Sunday, March 27, 2005

kodak moments

the first quarter of 2005 has transformed me into a busy b.

in january, i was busy adjusting to married life with B at hotel hogan, which is what we call our house on hogan street. his mom runs it like a hotel. we just love the room service and the free accommodations. hehe.

Image hosted by

later that month, B, G and I had lots of fun in Enchanted Kingdom in San Pedro, Laguna. since it was their low season, the lines were short so we got to ride our favorite attractions twice! it was a good idea to bring an extra set of clothes as a couple of rides left us so drenched that we had to squeeze all our clothes (including our underwear) before we can pack them in our bags.

Image hosted by

in february, i organized the party for nanay lilia. nanay has been with our family for at least 37 years. she never left us even if for a time we could not afford to give her anything more than the tuition and the allowance of her daughter, ate janet. ate janet is now a nurse-midwife in uae so nanay is no longer working for us. but since she is very close to our family, she opted to live next door to our (or rather, fatherlily's) house. for her 70th birthday, we invited some of her friends to dinner and a videoke session at the rooftop of fernandina 88 suites in cubao. it was well-attended (she had 91 guests!) and almost everyone got to sing and/or greet nanay on stage. i was so tired but i was just so happy to see nanay finally celebrating her birthday without having to cook anything. i was also so touched that she chose to wear the gown that she wore for our wedding.

Image hosted by

earlier this month, i turned 30! unfortunately, we were negotiating a big contract that day so i welcomed my 30th birthday while drafting term sheets for at least 3 definitive agreements. it's a good thing that the secretary of the partner i'm working with remembered my birthday and reminded her boss about it. so in the middle of the contract negotations, they brought in a cake with a giant candle, asked everyone (yup, including the german foreign counsel) to sing the birthday song, opened a few bottles of wine and gave me a gift that i prayed for - they let me go home early (actually, i got to leave at 7pm but that was already relatively early.) i couldn't believe that i got to eat my birthday dinner with B! we pigged out in Circles, at Makati Shang. the roast beef wasn't that good but the shrimp, the crab claws, the salmon and the chocolate fountain more than made up for it. we didn't take any pictures as we didn't want to have any evidence of our gluttony. hehe.

a few days later, B's daughter, G, graduated from elementary! she looked so pretty in her gala uniform and i happily took the pictures. i also got to meet her relatives from her mom's side (but not her mom, whew.) we celebrated her graduation in Circles a few days later. (masaya na naman ang mga bulate sa tummy ko!!!)

Image hosted by

i also got to attend several weddings during the past few months. on fred and teenee's wedding, clarice and i got so hungry during the mass that we spent most of the time eating snacks at the sari-sari store in front of the church (ang sama!). during grace and patrick's wedding, rey and got to chat with clarice and bernard and eileen and matthew. we all proudly showed off our wedding rings when the host asked us to join the bouquet and garter toss.

Image hosted by

for the holy week, we heeded the priest's advice to love one another. hehe. seriously, though, we went to the Lourdes Grotto in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan for the stations of the cross. We also visited a few churches yesterday. And yes, I took photos but I haven't been able to upload them as I couldn't find my card reader. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Signing off from WeddingsatWork

Signing off from WeddingsatWork
with a Really Long Goodbye Letter

posted at WeddingsatWork on 20 March 2005


Almost exactly a year ago, I joined Weddings at Work. I was quickly
introduced to a world of obsessive-compulsive brides (and grooms) who
spend so much time fussing over the tiniest details of their weddings
yet still have time to help out other brides and grooms.

A few days later, I found myself in Fernwood Gardens during the W@W5
(W@W's 5th Anniversary) as a reader for the mass, then as the
assistant of Mel Cortez at the marriage booth. There I met former
w@wies Clarice (ni Bernard) and Christine (ni Joseph). A few months
later, Clarice and I started doing our wedding preparations together –
we went on trips to Dangwa, Divisoria and the Star Paper warehouse. We
also went to Welcoat to have some of our wedding stuff laminated.
Shortly after her wedding, Christine joined the fun and gave us
helpful tips in finding raw materials for our D-I-Y wedding projects.
Around that time, another w@wie, Rhodora (ni Ryan) sent an e-mail to
W@W asking where she can find a minus-one of Panunumpa. I has one so I
answered her e-mail and a few days later, we met for lunch and had a
really good chat. A few weeks later, Clarice, Christine, Rhodora and
I, with a few other friends, were all working on wedding related stuff
together – we wrapped Rhodora and Ryan's soaps, tied ribbons on
Clarice and Bernard's home-made gel candles and folded the sleeves for
our CD souvenirs.

