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!  ♥

Wedding Inspiration: Greggy and Sunshine’s Boho Reggae Wedding

First of all, this is a total throwback.

By now, I must have made it clear how much I love weddings! And when friends ask me for tips on wedding planning, I always find myself having them watch a wedding video of a vibrant, do-it-yourself wedding that I know of.

It’s the wedding of my dear friend, Shine. I met her at work, where we were together in the same team, with another good friend who did my engagement shoot. It took me weeks before realizing that she was the Sunshine of a song I know from years back. The song, which was her namesake, was released by Bambu Spliff, where she played vocals alongside her husband, Gregory. If you’re a true blue Cebuano, you pretty much know this reggae band. Needless to say, music played an important role in Greggy and Shine’s love story.

Fast forward to 2012, the free-spirited sweethearts said their vows in a rustic, bohemian-reggae inspired wedding.

Upon learning of my engagement, Shine was quick to provide tips and share her own experience of the whole planning. She gave me the brilliant idea of having my own dress tailored at a lower price by buying my own fabric, as she did in her own wedding.

She was an avid DIY bride herself, doing her own make-up, making centerpieces through old wine bottles, and even creating her own floral arrangement! The bonbonnières were jars of jam with a whimsical tag, “Spread the Love. Thank you for JAMming with us!” See what they did there? One couldn’t really tell how much DIY or how budget-friendly the wedding was just by looking at it because it simply looked so fun and fascinating.

Official photos were taken by Erickson Herrera while the video was done by Tiano Evangelista, who’s bassist for Junior Kilat, also a prominent Cebu band. Both were good friends of the couple. It really was a celebration filled with loved ones, as Shine would recall.

And oh, the bride and groom sing an original composition in the video!

Now enjoy, get inspired as I did, and eat your heart out at how unforgettable the musical entertainment must have been on that magical night! ♥

10 Things I’ve Learned On My 10th Month of Marriage

Few weeks ago marked our 10th wedding monthsary. We did not celebrate it as DM and I are never the monthly kind of celebrators. The last wedding-related celebration we had was for our .5 anniversary months ago, when we had a lovely intimate dinner. Now we are hoping to finally have some alone time for our first anniversary come July.

Unlike a monthly tally, we both believe that years are worth celebrating. And as we celebrate a milestone in our young marriage, I look back at the times I exuberantly told my friends how well things are going whenever they ask about life after the wedding. At the same time, I realize how I tell the same people how exhausted I am with having to deal with another human being for the rest of eternity!

All smiles, but what’s life after the wedding? Photo by Airballoon Project.

It’s true what our wise elders say, marriage really is not a walk in the park. While there are a lot more experienced people whom you should listen to when it comes to golden words on how to strengthen a union, allow me to share my two cents on what marriage means for someone who’s new at it.

1. Marriage means learning to cook or at least attempting to. As young girls, we are taught that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and thus we are encouraged to be handy around the kitchen. But modern society has also empowered us not to be stereotyped. True and true. I agree with both but here’s my honest opinion: At the beginning of the relationship, your man must know you enough to realize if you do not cook and he must accept it. That’s the type of relationship I have with my husband. I know he understands. But at the same time, if this is the case, this also makes your effort of trying to cook for your better half even more appreciated. You see, boys (and girls) are raised by mothers who always cooked for them. So home-cooked meals will always be synonymous to comfort and love. DM is a food enthusiast who loves to cook but he always expresses gratitude whenever I try to prepare something for him, even the most basic fried meal!


2. Marriage means learning to be a good listener. Among other things you need to learn in marriage is being a good listener. I often find myself going on and on on just about anything, from my friend’s engagement to my work complaints while my husband patiently listens. But when it’s his turn to talk about how he’s feeling so stressed and exhausted lately, I shake him off by saying he’s only overthinking. I realized one day (only because he told me straight up) that this can turn into bottled up emotions which will eventually be toxic in your relationship. Let him talk. If he wants to talk about the Cavs and Warriors, then so be it. You’ll have your turn to talk about Riverdale later.

3. Marriage means giving your partner time for his/her hobbies. While we’re in the topic of NBA, always be reminded that boys will always be boys. My husband likes cars, video games, sports, the whole big boy package. I’m actually grateful that he has his interests and hobbies because I understand how men need some release just like how some women resort to pampering and shopping. Plus, I’d really rather have him stay at home playing PS4 all day than having  to wonder what time he’d be home after a beer night with friends. A happy wife is a happy life. But you know what can make a happy wife? A happy husband that wants to reciprocate his wife’s tolerance!


4. Marriage means never losing the intimacy. We’ve heard about this and it’s very true. There will be days that, with all the things that go through your mind while you’re busy #adulting, you will forget about your spouse. Don’t. Don’t forget to Continue reading

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

Not Your Ordinary Bride: One Ceremony, Two Celebrations

Something beautiful happened around this time a year ago. I can’t believe it has been a year as the memory of Tara, one of my dearest friends, tying the knot with the love of her life, Jude, still feels so vivid to me.

I say it was beautiful for two reasons. First, being that theirs was an against-all-odds kind of love story that ended happily. And second because Tara was a total DIY bride whose wedding turned out just as she wanted it to be.

The couple opted for an unconventional wedding. It was a civil ceremony with two separate celebrations.

Karaoke Party

The ceremony was followed by an intimate lunch at Music One, a karaoke bar in the city. It made so much sense since the bride’s family was an ensemble of good singers and musicians.

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Naturally, Yoyi’s Pastries and Desserts provided the cake and other sweet treats at the gathering.

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Tara’s mom, a DIY apostle herself, made the elegant, vintage-y bouquet, personalized ring boxes, and the guest book.

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We got to take home the champagne glasses we used during the toast since they also served as the wedding giveaways for all the guests. Classy!

It was an honor not only to be one of the (reads: one of two, ehem) legal witnesses at Continue reading

DIY, Cost-free Save The Date Card

I’ve been randomly doing water color “painting” after DM got me a set last Christmas. It’s nothing ambitious, just a way for me to be occupied on things other than work and motherhood.

The past days I entertained myself with ‘Save the Date’ cards. Thought I’d enjoy it while waiting for the groom-to-be to do his only assignment of making our STD design. Well he saw my work and he had this “brilliant” idea of actually using it! I think he just hit two birds right there: flatter the fiancée and free himself of a task.

First attempt.

    

We never really intended to Continue reading

On The Wheels of Love: DIY Wedding Car Project

I’ve been kept busy these past weeks but I’ve been happy-busy! You know, that state of being crazy busy but you’re actually enjoying it? One of the reasons for such was the wedding of a dear friend!

Weddings, though stressful, will always be one of my favorite things. And to be involved (ehem, as legal witness sort of involved) in her big day was just amazing.

She decided on having a DIY wedding, all the way. And so being the DIY apostle that I am, I was itching for her to assign me to do something. So imagine my glee when she asked if they could use our car as their wedding/getaway car!

Our car is far from being fancy but I was honored to transform it into a romantic ride if only for a while. My very own fiancé willingly agreed. His only condition was not to leave any adhesive marks (I think he meant girly traces). Props to his sincere effort in making it look sparkly on the day!



Since I was in no way capable of picking flowers and keeping them alive, I opted to Continue reading