off me (which is a very crucial point for overseas brides).

My ever charming aunti/coordinator (and free of charge pa ito ha. hehe) gave me:
 - discounts from Sir Jim
 - discounts from DSL (as in wheedled out a lot of freebies with her smile. haha)
 - freebies from my florists
 - booked all my suppliers for me while I was abroad
 - during wedding day, she even forgot to wear her gown because she was so busy packing up the hotel room and making sure we didn't leave anything behind (and we didn't).
 - in charge of guest book and seating people accordingly (they even found one gatecrashing couple and very politely sent them to the door)
 - follow up with photographer for my raw pics and vids
 - even took leaves on the days I am in Cebu for wedding preps
 - never got mad at me even on my most bratinella bridezilla moments

so to Mami Chay, big thanks for all your help for the past year during our wedding preps and actual wedding. Paui and I owe you a lot! :) 

ps. a lot of the word 'super' is noticeably overused in this post . I apologize. I am writing this on a lazy saturday afternoon and my vocab is apparently sleeping somewhere for his siesta. I will attempt to do better next time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

the future us :)

disclaimer: this is not our baby nor did we kidnap this cute kid. We have borrowed Paui's cousin Jeremy for this photo op.  (halata naman this is not our baby kasi mukhang tisoy itong batang ito and Pau and I have the entire kayumanggi look down to a T).

so sa tingin nyo, bagay ba? coming soon to theaters near you...hahahahaa

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What happened on 12.29.09

Abnormal ba ako? I still can't get enough of our onsite video. hahaha. I think I watch this at least once every 2 days. (and one time I even managed to cajole Paui in watching it with me again. :D)

onsite by Jim Ubalde's Team

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Farewells again

I was not pinning all my eggs on it, but I was hoping that my current company would be the company I would retire in. I'm not really too fond of moving companies and for the sake of my future family, I really would prefer stability in my career.

But I guess the economy and capitalists have a way of screwing up the best laid plans. So here I find myself in the fortunate position of being able to jump ship to a new company, but at the same time doing what I hate the most : saying goodbye to colleagues. But hey,it is not only me but a host of others are leaving as well. So this month has been full of goodbye lunches...

My Filipino colleagues and I said our goodbyes to the big boss by treating her to Pinoy cuisine at 7107 Flavours (Marina Square). Good thing she liked our food! We ordered all the usual suspects (Crispy Pata, Sisig, Pinakbet, Rellenong Bangus, etc). And she really loved sisig (much to our surprise).

Then the bulk of SAP team leaving (me included) is given a treat the next day at The Line, Shangri-la . This is my second time to eat here and really, the food is delicious and the varities of food available -- nakakabusog!

Many more others are expected to leave too. Such a sad and tumultuous time at the office, and just when 2010 was starting too.  :( But when doors close, a lot more others open. So I look forward to the future with trepidation, excitement and anticipation. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bangkok with family in April!

I have worked in Bangkok for nearly 3.5 years. But in all that time, I was unable to bring my family there for a vacation (that gives you an idea of how much I was paid there. hehehe).

Finally, this coming April, I would finally be able to show my mom,dad and Bea around this city I have learned to love and even call my second home. I am so excited and this will be the third family outing we have together (first time without Hazel though...but still hoping she might be able to join us).  Our first was in nearby Bohol, then our second was two Christmases ago in Singapore and Malaysia. And this year Thailand! I thank God for blessing me so I can bless my parents with travel opportunities while they are still able (though they do tend to get tired easily na).

So I am so excited already making plans for our BKK itinerary. :) I want to show them Spring and Summer, Thon Kreung, Platinum (syempre!), MBK, Safari World, Ekkamai Soi 1,  Once Upon a Time resto, Fuji (bakit puro pagkain pala nailalagay ko noh), Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Charn Issara, Patpong dancers, Siam Niramit, the floating market, Dinner Cruise...waaaaa...dami.  

