Danzakura. This lane would have been a very lovely walk during sakura season. We were two weeks late!


Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine from the edge of Danzakura.


Manno Koen

The whole park, illumined. Sugoi. Took 500,000 lights. Sugoi.


Irish doll

After nine months, I’ve a new addition to my collection. A porcelain Irish doll! 🙂 and it’s a gift/omiyage this time; from a good friend who went for vacation to Ireland recently.


Freckled green-eyed redhead maiden.


Thank you Maha! 🙂


Where we are at now, while my family is watching The Avengers (we already watched the movie while still in Manila).


A year ago, I’ve converted Hubs into liking massage and facial. I wonder if he’ll be a feet care convert as well. 😀


reminiscing Czech and Vienna

It’s the season for photo ops again hence its just but time to finally free up my SD cards and organize the photos we had during our trips ever since September. Was reminded again of how many blog-worthy photos I haven’t posted yet, especially during our trip  in Czech Republic and Vienna and during our New Year celebrations in Takamatsu. Of course we weren’t able to browse everything. Yet there were tons that I could easily identify as favorite photos. Among of which (all unedited and taken using our ever dependable Canon G12)….

Me, walking along Kärntner Strasse, Vienna. Pardon, I just love back shots. 😀 😀

Me, so color-coordinated, atop a castle tower in UNESCO World Heritage Český Krumlov. Kakulay ko ang mga bubong! (My attire is of the same color as the roof!)

Goodness, how thin was I six months ago!

This is one of my fave Atsushi photos (among so many!). Taken in front of the Statue of Maria Theresia in front of Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History).

I so hope I can post more blogs about that trip!

simple joys

Three notes to start this post:

1. We are really thankful to the people who lend us some of their time and read our posts. And even comment at that! Your visits makes blogging even more worthwhile. Thank you.

2. Among the many reasons a bride has in researching for her wedding details till her back breaks is so that her wedding will be unique, one of a kind, exceptional. Trust that a bride is truly exceptionally happy when she’s able to achieve this.

3. Recognition. To be recognised that the bride has achieved number two above is even sweeter than merely achieving it.

For some this may be mundane. But for us, it’s one simple joy to be thankful for. 🙂 It may change from day to day (this was last night). But at least, on some particular days, we made a mark.

Type in “travel themed wedding” in Google. This particular theme is almost worn out already these days. Hence for us to be on Google’s top six searches is a thing to be happy about.

Out of wanting to be deviant, we added a spice to our travel-theme and infused some rustic tone. Key in “rustic wedding theme” and voila!

And for obvious reasons, we’re happiest with this one. The fusion, Rustic travel themed wedding.

First. Thank you! 🙂


El Nido’s Lagen Island

Atsushi and I have no plans of having our honeymoon right after the wedding. We both agreed to settle a bit first after all the wedding excitement and wait for a few months before planning on a honeymoon. But then considering we have a couple days free after our families fly back to the hometowns, hubby asked me if we can go someplace in the Philippines at that time. (Yes, we didn’t realize we were on for a more hectic schedule).

Anyways, when hubby asked me about the trip, luckily, DealGrocer was offering a 50% off promo for a 3D/2N stay at El Nido’s Lagen Resort that fell just right smack into our schedule. So yes, naturally, given how this is a once in a lifetime discount knowing how famous El Nido is, we made a go for it.

Downside though is that I made my booking only 3 weeks before our wedding hence our attention was focused on the wedding and ergo we absolutely were not prepared for the El Nido trip. Proof of how we didn’t have the time to look forward to the trip:

  • When I was preparing to go back to Manila for the wedding, I made sure I didn’t leave behind in Japan anything that is essential for the wedding. However I forgot to bring my swimsuits. Not even one. So even with the crazy schedule we had a week before the wedding, we still had to squeeze in some time to shop for my swimsuit when we got back to Manila
  • We didn’t have underwater camera with us. Not even just a waterproof one. We even had to borrow Otosan’s camera because Atsushi’s camera fell in the water during our Boracay trip last December
  • El Nido resort is by far one of the most stringent resorts i’ve ever been to; almost tantamount to going out of the country considering the documents I need to fill out and IDs I need to scan and send to them. Considering I didn’t have a printer and scanner in Manila and hence had to go to the internet shop, there were times that I’m almost exasperated with El Nido and was muttering under my breath in near frustration “this place better be good!!!”

Our flight to El Nido was just hours after Atsushi’s family’s flight back to Japan hence we barely had enough time to rest. Still though, the experience was one unforgettable one.

Chartered plane, anyone? They have three flights to-fro El Nido everyday. One does feel like a celebrity riding these chartered planes what with the red carpet provided when embarking and disembarking the aircraft.

