Friday, December 17, 2004

I'm on leave for a month!!!

I'm on leave for a month! Yey! I am so excited.


I've been in a flurry of activities these past few days.


We had our office Christmas party last Monday. And as we usually do, we all came in costume. This year's theme was Cartoon Universe. I so wanted an excuse to wear my knee-high boots that I searched for a cartoon character that wore knee-high boots - my search led me to Sailor Moon. But since there was no glamor in being Sailor Moon (she had curly blonde hair and wore a sailor outfit in red, white and blue) I decided to dress up as Sailor Pluto. Sailor Pluto had long dark hair, wore knee high boots, a black mini-skirt and a white top with a black sailor collar. She was the perfect cartoon character for me! Since I didn't want to spend so much money, I just used my black skirt and pinned on a black cloth on my sleeveless white blouse. My officemates didn't recognize my blouse - they thought that I bought a sailor outfit. Wagi ang DIY costume!!!


Tuesday was my last day of work so I tried to finish all my pending work. New work came in the afternoon but I managed to leave the office in time for Sophie's birthday dinner at Big Buddha. (Sophie is my cute little niece who just turned 4.) On that same evening, I was able to get some of our CD souvenirs from Dio. Dio did a good jobe making the CD sleeves!


Rey and I were supposed to have another set of pre-nuptial pictures taken at the W@W Christmas party. However, I was having a bad cough so Rey and my Papa ganged up on me and demanded that I go to the doctor. Unfortunately, we missed the doctor's clinic hours so we just decided to pass by Daneche for Rey's first fitting of his barong. The first time that I saw him in his barong, I knew that there was something wrong - the barong was too long that it made him look short. It also had embroidery on the sleeves that were a bit distracting. When I asked the sewer why the barong was too long, they explained that if they cut it short, the embroidery at the back would be ruined. It was then that I realized that the barong had embroidery at the back. Not being a fan of embroidery, I was horrified! I also felt so guilty because when Rey mentioned to me that the embroidery on the cloth for his barong was too big for his taste (upon Rey's request, his mom was the one who looked for and bought the cloth), I told him that his mom probably picked the cloth with the bigger embroidery to match Rey's huge shoulders. I didn't tell Rey anything as I noticed that he wasn't too pleased with his barong either. When we got out of the shop, Rey uttered what would be the most unforgettable line in our wedding preps - "I DIDN'T SPEND SO MUCH MONEY TO LOOK LIKE A GOD-DAMNED SMURF!!!"

I found the line hlarious but since Rey was so upset, I didn't laugh. I also volunteered to bring him to Kamuning market so we can get a new cloth for him. We did go to Kamuning market and we were able to buy 3 barong fabrics. Rey didn't like the color of pina (he said that it made him look darker) so we got the pina jusi fabric (which, as the salesladies explained, is really dyed jusi.) After Kamuning market, we decided to have dinner at Chili's. Since Njork was on the same street, we decided to check on my reception gown first. To our surprise, Rey's mom and Panjee were there to fit their gowns!

While I was fitting my gown, I can hear Rey and his mom's heated discussion over Rey's barong - Rey's lines were so funny! When his mom said that he'd look pathetic if he wore a pina jusi barong while his guests are in pina, Rey said that he'd prefer to look pathetic than ugly. He argued that if he wore pina to the wedding, he'd look so dark that people would mistake him for my shadow. And when Rey's mom told him that it would be such a waste not to wear the barong since the fabric was very expensive (it was first class pina) Rey said that even if it was expensive, it still made him look like a mushroom.

The coward that I am didn't leave the fitting room until they finished their discussion.

After my fitting, Rey and I had dinner at Chili's. He was in a better mood and we got to laugh over his barong situation. I also got to call him Papa Smurf the whole evening. I dropped him off near his place on my way to the W@W Party so he can continue his discussions with his mom.

I arrived at Gazebo Royale at around 7:30. The place was beautiful! The driveway was well lit and the area was filled with healthy looking plants. The party area was a covered garden that was adorned with hundreds of Christmas lights and capiz bird lamps.