From that time on, we became friends. We organized bridal showers for
each other, attended each others weddings and enjoyed each and every
moment together. Along the way, they all became wedding suppliers –
Christine set-up Out of the Box Events, and Clarice, together with
Rhodora and a few other partners, set up An Event to Remember.

Clarice has been asking me to help her out in her venture but I have
been hesitant to do so – I have a demanding day job and frankly, I do
not think that the financial return in a wedding coordination business
is sufficient to pay for all the work, the stress and more
importantly, the risk of a bridezilla ruining your name.

But a few days ago, Clarice gave me an offer that I couldn't resist –
an opportunity to witness the wedding of a w@wie who had cool ideas
for her wedding. Unfortunately, I had a family dinner scheduled on the
same day of that wedding so I had to beg off. However, at the last
minute, or more specifically, at the last hour, our family dinner was
cancelled. So, at 6:30 pm last night, I arrived at Heritage Hotel to
help Clarice and her partners give the couple a reception to remember
(the wedding ceremony was done by that time). The work was
back-breaking and it required a lot of patience, but after turning
over all the wedding paraphernalia to the bride and the groom and
there was nothing left in the ballroom but memories of yet another
beautiful wedding, I had so much fun hanging out with my friends as we
basked in the high of accomplishing another task (it felt like I
signed a contract with a wedding supplier for our wedding!). And so
when Clarice asked me to help her out in the wedding of another w@wie,
I couldn't say no. (But I did tell her that I can only help her out
once in a while and insisted that I get to choose the couples that I
really like. After all, helping her out isn't business for me. She
agreed.) I also couldn't say no to Christine when she asked me to help
her in her new venture.

So I guess that makes me a wedding supplier. Which means that I will
have to say goodbye to the W@W family.

And I do so with a little sadness.

I really enjoyed being a w@wie. Through W@W, I was given the
opportunity to (a) have free pre-nuptial pictures taken by at least 10
photographers (and realize after the 8th photographer that I really
need a photojournalist as Rey and I both got headaches posing for the
camera), (b) appear on TV (and realize that I look terrible on screen
so I shouldn't have dreams of earning millions as an actress), (c)
have our wedding announced in the papers (and manage to pick a really
cheesy picture too!), and (d) have our caricatures made for free (I
refuse to comment about the finished product!). All these, I owe to
John and Benz. Thank you, guys!

The w@wies have also been a good source of information. Among other
things, I learned to (a) post our pictures online, (b) start an online
journal, (c) create our own wedding website, (d) make luminaries, (e)
line envelopes, and discover (a) the advantages of having a diamond
peel and (b) the next-to-heaven taste of Polly's chocolate cake. I
will definitely miss receiving my daily dose (in the hundreds!) of
e-mails from w@wies.

But more than that, because of W@W, we were able to meet friends and
suppliers who not only helped in making our wedding as beautiful and
as fun as we found it to be, but who continue to bring joy to our

For that, I will forever be grateful. Thank you.

I still owe a few more supplier ratings. I guess I'll just have to
send them through Benz.

Until then,
Abie ni Rey - the wedding addict
27 Dec 04/Mandarin

Sunday, March 13, 2005

honeymoon pictures!

hay, i've been so busy lately that i have no time for myself, much less blog! but rey's been wonderful so far and i'm so blessed to have him as my husband - he gets home early so he's the one who makes sure that (a) i have something to eat when i get home, (b) i drink my vitamins, (c) porkchop is fed well and taken for walks, (d) the car is running well, (e) everything at home is okay. isn't that sweet?

anyway, i was able to upload some of our honeymoon pics a few weeks back but i always forget to post the link!

the pics are posted here:

check out our pics on the elephant! i got to ride it bareback (buti na lang ayaw ni rey.)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Supplier Ratings - Part I

Sent to Weddings@Work on 05 February 2005:

Here's the first installment of our supplier ratings. I made the ones for our hair and make-up, stylist and attire and first since I noticed that a lot of w@wies are currently looking for these suppliers.

I will be rating them from 1-10, based on professionalism, creativity and output. (Hay, mahirap talaga kung ang bride and groom ay parehong brats, may pagka-obsessive-compulsive sa mga detalye at FEELING creative.)

This is rather long, kasi may kasamang kwento.


