My test of Faith

Three months into married bliss and I’ve been eating like there’s no tomorrow. To be frank about it, I’ve felt pregnant in the last month or so. But I’m not.

After three pregnancy test kits and an official checkup with the OB Gyn, I confirmed this morning that I wasn’t pregnant. Well, not yet.

And while some newly married brides think that’s okay, as for me, I wanted to cry the moment I knew this morning that yes, I wasn’t going to be a mom yet soon. Thanks to my husband, who embraced me in his loving arms and simply told me it’s okay and we’ll just try again.

People close to me know how big a deal it is for me to get this at first shot -because well, I’m not the average woman.ย 

The whole day today I’m just so sad thinking about what I could have done to have made it right. But yes, no matter how many times we try and how badly we want it- if it’s not yet God’s time, then it’s not.

I know the Lord knows how badly we want to have a baby, and until His perfect time comes, I shall learn to be patient and wait.ย 

Baby, you’ll come too ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’ll bet you Mommy will prepare so well for you.

When I woke up last December 8, 2011- I knew it was going to be a long day. But I didn’t realize how quickly it would be over and in that in no time- my life would have been changed dramatically.

On that day, I married the man who stood up for me and stuck it out with me through hell and high in the last two years. That most beautiful day of my life was perfect because I married my one true love.

But because beautiful weddings are not made overnight, we spent more than a year preparing for our big day. I am proud to say that EVERYTHING we booked, we paid for ourselves. The two of us spent long hours at work and grabbed every opportunity that came our way just to be able to save up for the wedding we both dreamed about.

So let me thank our sponsors/ suppliers for all the help they extended.

1. San Agustin Church (Intramuros, Manila)ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Contact Details: (02) 527-4052 Ms. Belen

San Agustin is picture perfect inside, forget the facade shot because it’s been painted peach- making it look like an ordinary Church and not the 400 year old Church we know of. It is perfect for brides who dream of walking a long aisle on their wedding day.

Ms. Belen was very approachable from day 1 of our preps. If you book here, you can also avail of their pre-cana seminar for couples which only last for half a day inside the Church premises.

Because it’s an in-demand venue for weddings, we booked it at P22,000 last October 2010. When we came back this June 2011, their weddings are already pegged at P25,000 (One hour use of venue, simple flower arrangement, priest, choir)

The only downside of booking San Agustin are the extra charges- P1,000 for closed door effect (if brides want the Church door closed before her grand entrance), P400 per pair of additional Principal Sponsors in excess of the 6 pairs allowed by the Church, P1,000 for the permit to take photos from the choir loft, P4000 for upgrade of flowers (normal package only gives the couple flowers on the pew, if you want flowers on the aisle too you have to upgrade. Good thing, you can share the amount with other couples getting married before or after you on the same day).

2. Casa Blanca (Intramuros, Manila)ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Contact: (02) 527-4084

Casa Blanca is a perfect venue for Filipiniana weddings- the interior is like an old Spanish house with wooden windows. We were originally booked for Casa Manila Patio which was just downstairs, but because we got married in December and the weather was crazy, we transferred our reception venue to Casa Blanca to make sure no guests will be inconvenienced should it rain on our wedding day.

That’s us during our entrance on our wedding night. Notice the old school house feel of the venue.

P17,000 was a reasonable and cheap amount for a venue you can use for 10 hours (4hours setup time for caterers, 6hours party time for the couple). However we weren’t able to maximize our party time because we ended our reception early ๐Ÿ™‚

If you intend to book here and have elder guests, there’s a passage you can use via White Knight Hotel Intramuros to make it easier for them to go up.

3. Bridal Gown and Entourage: Amonn Velascoย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Contact: Amonn Velasco (02) 711-7140 or 0917-5751604

Amonn is a very nice supplier. He immediately knows what gown will look good on you and he offers it in a very affordable price. My gown was only P25,000 but it was adorned with swarovski crystals, not to forget my beautifully made bolero.

