Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank you 2010! Hello 2011!

2010 has been a very good and special year! This is the year of "New Beginnings": life forever with my beloved Doy. This year I got opportunities to do training, and be involved once again with AFI. This is the year when I started to engage in research professionally, in my work and in CPRsouth. This year I got to travel to new places like Pagudpud, El Nido and Samal Island, and re-connected with my favorite places like Real and Albay. This year the Ateneo Blue Eagles won its 3rd basketball championship and is the jubilee year for Ateneo Batch 2000. This year I met many new friends, and also got re-connected with many longtime ones.

There were also some lows this year. I haven't finished my thesis. I've also had some struggles in my professional work. I've done a lot of serious thinking an crying about what I really want to do, of finding "my voice". I just knew that if I wanted to be successful in what I wanted to do, I have to work harder on it.

I am very thankful for 2010, though I felt it went by so fast! I praise and thank God for His faithfulness. Our marriage has been blessed, and has been a blessing to me. In those times that I felt down, the Lord answers my prayers. It's always good to be reminded to always trust and hope in the Lord. I'm also very grateful for family. They have always given unwavering support and my source of strength.

So now I welcome 2011 filled with hope and trust in the Lord. I have so many prayers and dreams, may the Lord answer them in the way that is best for me, for us.

"My past, O Lord, to your Mercy; my present, to your Love; my future, to your Providence!" -St. Padre Pio

Friday, August 27, 2010

The month of August

I have so much to be grateful for this month. I thank the Lord for giving me another year in this world. The greetings of friends and family were really overwhelming, had a handful of celebrations with colleagues, friends and family. I really felt the love. Thank You, Lord!

I am also grateful for the 4 months of marriage. It has been wonderful! I'm truly blessed to have a very good husband, partner and friend. I think we're able to establish some routine at home, with my husband cooking, while I wash the dishes! This is quite an odd arrangement, but I'm glad my husband doesn't mind. Hopefully soon I could cook for him. Wish me luck!

Since it's the birthday month I prayed to the Lord for a lot of things. One of them is a very special one :) I do believe that God answers our prayers in the way that is best for us, so I just keep my faith. And for who I am, what I have right now, I am very grateful to the Lord.

Monday, July 26, 2010

100 days

Para akong presidente, nag-count down ng 100 days since our wedding day :) It took me a few days to notice that, yeah, it's been more than 3 months, or 100 days na pala. Mabilis din ang panahon.

We have been generally following our normal routine of doing work and house chores. We're glad that Doy found his camping stove, which we now use for cooking. Doy was able to cook pasta, fried foods, and his very delicious scrambled eggs. Sadly, though, I'm still unable to cook. But I promised Doy that I will cook when we're able to set up our big stove that we purchased a few months ago.

I'm still pretty busy doing research work for a nonprofit organization, as well as a project for my thesis. I wish I could focus more on my thesis, but I also need to earn money, and my nonprofit work allows me to do that. The challenge for me is attending to all these activities, and giving my best for each one. Doy spends most of his time at home while doing freelance work, so he takes care of most stuff in the house. I'm also glad that I a able to work a few days a week at home so I get to spend time with Doy.

We're glad to be able to ride a bike again in the monthly critical mass rides of the Firefly Brigade. We rode our tandem bicycle. It's been a while since we last used our tandem bike.

Photo by Erwin Paala

Monday, June 7, 2010

One of those days

Teaching is one of my passions and interests. I am trying to build a career that is related to teaching or to training. I am glad to have landed in jobs in the past that gave me opportunities to teach or do training. I pursued graduate studies and post-graduate courses to enhance my craft. I also did some consulting jobs that involved training.

In one of my recent consulting jobs where I did training, I felt that the objectives of the training has hardly been achieved. I really felt bad because it is my responsibility to help achieve those objectives. I was the resource person. There are a lot of factors that have affected this, but the bottomline is I was not able to prepare well enough, and that I feel that I lacked a lot of competencies of being a good trainer. I feel I have shortchanged the participants and the organizers. I feel that I am not fit for the job.

I hope that I will really, truly learn from this experience if I am to become serious in becoming a good, or even an excellent trainer. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Beginnings First Month

Doy and I have been married for more than a month already. There have been some adjustments of course, but I guess having dated Doy for close to 9 years have helped a lot. I know that Doy had to adjust with having me around the house, since he was used to living alone. I for my part had to adjust with doing the things that were usually done for me before, such as preparing food to eat, washing the dishes, laundry, etc. Although already known to us, we also had to adjust to each other's sleeping habits. I'd like to think that we are discoverers, discovering more on our relationship, of each other, and of ourselves.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Beginnings 10 April 2010

Doy and I wanted a simple and beautiful wedding, together with our closest family and friends. I searched, asked and consulted several people about the essential elements in a Catholic wedding. We've somehow modeled our wedding to the simple and beautiful weddings we've attended. We did not hire a wedding coordinator and did almost everything ourselves. Planning our wedding wasn’t easy, but it was a wonderful experience for us.


Doy designed our wedding invitation. It was like a magazine cover, with a photo of the chapel. It had a title “New Beginnings”. At the back of the magazine cover is a Q&A about the wedding, and a staff box that has our names, the names of our parents, best man, maid of honor and principal sponsors. We had our invitations printed at UP Diliman Shopping Center, and were placed in document envelopes.


We bought linen cloth and satin as material for our wedding attire. Mine was a short white dress while Doy’s was a polo with ¾ sleeves. We just found a supplier, Mr. Elmer Zamora, to sew the dress and the polo.

