5 Reasons Why I’m Keeping My Wedding Intimate

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Engagement Shoot | Photo by Clarence Nartates

As our country celebrates the promise of a new presidency, I find myself anxious about something else entirely: our wedding guest list! Two months away and DM and I still cannot say that we’ve finalized the list—yes, even after sending out a few Save the Date‘s.  And that’s got to be blamed on this small wedding reverie of mine.

But what’s bothering me more is the fact that some people still cannot comprehend the concept of keeping a wedding intimate. In the past months of planning, I’ve come across a good number of acquaintances and wedding vendors who talk about the rising popularity of small weddings in Cebu. Seems like more and more young couples have decided to stray away from the tradition. Our wedding coordinator shared that she had at least three recent events that only had about fifty guests. And I cannot help but be completely jealous. How did these couples manage to orchestrate that?!

I have always wanted to have an intimate wedding and I have been very vocal about it. I learned a lot of things about weddings through Friends and it was also through Rachel Green that I first got an idea of how magical a private wedding could be! Remember her made-up story on how she and Ross got married on a cliff during sunset? Swooning!

Whenever I think about the possibility of tripping over while I walk down the aisle, I’m comforted by the thought that, should it happen, the witnesses are all close enough to me that we can just laugh it off together.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, I don’t know yet) for me, the intimate wedding I’m planning right now is not as intimate as Continue reading

Math: Remembering the Subject and the Mentor

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Last night I had another weird dream. “Another” because it’s almost recurring. “Weird” because it featured someone who already passed away months ago.

It was about my high school Math teacher. She had a funny surname so let’s just call her by her lovely first name, Dolores.

It wasn’t the first time I dreamed of her since her passing. In my dreams I was aware that she was gone but we had conversations like we had in high school, like she was still alive.

Dreaming about dead people is somewhat normal for me. I’m not being creepy here but I honestly often dream about my late uncles and grandmother. Their faces would be vivid, looking calm and at peace; our conversations, often vague.

But to have dreams about Mrs. Dolores was especially puzzling since we were never really that close. I had other teachers whom I considered buddies, but her, she was a mentor, someone I respected and not crack a joke on.

Upon waking up from my dream last night, I got to think of a couple of things as to why she could possibly be in my subconscious mind.

For one, she succumbed to Continue reading

Travel Throwback: Hanoi Hangovers

Oh yes, the Ha Long Bay Hangover I posted a year ago was just a snippet of my drunken stupor after my trip to Vietnam three years ago!

Here’s a friendly travel guide published in The Freeman in 2012. Some of the information I have provided may no longer be relevant nor applicable today. After all, a a lot could change in a vibrant city like Hanoi in just three years. But of course, I’m yet to personally check on that—I’m planning to revisit it after my wedding next year.

When people ask me how my trip went, I always tell them that Hanoi was a city that robbed me of my usual love-at-first-sight travel euphoria. It was after all not a paradise of imposing skyscrapers or grand amusement parks; rather, it was a place that encourages immersion to be able to truly appreciate its rich culture and fascinating traditions… And I loved every bit of it.

It was raining slightly when we landed at Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi. “Feels just like Cebu,” was my first impression as I looked around not only observing the weather. The interior of the arrival area was simple. No sophisticated lighting or intimidating architectural structure. What it had was a cozy, warm feel to it.

With my Manila-based sister, I was set to stay in Hanoi for a couple of days to be with our other sister who had been living in Vietnam’s capital city for almost three years now. She works as a teacher at a recognized IELTS Review Center, along with other growing number of Filipinos. Vietnam is generally a non-English speaking country. And like many other nations, it has embraced the need to adopt the language, gradually welcoming skilled professionals such as our own.

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Since it was past midnight when we arrived, there wasn’t really much to look at as we traveled the wide highways and made our way to Hai Bà Trưng, an urban district in Hanoi. With only the street lights illuminating, I couldn’t fail to notice the houses along the road. They were all tall and narrow. I would discover later on that most houses in Vietnam are designed that way-with at least three stories and a retail shop on the first floor. They say it’s because their property taxes are based on the width of the lot at the street line. The facades of the houses and buildings are mostly colorful and somehow French (Vietnam used to be a French colony) inspired, with some having pointed, castle-like roof lines.

But the uniquely structured houses would just be the beginning of the many wonders you’d experience if you were in what’s often dubbed as the City of Lakes.

Must-visit Places

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh is almost synonymous with Vietnam. He was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who became prime minister and president of North Vietnam. Cameras are not allowed inside, but you will surely take mental snapshots of a hero’s remains cautiously preserved in this mausoleum.

Tip: The mausoleum closes at 11:00AM, so waking up late may not be a good Continue reading

I Got Me A Queenly Crown!

