Thursday, July 31, 2008

40 Loving Years

Was it Father Anton or Father Benny who said that while life begins at 40, for marriages, the love peaks at 40. This has never been more true in the case of Dad and Mom.

It was finally THE day we've all been preparing for. July 27, 2008. On that day, Dad and Mom became the newly married couple - Dad, the proud groom, and Mom, the blushing bride. There is something that is just so heart-tugging at watching an 'old' (not of age, but of longevity) couple walk the aisle, or hold hands or kiss.

Make of our hands, one hand...

Unlike young couples who get married (yes, for the first time), we, married people, know that yes, they may be blissful now, but every now and then, the happy bubble will burst and there will be trials ahead. We pray that this new couple's love would be able to withstand all trials.

As for old couples renewing their vows, we, married couples, can only look with awe and admiration at the journey this couple may have gone through. Upon seeing the spark, the glow still evident in their eyes, we know that it is indeed true and real love... one that has weathered storms, one that has seen them through the best and the worst of times, one that will last for eternity. We can only pray that God grant us the same fate of eternal, infinite love with our spouses.

It was exactly that feeling with Dad and Mom. We have seen how their love remains strong and steadfast despite trials especially in relation to Dad's health. We have seen how, even with no occasion, Dad's eyes would lighten up at the sight of Mom, or how he, despite his sometimes weak state, would still reach out and strain his neck just to be able to give Mommy a kiss. We have seen how Mom, even when she's many miles away, would faithfully and consistently call Dad to check on him without fail. We've seen her patience, her strength and her faith. We've seen Dad's deep, deep love for Mom. If he could, he would do ANYTHING for her. And vice versa.
My Love, My Life

Watching Dad trying his best and on his own volition, walk down the halfway mark with Mom in the Shrine, with one hand in his pocket and the other arm holding Mom's, was, for me, nothing short of a miracle. We know Dad has been struggling with his walking, but on that day, he outdid himself! And it wasn't because he was pressured because so many people were watching; it wasn't because his children begged him to do so, or his nurses cajoled him to stand. No! He did it out of love for the one person he loved the most in his entire life. He did it for the love of Mom because he knew how much it meant for her.

The Ruby Couple

And that was for me the highlight of the whole celebration. Not our dance performance, not our speech, nor all the preparations. It was that one single, powerful moment. It will be that scene I will keep, I will cherish forever because it was a picture of perfect love.

Happy Anniversary Dad and Mom! We love you very much!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thanks for Making the 40 Special!!!

Sore feet and a cup of noodles after, I still can't get the Ruby Anniversary Celebration of Dad and Mom off my mind. Just seeing the smiles on Dad's and Mom's faces, and a few tears here and there (maybe tiny sobs from Dad), was enough satisfaction for me that we did a good job.

I'm sure my sisterhood, cousinhood and even perhaps our fatherhood (Benny) will blog about the highlights.

For me, for now, many thanks to many people are in order. So this is my litany of thanks for those who made it special.

Let's start with the Wedding Ceremony and its parts:
...Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus for allowing us to turn the aircon on earlier and for acquiescing to our request of holding the 5pm mass at the Remembering Chapel
...Tita Vkyh for recommending the cleaners for the Shrine who did a tremendous job of cleaning the Shrine; for recommending Tito Jun Marcelino, our rush-rush costume maker and his main mananahi - Manang Anette :)
...the Choir - University of Sto. Tomas Singers, especially to Sir Fidel Calalang, their conductor and Pinky, their president for filling the shrine with their powerful voices and their beautiful rendition of "Ikaw" - This was a great song replacement and kinda made Mom's entrance more dramatic and emotional... sniff sniff....
...Bishop Tumulak and the priests concelebrants - all 15 of them - for blessing Dad and Mom as they renewed their vows of love and commitment to each other. Tony Rodriguez, our florist, who moved earth to get those pale pink peonies for Mom's bouquet and for decorating the Shrine, and the ballroom of Shangrila Makati with his beautiful creations. The fruits baskets could've been bigger, though :) and the votive candles more decorative. all the readers, offerors whom Ate Rona assigned... for doing a good job :) Rielle and the grandkids who did a fantastic job singing On Eagle's Wings. I didn't sing the response because I just knew I'd just ruin my eye make up yet again. Susan and Dorie for being our coordinator at the Shrine

