online retreat

I hope this isn’t too late.

Doing this last year was a very good experience for me hence I was so looking forward to this year’s online retreat.

Please click here to have your own experience of this year’s online retreat organized by the Philippine Jesuits community.

Click here for Day 1, Holy Thursday retreat.

Be touched. Be moved. Be changed.

Moms’ purse(s)

Mama’s and Okasan’s purse by Tita Linda, Tita Tess and Tita Beth of Linda Dee bridal. 😀

lightbulb moment

I don’t think I can ever survive a day without at least a minute of quality time with God. But if truth be told, I am not highly religious. Not religious in the sense that I am not a regular church-goer and there are a number of facts that I don’t know about in the Catholic dogma. 

Was able to attend a Palm Sunday mass this afternoon and it was with a surprise that I had moments of “oh! so this is how it is done during Palm Sundays”. I realized that the last Palm Sunday mass I attended was back in 2007 in Japan hence it was quite different with how we do it here in Philippines. I tried to remember when was the last time I attended a Philippine Palm Sunday mass. Even when I wanted to say my last was before my Singapore stint (because with that I can have a proper excuse), I am ashamed to admit that I think my last Pinoy Palm Sunday mass was back in University days, the latest of which was probably 2001.

But I am so thankful I was able to finally attend one this year. Thankful because I was deeply moved during the mass. I felt the strong yearning to unload in the altar my worries about Taal, about wanting to have a beautiful and joyful wedding for Atsushi, for my parents and family, for Atsushi’s parents and family, for our close friends. And suddenly, I felt joyful and peaceful. I can feel God smiling at me and blessing us even more and telling me to let go and not worry so much. Everything will turn out fine….

I will try to put work-OC Marj to sleep, at least for the next 2 weeks, albeit I probably need to remind myself about this every now and then. I have to let our suppliers be, with what they’re good at – they’re more experienced in this. I will just have to finish my tasks at hand which are mostly filling out all-important lists and also the napkin rings.

Believe that everything will turn out fine.

Yesterday, I was worried that I haven’t found yet the candles that was perfect for offertory even after scouring our neighborhood friendly malls (ATC and SM Southmall). But I walked in National bookstore earlier and lo and behold, the first thing I saw were just the thing I was looking for.

The angels look so joyful with their ribbons and trumpets.

I also have some idea already what to do with the matches. And I’ll be borrowing my parents’ Bible albeit it’s in Bisaya.

I also found the perfect missing piece to our principal sponsors’ giveaways, at a very affordable price.

Had rehearsals with Edna and Rodel (MPO) for Edna’s parts on the wedding. The very moment I heard Rodel hit the note in his keyboard, a smile lit up my face – good music really lifts up moods. Rodel was pretty impressed with Edna’s voice. But of course. Edna’s voice was just beautiful…

2 weeks countdown

Have to write everything down, to organize my thoughts and plan the next course. And since i’m writing, might as well post it in our wedsite. 😉

  • misalette sent to the printers to revise the coversheet. Will feature that supplier later when I have time, she’s  worth a post. Thanks to Leah for referring her. I had to revise some parts though since we wouldn’t be singing some of the responses. If not for Dhonna’s help, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the misalette. The template I referred to before doesn’t have the responses since they were all sang.
  • booked our accommodation for when Atsushi arrives here in Manila. We were prepared to pay the published rate but still I asked if they have discounts for long stays, just in case. The reply: none. But when they did email me to advise the bank details for money transfer, they gave us 1400php discount per night. Swell. 🙂
  • thankful to Jeckoy and Jonathan for obliging us on our request, even at the last minute. We owe you guys! 🙂
  • will meet up with Mang Rey Casedo tomorrow for the remaining three barongs
  • will meet up with MPO on sunday with Edna for rehearsals. Oh, I still have to look for directions how to get to MPO’s office
  • have to buy matches (and try to prettify them as much I can) and candles for the offertory. The matches I only remembered just this evening.
  • was able to send to Jason our SDE/cinematic highlights song preferences albeit Jason might not be able to see it since he’s on a vacation now in the US.
  • still no accessory. This one is proving to be quite difficult to find. I’ve searched his and los already for the one that i would love at first sight. Oh, well, I actually found the perfect one yesterday but it’s leaning towards the expensive side already. 
  • still no “something borrowed, something old”
  • lovely, lovely, lovely gown. thanks to Richie. Guests will surely not be bored looking at our back 🙂
  • transpo matrix still under clarification. emails emails.
  • wedding datasheet still under preps
  • napkin flowers still in the cellophane waiting to be picked
  • program still to be updated
  • El Nido trip already finalized. Goodness they do ask for a lot of documentations!
  • booked Antonio’s for dinner-with-parents (yet to wait for their confirmation)
  • browse through more pictures and have it developed
  • chase after IPL machine (this would have been a good blog had I more time)
  • pack the rest of my things here in the apartment before the next week ends
  • rsvp guests. emails emails, text text
  • guest list and seating arrangement
  • look for that TD for the principal sponsors gifts
  • write my vows and memorize
  • memorize the last two lines of our song – it’s hard believe me. i’ve been trying for the last 2 weeks already
  • still more sessions with dentist…the last two sessions each took half of my day. I assume the other 2 or 3 would be the same.

