Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Commitment Ceremony - alternatives for those who can't get married

the ring that binds.

Our population has a big chunk of couples that for one reason or the other can't get legally married.

There are a lot of reasons. I encountered one before wherein the couple can't get married because the guy is getting petitioned abroad. However, the most prevalent example would be wherein one or both parties have been married before. In close second would be our LGBT community.
Given that the Philippine population is dominated by Catholics, it's inevitable that religion somehow spills over its influence over the state proceedings. This would mean that the battle of having Divorce or Same Sex Marriage laws passed is still a long way from here. 

But for the meantime, what would you do?

The next best thing is to hold a Commitment Ceremony. 

Don't you think so too?

Bear in mind that it's still not going to be recognized by the state so if your motive is to be included as a beneficiary in cases of death, have conjugal properties and all those benefits that a legal spouse enjoy, then this is not for you. 

The commitment ceremony is designed for those who wanted to celebrate their pledges to each other and to share this very important event with their families, friends and loved ones.

What's great about it is that since it's not dictated by tradition or religion, you have absolute, free rein on how to personalize everything. Whether to include or exclude the serious or the mundane is totally up to you.

Others may laugh. They may call it absurd, saying it's nothing but a farce. They may say that it's a waste of time since it's not legal. But legality is not the point here. It's not what we're after.  

Remember that the marriage certificate is just a piece of paper. The real marriage is the relationship that we nurture each day. True commitment is something that we work on. It doesn't have to be legal in the eyes of the law for it to be binding. Same as that not all who got married in church stayed together. It's never a guarantee. At the end of the day, our willingness to exert effort to nurture our relationships is what makes it grow and last. 

Source :
Photos courtesy 


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Zoren and Carmina : A love like no other

The local entertainment industry as well as almost the entire Filipino population can't help but fall in love with Zoren and Carmina's fairytale wedding.

Who can't? Wedding planning has always been the turf of bride-to-bes.  Mostly so that wedding forums are dominated by women. Now and again, a lone groom would drop by causing us to get so overcome by kilig for the bride.

Almost every bride's innermost desire would be for her fiance to share the same enthusiasm in creating the wedding of her dreams. No wonder, every women who's ever watch the coverage on TV and YouTube share Carmina's giddy feeling of being so loved and appreciated.

What's surprising is that even guys are sharing the trending for this celebrity nuptial? Is it because deep down in their hearts they, too, wish that they can do the same for their ladylove? Not the whole scale maybe, but do something so extraordinary, that we can't help but feel overwhelmed.

Maybe. Who knows? But it would definitely be great if they do take the effort.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A poignant song for the Father - Daughter dance

Heard this song and I realized how great it will be for the father-daughter dance.

Let me share it to all of you.

Enjoy =D

steven Curtis Chapman 

She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you

There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...

She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, "Dad, the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

She will be gone

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, "Dad, the wedding's still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

FREE! wedding proposal music video

Are you just about ready to pop the question but is in a tight budget?

Then this gig might just be for you.

DFine Photolab is offering a FREE wedding proposal music video for that very special moment.

The contest will run up until October 31st and 5 lucky couples will be chosen. Simply email your couple photos to or

I'm not so sure about the mechanics of choosing the winners however, you may contact Marion at: +63.916.698.7766 for more details.

Good luck!

turning your breakfast into a kilig moment..

Who says that showing your sweetness need to be expensive.

Take cue from my friend Bjay Lopez who did this for his babe, Cheenie.

photo credits

Chocolates and flowers are nice but believe you me, it's the small gestures of sweetness that counts the most, hits the heart hard and is remembered long after the flowers wilt and the chocolates melt.

Did your fiance/fiancee come up with random acts of sweetness that just made you shiver all over with glee? Share it in the comments below and inspire others. =D

An artist's proposal

Proposals are one of those important moments in a couples lives. The usual thinking is that it takes a gazillion of moolah to make it memorable for your lady love. Not true! All it takes is ingenuity and careful planning.

A nice example would be how a certain Pope asked help from Ivy's favorite artist Gloc-9 by uploading this photo on his Facebook page.

Photo credits

 It didn't cost too much but the impact was way beyond huge.

It's down-right cute, memorable, personalized and easy-on-the-budget that beats any dinner in a 5star hotel in my book.


Because 5star dinners for proposals are so gasgas (used up) and is somehow expected while this one, though might be simple to some, takes GUTS.

What is your proposal story? Share it so that other may also be inspired. =D

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gown Inspiration and Ideas

I've been a fan of off shoulder, empire cut and silhouette designs. It is very flattering on the figure and makes one look sexy.

Sharing my wedding gown inspiration..

This is one of my favorites! I love it's simplicity and elegance.

chiffon in layers.

the brooch adds drama. I love it!
This bolero is a great cover up idea for churches that don't allow too much skin exposure. I fell in love with Rica Peralejo's spider cobweb overlay and that's when I started looking for ideas online.

following strict church dress code while still looking chic!
The simplicity of this number is what draw me to it. It exudes a very relaxed vibe which is great for beach or outdoor weddings.

a flat tummy is needed for this number. =D

love the glittery accents and the V cut back design.
What I loved about this dress is it's sweetheart neckline and it's delicate train, not to mention it's low-cut back design.

simplicity at it's finest.

The single strap draped delicately on one shoulder adds a feminine touch to an already lovely gown.

such a figure-hugger

This number is great for those who wants to hide their love handles. The ruching on the waistline helps with that and the spaghetti straps gives it a dainty look.

so what if I have bulges?

With its princess-cut design and embellishments, one can't help feel like royalty on her big day.

waiting for prince charming..

The corset type bodice is great for medieval themed weddings. The intricate beadwork wraps it all up nicely.

classic vintage

What I've come to realize is that it's not really necessary to splurge on designer-made gowns with sky-rocket prices. As long as it looks good on the wearer and it compliments the figure nicely, even an off-the-rack can pass off as a very expensive thing. All it takes is good sense and a great amount of patience to try on gown after gown after gown.

Happy hunting!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Cross

For couples who want to give their wedding ceremony a twist in a very religious-kind-of way, you may find this idea interesting.

I stumbled upon this while reading the blog of one of my favorite author, Bo Sanchez. Read on..

the cross signifies sacrifice

The Cross
I read a beautiful article by Jenn Giroux.  She said that in the small town of Siroki-Brijeg in Croatia (Population: 13,000 people), not one single divorce has been recorded. 
Why?  Personally, I believe it’s because the “old fashioned” values are still part of their life and culture.  And a powerful expression of these old fashioned values is a beautiful twist in their wedding ritual.  (If you’re wedding is near, read carefully.  You may want to include this for your wedding rites.)
In our present wedding ceremony, the priest says at the end of the rites, “You may kiss the bride.”  But in the town of Siroki-Brijeg, the priest says, “You may kiss the cross.”  And both of them kiss Jesus in a crucifix.
Let me backtrack a bit to the start of the ceremony.
When the bride and groom enter the church, they already carry a crucifix.  The first thing the priest does is to bless it.  And as the man and the woman say their vows, they are holding on the cross—with the priest’s stole draped on top of their hands (Note: the stole is the long piece of cloth around the priest’s neck)
After the vows are said, they won’t kiss each other.  They will kiss the cross.
The newly wed couple will then bring home the crucifix and set it on the family altar.  Around it, they will establish daily family prayer.  That daily family prayer says that Jesus is the center of their family life.  When they are blessed, they sing their gratitude around Jesus.  When they are in trouble, they kneel at the foot of the cross. When they are fighting, they look at His kindness, His forgiveness, and His selflessness as an example of what they should do.
When you marry someone, you’re not looking for an ideal partner.  You’re looking for a cross.
Yes, my wife is my cross.  Because loving her isn’t convenient.  If I wanted to remain comfortable, I should have remained single.  But I don’t want to remain comfortable.  I want to remain committed. 
Yes, my wife is my cross.  My beautiful, lovely, glorious cross.  Because she has brought me closer to God and enlarged my capacity to love.

Isn't that just lovely?

Funny how we Filipinos refer to getting married as "lumagay sa tahimik" which is literally translated as "to place oneself in peace" when we know full well that it's not a life of peace that we're getting ourselves into.

If only we remember the true fact about marriage, and prepare ourselves for it, then there would be less disappointments and maybe much less broken or failed relationships.

Read the rest of the article here.
Photo credits :

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lessons from Habagat

We were informed that something to the effect of typhoon "Ondoy" is unlikely to happen again for a very long time. Yet, here we are, just barely 3years after, being hammered again by nature's wake up call.

I know that many of us are in the middle of our wedding preps. Some would even have their weddings celebrated today. It may look like a very unfortunate event but in the midst of the devastation of the "Habagat"  (Southwest Monsoon) we are taught some very valuable lessons that we tend to forget during the hustle of wedding planning.

The things we fuzz about are actually just trivial - Soon-to-be-wed couples fall into the trap of getting to hyped-up about trivial things thinking that it's of utmost importance. The perfect program, the perfect dress, the perfect flowers. But perfection, is something that is impossible and we put ourselves into the precarious edge of disappointment if things don't pan out the way we wanted it to.

Storms too shall pass -  No matter how tough planning becomes, no matter how impossible the odds may seem, there's always a silver lining among the clouds. Problems can always be sorted out and options always present itself.

At the end of the day, what matters is that we're with our loved ones - times like this makes us realize that it doesn't matter if the linens don't match, the quartet too expensive, the food too typical and the budget too low. There's just so many things that still need to be done but stripped of all these and what's left is just our desire to pledge our commitment to each other. At the end of the day, we're just happy and content that we are with the one we love.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Japan Film Fest

If you and/or your partner is a movie buff, take part in this year's Ega Sai (Japanese Film Festival.) Splurge on your munchies since this is totally for free. 

It would be screened in 4 different locations namely:

Shangri-La Plaza Mall - July 6 to 15
Gaisano South Citimall, Davao City - July 20 to 22
Ayala Center, Cebu City - August 7 - 12 and
U.P. Film Institute, UP Diliman - August 15 - 21 

Eric is more the movie addict and not me. However, I decided to give this a go to have a taste of something different. Anyway, I've always wanted to watch the French Film Festival in Robinson's Galleria so this is a great way to get immersed. 

Me and my girlfriends were able to catch the "Peak - The Rescuers." 

It was about the the rescuers of the snow-covered Northern Alps. Given the simplicity of the plot, it was a very amazing movie which has a very inspiring story to tell. It was light, bittersweet and triumphant all at the same time.  True enough, the crowd gave a loud appreciative applause afterwards.

Having watched this film made me realize how far back our own movies are which is kind of sad.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Paragedevan (our cake supplier)

Rating - ♥
Fee – 4,500 (supposedly 2layers all-edible cake and 50 cupcakes)
Delivery Charge – P500
Cupcake Tower - P500

If there's one lesson that I learned with coordinating our wedding, it was to trust my instinct.

Paragedevan was one of those suppliers that I was really hesitant to book. Reasons are:
  1. The cupcake taste is just so-so.
  2. It was quite pricey. (we've sampled more delicious ones at a more reasonable cost.)
  3. She was laguna-based.
The owner and baker of Paragedevan was a member of TPC lente. We considered her for this reason alone.

She quoted me P1,500 for a 2layers kitkat cake, which looked like this. I understand that there will be add-on charges for the toppers. 

She also offered me a package of 2layered cake and 50pieces of cupcakes for P4,500. I discussed it with Eric and we decided that it was an okay deal.

I sent her a PM and we gave it a go, thinking that we already agreed on the price. Imagine my surprise when she texted me that she will canvass the price for our cake. I told her that our budget is only the price she quoted me. Her texts felt irritated after that. Eric already wanted to cancel but out of “pakikisama” we went ahead with it.

We thought that it was the last of our issues with her. We were wrong.. It got worse.

What pissed us off

Nagging us about the payment - We made a DP 3weeks prior to the wedding. After a week, she was already nagging us for the rest. She badgered us day and night, sending text after text after text.

As if we're not stressed enough, here she was hounding us like as if we plan to run away and not pay her. She haven't even delivered the cake yet! We found out later on that she had other pending dues that's why she pestered us for the money. What was really unnerving was the fact that we personally know her.

Condescending to our coordinator – she called Candy, our coordinator, and made certain demands. When she didn't get her way, she shouted at her and was downright mean. The thing is our coordinator was Eric's friend from way back. When we confronted her, she denied everything. But who are we to believe? An acquintance or a friend?

Early Delivery – we found our that the reason she got mad at Candy was because she wanted to deliver the cake a day before the wedding and just have Candy set it up for her on the day itself. Naturally, Candy wouldn't agree.

It means that if she delivered the cake on the 24th*, she would have made it 2days before the wedding. All the hassle for a stale cake? Not a chance! Besides, setting up the cake is the supplier's responsibility and not the coordinators not the reception crew.

The reason? She have other appointments. The gall! We booked and paid her. Therefore, she should deliver. If she took on other commitments, it's not our problem anymore.

At this point, Eric was adamant to forget the payment and just cancel. But it's almost a week before the wedding and with so much to do, I didn't feel that I can squeeze having to find a supplier at such a short notice. So we still pushed through but by now we're totally pissed.

Cake delivered was not the one we agreed on – Here's the clincher!
  • Only the bottom layer was edible eventhough we agreed on a 2layer all-edible cake.
  • Our cat toppers looked different from our cats eventhough I sent her their photos.

She told us that she's throwing in 10 additional cupcakes to our orders and we were grateful. It would seem that she exchanged the 2nd cake layer for the 10 cupcakes. The thing is we don't need the extra 10 cupcakes. We needed the 2layer all-edible cake so that it would look like 3tiers when the topper is placed.

We felt so cheated.

Extra Charges – like Adlay catering, she kept on springing additional charges to us along the way which was not brought up during the initial discussion.
  • Cupcake Tower – This is only P200 in Divisoria. Had she told me that this is not included in her package, I would have just purchased one when I was there.
We're very easy to talk to. Had she laid out all the cards beforehand, Eric and I could have discussed it and weighed our options. It was a bad customer experience. One that we would rather not experience again.

Atleast the cake and cupcakes looked nice.

the alien cupcakes

aliens in different face and shapes

Our two babies.. Moon and Ash.

But it's still not worth it. =(

*(our wedding was the 25th,)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Providence (stonefree) - a great video concept

We don't have T.V. at home.

The news is just too depressing, the noontime shows are too corny, the dramas are too overplayed and there are just but a handful of shows worth watching on cable.

Also, when Bro. Bo Sanchez said "Here's something to think about: If you live until 75 and watched 3hours of TV a day (and you removed normal sleeping time, You would have wasted 14years of your life."* it was a sort of wake-up call for us.

I stumbled upon this video during the rare times that I get to sit in front of the tube. The lyrics is not about romantic love. It is however, about, a more deeper kind of love.

It talks about how God always provides for us and being alive is the greatest gift of all.

The concept of the video is fantastic. It was a great idea for a prenup, not to mention socially relevant.

Watch it and be inspired..

Love is really worth sharing..


*read the rest of the article here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

HMUA - Casey by Carol and Kim

RATING : ♥♥♥♥♥

Website :

Fee : P4k / bride + 2heads (with retouch during reception)
         P700 / extra head
         P1,200 - trial make-up


This duo was referred to me by one of my bridesmaid. They both work for the company I used to work for. Although Carol got there way after I'm gone, Kim, on the other hand, was my batchmate.

Being budding entrepreneurs ourselves, Eric and I know how important it is to build a portfolio. That's why we've always preferred to get suppliers who's just new in the industry. It's our way to help. Also, often than not, their rates are more affordable and they're much easier to transact with.=D

What we liked

Affordability – their price is fairly reasonable. It is very competitive with the current market price.

Fun – I don't know about other brides but I was a nervous wreck during my wedding. Thank God, these two were there. There were a constant stream of friendly chatter and funny anecdotes that helped me forget how nervous I was. 


in a fit of giggles

Output – I'm not a fan of heavy make-up nor big updos. Carol and Kim were able to capture the look that I wanted. Just right make-up and a 'do that compliments me. 

Kim, working on my locks

finished product

my hair from the back

Photos lifted from Casey: by Carol and Kim

The HMU done to my mom, sister-in-law and friend was also fab!

Eric and I really hated the Imeldific dos done on mothers and the espasol-like approach to bridesmaids and lady sponsors' makeups. I'm proud to say that Carol and Kim was very great in their craft that my mom looked fresh and young, my SIL kept her vibrant looks and my friend looked naturally beautiful.

my wonderful friends, Anj and Asy

Extra help – It never dawned on me how hard it was to get into a wedding gown, not until I was there and trying to get into one. Kim was my saviour and helped me all throughout. He tied my corset, pinned the brooch at the back of my dress and helped me into my petticoat. I don't know how I would have managed it without his help. 

Moral Booster – I had wanted to forgo the retouch for the reception because the oldies are getting impatient*. However, Carol and Kim kept reminding me that it's my day. Therefore, they should wait out for me. They were such a moral booster during those stressful times during the reception. 

Not to mention that I love (and Eric did too.. ) my evening hair and makeup. 

what was that???

A very sweet moment..

My hair swept sideways

I'm so glad I booked them. =D

Carol and Kim; the duo who's responsible for my beautiful wedding look


*We kept on reminding them that the reception is not going to start until 6PM. However they were already at the reception venue by 5PM. No wonder they were losing their patience by the time we arrived at around 6.20.

H.H. Restaurant

Peso Value : ☻☻☻☻☻
Taste : ☻☻☻☻☻
Rating : ☻☻☻☻☻

Visiting Divisoria became a habit as the big day approaches.

Doing so brought us to side streets and alleyways we've never ventured to before.

Like most soon-to-wed couples, this is enevitable. And since this means more expenses, it's important to save a few pesos here and there. We stumbled upon this eatery during one of our visits.

Located at the food court of Divisoria Mall, H.H. Restaurant specializes on various types of mami ( noodle soup. )

The Filipino traditional mami is a soup usually using thin egg noodles and sometimes flat rice noodles with either beef, pork, chicken or wanton garnish and topped with chives.*

This eatery offers that.. plus much much more.

The choices doesn't stop with choosing the topping. Here, your choice starts from the noodle all the way to the stock.

The choices are presented Mongolian style for easy picking.

We chose the "Mixed mami." For only P50, this is a treat.

The noodle we chose were the flat, dry ones. These are available in supermarkets.

They also have sotanghon (cellophane noodles), canton (chow mien), miki* (lo mien) and instant noodles.

Mixed "mami" entitles the customer to pick 5 toppings from their array of choices. Unfortunately, the displays doesn't have any label and I was only able to recognize the tofu. hehe! 

We had to ask all the topping names from the server just to make sure that it's something we'd eat.

We went for scallops, fish, squid, pork and wanton.

Other choices would include tofu, kikiam, beef, chicken, isaw (barbequed intestine of chicken or pork), eggs and others that are quite foreign to me.

We chose beef for the broth, giving it a dark, brownish color. Chicken and pork stocks are also available.

The broth was steaming hot, the toppings were flavorful and the serving was big enough for 2 people.

Aside from the chives, bok choy also gives the soup an added flavor. 

The food is filling at a very affordable cost. Strategically located in Divisoria, it's great for those who wanted to have extra money for more shopping.


* Miki is the noodle mostly used here in the Philippines for mami.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Liberty Hotel

Rating - ♥♥♥♥
Address – 12 kalayaan Ave. Quezon, City
Telephone Number – 441.1111 / 0927.910.2836
Email –
Rates -

12hrs 24hrs
Wall Street Room 1450 1900
Manhattan Room 1750 2200
Times Squate Room 1950 2400


For weddings, having the key venues approximately near each other is essential as this will make everything convenient for everyone.

That's why when we decided that Adarna Food and Restaurant was going to be our reception venue, it was imperative for us to locate a church ( at that time ) then the ceremony venue ( later on.. ) as well as the hotel within the vicinity as well.

Since our wedding was set in the afternoon all the way to late evening, it's a must for us to find a hotel that has flexible check in/out hours*.

We spotted One Liberty Hotel when we dropped by Adarna for last minute checks. It was beside New City Food House (awesome food! but that's for another post =D) and was fairly new.

from the outside

What we liked

Proximity – located along Kalayaan Ave. as well, it was fairly near Adarna and Bonsai.

Check in/ Check out flexibility – they were fairly flexible with our preferable time to check in. Check out was automatically 24hours after.

Affordability – compared to all the hotels that we scouted, it was by far the one with the most affordable rate.

Amenities – given that it was fairly new, the amenities were still in perfect condition.


let's freshen up!

Staff – the staff, especially the receptionist, was very accommodating and has exceptional customer service.

We were suppose to book Times Square thinking that since it's the most expensive, it was the biggest. Knowing that it's for a wedding, she offered Manhattan instead. The only difference was the one had 3 small beds while the other one had a king-size bed which would look nice in photos. She also offered us a room on the 3rd floor so that there wouldn't be any wires outside the window for silhouette shots.

my gown - a nice addition to the backdrop =D

Inclusion – they have free breakfast at the cafe. The food tasted great!

The owner – we were able to chat with the owner at the lobby and he was very nice. He gave us advise regarding marriage and about life in general. A man who's not going to compromise his principles in exchange for money. We've met a lot of inspiring people during our wedding and he was definitely one of them.

What we took into consideration

Elevator – given that they're just fairly new, the elevators were not yet fully operational.

Aside from that, we liked mostly everything. It was a supplier worth recommending.


*(Most hotels follow the check in by 2PM / check out by 12noon policy)

photo credits
the one with the wedding gown by Chris Vergara

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Non-traditional wedding dress shots

One of the requests I made to our photographers were to come up with non-traditional wedding dress shots. I even unintentionally forgo getting a dressform to make it even more challenging.

Here are some of the photos.

piano in the dark

the arts and the dress

Kudos to them for rising up to the challenge.

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