Dino Lara and Jason Magbanua

Took a day off yesterday so as to meet Dino Lara in person and to visit Jason Magbanua’s office.

Dino was real nice. And sincere. He got me emotional and teary-eyed as he relayed to me his suggestion on my dilemma of a possible evening wedding in Caleruega. I wanted for me and Atsushi to have shots with the Caleruega landscape with the sunset. However, since our slot in Caleruega is at 6pm, that would mean me and hubby will have to meet before the ceremony. Dino said that usually, he would encourage for the couple not to meet before the wedding; he says there’s this unforgettable moment when the church door opens and the groom sees the bride for the first time. That got me teary-eyed, the way he said it. So then that would mean I will not have my sunset. But he suggested that we can still capture that “unforgettable moment” during our photo-shoot by adding some drama. He described how it would be done and again, he got me teary-eyed because with the way he said it, I can picture the moment and well, I get emotional. haha! I paid half of the downpayment then and tomorrow the other half.

By the way, here is an amazing interview with Dino Lara! http://www.interviewsbycrashtaylor.com/2009/02/02/crash-taylor-interviews-dino-lara/

As for Jason, too bad Jason was in Iloilo at the time of my visit hence I wasn’t able to meet him. I hope though we’ll have a chance to meet before the wedding day. At his office, I watched samples of his cinematic highlights (approx. 20 min video of the entire event which comes as a package together with the onside video) and the more I watched, the more excited I got as I imagined how it would be on our wedding. =D

Anyways today, I deposited my downpayment to Jason Magbanua. So there. Yey!! Got our choice videographer and photographer!

Dino Lara Photography – dinolaraphotography@gmail.com; +632.8834408 (landline), +63920.9125069 (mobile)

Jason Magbanua Wedding Videographer – jmdvinfo@gmail.com; +632.8171989 (landline), +63928.4704145 (mobile)

April 30, 2011

Last September 12, Hubby (yey hubby already and not just H2B!) and I finally decided to have April 30 next year as THE date for our Church wedding.

When we made our visit to Hubby’s hometown last weekend, the date has finally been set; parents already informed.

Time now to make inquiries with the suppliers. First off, the Church and Reception venue. Then Videographer, Photographer etc etc etc….exciting!!


Coincidentally, April 30 also marks a very important and special date for us hence it is just but apt to have this as our wedding date. ^_^

Civilly married!

Finally, after some ups and starts, Atsushi and I are civilly married already! 

To get officially married, we had to submit the following to Minami Ward (the Ward office closest to where Atsushi is staying now – Nakazato Dormitory):

  1. Atsushi’s Koseki Tohon
  2. my CNO
  3. my Birth Certificate
  4. photocopies of the pages of my passport
  5. application form which includes hanko and details of our two witnesses who should be 20 years old and above. We had Inoue-san and Tomoko-san, both of which are Atsushi’s batchmates, as our witnesses.

I look forward to our Church wedding; a wedding that would be very special.

We also had a couple of achievements yesterday:

1. got our CNO from the Philippine embassy which of course  is one of the requirements for our civil marriage.

2. we finally selected, ordered and paid for our wedding rings!!! Oh how lovely were they! Too bad I wasn’t able to take a picture of them as I ran out of cp batteries already. Both Atsushi’s and my ring are platinum with mine encrusted with five diamonds. Can’t wait till we pick them up come January 18, 2011!!

Count thy blessings yes. And I thank you Lord. And oh yes, I hope to post soon my great experience with Atsushi’s family last weekend.


Applied for our Certificate of No Objection (CNO) at the Philippine Embassy today (Sept 14), yey! It was quite chaotic in the area, what with all the crowd at such a small space and with all the screaming and crying children but we got all our requirements done right:

  1. Atsushi’s Koseki Tohon
  2. Atsushi’s Juminhyo
  3. Marjorie’ s Birth Certificate (DFA authenticated)
  4. Marjorie’s CENOMAR which indicated “Marriage” as the purpose (DFA authenticated)
  5. photocopies of the above (thankfully there’s a photocopying machine in the area)
  6. 2 copies each of passport sized picture.