We first met Eddie Bruan at a bridal fair. By that time, we already got quotations from Toto Bagasmad and Leony Diaz (gusto ko kasi nung una, barely there bridal make-up.) But we found their rates too expensive (meaning: above 10T. lumalabas na ang pagiging chipips namin! heehee.) Eddie showed us his album - we were impressed with his work. Meron siya doong mga before-and-after pics and talaga namang ang
laki ng ginanda ng mga brides! We also found out that he did the bridal make-up for my friend, K. Since love ni Rey yung make-up ni K during her wedding, and his rates were really reasonable (8T, kasama na buong family ko), we gave a downpayment to Eddie.

Eddie wrote the package that we negotiated at the back of his calling card, then signed his name. That would serve as our contract. After he received our downpayment, nagulat kami when Eddie suddenly offered to give me a free trial make-up right then at their booth! Sayang, we were in a hurry so we had to pass.

I had the opportunity to have a free trial make-up with Eddie during the W@W5. It took Eddie an hour to put on my make-up. When Rey saw me, he loved what he saw - sobrang bagay daw nung make-up sa akin. At sobrang sulit daw ang paghihintay niya. After that, I knew that Eddie would make me look pretty on our wedding day. Our photos taken during the W@W5 are posted at:

Eddie and his staff are very professional. A few days before the wedding, one of his staff members called me up to confirm the call time and the venue for the bridal preps. Our wedding was at 6pm and they suggested that we start at 1pm. I found that too early and requested that we start at 2pm. We compromised at 1:30pm.

On the day of the wedding, Eddie and his team arrived at 1:15. They set-up their equipment (yup, he has those "artista" mirrors and the lights that videographers use). We started at exactly 1:30pm. Eddie was so nice. Hindi siya nagreklamo when I told him na I no longer want the barely-there make-up that we previously agreed on - gusto ko na kasi ng glamorous look (sorry, ilusyonada talaga ako. heehee!) He was
also very gentle when putting on my make-up and combing my hair. He also didn't mind that I had to stand up a few times to do some stuff, answer calls, eat a pastry and drink. He was also able to work kahit ang iingay at ang gugulo naming magkakapatid. (Kwentuhan kasi kami ng kwentuhan.) After he finished doing my make-up, I loved what I saw in the mirror. With his make-up, I really felt so glamorous!

While we were having dinner, our guests kept on saying that I looked beautiful daw (naks! umakyat yata yung taba ng peking duck sa head nila!!!) May nag-comment pa nga na mukha daw akong artista (Naisip ko lang, artista din naman sina Whitney Tyson and Aiai de las Alas. Hmmm. Sino kaya sa kanila ang kamukha ko?) And weeks after the wedding, my officemates where asking for the contact number of Eddie B kasi ang
galing daw talaga ng pagka-make-up sa akin.

So my rating for Eddie B for the bridal make-up:

professionalism - 10
creativity - 10 (kahit ano'ng look, pwede!)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 10 (Highly recommended for bridal make-up)

For the entourage naman, si Norman ang gumawa. It is really difficult to find the right shade of foundation for our family kasi we're in different shades of yellow. Si, Eddie B., nagtagumpay sa akin. Unfortunately, medyo sablay si Norman sa sisters ko. While the eye make-up is ok, di ko feel yung pagka-blend ng foundation sa sisters ko (ok sa shots ng photogs pero mukhang kabuki sa non-pro cameras) pero sobrang okay naman yung ginamit nila for my nanay (ang yaya naming lahat) and for my 9-year old niece, Nikki. Sobrang nagmukhang prinsesa si Nikki! I guess, bagay-bagay lang talaga when it comes to make-up.

So my rating for Eddie B (more particularly, si Norman) for the make-up of the entourage:

professionalism - 10
creativity - 8
output - 8
FINAL SCORE: 8.6 (recommended pa rin)


I found Balay Kandila thru W@W. Ayaw kasi ni Rey mag-spend ng thousands for flowers so we decided to have alternative decors. We thought of decorating our venues with paper cranes. But everything has to be done well - our wedding ceremony, reception and cocktails were to be held in small functions rooms and we wanted our guests to forget that fact (otherwise, they'd expect to get free black pencils and small hotel stationery as souvenirs.)

I sent an e-mail to several suppliers about our ideas for our wedding. Not one of them responded.

Clarice, another w@wie, suggested that I give them a call. I did and I was able to schedule an appointment with Ronald. When I discussed our ideas with Ronald, I was so impressed with how he improved on my ideas (he suggested that we mix paper cranes with glass bubbles). I told him that our budget was limited since we were paying for the whole wedding. He agreed to work within our budget! I was so happy! On our
second meeting, Rey was with me. After our discussions with Ronald,Rey suggested that we give Balay Kandila an additional 5T (kasi para naman daw naming ninanakawan sina Ronald if we stick to our original budget.)