So, okay, anybody want to lend me an extra arm and leg? 😀

emotionally touched

Was browsing Youtube for the links of our song picks for our SDE and cinematic highlights when I decided to browse the video for the Flash Mob wedding I chanced upon months ago.

Wasn’t prepared with the intense emotions that washed over me. Well, probably my getting emotional has got a lot to do with friends (even part of the entourage) cancelling in the last minute due to unavoidable circumstances and also with friends who are very kind enough to fill in even at late notice; but the moment I saw the groom tenderly kiss the bride BEFORE they walked their makeshift aisle in this flash mob wedding, there was just no stopping the tears.

This flash mob wedding was so amazing in that they would never have pulled it off without the help of their friends and family. This is so true with every weddings.

But then the most remarkable in this wedding is that even when it was really just a VERY short wedding, the love between the groom and bride was most evident, and I think that part touched me the most. See how the groom tried to warm up his bride’s arm – everybody were wearing their coats whilst the bride has to wear a tube (her dress is lovely by the way).

And of course it comes in threes. What I loved as well in this flash mob wedding are the rabbi’s words that rings with wisdom.

Who can then blame me for being emotional? 🙂

And oh! All weddings should come with good music. Albeit short, the flash wedding has got good singers. Love it.


It’s 2:20am yet I can’t sleep. Lying in bed and wide awake, I browsed Brides website instead, using my phone and chanced upon Monique Luillhier’s Bridal gown Spring 2012 collection. A lot of the gowns are of tulle material. Making me more giddy and excited to see my gown tomorrow. Yihiii! I may also be able to see Hubby’s barong. Yosh! 🙂

17 days

My second day here in Manila and it’s already getting hectic. My day was full, what with 4 hours in the dentist’s and then meeting up Mang Rey Casedo.

Yey 1: i’ve no braces anymore! We still have some post ortho processes though. Am not sure if there were any changes but Kat said there were and that my dentist did a good job so i’ll take her word for it. Because yes, I’ve probably forgotten already how my teeth looked before.

Yey 2: we have our entourage barongs already! They were quite heavy to carry though. Glad with the detail that Mang Rey did to highlight the fathers. Otosan’s and Papa’s barongs have additional embroideries on the neck and cuffs.

Yey 3: will be meeting up with our emcee tomorrow. We won’t be having Issa Litton anymore however. She will be shooting her new show and the first shooting incidentally falls on April 30. 🙂 We’ll have Ingrid Nieto, Mellow947’s Afternoon Cruise DJ. I hope we’ll click. Let’s see tomorrow.

Yey 4: 4th fitting with Richie is moved to Thursday instead of tomorrow. Why yey? Because then it will be after my other 4:30 appointment tomorrow, not before. 😀

Yey 5: Finally finished the Reception Program draft!

Yey 6: Patched it up with MPO. yey!

Yey 7: Saw a teaser of our spring pre-nup by Gali Montalbo. lovely!

I’m fully booked till Thursday. The next three weeks is definitely gonna be pretty exciting. I so look forward to Hubby’s arrival so he can also share my excitement in person.

rustic-travel themed invites

♫…brown paper packages tied up with strings,these are a few of my favorite things…♫

Yep, our invites indeed are one of my favorite things (among many others in our wedding details). Ever since I saw a passport invite months before we decided to get married, I was bent on having our invites passport-style. But when I actually got started with the wedding preparation, I learned that a LOT of couples already adopted this idea. We’d only be one in hundreds. How to make our invites a bit different from the others?

Lene certainly had more ideas in mind. In her words, “who said we’re just sticking to passports?” I-just-love-her. See, what she had in mind were for us to have:

  • main passport invites, with the front and back cover text and logo gold embossed
  • a postcard for the RSVPs and dress code
  • a train ticket for our gifts preference (we’ll be based in Japan whilst the wedding is in the Philippines hence we had to specifically request our guests to not to follow Filipino tradition on gift giving – which is actually buying house items for the couple)
  • a hotel stationery wherein a
  • location map is attached

Lene also tossed the idea of wrapping our invites with brown craft paper for the rustic touch and Erika (Detalye) tossed the idea of sealing it with  logo sticker.

I love each and every part of our invites because of the detail in each. Take for one our train pass. Our inspiration was from Yokohama’s old subway train pass (nowadays, it has the pink PASMO mascot in the background). 

It has some orange logo in the background. And you know what Lene did?