It's just a great feeling knowing I would be able to share with them the great experience I have had of Thailand and its people. :) Will post our itinerary soon! hehe

pic of Kuya Mervs, Ria , Reys and me in Baiyoke Tower during our first New Year celebration there in 2004

2010 Goal #1

 *I will be posting my life goals for this year intermittently in separate entries. I could have only one or ten thousand.*

I am not a very good long distance friend. While I cherish and keep friendships, I have to admit I am pretty much lousy in maintaining them long distance (don't do phone calls because I can't be too chatty and I can't chat online because I might be too busy at work. thank God for FB huh). 

But I feel pretty proud of the fact that when I do meet those friends again, no matter how much the distance or time has passed, it would seem like we've talked only yesterday. Of course the amount of catching up, and the piles of gossip and news missed out on is enough to cover up any awkward silence that might ensue.

But I know I should do more than that. So life goal number 1: Be more proactive in keeping in touch with friends...whether to greet them on birthdays or for just plain catching up like the pic below of me and my Cebu Sci Hi friends in a restaurant in Holland Village.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our Supplier Ratings

For the most part, I don't have any complaints against our wedding suppliers. I was pretty happy with the way things turned out, and if there were some tiny mishaps, most probably it was our fault (not theirs).

I've placed the value I got their services for, but since I got them early 2009 and applied a lot of charm and smiles (mostly courtesy of Aunti Chary),  the prices you might get them for could be higher (or lower).

church: Sacred Heart Parish Church

pros: since they were strict with the ceremony, I have to admit that we were able to preserve the solemnity of the entire wedding mass. :) They even had a cordon around the altar area to prevent photographers from just crossing. haha. So all our church pics look lovely, pristine and clean.
cons: strict on time and not allow personal vows, confetti throwing and the like on church grounds. super baaaddd acoustics. I didn't believe Dr. Blanco when they told me about this before. But now I understand. sigh.
peso power: 8500 including flower arrangements on the aisle and the car.

reception venue: Chateau de Busay

pros: beautiful and elegant garden set up. They were very professional too because they were setting up the back up room just in case it rains. During food tasting, we made mention of some items that needed improvement and voila, they seemed to note it down because the food was absolutely delish.
cons: a bit far from the city center. Took us around 30 minutes to 45 minutes to make the ascent.  but we managed to get around this problem by hiring a bus (yes a bus! di man lng coaster noh? hehe) to ferry guests to Chateau then back to the city.
peso power: 420 per head including gazebo, basic flower decor, and wine for toasting. We had over 250 guests. :)

photographer and video: Jim Ubalde Photography

pros:  Beautiful pictures, wonderful and fun to work with (as in no air despite all his success). And to be honest, I wasn't expecting much regarding the onsite video, but I was so so so happy with the result. See it here.  And my bridesmaids/cousins were hankering after him to take their pictures!
cons: Just had one tiny tiny complaint though...there was this portion of time that Pau and I were doing nothing while waiting for reception to start. I just wish he had made time for us to have picture-taking around Chateau de Busay as the place was so beautiful. 

hmu: Ramil Solis

pros: He made me beautiful on my wedding day (and my moms and sisters too!). He really works magic with his hands. And to think I didn't get a retouch sa reception na but my usually Tzone oily face was still radiant. And I like the hair -- how it was done. It fit my bill of the traditional looking bridal hair but still not too traditional. Everyone was complimenting my make up and how pretty I look (grrr parang surprised sila lahat kasi siguro mukha akong alila on normal days. haha)
cons: During the make up session, I got the feeling that he was mad at me or something. Or that I did something wrong that didn't please him. Or maybe it was just me because he was actually friendly , just not as flamboyantly friendly as Jim I guess. His assistants (the one doing the hair) were nice and funny too keeping the mood light.
peso power: 8000 for 8 people, including the bride .