I sat with Clarise (the big winner for the night! She won pearl earrings), Bernard, Eileen and Matthew. We had lots of fun discussing our weddings and gossipping about wedding suppliers. Since I've already eaten dinner, I tasted the desserts from Aufrance and Hizon's. The buko pandan of Aufrance tasted ok - it wasn't too sweet and it didn't have the plastic balloon taste that I hated in some servings of buko pandan. On the other hand, Hizon's chocolate fondue looked really tempting! They had my favorite fondue partners, bananas and mangoes, but they also served watermelon, melon and pineapple. These latter fruits taste good by themselves but I really don't think that these fruits should be dipped in chocolate. I got some bananas, mangoes and chocolate fondue. I didn't like the chocolate that they used for the fondue.

After having dessert, I went around to chat with my college friend, Carol, who was also a w@wie. She brought with her the pictures that Eddieboy Escudero took of their wedding. The pictures were awesome! I also got to chat with Jen, Millet, Millet (nope, this is not a typo), Joanna of Rey (who won a gown from Galatea!), Kelly ni Gats, Leslie ni Jason and Abie ni Howell.

I was also pleased to see our suppliers - Ronald and Tisha of Balay Kandila, Jason Magbanua and Eddieboy Escudero! I managed to give Jason and Eddieboy final instructions for our wedding.

When the program ended, I was able to say hello to Dee and Dennis.

It was such a fun party!!!


On Thursday, I met with Grace G and Patrick so I can get the Sissel CD which Grace bought in the US for me. The CD has Pie Jesu, the song that Rey and I wanted for the bridal march. Charlotte Church ang Sarah Brightman had their own versions but we loved that of Sissel. We shared stories over lunch at Bizu.

Right after my lunch with Grace, I rushed to the office to make my memo of pending work. I also made arrangements with our cashiering department so then can our full payment to Santiburi's account in Thailand. (I really love our office! For Honhon and Salve to send the money to Santiburi, they first had to buy dollars, deposit it in an account and apply for a wiretransfer. The could have chosen to purchase dollars from the bank but they made arrangements so they can get dollars at better rates. We also thought that the bank charges would cost less than a hundred bucks but even if it turned out to be more than P500, they just paid for it first and said that they'll just reimburse the money from me when I get back to work. Isn't that nice?)

At around 5, I went to Nice's office to get my gift certificates for diamond peels at the Blue Mountain Spa. After a brief chat with Nice, I headed to the Mandarin to pay for our reception in full. I was supposed to pay in cash but our AE suggested that I pay by credit card - they didn't charge extra and I get to earn points on my card. I was able to meet with my AE, Kate. She really is so efficient and easy to deal with.

From Mandarin, I went to Njork to fit the gown that I'll be wearing for a friend's wedding. The gown looked so nice!!!

I was so tired that I just wanted to go home and sleep but I promised my officemates that I would meet them at Footzone in Greenhills for my not-so-surprise bridal shower. I never regretted going to Footzone as they treated me to a relaxing foot reflexology with full body massage. Since we didn't have to take of our clothes for the massage, we all stayed in 1 room. We were so relaxed with the foot reflexology and the massage! We also had lots of laughs when I opened their shower gifts.It was a fitting end for a tiring day.


I was supposed to have a relaxing Friday since I would be singing in Clarise's wedding on Saturday. But my sister, Cecile and I decided to have our Diamond Peel. Unfortunately, the traffic was so bad that we didn't have any choice but to cancel or appointment. We just entertained ourselves by eating at Taco Bell and checking out the shops at the Gateway mall.

After our shopping trip, I left Cecile at home so she can play wth our new niece, Sam. I had a foot spa, manicure and pedicure at our neighborhood parlor. From there, Rey picked me up and we went to meet with his former boss, Party-list representative Kim Bernardo-Lokin and his other former officemates. We had fun exchanging stories. We also got to taste the wine that we're planning to serve during our cocktails - Chez Samantha. Everybody liked its light and fruity flavor. Yey!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

More Showers!

I love the Christmas season. Everyone seems happier, I have a real excuse to shop and we have a good reason to party!!!