We met with Ronald a few more times to give him our paper cranes and to discuss our new ideas with him. (Kami na siguro ang pinakamakulit nilang client!) They also had a meeting with our account executive in Mandarin. Ronald never ran out of great ideas for our wedding. And when we came up with our own crazy ideas (paper cranes inside his pillar vases with the roses) he didn't budge and even said that he'd think of ways to make it happen.

And he did make it happen. On our wedding day, everyone was awed with how the function rooms were set-up. Fontaine room literally had hundreds of hanging cranes and glass bubbles and on the stage, the hanging candles proved to be a magnificent backdrop to our 2 pillar vases. On the otherhand, the centerpieces in Nash room were equally breath-taking. Everyone kept on asking us who our stylist was!

After dinner, I was surprised at how Ronald transformed the ceremony venue into a cocktail venue. Since our cocktail food was to be passed around and only the chips and chichacorn were to be placed on the cocktail tables, we didn't discuss how these would be decorated. So I was really surprised when Balay Kandila dressed them up! They were so lovely. (John Aguas took great shots of the tables.)

professionalism - 9 (A day before the wedding, one of his staff asked me for 50 more additional cranes. Hello? At kelan ko naman 'yon i-fo-fold?! Habang nagpapa-manicure?!!! I was irritated and immediately called up Ronald. He told me not to worry about it and that he'd have one of his staff fold the cranes.)
creativity - 11 (hee.)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 10 (Highly recommended)


For much less than 50t, Ding Marquez and his partner, Tani, made my bridal gown, my dressing gown, the princess-type gowns of our 2 flower girls, the gowns for my 2 sisters and nanay (my nanny when i was a kid).

He was the only designer who told me that I didn't have to go on a diet and that he'll take care of my problem area (I have a waist so thick that people think i'm pregnant) and he did - he managed to create a waist for me! Ding designed all the gowns and he really knows what type of cut would work on our imperfect figures. His
drawings were pretty but the gowns were even more beautiful! The dressing gown that he made for me not only gave me a waist, it also felt comfortable and it photographed beautifully! The bridal gown was even more beautiful. It was too extravagant for a civil wedding - just the way I wanted it. It had a full skirt, a bustle, and a diagonal detail that made the gown sparkle. And it was silver and shimmery and
it used really soft cloths (the outer layer was organdy.) For the dinner, we removed the bustle to allow me to move around. I could have removed the petticoat, too, but I was too lazy to do so.

People also raved about the gowns of the flower girls and that of my sisters. The gowns of the flower girls were really fluffy! The floral details that ran from the right side of the gown to the middle of the back was exquisite. On the other hand, my sisters' gowns emphasized their assets and effectively hid their problem areas. The gowns were problem-free and the materials used were heavy duty (I was so impressed with the zippers that they used.) I also loved the designs!

Tani was also an angel during the preps. He made sure that all the gowns fit well. When my bouquets arrived, we found that none of them suit the bridal gown. (The one with the stargazers did but the smell was too strong I couldn't stand to hold them for more than a minute.) When I mentioned that I had a crystal bouquet but I didn't like the way it was made, he looked for it (I forgot where I placed it) wrapped
a silver pouch around it, fixed the ribbon, made a few stitches and made the crystal bouquet beautiful in just a few minutes.

They also gave me a really long veil, but when I told Tani that I was having difficulty walking with it, he cut it off and made me a short one. He was such a darling! He made me cry when he refused to accept my tip. I was so touched by his kindness!

professionalism - 10
creativity - 10 (ang galing magtago ng hidden wealth!)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 10 (highly recommended)


Ever since I was a kid, lahat na ng barong and formal pants ng family namin are sewn by Daneche. They made all the barong and pants for the wedding of my 2 sisters and my brother. So we didn't hesitate to have Rey's and my father's attire to be made by Daneche.

Fatherlily was the first one to get measured (nagpapapayat pa kasi ang groom) so he was able to get his attire ahead of Rey. The barong and the pants, as expected, fitted him well.

Unfortunately, when it was Rey's turn to claim his barong, we realized too late that:

1) The material for his barong was the raya type - so it had embroidery all over. it was nice but it didn't fit the Rey's personality.

2) The material was in pure pina. Even if it was first class pina and was actually several shades lighter than most pina cloths that i've seen, the yellow tinge made Rey look a little darker.