I was beside her when she was doing this bit. We were just talking about some normal topic, totally non-invites related and then wham, she reduced our logo into minis and had it as background for our train ticket. Imagine my giddiness when I realized what she was doing. Lene is just simply awesome, isn’t she? 🙂

To complete our invites, we wrapped it in laminated craft paper and tied it up with a string. Erika’s team (Detalye) was kind enough to buy the strings for me in Divisoria. For somebody who gets sick e-v-e-r-y-t-i-m-e she goes to Divisoria, this favor is really something. Dust and aerosols and any minute particles really doesn’t sit well with my nose (that includes tatami and the dust and mites housed in the tatami which means I shouldn’t stay a lot in out tatami room 😦  Or better yet, clean the tatami room thoroughly hehe.)

There was one hitch though that really got me pressured. I can’t ask the printer to set up our invites for me because if they fold the paper and tie it up already, I would have to untie it and unfold it again so as to write the RSVPs and addressees. This could result to a much-wrinkled wrap. Shoganai ne, I have to do the wrapping myself. And for one who has untrained hands, this really put a lot of pressure on me.

But nothing is too strong for prayer and determination. True, before I started folding and tying, I had to pray for it. And I had to say this is for Atsushi and our loved ones.  Suffice it to say that each invite was a labor of love. 🙂  And they turned out not so bad after all.

Requested my ex-colleague/friend Russell Olaguer to take some shots of our photos. They turned out really nice, as expected! Together with Douglas Cataylo, Russell also covered our first prenup. I am so excited for our 2nd prenup tomorrow or sunday, granting good weather conditions with Russell and Gali Montalbo!

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Ugh, I can’t delete the first two pics about the train pass in this slideshow. Anyways the map was in full lime green print (not in the pictures, it was the one folded in the hotel stationery), giving balanced exposure of both our wedding colors. Sorry, I had to mosaic the names though, for privacy purposes.

Oh, by the way, do visit Lene’s FB page for her miniatures and be amazed more with her talent.  Please do visit as well Lene’s portfolio. We are thankful as well to Crowne Print through Erika (Detalye) for their very good output/prints of our invite. Really nice work. 🙂

bouquet/garter games, anyone?

I have mixed feelings with the traditional bouquet and garter games. When I was still single, I always grunted whenever this part of the reception is around. I try to wriggle myself out of it, if I can. It’s like, “MUST I be here??”. But then come the games, I find myself enjoying it.

There were also times when the couple modified this part and asked married couples to join in on the game instead of singles. It’s fun to have this, for a change, and it’s fun to see married couples enjoying the game. But then some part of me was thinking, “ah, I wonder who would have been the couple if it were singles in this game”.

There were also times when the games were obviously scripted. That there was some pre-arranged couple who should emerge as winners. This one is nice especially when the couple is really game with it and that their being the winners would help the party be more lively (e.g. they’re the crowd’s favorite and that everyone wants them to be together as a couple or want them to get hitched already). But then again, it would be nice also to have some element of surprise; to let good ol’ fate to decide who should have the bouquet and the garter.

See? Mixed feelings. What’s your thoughts?

corporate greetings and some progress

Hubby advised me last week that we will be receiving a card from his company (our mother cum affiliate company in my previous workplace – gosh i miss work) yesterday. Indeed, I woke up just in time to answer the postman’s doorbell ring. Had to wait for Hubby till I can open it though because it’s supposedly a congratulatory card for our wedding.

My name was nowhere in it though. 😛

Isn’t it just a bit weird? This is supposedly a wedding card, and they even supposedly send this to the actual wedding date but since our wedding is in the Philippines, Hubby advised to have it sent home. But where’s my name??

Anyways, it’s the thought that counts. And the CEO of the company himself is the signatory (although it probably was processed and done by HR). We’re thankful as it is that their company has this kind of thoughtfulness. My previous company doesn’t practice this stuff, although we do receive some “amount” as congratulatory token.

Although I really am not bothered that my name isn’t in the card, I playfully hounded Hubby about it. To make me feel “better” we ate the Godiva chocolates that he gave me for my birthday. But actually, it’s our dessert for the night. It’s been aeons since we saw a yogurt in the supermarkets. Lack or nada yogurt supply is one of the mundane effect of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake.

Isn’t Hubby just sweet? 😀

Godiva chocolates is really good. Even if you eat the whole bunch in one sitting, your throat won’t hurt at all, even for me who’s prone with tonsilitis. It’s one of those once you pop, you can’t stop – and this coming from somebody who really is not too keen on eating chocolates.

As oh, there’s been considerable progress lately, thankfully:

  • misalette draft already approved by officiating priest, with all readings the one we preferred. yey! Answered prayer. 🙂 thanks as well to Ivy of Lipa Chancery and to Erika (Detalye) for talking it out with Fr. Dong
  • already purchased our gifts for the principal sponsors. We were so happy that we can customize the labels – for free!! Japanese customer service is just simply awesome. I’m excited with our labels as well. 🙂
  • our unity coins were also already delivered. Thanks to Kat for receiving them. And since i’m w@w tag holder, i got a discount.

Hope there’ll be more considerable progress soon.

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