Last Friday (10 December), my friends and I had a little party at Carol's house. We had a potluck so we had lots of food. We had:

1. really yummy fried chicken (the skin was crispy, the flesh was tender and had a delicately sour taste),
2. tasty pancit (the nodoles alone tasted good, but eating it with the veggie and seafood toppings made it even better),
3. equally delicious lumpiang shanghai which was perfect with the sweet and sour sauce,
4. polly's perfect chocolate cake (sinfully creamy),
5. rosa's fruit salad which tasted like ice cream (i loved how the cream melted in the mouth as soon as I took a bite),
6. chocolate sans rival, and
7. charlie's pritson (it was perfect with garlic butter and filipino chili sauce!!!)

Laxmi gave me a delightful box of goodies from Lush as she thought that it was my bridal shower (it was originally planned as my shower but for several reasons, they had to postpone it.) Inside the box were:

1. You'll Snap the Whip Body Butters (soft butters mixed with ground pumice and charcoal) which is sure to make my skin soft,
2. Sex Bomb Ballistics (a pink jasmine-scented bath ball which promises the "sexiest bath (i've) ever had), and
3. my favorite, Shimmy shimmy, a vanilla-scented massage oil bar which gives the skin a perfect sparkle!

We also watched my latest favorite Pinoy movie, Feng Shui. We had so much fun! We were laughing so hard as we made a good ad for the Stop Piracy Movement. The DVD we were using was pirated copy and it stopped on the scariest parts, garbled at least 5 minutes worth of dialogues, skipped a couple of chapters and totally refused to run 5 minutes before the ending! It ended with me telling them the ending of the movie Lola-Basyang style (I was seated in front of the TV with everyone around me.)

It was a perfect party!


Yesterday (11 December 2004), a few w@wies (Dio, Dowa and Kitte) and I had a little party at Clarice's house. I thought that it was going to be a surprise shower for Clarice (we originally scheduled it last Tuesday but I was informed that a lot of them couldn't make it) so I went there early, brought a gift for Clarice and brought lots of food (Holiday and Chicken Relleno Pizza with sour cream-filled edges, Spaghetti and Pepsi from Pizza Hut.) I was first to arrive.

Since we planned to camouflage the shower by saying that I needed help with our CD sleeves (see story below) I brought the raw materials for our CD sleeves. Clarice also mentioned that she needed help tying the ribbons on their souvenirs so as soon as I got to their house, I asked her where their souvenirs were.

While waiting for the others to arrive, Clarice and I started working on our souvenirs. As soon as we started, we realized that I was better at making ribbons than Clarice while she folded better than I. Naturally, we switched tasks. I tied the rafia ribbons on her souvenirs while she folded and taped our CD sleeves. In a few minutes, Dowa and Kitte arrived. Dowa's DIY wedding-stuff trained her in tying ribbons so she started to help me. Kitte claims that she didn't have the talent in tying little ribbons so she helped fold and tape the CD sleeves.

An hour later, we decided to eat. Dio and Marvin arrived at that time with 2 boxes of my favorite Becky's Kitchen brownies!!! It was then that they announced the surprise - the shower was not for Clarice, it was for me! It turns out that the shower for Clarice pushed through last Tuesday (I couldn't attend as I was having dinner with Rey's family.) We were laughing so hard (and the men were busy taking our pictures) when we opened my gifts:

1. cream bath which smelled wonderful,
2. foot spa set which is perfect for a pedicure-addict like me (Rey adores my feet so I have to take care of them!),
3. lovely lavender foam bath set (I love bubble baths!)
4. white barely there nightwear (which was so transparent that it looked like a veil!) with matching thongs,
5. and the surprise of the day, black barely there thongs for Rey!

After dinner, Clarice had to leave (her maid of honor picked her up for her surprise bridal shower) but the rest of us stayed in her house (sobrang feel-at-home!) I finished tying ribbons on her souvenirs, Kitte, Dowa and Dio worked on our CD sleeves, Kitte's hubby, Joseph entertained us by singing a few songs (he was pretty good!), and Marvin continued to take pictures. When I was done tying the ribbons, we decided to pack up. To my surprise, Kitte, Dowa and Dio offered to take home our raw materials so they can continue working on our CD sleeves. I was so touched!