3) The material was for large people. The barong was too long because the cutters couldn't make it any shorter as it would ruin the embroidery. In addition to this, the pants were a bit too baggy, so Rey appeared smaller. On the same afternoon, we looked for new material for his barong.

professionalism - 7 (they could have informed us before they cut the material that it was too large for Rey)
creativity - 5 (When Rey fitted the pants, we pointed out that the pants were too baggy. The cutter told us that "uso" daw and baggy)
output - 7 (Fatherlily's barong and pants were nice.)
FINAL SCORE: 6.33 (pwede pa rin for those who are lean and tall like fatherlily, or those who like their pants baggy)


I love the designs of Njork but I found their bridal gowns too expensive for something that I would wear only once in my life. So, I decided to have a reception gown made. I never regretted my decision.

After a minor hiccup (I was made to wait for 45 minutes), everything went on smoothly with Njork. Aside from my reception gown, I had them make me a cocktail dress for the wedding that I attended a week before the wedding (December 20.) 5 days before that, Rey realized that he had nothing to wear for that wedding. Since he went with me to Njork for my fitting, and we had cloths for barong with us, we asked Njork if they can sew him a barong in 5 days. They honestly told us that since it was a busy month, their schedule was be pretty tight and the barong would only be finished on the morning of the 20th. Since we were desperate, we agreed.

On the 20th, I met Rey at Njork's shop. At that time, I was already wearing the beautiful cocktail dress that they made for me. Rey's barong just arrived and Rey was about to put it on. The fit was perfect. The lines were so clean and the workmanship was excellent. They even made a camiso for Rey. The camiso was so nice! Rey said that
it felt really soft and smooth (para daw siyang naka-pajama). And the cut and fit was so perfect that you can't see any bare skin between the collar and the camiso. Nagsisi nga si Rey na di niya sa Njork pinatahi yung barong niya for the wedding. Yun nga lang, Rey was wearing the pants that Daneche and he thought that the pants destroyed the clean lines of his Njork barong. He said this aloud and Miguel and
Francis had to agree. When we asked them if they can repair it, they said that it would be easier to make a new one. We asked them if they can sew one for Rey. At first they didn't want to agree (they were closing their shop for the holidays on the 23rd and will only open on the 27th) but we were able to persuade them. Since we didn't have any cloth with us, they agreed to provide the material for the pants.

My sister picked up Rey's pants on our wedding day. The pants fit him perfectly and he claims that the material is also soft and smooth. The cut of the pants also made him look a little taller.

As for my fuschia reception gown, it was so beautiful. It hid all my bulges and it made me feel really sexy. Everyone loved it! And it looked really nice in the pictures. It was so pretty that even if it was not white, everyone still knew that I was the bride.

professionalism - 10
creativity - 10 (they even designed the shoes and the earrings that
matched my fuschia gown perfectly!)
output - 10


When Rey told his dad about the Daneche barong that didn't fit, his dad told him to go to Kingsmen, Ortigas where he is a regular customer. So Rey brought his pina jusi to Kingsmen. When I accompanied him to have his studs measured, I didn't like the way that the bald man at the store treated us - he was looking at us down his nose!
Admittedly, we were shabbily dressed (which is how we usually look when we're not working) but we were customers and I think that we should be treated like their other customers (that or may pagka-prima donna lang talaga ako. hee.)

Anyway, we were supposed to claim his barong on the 23rd. But when we went there, we found the sleeves too long. We asked them to shorten the sleeves by half an inch by the 26th since the barong will be used on the 27th. Hindi daw pwede. First they said that talaga daw mahaba ang sleeves ng barong. When we disagreed, they said that they couldn't adjust the sleeves as their mananahi will not be working until the 27th. They suggested that Rey wear the barong on the 27th and they'll just adjust the sleeves afterwards. When we said that the barong is for our wedding and that Rey's not planning to wear it again, some good-hearted employee agreed to have the sleeves adjusted. Mang Al, our driver, picked up the barong on the 26th. Thankfully, the barong fit perfectly on our wedding day.

professionalism - 5 (the staff in Makati are nicer.)
creativity - 9.9 (the barong was really nice but they suggested that Rey wear a normal camiso. Rey wore the camiso that Njork made for him)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 8.3 (mas gusto ko talaga yung Kingsmen sa Makati!)

Our pictures are posted at:

Designs of Fidel Marquez:

Wedding pictures by Eddieboy Escudero:

Wedding pictures by John Aguas and Carlo Villonco: