Island Romance: Braving the Storm for Gersam and Bianca’s Magical Malapascua Wedding

“It really was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever witnessed,” I thought to myself as I watched the peaceful water under the not-so starry evening sky while holding the first cocktail drink I’ve had in over two years. That moment felt so good.

A complete opposite of everything that happened just hours ago.

Credits to Air Balloon Project for all photos used in this post.

Almost 24 hours earlier: I remember still being up at 1:00AM. I had just put my adorable late sleeper of a baby to bed and my husband was out with his friends. He’s mostly a taong bahay so I really didn’t mind him coming home late. Although if I had to be completely honest, it was really because I was getting ready for an off-island overnight trip and that would mean he’d be with our little monster all alone for the first time ever, straight for 48 hours. Complexity level? Let’s just say our baby couldn’t sleep at night without me. In other words, poor daddy needed an advanced breather.

I was packing while putting on hair rollers. In two hours I would have to leave to catch the bus for Maya port,  where a pump boat will take me to the picturesque Malapascua. There, I’ll be witnessing the wedding my dear friend, Bianca and her college sweetheart, Gersam.

My plus one for the event was my ever spontaneous BFF Lovely. She willingly agreed to come with me since my husband needed to be with our son. Ironically, the last trip we had together was six years ago when she took me to her hometown Bohol, an equally captivating island, where we went on a tour amid a storm. This time, we were also braving an incredibly bad weather en route to the beach wedding.

Vague bus ride, broken boaties, delayed trips, irate passengers, and a lot of stomach-churning sea waves later, we arrived at Malapascua safe and sound. It was right before lunch time and only a few hours before the ceremony. My other friends were already waiting for us, they too had their share of “adventure” the night before when the wind was much more dreadful, which may or may not include hopping on a giant styrofoam to get on a boat. It was my second time to go to Malapascua, the first was really sunny so it was not as buwis-buhay” as we jokingly label.

It turned out to be a day of “I hope it stays sunny” to “I hope the rain would stop” to “Thank God it stopped!”

Bianca and Gersam however remained unfazed by the changing of weather. At least from our point of view, the two looked so divine and oh so in love!

In true island fashion, the newlywedsand the bridal party left the church and arrived at the reception venue via adorned pump boats.

Bianca was the type of bride who knew what she wanted, who had envisioned what her big day would look like, but was very open to suggestions here and there. The result was a stunning set-up at a cove with tall coconut trees hovering over charming Instagrammable pieces. It was a good balance of rustic and boho, while still highlighting the classy bride that Bianca was.

Tip: Separate tier cakes are easier to transport for destination weddings.

Despite the stormy sky the night before, enough stars shown bright for the evening’s celebration. It was a huge and fun gathering of family, relatives, and friends who traveled from different parts of the country and from across the globe to celebrate the couple who have found each other when they were only university students at UP Cebu.

Destination weddings are not easy to pull off but this couple made it look so easy, evident in the way they showcased their dance moves that night!

In the end, we could all agree that it was a worthwhile trip to a worthwhile sanctuary for a worthwhile couple.

Gersam X Bianca Wedding
Malapascua Island, Cebu
December 18, 2016
Photo: Air Balloon Project
Video: Franzarrogante Films (WATCH the couple’s SDE here!)
Styling : First of April
Coordination : Khendi Garcia-Ramirez | Wedding Errands Cebu
HMUA: Liz Cinco
Lights and sounds: iShow Cebu

And oh, here’s me doing my secondary sponsor duty!

Cheers to destination weddings! Cheers to windy celebrations! And cheers to all December couples!  ♥

Post Valentine’s Day Thoughts: The 3 Types of Girls On 214

I woke up this morning and did my usual routine of getting ready for work and taking care of our toddler on the side. It’s a normal day. For some girls, however, waking up this morning may have been all smiles and breaking into songs after reminiscing on the day that was.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and while I’m not wishing to be one of those girls singing happily today, because I did get my fair share of edible gifts yesterday, I have now finally come to terms with recognizing that there just are different ways a girl would treat this once-a-year non-public, but still, holiday.

Let’s put the spotlight first on the men who, between the pressure of social media and what’s now the norm, are urged to debate upon themselves on whether or not they should give something special to their woman on Valentine’s day. With all honesty,  I say, being a single guy on February 14th really is a lot easier.

Perhaps before deciding on how to approach the celebration that seem to put men in a trap, dissecting the kind of woman they are dating or pursuing is essential.

I have a lot  of girl friends and way enough female Facebook friends to help me narrow down what I think are the 3 types of girls on the big (or not) day of Cupid.