When I got home, I still couldn't believe that I attended 2 perfect parties in 2 consecutive days!


While Clarice and I were working on our souvenirs, I mentioned to her that I can relate when she said in her e-mail that she is not stressed about the wedding as she has "let go" of all the details a week ago. I mentioned that I've also "let go" on the day our wedding announcement came out. The funny thing was that we "let go" too early as we still had DIY stuff to do! She still had to complete her place cards and her souvenirs while I still had to make the invites for Rey's siblings. I also needed to work on our souvenirs. But as we worked on our souvenirs, we continued laughing at ourselves and decided that there's still plenty of time before our weddings (she has 6 days, I have 15) for all the stuff we need to do.

When Kitte, Dowa and Dio arrived to help us with our souvenirs, I realized that I really can let go and that I really do not need to be stressed. First, they really gave us a lot of free time by making our CD sleeves. Second, having them around reminded me that if I need any help, I can always rely on my friends to be there for me. Third and more importantly, when I was telling them about my dinner with Rey's family, I realized that the most important thing about our wedding is that we will be with our family and friends. Since our family and friends are as excited about the wedding as Rey and I, I know that there's really nothing to worry about.


On a lighter note, I brought Porkchop to Rey's house for the first time yesterday. I was so nervous about it as Rey's house is 30 minutes away from ours and Porkchop has a bad case of motion sickness! On her last car trip, she barfed and peed all over the car.

I called up the vet and asked her if I can give Porkchop any medicine to help her with her motion sickness. She told me that I can have Porkchop drink Bonamine 30 minutes before the ride. I sent a text message to my friends and asked them to pray that the Bonamine would work! Heehee. A lot of them found the request hilarious but prayed for Porkchop anyway.

I immediately made Porkchop drink a tablet. 30 minutes later, we were on our way to Rey's house. Porkchop tried to deal with her motion sickness by sticking her head out the window which was good as we didn't have to deal with her drool. However, when we encountered some traffic on the way, a f***ing son of a b***h slapped Porkchop. Porkchop gave a little yelp and refused to look out the window the rest of the way. We dealt with her drool by holding a towel under her mouth.

When we got to Rey's house, Porkchop was still a bit dazed so I walked her around the block. Porkchop had lots of fun sniffing the new environment. When we finally got to Rey's house, she was already her usual cuddly self. After a while, she stopped drooling and showed her "talent" of obeying basic commands. (She responds to "Come", "Sit", "Down" and "Crawl.") I was so proud of her!!!

Of course, she drooled again on the way home, but I still gave her a piece of treat as soon as we arrived in our house.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A Shower of Blessings

With the thunderstorms came showers of blessings for Rey and I.

A week ago, I would have called it luck, but with the way things are going, I am really convinced that a benevolent and powerful being is helping us with our wedding and marriage preparations.


First, I am confident that we were able to choose good suppliers for our wedding. This does not mean that our suppliers are perfect, as they are not (I think that creative people must have a little idiosyncrasy.) But their imperfections are tolerable and it is enough for me that they do their job well and that I can communicate with them whenever I want to. Rey and I also had our own thoughts about our wedding and it really meant a lot to us that our suppliers really listened to us and actually improved on our ideas. Moreover, while we had some problems with a few suppliers, we were able to iron out all our issues with them.


Second, someone always volunteered to take charge of the details that we have forgotten to take care of or we have chosen not to prepare for. Take for instance our honeymoon, we were so prepared to have our honeymoon at the Manila Hotel (we didn't want to book a trip when we didn't have the money, but when we were finally able to afford the trip, we had difficulty getting a booking.) By some mysterious turn of events, we are now preparing for a 6-day vacation in Santiburi, one of Koh Samui's luxury resorts. We also get to explore Bangkok for 3 days as a friend from college, Stevie (she's a girl!), who is now a consul in Thailand, offered to share her house with us. We also wanted a new aircon for Rey's room but we didn't include that yet in our budget. Last week, Rey's mom volunteered to get us a new one! Yey! I hope she also offers to buy me a tub. Hee.