Entourage gowns were priced at only P3,000 each, P1,500 for flower girl dresses, Our mommy gowns were fabulous at P7,000 only ๐Ÿ™‚

Many of my friends said my gown was simple and elegant- exactly what Amonn said he wanted me to look like on my wedding day.

The only problem I encountered with Amonn was he had too many clients he can actually forget about fitting schedules – which would be a problem for a bride and her entourage of course. On my wedding day, he wasn’t there too although he texted to say he was on his way.

 

4. Catering: Quido’s Grillย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Contact: Ms. Gina Napolis 09175027472

If you’re looking for cheap but yummy food for your wedding- go book Ms. Gina Napolis. She does the best food, we even had 2 food tastings for free! Ms. Gina was very accommodating and helpful, also ready anytime to offer advice to make our wedding beautiful.

But affordable bookings can also cause you headaches- like what we encountered with her few days before our wedding day. She was demanding about her setup time but was also quick to ask for an apology later on.

On our wedding day, she delivered what was needed and expected of her- although we were wondering where the rest of our Kutsinta went!

Ms. Gina can customize a package for you based on your budget. You can also book cheap sounds and lights and projector services through her.

5. OTD Coordinator: We’ll Take it For You Eventsย โ˜…โ˜…

Contact: Marj Gonzales 0917-6278478

We got our OTD coordinator a few weeks before our wedding day. We found WTIFY events on the internet and was convinced to book them after they gave us their package for only P8,000. Marj was very kind and always smiling when we would meet. The team also made very beautiful name cards for guests upon registration.

But on the wedding day itself, it was Meg who proved to be a more efficient coordinator. She wasn’t panicking and was cool right down the last minute.

6. The Rockin’ Duoย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Contact: http://www.therockinduo.com

Backup photographer Vinz Matias and his brother VJ Matias (The Rockin’ Videographer) took very beautiful photos and wonderful videos for our wedding.

We were able to book them for an affordable price- but they are the kind of suppliers you book inexpensively but then you are given SUPERB service later. We are more than satisfied with the prenup video, same day edit and photos they took of us ๐Ÿ™‚

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Young and promising VJ Matias (cinematographer) w/ talented brother photog Vinz Matias

Here’s a link to our one-of-a-kind prenup videoย http://vimeo.com/33342898 and our same day editย http://vimeo.com/33378456

Vinz and VJ we believe will surely go a loooong way in the wedding industry. Go book them guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

7. Bottega Studioย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Contact: Bottega Studio Facebookย Image

Our FIRST Kiss as husband and wife. Photo taken by Mau Mauricio

Our main photographer Mau Mauricio and his wife Au Mauricio are very good friends of ours. Au (my makeup artist) was a schoolmate back in St. Theresa’s College. She and her husband Mau gave their services all for FREE as a wedding gift.

We were blessed because aside from having the coolest couple take our photos and do my makeup that day- we were blessed with a beautiful friendship starting to grow.

Mau took our most beautiful prenup shots in NLEX and Intramuros and was excellent too on our wedding day, tagging along 2 more assistant photographers! ๐Ÿ™‚ Au meantime made me, my sisters and my Mom equally beautiful that day ๐Ÿ™‚

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Me and my simple airbrush make up courtesy of Au Mauricio ๐Ÿ™‚

8. Flowers: Seaworld Flower Shopย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Contact: Joseph 0928-24111755

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Joseph was one of our best finds in Dangwa ๐Ÿ™‚ He did my brother’s flowers on his wedding day, and he did an equally excellent job with our flowers for our wedding day. He also gave us freebies like an extra bridal bouquet for throwing, petals and free bridal car flowers ๐Ÿ™‚

9. Taรฑong Choraleย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Contact: Gerry Olaguer 0915-2140647

If you’re looking for the perfect wedding performers and chorale, go book Marikina’s pride- Taรฑong Chorale ๐Ÿ™‚ There were only nine of them singing but their angelic voices reverberated throughout San Agustin. Kuya Gerry is very friendly and will suggest more beautiful and apt wedding songs too ๐Ÿ™‚