Bridal Gown andEntourage Gowns: Cres Abines

cons: he kept moving the dates of the fittings as he couldn't produce on the time line that I requested of him, despite me having booked him almost 8 months in advance.  The fit of my dress at my chest area was not correct which made me uncomfortable.  He promised that the trail of my gown would be pinned to my back during reception. But on the eve of my wedding day, suddenly he tells me "no it cannot be done".  He promised me a pink garter as per our discussion. On wedding day, he chastises me that "garters are supposed to be blue".  He promised me (and I even have it on contract) a simple white dress for dress up. But he suddenly reneges on it, claiming nalulugi na daw sya koz of so many bridesmaids. But I didn't push it anymore as it wasn't worth all the drama.
pros: the output, I have to admit, was very good. Nothing fell apart at the seams and the colors were magnificent. Cres really has an eye for details and design. And I guess I just had too much stress during the preps but during the day itself, he was on hand to assist me into my gown, fix my gown and overall, make me, my ento and my mom look good. So basically I would still recommend him to friends, although he really has to work on being more organized. And on time.
peso power: 20k for bridal gown, 5 BM, 1 MOH and bridal accessories. Paid additional 3500 for mother of the bride gown.

** the bags and headbands courtesy of Ria Sordan. Thanks to her impeccable taste, it matched our gowns perfectly! ***

choir and strings for reception: Millenium Choir (Dr Blanco)

pros: Very good choir and they even practiced on the song Lucky that Paui and I especially requested for our first dance. Dr Blanco is familiar with playing in different Cebu churches so he can easily give suggestions for what songs to sing during the mass. And during reception, they even played after the program was done to entertain the guests. And one more thing, they were so honest that when we by mistake gave them envelope meant for another supplier, he called up to return it to us.
cons: ako maisip pa.
peso power: 12k for having them at church and reception. and they have their own transportation too

emcee: Kaye Alfafara

pros: she was on time and very lively. She spoke in both English and Bisaya which gave a relaxed feel to the wedding. And I liked how she made the games fun.
cons: she allowed a tita to sing TWO songs...which were definitely not part of the program. Muntik na magkaraoke night dun. And she cut short our AVP by Pau's sister Emily which made the ending anti climactic tuloy. But minor things I guess as the guests all thought her a very good emcee.
peso power: 6k


on the day coordinator: Wedding Solutions by Elnie Samoramos

pros: came very prepared and organized. He knew what I wanted (schedules, checklists, the MinyoNami sign on the car , etc) and he willingly obliged. His team seemed to know what to do especially during the preps and church part and early on in the reception. I forgot a lot of stuff, like the pens for the guestbook. Good thing he was so ready. He really helped set me and my family at ease.
cons: I just noticed though that by the middle of the reception, his team was not functioning anymore and it was just Elni doing all the coordinating. 
peso power: 15k for 6 coordinators

projector and sound system: DSL

peso power: 8k for the screen, projector and sound system --> really thanks to aunti chary
pros: very open to negotiation. And they were on time too!

prep place: Waterfront Hotel

pros: we got the family room so it was a big, big area
cons: the room apparently did not have any friggin windows. Thank God for Jim's team who brought this super mega light that lit up the whole room.
peso power: 10k

florist: Alex Monteclar

pros: gave us super pretty bouquets and buttonaires and wrist corsages. Although the buttonaires did not work well with the barongs. The best though was the beautiful and simple and elegant floral pieces that he did for the reception near the stage. It was subtle and totally devoid of ferns that I absolutely abhor. 
cons: no cons as he was on time and totally professional about it.
peso power: 10k for the reception arrangement and entourage flowers/corsages

cake: Chedz Cakes

pros: We forgot to pay the full amount before the wedding (and we only remembered on the eve itself) but they were still professional and delivered this beautiful wedding cake that was beautiful to see on the outside and delicious inside. ;) And Cecil was easy to talk to and she immediately understood what we wanted.
cons: nothing...
peso power: my sis was paying. hehehe. it cost 13500 for 3 tiered cake plus 300 cupcakes. yum!