Third, we were so happy with how our wedding announcements came out! Initially, we thought that the people from Manila Bulletin were going to choose another picture. Apparently, they also loved the picture of our choice as it was the one that they published! And the best part of it was that we didn't have to pay for anything. I really love wedding@work!


Fourth, and the most important so far, we got to finally meet Rey's half brothers and sisters! As a background, Rey is part of his father's second family. A few years ago, he was adopted by his father but he was never introduced to his father's first family (Rey continued to live with his birth mother.) Last Saturday, the patriarch of Rey's family (the elder brother of Rey's dad) saw our wedding announcement and was determined to bring the family together. On Monday, we received an invitation from Rey's dad to join his first family for dinner at Gloriamaris in Greenhills. I was very apprehensive about the whole set-up. I was afraid that the first family would be hostile to us and treat us like intruders to their peaceful family. I had visions of raised eyebrows and plastered smiles from Cherrie-Gil and other kontabida-look alikes.

I was wrong. When we went inside the function room that was reserved for us, everyone excitedly greeted us. We got to meet Tita Ysay, the beautiful wife of Rey's dad, Tito Max (the patriarch) and his lovely wife, Tita Belen, and Rey's half-siblings - Kuya Al, Ate Bessy (and her husband, Kuya Mario), Ate Clarise, and Kuya Dennis, who was celebrating his birthday. Kuya Dennis was accompanied by his 4 cute sons and daughters. They were all simple and if anyone looked like a kontrabida, it would have been me with my black turtle-neck sleeveless blouse and black and white pinstripe pants.

I was seated beside Ate Bessy and we exchanged stories about our careers. We found out that we are both committed to our work and are blessed with partners who are supportive of our professions. We also discovered that we hang out in the same barbecue place, Dannylicious, where we get tender and tasty barbecues for P14. Rey's dad would occasionally go to our side to chat with us. We were so excited to learn that the family of one of my bosses, Atty. Angangco, has strong ties with Rey's family. Tito Max joined us and mentioned that he stayed with the Angangcos while he was reviewing for the medical boards.

On my left, Tito Max eagerly gave Rey a crash course on his new family - Tito Max described the people who were not able to join us for the meal and he also discussed a few family traditions.

Kuya Dennis, who was seated across the table with his children kept on offering us more food. He also kept asking his daughter to take pictures of the group with her camera-phone (I was so disappointed with myself for not bringing my digital camera.) It almost shed a tear when Rey had his picture taken with his siblings.

And Ate Clarissa gave us helpful advice in dealing with each other. She also said that Rey and I are perfect for each other - Rey a fire person, being born under the sign of Aries, needs a water person like me, a Piscean. Isn't that so cool?!

We really had a good meal together. (I just hope that Rey's siblings enjoyed their meal as much as we did.)

It was all surreal - for years, Rey was raised as an only child but due to a wedding announcement, he suddenly has 3 brothers and 3 sisters. That is definitely the best wedding gift that one can ever have!



In my comment to Star's blog about the damage that the recent typhoons have caused, I mentioned that this is a tough time for our helpers. Several days ago, almost all the houses in their little town in Quezon was wiped out by a twister. A few later, the typhoon destroyed whatever was left. This morning, we got word that they finally have electricity in their town. We also got a text message from one of her townmates and we were so happy to learn that our helpers' families survived the calamities! Yey!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

here's a closer view of our wedding announcement. just a disclaimer - i didn't do the write-up.

our wedding announcement is out! it was published today (04 december 04) at all about weddings (a monthly supplement of the manila bulletin).