10. Wink Invitationโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Contact: http://www.wink.com.ph

Our wedding invite design was drawn by my sister Pampy. But we had it printed through Wink Invites, who also did a perfect job for our invites ๐Ÿ™‚ They made it look like an old paper too ๐Ÿ™‚

Cindy of Wink Invites was a very helpful and efficient account manager ๐Ÿ™‚

11. Wedding Rings: Marry Me bridal shopย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Location: Market, Market Taguig

We found the perfect wedding ring in this shop. Although we had to travel to Taguig to fit and get the rings, it was all worth it for our two-toned and affordable wedding rings ๐Ÿ™‚

12. DIY

Of course our wedding didn’t come without do-it-yourself stuff such as our place cards, goodie bags, table numbers, reception signages, banderitas, menu cards and thank you stickers ๐Ÿ™‚

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My husband painstakingly cut those wood and painted them to turn them into table numbers.

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We packed the goodies, my friend Gelas did the place cards glued to the goodie bags.

ImageHubby also did these signages marked as Eder at Lia ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Aside from these suppliers, we also have our friends Janeca, Thea and Gelas to thank for all the pre-wedding assistance they willingly gave us ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks girls for helping us out plan the details.

Also, Tita Nenette for our beautiful and yummy Pandan flavored wedding cake! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, Franny for the yummy red velvet and chocolate cupcakes given to the guests. We also wanna thank John Consulta for our bridal car and driving for us to the hotel ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you, Mariz Umali and Raffy Tima for being our wedding reception hosts.

My sister Eila and Pampy for the help and the love- Eila for reading during the mass and Pampy for doing our invites and offering during the ceremony.

My friend Kara David and Janeca for serving as readers too, my friend Des for being our lector.

Thank you to our strict but very funny priest Fr. Cesar Marin, SJ ๐Ÿ™‚ Also to our principal sponsors for all the help and the wonderful, wonderful presents! ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course, special thanks to my college barkada, my best friend Anafe, high school buds Nice, Gelas, Almira and my family (mommy especially) and del Castillo family for being so supportive throughout the preparations ๐Ÿ™‚

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Guests said, they loved our wedding for its simplicity and for being truly heartfelt. ๐Ÿ™‚ We had the best time of our life because we got married- and you were all there to witness it.

Thank you so much,

Mrs. Lia del Castillo

The Diva is now Mrs. Del Castillo ๐Ÿ™‚

To Whom It May Concern (for “mataray” people like me and those trying hard to project they’re nice)

The problem with being tagged as “mataray” is that you never seem to get out of it no matter how “good” you try to become.

Or maybe the real problem is- you try so hard to change the way people think of you, not realizing you know yourself better to even succumb to the pressure of change.

I’ve been tagged as such for as long as I can imagine. In fact, I’m yet to meet that one person who would tell me that his or her first impression of me is that I’m kind.

I don’t take pride in being regarded to as “mataray”. It’s not something you get used to and be proud about.

Truth is, it’s difficult to handle it sometimes.

Because there will come a day when you just want to be good, and people will always doubt if you’re being true. Because there will be times you wouldn’t have the energy, the will or the desire to fight back- and people will laugh and say you’re being “mataray” is nothing after all.

But what people don’t understand is that when you start tagging others as bad people- you box them in a way. When you close your mind to thinking that this person will never do you any good just because you heard he or she’s evil- you limit the opportunity to get to know that person.

It’s not really my loss when others refuse to know me beyond the kind of reputation others have been trying so hard to build for myself.

Because I think, that I build my own reputation.

I would admit that I really am “mataray,” but I’m not like that all the time. I wouldn’t deny that I have been bad- but I’m not bad everyday.
And I would say I am tough and brave and I can put you into shame if I wanted to, but there’s always a choice to rise above the pettiness of things.

I can always choose my battles.

When you start to age, it’s somehow imperative to age wiser. Otherwise, there’s no point in growing old if how you look at and how you do things don’t change overtime.
When I was younger, I wouldn’t mind picking a fight with the most famous girls in school. When I became a teenager, I’d spend all my energy dropping hurtful words to people I dislike. And as years went by, I moved on from being talkative when I’m mad- to being quiet and nonchalant.