Back up HMU (for the entourage and my other titas) --> Vincent Bermejo

pros:  very nice and sweet guy. Fast and efficient in doing makeup and had done surprisingly natural make up too.
cons: I should have put them in another suite as all the people lining up to have their make up done sort of made the room more chaotic.
peso power: 5000 for 10 faces 

Other suppliers:

Bus --> Uncle Noel's friend. Extremely reliable. Cost us only 5500 for waterfront pickup then to church then to chateau de Busay then back to Waterfront. Totally not bad as it had no time limit.
Bridal Car --> gift from Tita Nimfa (ninang) and it was a white Camry.  :)

Rings --> from Aspial . Amount will remain undisclosed. haha.

ps: di ko na include the little things like shoes, back up shoes, etc ha.

All in all, Paui and I were totally satisfied with the suppliers we picked. During the course of the recession year, we always had our budget in mind (thus no photobooth and fireworks, though we did get the latter for free. haha). But even with budget constraints, we also wanted our wedding to not look cheap and instead retain elegance in its simplicity, and thus chose the best people who can help us achieve that. And I would like to think that we chose the right people. ;) 

What do you think?

10 Things I am Thankful for During the Wedding

10. I did not need to urinate or go to the loo during the whole wedding, from the time I donned on my wedding gown to the time I took it off (well, you know...that time...). This is a really good thing because my maid-of-honor/sister and I were wondering how the heck we were going to manage this cleanly when nature called. 

09. I got free fireworks. Initially I was a tad bit upset that another wedding was going on just below ours (we got the city view of Chateau. They had the place below the city view). But in the end it was all good. Because during our dinner (and presumably the end of their reception), they let loose beautiful fireworks and our venue had the best view of it! Some of our guests even thought those were ours. hahaha.

08. And because there was another wedding, and probably because it was holiday season, the whole Chateau de Busay was lit up with beautiful lights just everywhere giving our open view reception a lit up, romantic ambiance. And to think I was a bit worried it would be too dark. haha.

07. It did not rain on our wedding day. It rained the day before. It rained two days after. But the skies were clear on the day that we wanted it to be. And for that I am really thankful.

06. I did not lose my cool. At all. Not even when one tita attempted to sabotage the whole reception by turning it into a karaoke free-for-all. (well of course I had to scurry off my coordinator to pull said tita off-stage IMMEDIATELY. but that's all.)

05. I did not trip on my walk down the aisle. But I was so conscious though of everyone looking at me that I forgot to smile in the beginning. And I forgot to hug my mom. haha.

04. The whole hotel room was very chaotic. All my cousins and aunts were there for hair and make up. All our things strewn about. But the amazing thing? We all made it to church on one was late. Not one entourage member...none, even the ninongs and ninangs. I am so thankful. :)

03. I just finished my menstrual period two days before our wedding day. The timing couldn't be more perfect. For a girl who would be the center of attention while wearing a pristine white dress...this is very crucial information.

02. We had two priests officiating our wedding. Now we feel doubly blessed. :)

01. My baby and I are finally, officially married after almost four years. :) Time for our new life to begin!

Bring on 2010!

I have to confess now that for the last three months of 2009, I have used wedding preparations as a shield from the anxieties and uncertainties surrounding my 2010.

I needed a new job.
An interview for a job I wanted didn't result in a favorable outcome.
We needed to move to a new apartment.
My PR was not approved yet.
And I was facing the bleak prospect of not having income for at least two months. For a breadwinner, this was the most disastrous outcome of all.

After our honeymoon (my last solace of peace, I felt), I kept on praying that everything would work out fine. But I was not so optimistic ( faithless spirit).

So I felt so thankful and so blessed when two things greeted me on my arrival home:

A job offer.
A PR approval letter.

Thank you God for the blessings. I really really promise to read the whole Bible in one year. Really. :)

2010 now looks like a glass half-full. And I look forward to a year of challenges, blessings and love.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mission accomplished!

Pau and I finally made it to the church --- and on time too! We enjoyed our wedding and loved every bit of it (ok so there were minor stressful portions but I can gloss over that for now). And we had a lovely honeymoon too. (hehe. wink wink). More kwentos and I will definitely rate my suppliers.

Now I have to haul my ass off dreamland and back to reality as our married life begins ;)