Our CNO will be released on Sept 21 (5 days after), afterwich we can then go to the ward office to register our marriage civilly.

CNO Basic Fee : US$25
Affidavit of Civil Status : US$25
English Translation(of Koseki Tohon or Juri Shomeisho x 2): US$50
TOTAL  : US$100

After the Philippine Embassy chaos, we relaxed a bit in Starbucks Roponggi and at 5pm, headed to Funabashi to meet with Maha and incidentally, Kawauchi-san (who just arrived yesterday with his family from the United States after staying there for almost three years). We had such a great dinner with them! =)

at Starbucks near Roponggi station


Our first two days together here in Japan were quite hectic. But a fruitful one at that, though.

We finally found the perfect apartment for us, at the moment. Situated in Gumyoji, with a nearby convenience store and a neighbor park with a swing. We’ll have a library room, our bedroom, a Japanese-themed living room and a kitchen and dining room which are separated with a counter.

Charming, that’s the word I can describe for our new house. =)

Will hope to post pictures real soon.

Japan Visa

The moment I received the agent’s text, telling me my passport is ready for pickup and that I was granted a 30-day tourist visa, my mind was echoing “yey!!” over and over again. I was in the bus at that time so of course I can’t scream my happiness so I just emailed H2B Atsushi about the good news and informed Kat & Rey that I need to go pick up my passport hence we need to change our meeting venue (we planned to watch Despicable Me which was really funny!). Aside from “yey” though, “thank you” was also prevalent in my mind and I so sent my thanks to the heavens above.

It seemed like a pretty long three weeks for us. Atsushi and I are quite new with processing government documents, and with no assistance (immigration lawyer and the like) we solely relied on the internet for guidance. Also, it was the first time for Reli Tours Southmall (the agency who assisted us in our application – all Japan visa applications, except for those government related ones, are now coursed through select agencies) to handle an application for tourist visa for the purpose of marriage. Hence, when we submitted our papers, we just based it on what was posted on the Embassy website and based on Reli Tour’s checklist which includes the following:

  1. Passport (of course! haha)
  2. Birth Certificate (for this I am exempted already because I have used Japan visas)
  3. Itinerary of Japan visit (for this, since purpose is marriage, our marriage itinerary should be indicated)
  4. Documents to prove relationship with the guarantor (this includes our photos, emails)
  5. Invitation letter from Atsushi
  6. my bank certificate 
  7. my Income Tax Return
  8. Atsushi’s Residence Certificate Juminhyo
  9. Guarantee letter by Atsushi
  10. Atsushi’s Income Certificate (Shotoku Shomeisho), Tax Return Certificate (Nouzei Shomeisho) KAKUTEISHINKOKUSHO HIKAE or Bank Certificate (YOKIN ZANDAKA SHOMEISHO).

Of course, prior to application, I had to inquire in the embassy if it was legal to use tourist visa for the purpose of getting married. We received a positive reply that it was indeed legal – a happy thing.

After submitting to the Embassy though, the Embassy required for additional documents which included:

11. my CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage or Certificate of Singleness)

12. Atsushi’s Koseki Tohon (Family Register)

13. Further proof of our relationship (I printed more emails, hotel vouchers in Vietnam, flight itineraries, more pictures. I even printed out our Skype conversations)

14. Invitation letter from Atsushi’s dad including his Certificate of Seal (Inkan Shomei)

15. a letter recounting our love story which had to include when, where and how Atsushi and I met; our love story from the time we met up to now; when, where and time of proposal.

16. a copy of Atsushi’s passport including pages showing his departure and arrival stamp here in Philippines (as additional document, we showed the stamps in Vietnam as well).

Obtaining the documents required a lot of effort and time. Plus, Atsushi has to send the documents to me from Japan. There was also a time when we had to wait for the documents from Oto-san to arrive. Hence, waiting was quite a challenge. But truly, seeing my sakura-themed visa and thinking of imminent reunion with Atsushi, all the work and effort are all worth it.

This is just the first step as we still have a number of steps to comply before being legible to a spouse visa. But, one step at a time, and with prayers and God’s grace, we can make it through.

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