El Nido flights share the same hangar as the Amanpulo ones although each have their own lounges, of course.

Both Lagen and Miniloc Island guests share the same El Nido flight hence guests are given stickers for ID.

Eighteen-seater chartered plane.

So yes, given the capacity and built of the plane, I think nobody would blame us if we hold on all the more with each other. Yihii. 😀

One thing really convenient with our El Nido trip is that after checking in your bags before boarding the plane, the next time you’d see them is in your room already. Hence, the bag tags. It was just so convenient not having to cart your heavy bag along as you ride the boat transfer.

On board the yacht, on our way to Lagen Island. Yep, this is not Titanic.

The pictures doesn’t do justice on the place. But trust that I was squealing with delight the moment we caught sight of the place. It-was-just-so-beautiful.

First day was more on exploring the island by snorkeling, trekking and kayaking. Second day was island hopping and more snorkeling and kayaking. The underwater life is by far the most interesting I’ve seen so far, even after Bohol and Coron.

The snorkel, fins and lifejacket are provided by the resort. What I loved with how they do it though is that you just need to select once. Before having your first activity, they will help you select the right size of gear for you (my first with the fins!), put it on a plastic box and they will carry it for you, even during island hopping. So if you’ll be staying in the island for a week, you don’t have to go and borrow gears in every activity you’ll be having. You’ll be using the same gear for the whole week! Well, unless you want to change it for something else. Anyways, totally convenient. Plus you don’t have to cart wet gear inside your room – they’ll keep it safe for you, till your next activity the following day. Swell.

We were blessed with a very beautiful sunset on our first day in the island. This by far is one of the most beautiful sunset i’ve ever witnessed. It’s so beautiful you can almost taste its sweetness on your tongue. This is fully unedited, mind you, save for the text.

If the weather permits, dinner is by the pool, under the stars, with romantic lighting, complete with a serenade by the island’s crooner, afterwhich there’ll be some program showcasing traditional Filipino dances. Atsushi even tried Tinikling; he wasn’t able to try back in Boracay. After a few hops, says he, once is enough. haha.

If there’s one thing I was reminded of during our El Nido trip is that people are intrinsically good. As I said, Hubby and I weren’t able to bring waterproof cameras. On our second day, there were intermittent showers and we had to get off the boat to kayak to the lagoons. Hence we had to leave behind the camera we borrowed from Otosan. The Small and Big Lagoons were just so beautiful and romantic in that when we were inside the confines of the small lagoon, Hubby and I were really having some misgivings on not being able to bring waterproof camera. Thankfully though, another couple offered to take our pictures and send it later to us, by email. Thankful. So now, we have some mementos of that enchanting Small Lagoon thanks to kindhearted strangers.

Three words to describe our trip to El Nido: opulence, convenience, luxury. And yes, good food!

One thing though. The place looks a lot like Halong Bay. And Halong Bay is considered a UNESCO World Heritage. We hope though El Nido would also be tagged as one.


The next time you go out to the beach and you see garbage, please try help in making our beaches clean by picking up garbage. A small effort can go a long way.

travel-themed matches

As I’ve promised in my previous post, here’s our matches for lighting our candles. I so love this delightful surprise that Erika (of Detalye) had for us. 😀 Look, it has our logo and our wedding date! 😀 Daisuki!

Raw photo courtesy of Dino Lara. (Didn’t edit anything aside from adding text for our wedsite).

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. 🙂

Davao-Manila VV, booked!

Thanks to Cebu Pacific, I was finally able to book my family at a price that was less than what Hubbie and I paid for our Davao-Boracay-Manila flights last December.

Phase 1: I had to wait for when Cebu Pacific announces their seat sales covering the dates around our wedding date. Jan 17, they announced Php888 per person per flight for flights from Mar 1 to April 30.

Total cost: 13,176 php for 11 adults, 1 kid (same price as adult) and 1 infant. Sugoi ne?

I had to book my family with only a one-way flight to Manila though. Risky yes. So in tenterhooks, I waited for when they will announce the next seat sale.

Phase 2: Yey! My worries were allayed. Cebu Pacific offered the same Php888 sale for Davao-Manila vv flights for travels from Mar 1 to May 30! This one was a bit of a headache though. The flights got sold out faster than in the first phase that I had to book my family in two batches!! Total booking time was 3 and half hours!! First batch flies to Davao at 7:30AM, second one flies at 7:30PM.

Total cost: 12,974.72 php for 11 adults, 1 kid (same price as adult) and 1 infant. Apparently, booking them in two batches saved me a couple of hundred pesos haha.

Booking was a challenge!!! But i’m thankful for this blessing as this is one major to-do off my list. Time for sleep! Time check: 1:47AM.

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