The Hopeless Romantic. We all know at least one girl who gets giddy on V-Day. This is the girl who may not only hope but would really expect something of a production number sort of gift on Valentine’s. Whether it’s the cliche combo of flowers, teddy, and chocolates, or a dinner at a fancy restaurant, this girl’s got her eyes on the prize. Not all romantics can admit to being one too. So if you’re  a guy who thinks your girl just couldn’t care less about Valentine’s, think again. Think incessantly and backtrack to your conversations. There must be a hint there somewhere about how much she appreciates a man, even a fictional character, to be all chivalrous and thoughtful. They believe in love and how it should be celebrated. And that’s nice because not a lot of people do that anymore.

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The Annoyed. Becoming the Valentine’s version of a Christmas Grinch can be a process, but for some, it simply is the way it is. These are the women who not only say but who truly believe that Valentine’s is nothing but a scam put up by capitalists and everything is just the result of commercialism. This, I can’t help but Continue reading

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

DIY Pirate Birthday Party for the Little Captain

Nothing expensive, nothing lavish, just a lovingly prepped up first birthday celebration for the little man that made a big change in my life.

I couldn’t emphasize it more and I’ve finally turned into one of those people who just couldn’t stop saying how time flies so fast! Indeed, it feels only yesterday when I first announced that we were expecting, got comfortable with the whole pregnancy thing, received so much love at my baby shower, did the obligatory belly-flaunting shoot amid a threatening storm, finally gave birth, and welcomed our new addition into the Christian world.

DM and I have successfully conquered 365 days of being pooped on, peed on, paranoia, and arguments on whose style is better. And to brace ourselves for the rest of our parenting journey, we made it a point to celebrate with dear friends and family.

If it were up to DM, an intimate gathering with good food would have been enough. But of course, being the DIY mom that I am, I got overly excited on the little details. We decided to have a pirate theme party on the basis that Baby D gets so attentive whenever we read him Jake and the Never Land Pirates during bedtime. So he must likes pirates, right?!

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The event was held at home so it was quite challenging to eliminate Continue reading

Sugar-Coated, Snow-Pretend Christmas

It’s been a year since I’ve been planning to post this!

So last year, just a couple of weeks before I was due to give birth, me and my girls decided to have a mini Christmas party. We wanted to have Christmas-themed food and look. Instead, we ended up with funny looking reindeers, faceless snowman heads, and warm scarves wrapped around our already sweaty necks in the middle of a humid December evening.

In other words, it was so much fun!

  

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Baptism Celebration With A Dash of DIY

Perhaps one of the things I was rushing to do once our baby was properly settled at home was to have him baptized. Baptism months after birth has always been mandatory for both mine and my partner’s family. But aside from this fact, it was an important step to take if we wanted (and needed) to take our little champ to places. I’m not that religious nor am I superstitious, but there’s this belief that it’s bad luck to travel with an unbaptized child and as I always see it, there really is nothing to lose if you allowed yourself to give in to these kinds of conformity every now and then.

With less than a month’s notice, it must have been the quickest party planning I’ve ever done (aside from a spontaneous one last year) and having my baby literally in my arms 80% of the day didn’t help with the necessary preparations I wanted to do with the tiny decor details. The biggest challenge was that I couldn’t be at the reception venue to do or oversee the set-up since I needed to be at the church for the actual baptismal rites. Thankfully, I got help from my supportive sisters who flew in from Hanoi and Manila, and my dear cousins, one of whom was a professional interior designer whose creativity I trusted when it came to executing what I wanted. With a detailed “how-to and what-to” guide and a bag of knick-knacks I managed to prepare at 1 am before the big day, we were able to pull off the celebration just fine!

10991046_1033647033315411_697250878661470573_n copy copyThree huge images of the celebrant welcomed the guests! The banner was especially designed by the

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DIY Baby Shower For It’s a… Boy Oh Boy!

I’ve never attended a baby shower in my entire life, but even then I knew it’s something I wanted to throw myself. I’m one who can never resist an opportunity to go down and dirty with the DIY preparations. The baby themed invitations, giveaways, dessert table – they just keep my adrenaline going.

It was only after doing a little research that I learned that there is actually an ongoing discussion about who should be throwing the shower. Traditionally, they say, it’s the expectant mom’s friends and family who should be hosting it. But as mommy forums would prove it, 8 out of 10 moms wished they had plan the event themselves. Okay, I just made the figures up but that’s basically the popular sentiment.

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Luckily for me, I got to enjoy being part of the planning while having the necessary support, logistics and budget wise. I wanted it to be simple but with every detail well thought of. It was my dear friends
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