For my shoes I made sure I have a comfortable pair so I bought a white wedge shoes.


On our way to Polilio Island we found a chapel facing the Pacific Ocean. The name of the chapel is Nuestra Senora dela Asuncion located in Barangay Tignoan, Real, Quezon. Real, Quezon is a 2 and a half hour zigzaggy but breathtaking ride from Quezon City. One can see the view of the mountains and Laguna de Bay.

For us the chapel was the perfect place to get married! We inquired at the parish church that supervises the chapel, St. Raphael the Archangel, at the town proper. Thankfully we got permission from the parish priest to get married there. We also had to secure permission from our parishes to get married in Real, as no one of us is from that place. Doy is from Manila and I am from Quezon City. We had a bit of difficulty as we had to travel there from time to time to submit requirements, to attend the pre-cana seminar and to touch base with potential suppliers.

Ceremony and Presider

We did not have an entourage. No bridesmaids, ring and coin bearers and flower girls. We just assigned our friends to be secondary sponsors, and asked our best man to carry the wedding rings and arrhae. Before the ceremony started, our parents, ninong and ninang (we had only a pair), and our secondary sponsors were just told to sit at their designated places in the chapel. I did not even plan to walk down the aisle, because I think the aisle is too short. So when the people saw me walk fast at the altar they were surprised! Then they requested me to walk, which I obliged. Everyone thought that was funny, maybe the funniest moment during the wedding :)

The wedding ceremony was held within a Eucharistic celebration/mass, presided by a good friend, Fr. Raymond Arre, parish priest of the Parish of Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman. He delivered a beautiful homily. What I also liked about the celebration was when the guests approached us during the sign of peace, and when Doy and I gave communion to each other.

I asked Kuya Jun Tariga, one of my former choir mates to sing and play solo during the ceremony, and picked regular mass songs so that everyone can sing.

Our guests loved the view of the ocean from the chapel windows and the feel of the ocean breeze.

Flowers and Church Decor

We bought flowers from Dangwa and drapes from Divisoria and brought them the day before our wedding. The flowers had a simple arrangement done by the church workers. While the church workers were cleaning the chapel, setting up the fixtures and arranging the flowers, we were putting up the drapes.

Reception Venue

We had our reception at The Pacific Recreation Kamp (The PaRK), a resort just right beside the chapel. The PaRK is a popular surfing camp in Real, Quezon. The resort has a wide and beautiful garden there was no need for decorations. The venue rental covered parking as well as entrance fees for the guests. After the reception, some of our guests went swimming, snorkelling and learned how to surf (there are surf instructors and boards for rent).

Since our reception venue is a garden, we had to rent a tent. We rented the tent from Bells and Doves. We got them because they were the fast to respond to our inquiries via email and SMS. Since the supplier is from Sucat they charged us for out of town fee, which was quite reasonable. However, we were disappointed because the supplier charged us with early set up fee for our request to set up the tent the day before our wedding. We were told before that the early set up was already covered by the out of town fee, so we were surprised by this additional charge. We were also disappointed that they were not able to deliver the side wall for one of the small tents that we rented, which was already paid. We gave a partial payment for the early set up fee, and gave the remaining balance a few days after the wedding.

Catering and Food

We had a difficult time finding a caterer for our wedding. There were caterers in the nearby areas (Real and Infanta), but they could not provide tables and chairs, which means we’d have to rent them separately. I contacted many caterers in Metro Manila/Rizal areas. Some of them did not respond, others told me that they couldn’t cater in Real, some were already booked, and some can cater but their out of town fees cost an arm and a leg. We’re glad to have found a good caterer that was willing to provide catering services for a reasonable price in Gerry’s Grill Blue Wave/Marquinton. We liked their menu packages because their offer is only for food and drinks, no fancy stuff that we don’t need unlike the wedding packages of other caterers. The account officer and manager of Gerry’s Grill were very nice and they really made an effort to fulfill our requirements. Their menu was perfect for a beach wedding. We had grilled chicken and fish, sisig, kare-kare, pinakbet, rice, leche flan and bottomless iced tea. The table centerpieces were Malaysian mums and shells that I bought in Cebu.

Instead of having a cake, we bought cupcakes from Mom and Tina’s. The chocolate cupcakes were a hit! We also bought Hardy’s chardonnay for the wine toast.


We gave away canvas bags that we designed and asked our friend, Hanna Fernando-Pacua, to produce.


Instead of hiring a wedding photographer we asked our photographer friends to take photos of our wedding. They are Jops Josef, Aly Yap and Pio Fortuno. Jops is a good friend of mine who is a hobbyist. Aly is Doy's friend, sports photographer. Pio Fortuno is one of our biker friends, a professional photographer. We’re very glad that they rendered their time and talent for free on our special day. Many of the wedding photos are beautifully candid, and we love them!

We opted not to hire a videographer for our wedding because we feel that sometimes videos can be disruptive, makes guests more conscious/unnatural. We feel that our photos captured enough memories of our beautiful wedding. We still had some videos though, shot by our family and friends.

Overall, we can say that the wedding that Doy and I had planned and wanted truly happened. Our wedding also proved that you need not spend so much to have a beautiful and memorable wedding. Our guests were saying that our wedding was one of the most relaxed and cool wedding they have attended. As one of our good friends said in her blog “Everything was brief but sweet, making it definitely a wedding to remember!”.