Thursday, December 02, 2004

first meeting with old friends

i got to meet pebbles and mike, tin ni roland and mai last night. we had so much fun!

a few days ago, i saw a series of tags in mike and pebbles' wedding blog - pebbles was inviting everyone to an EB while she's here in manila and it seemed like everyone was interested in going. "everyone" included me. excited to meet my blogmates, i checked pebbles' website every day. i was almost giddy when she posted that she was already in manila. i felt so happy when pebbles posted that she was available to meet everyone on tuesday, wednesday or thursday.

on tuesday, i tried to access pebbles' website from the office. i couldn't enter the site as our office server blocked our access - the site allegedly had something to do with the occult. (since when did a wedding become an occult practice? mai thinks that it is. according to her joel, their wedding has turned mai into a detail monster. on the other hand, mike's theory is that their website was blocked because his picture was in it.)

i didn't get to surf tuesday night as i'm having major problems with my unit at home. i was so happy when my unit worked yesterday morning! i saw pebbles' e-mail asking us to send her our numbers. after a few text messages, pebbles, tin, mai and i agreed to meet at 8 in uva! i was also able to contact clarice and laine. unfortunately, clarice was working on her thesis and laine had to work overtime.

while i was in the office, i was informed that we were having a department meeting at 6:30. like a good associate, i attended the meeting, which extended til 9! it was a good thing that the meeting was at gloriamaris, which was a few meters away from uva.

when i got to uva, i immediately recognized tin (she was waving at me.) i got introduced to mike, pebbles, mai, and mai's friend, berty (or was that rebecca? our wedding has made me deaf!). we spent the night drinking wine (which was pretty good) and exchanging stories. it didn't feel like we were meeting for the first time - there were no akward silences, we weren't exactly shy with each other and there was just so much stuff to talk about! we wanted to linger some more but mike and pebbles had so much to do the next day, mai and i still had to go back to work, and tin had to find her car.

i am so looking forward to the next meeting! (notice how i avoid calling it an EB?)


for mai and i, the meeting had another purpose - mai was supposed to give me her share in our group purchase of gift certificates for diamond peels. (a diamond peel is at least P1T but if we purchase 26T worth of certificates, each treatment would cost only P500.) but after the stories and all the fun, she forgot to give me her share. but since i was so excited to have my cheapo power peel (and the office sent us home early because of typhoon yoyong,) i decided to bring our share to nice's office (mai will just give me her share tomorrow.)

traffic was terrible but it was fun meeting nice. she looked so much like her picture in her website and i enjoyed chatting with her about our florist, boy mahusay. i would have loved to stay and chat some more but rey has been bugging me to go home early.


on my way home, i asked rey if he remembers mai (during the dinner last night, mai mentioned that she thinks she knows rey.) then he told me that i should remember mai because we were all working out at titan gym when i was reviewing for the bar in 1999. and then i remembered snippets of my conversation with mai 5 years ago where she was telling me that she knew rey because rey found her wallet.

so, i sent a message to mai asking her if she worked out at the titan gym 5 years ago. she replied that she did. she also remembers losing her wallet and rey returning it to her.

ang galing!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

love my shoes!

i now have 2 pairs of shoes for the wedding that are almost the same - the first is the practical and sensible version, the other is its irresistible sexy counterpart.

i got the practical and sensible version a few weeks ago. the shoes were ok and the price was unbelievable for the quality of the shoes (less than P800!). however, since the material used isn't my favorite italian leather (as my friend, k, would say it, italian leather feels like a baby's skin!)

in that same week, i passed by my favorite local shoe store, via venetto, and my penchant for shoe shopping paid off - the owner volunteered to make me a pair of shoes in the design that i wanted. so i picked the material that i wanted (silver italian leather!!!), chose a type of heel, a strap and the shape of the foot pad. when i got them yesterday, they were so perfect! it was also nice hearing one of the sales ladies in the store tell a customer that "ay, nag-iisa lang ho 'yan. custom-made kasi, e . . . naku, sa kaniya lang pumayag yung may-ari magpa-custom-made."

since i haven't purchased my ballet flats yet (i purchased the black version which i wear to the office at least twice a week!) i'm thinking of wearing the sensible and practical version with my bridal gown and the sexy pair during the reception. (i already have a pair of black leather slippers for my dressing gown.)

footnote about via venetto - some people find their shoes too expensive considering that they're locally made. i disagree. their prices are lower than that of nine west but they use better materials and their shoes are really comfy! the quality of their shoes is also far better than most local brands.