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More for vanity than for any other technical reasons, I have always wanted to have my own personal domain. And with the awesome help of my awesome sister over at Kaeratana, I finally acquired my official domain name a week ago! Woot woot!

I didn’t want to start from scratch nor lose my existing content. Plus, I don’t think I’m ready (or ever will be) to abandon WordPress’ user-friendly interface when it comes to managing a blog. So, we just had pinkpaperpens.wordpress.com rerouted to my new name, quaintquinn.com. Didn’t lose the alliteration right there but I’ve decided to be more specific with the page names and even gave my blog a new look.

For those who intend to do what I did, here are the simple steps:

  1. Bought a domain at godaddy.com. They have budget-friendly promos.
  2. Upgraded my WordPress plan to get a domain mapping for $13.00/year
  3. Logged in again at Go Daddy and set up the name servers for a WordPress domain
  4. Went back to my Wordpress account and configured my new domain (quaintquinn.com) as the primary domain

And with that, comes my social media accounts I’ve finally also decided to launch. See you there! ♥

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*  Check out VanillaPen, a cool poster-maker app I’ve been using these days!

Red Roses and Romance—the 21st Century Way

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Grabbed from Pinterest

Like an excited little girl who just got inside a candy shop, Bianca stares with delight at the breathtaking bouquet of red roses in front of her. Delicately resting on it is a small card that says, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Baby”. She opens the card and finds the words, written in gold, moving gracefully in slow motion until they finally read: Wish you were here. I miss you so. Love, James. A flood of mixed emotions suddenly rush through her veins and when it landed straight to her heart, she knows exactly why. She can’t help but be confused on whether or not she should be happy with the present, because deep inside she knows that that bouquet and card would have been one hell of a Valentine treat if she weren’t looking at the dozens of roses on her computer screen and she weren’t opening the card with a click of the mouse.

Bianca and James had been dating for more than two years when James decided to take his Software Programming career to Singapore. And it has been over a year since they began dealing with LD, or the dreaded long distance relationship. Their love affair has become solely dependent on the internet. Bianca’s breakfast means a hot pan de sal plus a quick post on James’ Facebook Wall. Dinner for James includes a bag of take-out and a Skype video call to enable him to check if his sweetheart has had her meal. If there is any consolation in their relationship, though, it’s the fact that Singapore and the Philippines share the same time zone, so one wouldn’t have to greet good morning to the other, who is about to sleep. While both parties could only wish they aren’t stuck in such complicated situation where the heart yearns for something that’s too far away, or where goodnight kisses are the result of a colon, a dash, and an asterisk combined, Bianca and James know Continue reading

A Dad’s Queer Tale

Amid social norms and standards, one man struggled to prove that a father’s love is always unconditional.

Grabbed from Pinterest.

Grabbed from Pinterest.

What does it mean to have a child? When do you need to be a father? How do you qualify to be one? In a world where a father is presumed to be a strong, masculine figure who can provide for his family their basic needs, I could only wish I’m as conventional.

I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body. Or that’s what they think I think. In dictionary terms, I’m a homosexual. But to a four-year old boy, I’m a father. A few years ago, when coming out of the closet was not yet typical and when dating someone from the same sex was dramatically more than a taboo, people like me had no choice but to conform. Conforming to the norms for me meant going out with a woman. And it had been for a couple of years. It was not being pretentious or putting up a show, it was a supposedly safe resort to an already confused mind. I had dated three girls before I finally made it clear to myself that the reason why nothing would work out even with the most wonderful woman was because she was never a he. But a two-year relationship with a woman would change my life forever.

Dino* was conceived during that rocky stage in a relationship when you ironically could get a girl pregnant. His mother and I tried to fix things as soon as he was born, but it turned to be a vain attempt that only led me to have the child in my care. His mother left the country, allegedly “to save money until she can help raise Dino”. Four years later, the events would make me assume that she was never able to raise that money. She never returned. The first year from Dino’s birth began my gradual transition. It was an unsolicited game of fate that urged me to be confronted with a reality I have been escaping for so long. Having no woman by my side and feeling oddly good about it only validated Continue reading

Somebody’s Josephine

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I once knew a boy. He was really cute. Wore chucks and played the drums. He was the type that the school girl me would gush over in the university halls. And then with some twists of fate and splash of fairy dusts, we found ourselves in each others’ arms. From totally different worlds, yet we did. It was magic for a long while. But there was this itsy bitsy problem. There was another girl. Not really there at that moment, but somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind. Lingering. Her name was Josephine. Or something like that. It was a beautiful name; perhaps as beautiful as the memories he kept holding on to. But all those colorful memories shared never led them to being “them” as she would turn out to be the one that almost happened. As I earnestly pondered on this budding turbulence in our relationship, I realized I knew some more people who had someone they could only wish for. The perfect guy or girl who came along, but who did with circumstances that turned out Continue reading