I wouldn’t say that today, I have matured enough not to pick a fight. I can still choose to call you and hurt you with things I’ll say if I feel you’ve been acting weird and you needed someone frank enough to tell you that. I’m not really two-faced but I can be one if I wanted to.

The problem is, I have realized in life, being “mataray” or trying to be one is not the benchmark of being brave.

Sure we can shout at each other, wash our dirty linen in public. We can do all that, but at the end of it all can you truly say you were right, you were strong- and I was weak and I was wrong?

There’s always a right place and time to be bad- and you don’t learn that overnight.

It has never been my habit to go around telling people I’m good, because I know I’m not.
Well, who among us is entirely good anyway without a little evilness even in our minds?
But yes, I know of people who despite being obviously coward, can go around and say they are nice. Or make themselves appear they are one.

Well, the good thing about being tagged as “mataray,” is that you can be one without even trying. You don’t have to pretend you’re strong enough coz people already think of you as being that. On the other hand, you can also be weak and be made fun of, when others succeed to make you feel inferior at times. Only that in the end, despite being weak- you will always be known as the “mataray” one. You will, in the mind of others, always be the evil one.

Because the society we live in is so immature, that it does not forgive nor forget how they’ve come to know you. And they will refuse to think others may even be worse than you- just because they weren’t tagged negatively in any way.

My Mom told me as early as 2nd grade that I have to learn how to choose my battles. Simply put she said, “anak hindi mo kailangan patulan lahat.”

Coz truth is, while I’m known to be “mataray,” I don’t engage in public scandal. I never had the habit of putting people into shame. It’s not my thing to wash dirty linen in public. I can talk and write things like this for as much as I want- and you can only second guess if I was talking about you. Or if I was even talking about anything specific after all.

I guess what’s pitiful is not the fact that you learned something valuable and true from your mom and put it into action. It’s not pitiful to choose to do what is right.
It’s not pitiful to keep quiet rather than live the next days of your life defending yourself for being loud and well, cheap.

What is pitiful is to see the “good” ones try so hard to make you appear bad, just because they didn’t understand what you truly meant.
What is pitiful is to see the “good” ones try so hard to be an inch like you, to prove something to themselves. What is pitiful are not mothers who have children like me, but mothers who have children pretending to be good in front of them.

The world can say anything about me – and it’s always my choice to act accordingly.

And if it was my choice not to pick a fight with you,
it’s my way of being brave and good- at the right place and time. =)

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Being FAT

As of today, I am still eight (8) pounds overweight. I am having a HARD time losing weight. I’ve tried everything- gym, running, situps, fruit dinner, cutting down on rice, no rice.

I lost 7 pounds and gained it all back in a few weeks time.

What the heck is wrong? How do I really lose all this weight?

It would also seem that the more I try to stop myself from eating, the more I eat.

Maybe if I blogged about this and admitted it, I’d finally lose weight.

So okay here it is. Yes, I am FAT. I am overweight for my height. I do not have a 24-inch waistline, no abs to flaunt, have tons of dimple cellulites on my legs.

And I bet if I don’t lose weight by December, I’d be a bulging, blushing bride.

(Here’s crossing my fingers I finally get enough courage to REALLY, ACTUALLY lose weight.)

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Filtering Friends

At a certain point in our lives, we will have to filter the people we surround ourselves with. In short, we choose who we want to grow old with, and who we want gone forever.

It’s that innate power in each of us to choose what we think will be best for us in the long run, that we give in and surrender.

I remember the first time I realized I had that power. I messed it up and made choices I regretted later on.

But it comes with age- that you master the art of letting go. At a certain point in our lives, we will put up barriers and walls and we will move on. There will always come a time when people you thought you can trust will betray you- and you just have to let them go lest you run the risk of getting betrayed over and over again.

I could not count with my bare hands the number of people I’ve shut down. And on second thought, It’s not really about burning bridges- but about loving myself more than any of them, so as to think of what’s best for me than get the recognition of an unworthy few.

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