To infinity and beyond!

Years ago, I told myself that I would make amends with people who I had severed ties with if I came out alive from my ordeal. Then years later, we find ourselves in the middle of a glorious day when they finally tie the knot. I haven’t seen them since 2014 and to see them as they take their vows could not have been the best timing.

It was Mama’s 60th birthday yesterday and we arrived in Marikina to celebrate the day with her. But for the Saturday after, I know she understood that we had to attend a wedding.

We sometimes dress up

We sometimes dress up

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Wedding moments

I haven’t seen my office friends for a very long time. When I returned to work last year after a couple of months to rest, most of them have already left the company. So I highly anticipated the day that we’d see each other again for Ayen and Paul’s wedding. The sky was overcast and I was happy about it. I’m not a fan of wearing long-sleeves shirt because I’m a walking furnace. Mon and I dropped by Faye’s apartment to pick her up before going to the church in Greenmeadows.

Comme d’habitude, Monette was late. LOL The wedding march was about to start when she arrived. Looking ladylike, it was astonishing to see her in a long dress, with a matching gold belt to boot. ^O^ The altar of Christ the King Church was, well, gilded with gold. Good thing that it was air-conditioned because I was saved from sweating and fanning myself. Moments after, the entourage began walking down the aisle and we were waiting with bated breath for Ayen to enter the (sliding glass) door.

Waiting for the wedding to start

Waiting for the wedding to start

The Groom

The groom down the aisle

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2013 Travel Plans: PHILIPPINES!

Contrary to past years when we planned our travels outside the country, Mon and I have already worked on our trips within the Philippines until November. It might be long overdue but it is time to go around the country more frequently than before. =D

2013 travel plans in the Philippines

For the end of this month, I will be going with Mon’s family to Laoag, Ilocos Norte and I look forward seeing the Bangui Windmills, swimming in Pagudpud and, most of all, bathing in a river since I haven’t done such activity in almost two decades. When I was still young and we just moved in Marikina in early 90s, we had to chance to bathe in the river for several summers. It was a highlight of our summer vacation and we, little kids in the area, had a blast chasing each other in the clear water of the Marikina River. Well, due to the increasing number of subdivisions upstream (e.g. Montalban), as well as population explosion, our waters became murky and muddy. And to experience swimming in a river again, I have to go to Ilocos Norte and I will surely be taking lots of photos.

Then in July, I will finally bring Mama to Puerto Princesa because she had been hinting how much she wanted to visit the Underground River. Well, the original plan was to bring Mon’s mother to Hong Kong with us, but as his youngest sister would definitely throw a fit within those few days, the most feasible thing to do was just go somewhere here in the Philippines and tag her along. Everyone, then, will be happy!

But October, well, is a different story. Last Tuesday, Faye and I had been talking over plans to travel together outside company-initiated trips because we were hoping we could at least go somewhere before we leave the company soon. LOL Then on a whim, we booked tickets to Kalibo via Zest Air, along with Mon and seven other officemates for a few days in Boracay.

I never thought there would be a problem with this arrangement but apparently, this Friday morning had its dose of surprises. Last Monday, my sister informed me that my brother’s wedding will be slated on October 26 as it was aligned with the day of their (brother and fiancée) anniversary. So I was then confident with booking on an October 12 trip with my friends on the seat sale. Then over breakfast this morning, I was informed that it was moved to October 12 instead, because there were no available/good schedules for the 26th. O_O

The wedding will be at 4:00 PM in October 12 and there’s no way we can go to the airport  before our 5:45 PM flight. Mon and I’s Plan B will be just to rebook our flight on the earliest schedule the following day at almost 5:00 AM. LOL The catch is, we had to pay the rebooking fee and other possible fees, which might amount to more than what we paid for the original ticket. If thaw will be the case, then we might as well rebook anew and save a couple of pesos. =/

I was furious with my brother because it was difficult to plot our personal plans with the everchanging wedding schedule. They supposed to get married this May, then moved to January 2014, then on October 26, 2013. I did my best to contain my disappointment, though, and was relatively calm with the text messages I had sent him. When I eventually collected myself an hour after, I just looked at the positive side of things. As Faye correctly prophesied while we were booking, if something will happen, then the cost of the ticket will be relatively less heartbreaking. Who would have thought that that something will happen three days after. LOL I was thinking more of erratic weather conditions, because Octobers should no longer be rainy. Anyway, I just hope that the wedding’s schedule will definitely be FINAL because I would no longer know how to react if they were to change it again, with all the hassle of rebooking from Zest Air.

Something bright and cheery for a wedding

Last Friday, I was resolute not to wear white because of the prospect of wearing something similar to the waiting staff in the wedding was big. So I opted for a bold color, which was really out of my comfort zone as I’m the Switzerland-type of person a.k.a. always neutral.

PS by Paul Smith Orange Linen Shirt - Manila, Philippines

While planning on what to wear, I suddenly remembered what Luna Lovegood mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows about wearing sun colors to a wedding, for luck. Well, the shirt was not yellow but orange was also a sun color, right? A bus stop from Halloween might also be appropriate but I did not mind anyway. =D

PS by Paul Smith Orange Linen Shirt with flower detail - Manila, Philippines

The shirt was pure linen and with flower details from the chest up to the hem, and given that the wedding was to take place in an overcast Saturday afternoon, the breathable fabric made the garment very comfortable.

DIY red leather bracelet and Louis Vuitton Trousse - Manila, Philippines

I also saw this leather string from a little box and had a quick DIY project of making my own red leather bracelet! I also noticed that as much as I like carrying a bag, I thought that it was too much to carry one in a wedding given that most of the things I have are big. So I just opted for my trousse toilette, which was normally a toiletry kit. This reminds me that I needed a good leather portfolio for future events like this.

Mt. Carmel Shrine in New Manila, Quezon City

Stained glass panels inside Mt. Carmel Shrine

The wedding took place at around 3:30 PM in Mt. Carmel Shrine in New Manila, Quezon City. It was the last wedding for the day, and we were almost late and that was a bad thing because Jannet was one of the bridesmaids. I’ve been seeing  Mt. Carmel from LRT-2, but it was my first to be actually inside the church. It was very beautiful, especially the ten (I think) stained glass panels.

The bride walking down the aisle with her parents - Wedding at Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish

The wedding in the altar of Mt. Carmel Shrine

And there was a photo bomber behind us!

It was a very beautiful ceremony but none of us cried. It was very humid inside, though, and I did not regret wearing linen. I just can’t imagine how ‘hot’ the men in the entourage were feeling because they were in full shirt-suit regalia. I personally thought that it was a bad call to wear them in lieu of the traditional barong tagalog, unless the wedding was in an air-conditioned place.

Mon and I after the wedding, waiting to go to the reception

(My shirt was originally untucked but upon reflection,  I should have just tucked it in the first place. Oh well!)

Mon with my high school classmates Jannet, Jayel, Marcial and Alex

The reception took place in the Oasis Pavilion Garden in Aurora Boulevard, Quezon City, just a few blocks from Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish. There were about 200 guests and we were seated with other guests by the 15th table. There was also a live band to provide entertainment to the people while waiting for the food (which took forever to arrive).

Waiting for the food! - Oasis Pavilion Garden

Hungry was an understatement, more of famish

On another note, my digital camera’s battery was exhausted after the first few pictures inside the reception. I then resorted to my cellphone’s crappy camera to take photos. It was fortunate, though, that the venue was well-lit so the pictures turned out relatively okay. Similarly, we were so hungry that I did not even bother taking pictures of the food!

The "Money Dance" of the couple - Wedding at the Oasis Pavilion Garden, Quezon City

The program was quite long but it was expected. All sorts of things that usually happen in a wedding took place, from the tossing of the bouquet to my favorite ‘money dance’. Upon introspection, the tradition of ‘money dance’ was taken differently by different cultures. Other cultures had this idea of the guests having a one-time dance with the bride and pinning money onto the veil. But here,  from what I’ve noticed from all the weddings I’ve attended, it was usually just the newly-weds dancing in the middle with the guests pinning money on BOTH of them.

They had several audio-video presentations, but my most favorite one was the production done inside NAIA Terminal 3 (which was evidently done at the same time of their pre-nup shoot). I did not cry during the wedding, but seeing the video did really make me tear up. :’)

With the bride, Czarina <3

They say that the bride was most beautiful during her wedding and Czarina was definitely one. But I was kicking myself last night for that camera mishap because I took a barely-passable shot with the bride using my cellphone camera. I wanted to take another one but she was obviously ‘in-demand’ and she was immediately whisked away by other guests after this photo.

Photo with high school friends before leaving the wedding reception! - Orange PS by Paul Smith, black tailored skinny pants, Lanvin belt, Prada leather laceup, Louis Vuitton trousse clutch

My camera then miraculously became alive and I was able to take a few more photos before leaving the venue. Jayel, unfortunately, had to to go mid-way the program because she had to attend a practice for some work-related Intramurals. It was funny to imagine how she brought rubber shoes and training clothes inside her bag.

Photo booth! - The Oasis Pavilion Garden

Photo booth picture with Mon

Of course, we had to take an obligatory picture in the photo booth set up by venue’s the entrance. We also had a picture taken with the whole group but Jayel took it home as an evidence for her mother that she indeed went to a wedding (a decade after and she was still like that).

As it was also Mon and I’s 4th year and 1st monthsary, we originally intended to go somewhere else and watch a movie (i.e. Taken 2). But as it was already late when the whole thing was finished, we just went home and bought food from KFC to eat with my family, who was busy watching the finals of X-Factor Philippines.

Best wishes to Mike and Czare and happy 4Y1M Mon! <3