Chapter Twenty-Two: No Such Thing as Accidents

10 June 2008 at 10:06 pm | Posted in Adventures, Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

I recently watched “Kung Fu Panda” with my brother during the non-working holiday.  This is not going to be another spoiler, but let me just say that it is so worth watching on the big screen.  We laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes – yes, it was THAT funny. Go watch it (but not before you finish reading this.)

Anyway, getting to the point: one of the – shall we say – “morals” of the story was that “There are no such thing as accidents.”  And I would like to try and prove it through this post.  (Yes, this is still wedding-related.)

1st non-accident: I was skimming through my daily digests from our wonderful online community, and the first I read was the recounting of a bride’s recent wedding, which was held in Palawan.  I’ve always wanted to go to Palawan, and seriously considered having our honeymoon there.  But since my fiance and I have never been there and we didn’t want to run the risk of not enjoying ourselves, we settled on jetting off to tried-and-tested Boracay instead.

2nd non-accident: Near the end of my “reading session,” I came across an entry about a disastrous wedding that the couple blamed on their wedding coordinator.

3rd non-accident: Being the curious cat that I am (read: CHISMOSA), I decided to google this particular couple.  After trying all sorts of keywords, I couldn’t find anything about them, much less their wedding.

4th non-accident: In a moment of epiphany (or realization of stupidity), I decided to search through the messages in our online group (which actually should have been the first thing I’d done).  I didn’t find anything either.  Instead, I found something else.

5th non-accident: One of the messages that caught my eye was a question about Filipino-themed weddings.  I’d been considering the same theme for our own wedding, and the post extinguished my curiosity about the disastrous wedding, re-enflaming my obssession about wedding planning.  So I then googled Filipino Weddings.

6th non-accident: I skipped over the first “result, ”, since I’d been to that site several times and immediately clicked on the second, which had the promising name of “My Filipino Wedding.”

7th non-accident: I was pleasantly stunned to find that the colors of the site matched the same ones I had also been considering for our wedding.  And I took it as a good omen.

8th non-accident: It turned out to be a (well-established) blog about Filipino weddings.  And the top post was about a contest to win six SEAIR gift certificates to Busuanga.  My first thought was “Where the hell was Busuanga?” to which I replied with the act of googling it  (Yes, I seem to enjoy googling a lot).

9th non-accident: I mistyped the keyword, putting Busanga instead (which, btw, is in Africa).  And I was shocked that SEAIR was already offering flights to another continent!  So I went back to My Filipino Wedding blog to re-read the rest of the entry.

10th non-accident: Lo and behold, I realized that Busuanga was in Palawan! — And didn’t I just say that I’ve always wanted to go there?

11th non-accident: And I just had to have a blog to enter!  And I do! — Just FYI, this is my first attempt at keeping a blog.  It’s not even completely about my life – only about our (or my) wedding planning adventures.  And it’s almost anonymous (at least to strangers or friends who have no idea I even go online).

If I actually win (or if this contest is even REAL), I have the opportunity to take my whole fabulous family (and maybe two fabulous friends too) to Busuanga in PALAWAN via SEAIR on August 8, 2008 – the wedding anniversary of my parents.  My Mom was telling me that she wanted us to all travel together that day, but she wasn’t sure if it was possible.  Then this would have been the 12th non-accident.

The 13th non-accident would be me falling in love with Busuanga in PALAWAN, which I had flown to via SEAIR.  And I could surprise my fiance with a honeymoon in Busuanga in PALAWAN, which we would fly to also via SEAIR.

And this post would indeed prove that there are no such thing as accidents, and that everything happens for a reason.

Visit or, or click this link for more details about the contest.  If you discovered the contest through this blog and actually win, this writer would like to congratulate you personally so she can also strangle you for putting greater odds against her one chance of getting to Palawan.  — Just kidding (sort of). Cheers!

Chapter Twenty-One: The Printed Word

9 June 2008 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Insights | 1 Comment
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[She Writes]

I am a sucker for wedding magazines.

Although I rely heavily on the Internet for ideas and could probably plan our wedding based solely on online research, I can’t help purchasing bridal magazines anyway. 

It could be the feel of the smooth paper, or the experiential layout and text that I simply cannot find online that draw me to these glossies.  Either way, these magazines make me more excited about the wedding.

I have two favorite local titles, Wedding Essentials and Metro Weddings.

I love WE for its elegant style, beautiful writing, timeless photographs, and moving stories on real weddings straight from the brides.

I like Metro Weddings for its detailed features, practical stories, and stylish spreads.

Although I buy mostly local magazines, I have a couple foreign titles.

And sometimes, I buy magazines that aren’t really bridal in nature, but have special features that are wedding-related.  (Yeah, I really must be crazy.)

Like yesterday, I purchased the Cosmopolitan Philippines June issue because it had a special section called the “Cosmo Bride.” 

The added special feature on Sex & The City cinched my decision to purchase it.

Along with this, I also bought the latest WE Destinations, and Metro Weddings Directory 2008.

I suppose the Metro Weddings Directory 2008 was meant to be the magazine version of the W@W Wedding Primer and Bride’s Yellow Pages combined.

Or the far better version of the wedding directories I got for free from a couple of bridal fairs I had attended.

In any case, Metro Weddings’ first take on a Wedding Directory is highly commendable.  They had a section called the “Handbook,” which included articles on wedding requirements and the marriage license.  There were also features on Weddings@Work, a pre-marriage checklist, wedding beauty countdown, and wedding budget choices.  In addition, they allotted pages for a Wedding Planner.  The best part about the Directory was that almost all the suppliers listed had descriptions of their style and personality from a third-person viewpoint.  The description outlined the particular vendor’s strength and persona, which should be helpful for couples in shortlisting partners for their wedding.

It was evidently produced in collaboration with Weddings@Work, the online community in which I am a part of.  Benz Rana, one of the founders of W@W had told us about it three months ago although she hadn’t fully divulged the details.  She just requested us to email our thoughts on our suppliers.

I had actually forgotten about it for a while.  So when I was browsing through the magazine and found the page where our photographer, Dino Lara, was included, I was stunned.

There I found my “thoughts” on Dino within the pages of the magazine!

Okay, so it may not be much.  It may actually be really shallow.  And I may have gotten overexcited about the little thing.  But I couldn’t help being excited anyway – like winning a mini lottery (well, maybe not quite).

Hey, maybe one day, our own wedding will be featured in one of these.  And it will definitely make purchasing these glossies all the more worth it.

Chapter Twenty: SUMM-like-IT-hot!

9 June 2008 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Adventures, Bridal Events | 3 Comments
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[She Writes]

Themes & Motif’s Wedding Summit 2008 was held on a June day so hot I wondered if I’d lost track of time and were back in the summer month of April.

After dropping my Mom off at Greenbelt, I hied off to A. Venue Hall, which was along Makati Avenue.  Unfortunately, I forgot that the area of the street where the A. Venue was situated was one-way, and I went around in circles about three times before I finally arrived at the place – and I think I actually violated a couple of traffic laws getting there.

Luckily, I was able to grab a parking space at the lot in front of the building, which was previously occupied by a VS&F truck.

I’d been to A. Venue before – late last year when it was still under construction.  And even now, it seems to still be under a lot of development.

The lobby was nice and clean, as was the registration area, which I don’t think I ever saw busy throughout the day.

I blamed it on three things:

1. The Long Weekend – Everyone got up and went out of town.

2. Saturday – Most of the couples already visited the fair on its first day.

3. A. Venue – When they couldn’t find the place, people just gave up trying.

Nonetheless, I looked forward to a leisurely walk through the Summit, without having to squeeze between people.

I met up with Tina, who I got acquainted with through our wonderful online community.  She was having lunch at Josiah’s foodtasting session with and her husband, Archie, and sister, Valerie.  And she was kind enough to have me join them.  I didn’t eat anymore, as they were almost done and I had already tasted Josiah’s food.  And as it turned out, we shared the same opinion about the caterer.

So after a few minutes of chitchatting, we headed to the exhibit area.

The exhibit didn’t do justice to the event name.  With a title like the Wedding Summit, I was expecting a truly mountainous affair, much like the organizer’s claim to fame, the Wedding Expo Philippines.

It was a decent-sized fair, with a handful of great suppliers.   But had it not been for the company of friends, I may not have stayed too long.

Tina and Archie’s wedding was set for June 2009.  They’ve booked the essentials – the ceremony and reception venues, and were now treading the most head-spinning road of the process – selecting the best partner to capture their wedding day.  Much like us (or maybe just me), they have included the photographer in their list of priorities.

We went through the lot of photographers in the Summit.  We checked Nelwin Uy’s booth, and was surprised that his rates weren’t as steep as I’d imagined.  We also spoke to Kenneth Uy himself, who I initially didn’t realize was him.  And to think, I was babbling about how I’ve heard good things about Kenneth Uy, blah, blah, blah.  Thank Goodness I didn’t entirely put my foot in my mouth.  He was very nice about it, and even told me that we definitely made the right choice with Dino Lara.

Next, we came across the line of videographers.  Archie asked me about our chosen videographer, and seemed to be pondering the raves and rates I told him about.

They seemed genuinely interested in my opinions, or at least they were kind enough to pretend that they were.  But Tina later informed me through our online group that, amid my ramblings and babbles, I had actually convinced Archie to meet with Dino.  Hey, maybe they’ll even consider Threelogy.

As we walked further along, I stopped by Henry Pascual’s area and excitedly examined his set-up.  I again almost put my foot completely in my mouth, when I started chatting up the man sitting at the table who turned out to be Henry himself.  I couldn’t refuse when he asked me to sit down, so Tina, Archie, and Val went ahead.

Henry was much younger than I thought, and even nicer than I anticipated.  He was genuine, and clearly passionate about his craft.  He was definitely BFF-material, and seemed like a really dependable person.  I probably would have enlisted him to style our own wedding right then and there had his minimum rate of PhpXXX,XXX not brought me back down to Earth – HARD, and on my butt.

In any case, I was happy to have met him, and I just had to get a picture taken with him – because I knew at the back of my mind that I probably won’t see him again.  He even suggested using his set-up as the backdrop, and had a fellow exhibitor across his booth take the picture.

I caught up with Tina, Archie, and Valerie at the booth of Juan Carlo the Caterer, and found out that they had booked them!

We were talking about Juan Carlo the Caterer earlier and had both agreed that they had among the best food and service in the industry.  So I was almost as happy as they were that they had gotten them for their wedding.

Mark Abrea, the persistent banquet officer who always invited me to their food tasting events, was there and recognized me right away (probably because I’m always running into him at different bridal fairs).  He didn’t look surprised anymore, and he jokingly asked when I was going to book them.  The great thing about Mark was that he never pressured me to get their services, but was always keeping their company on my radar in case we were ready to make our decision.

Minutes later, Gie, another gal pal from our online community, and Weeya, a former officemate who had also joined the web group, started calling me for directions, and I met up with them.  Gie brought her friend, Tiffany, who she bumped into on the way to the Summit.  I clicked with Gie right away, because it was obvious that we were both kikay, highly excitable and adored being with people.

Coming back in, we filled out feedback forms for a wedding network called weddings and lifestyle (I visited their website only to find a blank page that says “Coming soon”), to get a cute keychain and nifty Bride and Groom button pins.

Gie was looking for a stylist, so we went our separate ways for  while – Gie with Tiff, and me with Wee.  Wee chatted up with Ate Lala, her cousin who worked with AdeB, one of the more popular limousine services.  She also paid a visit to 30fps, her videographer for her wedding in October.  Tina, Archie, and Valerie caught up with us at the 30fps booth to bid goodbye, and we promised to hang out again at the next fair.

We met up with Gie and Tiff again at the Goldenhills’ booth and checked out the shiny rings.  I felt I had to mention their company because one of the attendants was kind enough to snap a photo of us.

By then, Gie and Tiff had to run off, so Wee and I continued our sojourn through the Summit.  We came across Baicapture (which I had earlier checked out with Tina, Archie, and Valerie) and had our photos taken.

Photo booths were starting to click again as a source of wedding souvenirs, and Baicapture had one of the best deals I’ve seen.

After, we went back to Ate Lala and chatted up with her about Wee’s wedding.  We didn’t stay long, and we headed out while the sun was still shining.  Wee’s got almost everything done, and what a feat considering how short her preparation time was.  And she has pretty reputable wedding partners to boot.

While the Summit didn’t meet my expectations, that didn’t stop me from looking forward to Themes & Motifs’ next event, the Wedding Expo Philippines!



Chapter Nineteen: DIY

5 June 2008 at 11:48 pm | Posted in Adventures, Invitation | 1 Comment
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[She Writes]

Like a lot of brides, I am forced to unearth talents that may not even have been buried in my body in the first place, in an attempt to personalize and effectively cut on expenses for THE day.

As part of this wedding saving slavery, I decided to try my hand at DIY (Design-Invitations-Yourself).  I’d been toying with Adobe Photoshop for a while, but I’d never had the guts to show my output to anybody except for my Mom and my Goldfish.  So far, I’ve had great response from them – a motherly pat on the back, and a flick of a fin.

My idea for the invitation is a “storybook.”  Hence, the title of this blog.  It does NOT, I’d like to clarify, translate to a Fairy Tale theme.

These are simply “inspirational” designs for the “cover,” and may not appear as is on the invitations.  I believe in constructive criticism, so go ahead: lay it on me.  I can take it like a woman. 

UPDATE: On the advice of a few lovely ladies from our online community, I’ve added variations of a couple designs, and then some.



















17. Special thanks to Janice

18.  Special thanks to Ri


If anything, I hope you had fun viewing these.  Cheers!

Chapter Eighteen: Why I want a Sex and the City Wedding

2 June 2008 at 11:08 pm | Posted in Adventures, Insights | 2 Comments
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[She Writes]

SPOILER ALERT.  If you’re planning to watch “Sex and the City” in the theaters and don’t want to know the ending, then you should probably stop reading here.

But if you’re still reading this, then you are either too curious for your own good or planning on just buying a dee-bee-dee.   Well, don’t say I didn’t warn yah.

I’m not even going to dwell on the entire movie.  This being a wedding-tagged blog, I am only going to focus on the wedding-related events in the movie.  (It’s still a major spoiler though.)

I want a Sex and the City Wedding.  Yes, there is a wedding.  Whose, you say? If you have to ask, then I have to ask you back, “Where the hell have you been?”

Fifteen minutes into the movie, Big and Carrie bought an apartment in Fifth Avenue together – a penthouse, no less; reconstructed the closet to fit Carrie’s tastes (and shoes); and talked about getting married.  It was all very grown-up.  No heart-stopping proposals.  No dazzling diamond ring.  Carrie was in her forty’s.  Big was, well, OLD, and on his third marriage.

So at the start, it seemed like it was going to be an intimate affair.  Carrie bought an urbanesque white suit from a vintage store designed by no one famous.  And that was her wedding gown.  Rather, it was her wedding dress.  Or more aptly, it was her a wedding outfit.  It was that simple.

But like most weddings, what starts out as an “intimate affair” ends up being, well, not so intimate.  Like most brides, Carrie got carried away with the the trimmings and trappings that inevitably come with wedding planning.  And like most grooms, Big thought it was becoming too big.

It started with an announcement of the engagement on Page Six.  Then came a spread on Carrie as the 40-year-old bride in Vogue, where she wore gowns by the “haute-est” designers, her favorite being Vivienne Westwood’s.  Naturally, Carrie ends up being gifted with the dress by Vivienne herself.  And the Westwood gown certainly kicked her wedding-outfit-by-no-one-famous’ ass.

From there, the guest list of 75 became 200.  And The New York Public Library, where the ceremony was going to be held, was filled to capacity.

All Big wanted was to marry Carrie.  And he would have done so at the court, in front of a judge.  After two failed marriages (sealed with grandiose weddings), he was no fan of the celebration.  For him, the wedding should be about the two of them and no one else.

On the morne of the wedding, Big sought assurance from Carrie that the celebration was going to be about the two of them, and no one else.  But like any movie’s plot twist and turn, Charlotte’s daughter (who happened to be played by a cute little Pinay) unthinkingly kept Carrie’s mobile in her tiny purse out of Carrie’s physical or auditory reach.

So on a momentary lapse of courage, without Carrie’s words to strengthen him, Big bails.  He is jolted by an epiphany minutes later, but Carrie is already jilted at the altar.  She spends her supposedly surprise honeymoon for Big with Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha instead, and lives the rest of the year as a recluse.

Carrie refused any form of communication from Big, so she wasn’t able to read the love letters Big had sent in her email until many months later.  Big had never written her a love letter in his life, so this was a big turning point in the story.  Well, I won’t go into the details anymore, but basically, when Carrie saw Big again, love and forgiveness took over and brought her into his arms.  Big proposed properly, getting down on one knee. Instead of a diamond ring, Big presented a diamond-clustered shoe – very Carrie.

They got married in civil rites at a court with a number of other couples waiting to be wed, watching their simple union.  Carrie wore her wedding-outfit-made-by-no-one-famous, and her “engagement shoe.”  After the “ceremony,” they invited a handful of their friends for brunch at some diner, and that was how they celebrated the wedding most couples wanted – an intimate affair.

For a future bride, the movie certainly jolted in me an epiphany of sorts.  Sometimes, I get so caught up in the details of planning that I forget the true essence of the wedding – which is to be one with my Sweetie.  I probably won’t go as far as getting married in court (since we both do want a traditional church wedding), but it certainly helped me gain greater perspective.

The Sex and the City TV series has always been about fashion-forward styles, grand traditions, and drama.  The movie, while it still had all that jazz, belied its origins, with the heart of it all centering on the simple and romantic.

I want a Sex and the City Wedding – a simple celebration of love, where all that matters is “us.”

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