May 31, 2011

Our Balai Wedding

Last May 26th, we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and I can’t help but reminisce about the day we hied off to Balai, Anilao for the two-day wedding affair. Unlike most Filipino weddings, ours was extremely simple. We actually attended our own wedding without knowing what was going to happen because our family and friends planned everything themselves! The entire day was a series of wonderful surprises.

I arrived in a boat and was welcomed by a brother who at that time, was already living in the States. He was hiding in one of the cottages and only appeared when I arrived. I was speechless.

I also didn’t know that my whole family was going to march with me. Jake and I really thought it would be just a short, uneventful ceremony. But my family and friends obviously had other plans.

And so we made our vows. While Jake and I are both Catholic, we decided to get married in a civil ceremony first. This beach wedding was just a reenactment of the civil wedding.

The judge who officiated the ceremony is the father of our good friend Nubbin.

Others blew bubbles while Jake and I posed pictures with the rest of the guests.

And then there was the surprise entertainment! My friends pitted my family against Jake’s.

Jake’s family showed their hidden talent. Mine showed guts and a lot of laughs <3

The finale was provided by our good friends, our hosts, and wedding organizers in one.

It was the best wedding we ever attended <3 We’re so glad it was ours.

May 26, 2011

Beach Trip

Down Amorita Resort is Alona Beach, a kilometer and a half long stretch of white coral sands. Going there is just a short walk down the cliff.

This is the first trip we had as a family without the nannies. I packed for my girls’ outfits a week before going to Bohol and I had their wardrobe planned and organized according to our activities. It’s fun to dress up little girls, I’m telling you <3

At first, I attempted to read the book I brought to this trip. A few pages into the book, the little one admonished me, “Mom! This is family time. You’re always reading your book.” (Not true!! But well, that was her impression so the guilt-ridden Mom did not dare read for the rest of the trip.)

 And it proved to be a wise decision as we had fun building castles…

 covering Dad with sand…

and just enjoying the waters.

I love, love, love our family time in the beach. Thanks to my little one, who rightfully “reprimanded” Mom. I guess parents do need a little spanking sometimes ;-)

May 23, 2011

Amorita, Little Love

I am back from a four-day holiday in Bohol.  There are so many things to write about that wonderful vacation but I'll start first with Amorita Beach Resort.

This is the view of the resort from the beach.

The view of our room from the plunge pool.

The view of the plunge pool from the room.

A little preview of our villa.

The resort has a hotel and a few private villas with a view of the garden or the ocean. 

The infinity pool by day.

And by night.

Nights are good for al fresco dinner.

Then back to the villa for wine...

...or beer...

...or Mango Margarita.

And that pretty much sums up our days and nights at Bohol.

Next post: Bohol beach.

May 19, 2011

Away From It All

For the next three days, we will be living in a villa that is perched on a seaside cliff. 

I will swim everyday in our villa's plunge pool, or maybe in the resort's infinity pool or maybe in the beach. I will drink beer or mojito in the afternoons. I will eat and drink and eat and drink and eat. Yes, I must forget about my diet this week. I will just stare at the ocean, and the sunset of course. I will read Nick Hornby by the beach or maybe in the pool. 

Sounds like a plan. Or it sounds like there is no plan. Either way, I love it <3

May 17, 2011

Awesome Afternoons

A shot of our family against that day's awesome afternoon show.

We do have one of the most spectacular sunsets in the whole world. And the best beaches, too. For me, nothing beats the feeling of sitting on the sand with a beer in hand, staring at the sky as it transforms into magnificent hues of blues, magentas, reds and oranges.

I already lost the original copy of this picture but I am trying to imagine the feeling....the breeze, the smell of the beach, my feet on the softest sands.

In two days, I will be there, sitting on the sand with a beer in hand. I can't wait, can't wait.

May 14, 2011

The Justin Bieber Manila Concert

The MOA concert ground
My husband and I love hard rock, alternative music and rock and roll. So bringing our little girls to a Justin Bieber concert and listening to his bubblegummy pop songs is a testament to how much we love our children. 

Sure, we got the tickets for free from one of the sponsors. Still, the prospect of sitting through two hours of Justin Bieber already made me feel extremely uncomfortable so I thought I'd just spend the night taking pictures of the girls. I also brought a book and an Ipod to drown Justin Bieber out. Just in case, you know, I get sick after hearing his first song.

The concert was opened by Poreotics, an Asian American dance crew. Then a DJ played some music while doing the countdown to Justin Bieber's opening number. These opening acts actually proved more interesting than the main event itself. But I suppose I am the only one (aside from my husband) who has this opinion out of the thousands and thousands of screaming kids, tweens and teenagers that night.

As for my girls, they did enjoy the show and they were truly excited to experience their first concert ever. But as Justin Bieber started singing at 830, my daughter Laila became a bit groggy already after the third song. 

Seeing my daughter so sleepy, my husband, who looked depressed the entire time at MOA, got suddenly excited and asked her, "So, do you want to go home?". When Laila said yes, he turned to my other daughter, Unna. "Is it ok if we leave already? Are you sure? Are you really sure?" 

So the girls said yes. And just like that, we skippity-hopped our way out of the concert grounds.

May 12, 2011

How Good Do You Want To Be?

The first Paul Arden book I read, "Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite" was such a wonderful experience. So when he came out with the second one several years back, I thought it will be a gem of a book again. He did not disappoint.

Paul was an institution in the advertising industry. He died in 2008 from a heart attack but with his books, I just know that he will continue to inspire a lot of people not just from advertising but outside our industry as well.

That's the reason why I reread it again so I can feature him on this blog. There are so many quotable quotes from the book. Here are just some of my personal faves:

1. Try to do the things you are incapable of.
2. Talent helps. But it won't take you as far as ambition.
3. Do not seek praise. Seek criticism.
4. Energy is 75% of the job. If you haven't got it, be nice.
5. If you can't solve a problem, it's because you're playing by the rules.
6. Don't give a speech. Put on a show.

Rock on, Paul Arden.

May 7, 2011

Stuff I Will Never Put On Twitter Or Facebook

I am not ashamed of these facts. I just don't want this to be a topic of conversation in real life.

The blogosphere is different. Bloggers either affirm you or they just read your post then leave you literally with your thoughts in case they disagree with your post. You don't have to explain or defend why you wrote what you wrote.

Anyways, here are my confessions. Even I find it dorky, so it shall remain here, in my secret world.

1. I am immensely fascinated with the Latin language.
2. I don't want negativity on my FB and Twitter walls. I will hide you and un-follow you if you rain on my sunshiny day. 
3. I  like politics (disclaimer: I just want to read about it, not get involved in it).
4. I know it sounds so un-cool and so yesterday, but I would love to go back to cross-stitching.
5. I don't like to party anymore. I'd like to just go home every night, play with my kids and read my books.

My friends in real life who know me as a rock-and-roll chick, will just tease me or badger me about all these confessions. And that's pretty much the reason why I'm not posting it on FB.

Note: I accidentally deleted my earlier post.

May 5, 2011

Now Showing

The picture of Obama on the edge of his seat, and with so much intensity on his face is riveting.

Then there’s Hillary. I’ve always thought of her as someone who is “un-feminine” because of her intelligence, ballsy decisions, don’t-fuck-with-me attitude. This shot of Hillary is a rare display of her feminine side.

And then there are of course, all these accompanying articles, which I read with the soundtrack of “Mission Impossible” playing in my head. 

May 3, 2011

One Day

Anne Hathaway's fake British accent is disconcerting but she is a fab actress so I will just let this pass despite my belief that only Meryl Streep has the sole right in Hollywood to change tongues. Jim Sturgess, the leading man in this movie, was so credible and so cute as Paul McCartney in "Across The Universe" so it would be nice to see him again in a non-musical movie. 

The trailer says they meet once a year to celebrate the day they met, which instantly reminds me of that old movie, "Same Time, Next Year".  But this is directed by Lone Scherfig, the person behind that wonderful film, "An Education" starring Carey Mulligan, so hmmm, maybe I will just ignore the copied theme and hope that the movie will still manage to offer something fresh and exciting. What else? Oh yes, the movie was shot in Scotland.  

So many things to like and not like about this movie, and I have just seen the trailer! Feeling a little conflicted about "One Day" but what the heck, I'm going to watch it ;-D

May 2, 2011

And Justice For All

What were once the tallest buildings in the world,
the iconic WTC, now missing in the New York skyline.
In last year's anniversary of 9/11, I wrote about a visit I made to the Twin Towers Memorial site and museum back in 2007.

There were pictures around the area of that fateful day and inscriptions, hour-by-hour descriptions of the events leading to the total destruction of the Twin Towers. There were a lot of tourists that day, and not a few people were shamelessly sobbing in front of these pictures. I did not cry but there was a lump in my throat, which I tried to ease by immediately lighting a cigarette. 

A memorial for a New Jersey-based firefighter. Back
in 2007, some of these mementoes still smell
of burnt metal.
A few hours ago, I saw on Twitter the news about the death of Bin Laden and almost immediately, I was brought back to that memorial site again. The fear, the madness of it all, the smell of burnt metal, and the unspeakable grief pervaded the entire place during my visit. 

With the news of Bin Laden's death, I'm sure tears are shed again by the people who have lost their loved ones in the 9/11 attack. This time for retributive justice, this time for the end of violence and terrorism. Peace be with you all.

Blessed is he

The University of Santo Tomas, my alma mater.
Founded in 1611 by the Order of Preachers.
I had a Dominican education from elementary to college. A Dominican education is a philosophy of teaching based on a scholastic understanding of the Bible, the Catholic religion as a whole, the sacraments, the lives of saints, etc.  

Priests and nuns teaching in Dominican schools append their names with O.P., or Order of Preachers. Thus, the inclination towards scholastic studies because you cannot be a preacher unless you fully understand what you need to preach in the first place.

This is in contrast with the Jesuit education which is skewed towards missionary work and other activities that pursue social justice. That is also why Jesuits end their names with S.J. or Society of Jesus.

At this point, I would like to apologize for the long-winded backgrounder ;-) See, you can't shake off 15 years of Dominican education easily.

My own copy of his book.
All I want to say is that ever since Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II, I have been a close follower of his life and teachings. I even bought his book and a replica of his papal cross.

World Youth Day in Luneta, where an unmatched
5-7 million people gathered for the Pope.
When he went to the Philippines, I went back to my school to catch a glimpse of the pope, and was also surprised that tears flowed down at the mere sight of this man. (I heard that crying as the papal mobile pass you by was an experience shared by multitudes.) 

Yesterday, he was beatified. And again, being Dominican-educated, I am familiar with the intricate steps towards beatification and ultimately, sainthood. It is a big deal for Catholics all over the world. And everyone I know who was able to see him in the World Youth Day of 1995 relished the fact that we Filipinos, came in close contact with a man who would one day be.... St. John Paul II.

Picture credits:
UST: from
Aerial shot:

May 1, 2011

Cotton Candy Colors

When I was still single, I find families wearing matching outfits quite corny. Young siblings can get away with it and would actually look cute (and we have plenty of matching outfits for my two girls). But mom and kids? The entire family wearing the same colors? Not my cup of tea.

Then I became a mom. And I did exactly the same thing.
This was actually taken during the Easter Egg Hunt activity in our neighborhood.  My daughter Unna, decided to wear cotton candy colors. I followed suit. She is still in that stage when she still gets excited about Mom-and-daughter-outfits. Must take advantage while she still finds it cute (just didn't look like it in this picture, hehe). A few more years down the line and I'm sure she will find the idea repulsive ;-D
For more Fancy Pants features and for other wonderful posts, head on to Kymmie's blog, A Day In The Life Of Us.

My candy colored outfit: from a thrift shop in Bangkok
Unna's candy colored top: a hand-me-down from her cousins