Wedding Reception:
...Andrew's team (Happy Events) for the stage set up, lights and sounds and event coordination. I was very OC-OC so I have to thank you for putting up with our countless meetings, emails, calls and texts. Thank you for helping us mount a good show!
...Andrew, Jess and Beth, yet again for shooting and editing our opening spiel AVP.
...Shangri-la Makati through our event manager, Ina Alcuaz. There were a lot of major boo-boos (maybe because she's kinda new) but it's hard to get really angry with her because she's so sweet. Hopefully, in time, she'll be more adept. We were also kinda meticulous :)
...The chef of Shangrila for whipping up such fantastic gastronomic delights!!!
...Michelle Hechanova for her fantabulous!!! cake creation that just can't wait to be eaten.
...our La Vista staff - Rod, Randy Kalbo and Nora for assisting Ate with the Wedding gown Exhibit by the cocktail area.
...our office angels and staff - for helping out in the registration, logistics, and more!
...Margot Esplana, Noli and Miles for their patience, kalogness and hip choreography of our dance performance... We are sooo looking forward to practicing with you guys again!!! We miss you and our practices already! You were great, Lola! hehehe...
...our dancers!!!
Tito Rey - our last minute James Bond - Thanks super Tito!!!
Tita Tinggoy who was so present in almost all the dances (6 dances total!)... and for coordinating with Shangri-la for the Specialty Suite and Mel, the best butler ever!
Gelo for lending a hip hop flair in all the dance moves... hehee
Avic - ah... the model dancer for the kiddos and especially the angels!
The Ungco's - Tito Monching - Mr. Give na Give!!! hehehe, Tita Vkyh, RJ and bouncy Mavie who was such a trouper even if she seems almost about to pop! haha.. and Monique
Carlo Papa - Mr. Now you see him, now you don't.... But despite that, he memorized all the moves for James Bond and Boogie Wonderland! Thanks so much for showing up for Tito Rey's last minute practice :)
RJ Sargan - Mr. James Bond and couldn't resist Grease Lightning guy! hehehe...
Tita Paloming who couldn't resist the Tango!!! And who got all the moves in just 2 sessions!
The Angels - Bechay, Letty, Elma, Nora, Fe, Agnes - you guys surprised Mom!!! Thanks for being game and oh so helpful! :)
The PACEM priests!!! led by Fr. Alex - Wow! You guys brought the house down with your YMCA performance. Dad and Mom and even Bishop Tumulak were shocked that you were dancing! Thanks so much for joining us!

Lastly, to our brotherhood and sisterhood! We make a GREAT team! Hehe...
Japa - for the beautiful, touching AVP tribute to Dad and Mom... It never fails to make me cry!
- for being MY chief AVP guy - the avp movie quotes intro of Dad & Mom; the US greetings; and for introducing me to Mr. Ken Burns. hahaha

Ate Rona - our designated printed collaterals in charge and in-house designer.. hehe
- for the gift wrapper damask design, the missalette, the novena cover, and the labor-of-love guest book for the Ruby :)
- for coordinating the rehearsal participants :) and for taking over when I was vacationing for 2 weeks... hehehe...

Boydee - ahhh... my dance partner, my lifetime partner! hehehe... for being the sounding board when I was stressed and tense
- for being my co-conspirator of the program details, and other details...
- for being in charge of anything and everything in the Shrine; and for choosing the well-wishers who gave touching speeches!
- for never failing to move up the notch of the rehearsals with your malandi giling moves and feel na feel dance steps and matching emote-emote. haha...
- I love you forever!!! Hehehe...

Rondic - Mr. "Hyyyyydromatic" hehehe...
- for taking charge of the wines and hard liquor (where's my martel!!?? heheh) with matching wine tasting to boot!
- for the donation boxes!!! Hehe..., and glow sticks!
- for opening Monte Vista as our official dance practice venue!; for the food and drinks...
- for singing "The Prayer" a la Kalbocelli! hehehe... I'm sure Mom was moved!!! :)
- for taking care of the logistics on that day and for making sure our waiters were happy! hehehe... :)

Elizza - THE overall food in charge from beginning to end - meaning from practices, to the actual event itself! - tough job but you did it oh so gracefully! :)
- for the hilarious movie posters!!! We should have the original Shall We Dance poster of Dad printed... and framed!!! Bwahahaha...
- for taking charge of the giveaways :)
- for almost single handedly organized Mom's shower and making that touching AVP!
- for singing The Prayer at the last minute. With a voice like that, it just has to be heard!!!

Randy and Stella - What can I say but Wow! You guys were just professionals! hehe... Thanks so much for arriving on time!!! As in!!! hehehe...
- for dancing the tango flawlessly!!!
- for shooting the US well-wishers despite your hectic schedule in the States :)
Randy - for singing What a Wonderful World with matching piyok! hahaha...

Stels - for helping choose the mass songs, for coaching Randy - I'm sure it was you, not Randy who was leading the dance. (hahaha... sorry Rands!) and for singing "The Prayer" live!!!

Rodney and Zhar - for still helping and offering to help despite being busy with your upcoming wedding
- for choosing Jaime Tee and Jason Magbanua as the official photographer and videographer
- for sharing your wedding suppliers especially Jong of The Write Impressions for the beautiful invitations and Michelle Hechanova for the heavenly cake!!!
- for providing comic relief during rehearsals... hehee... just kidding :)

Rod - for being in charge of the Rockwell tent refund... hehehe...

Zhar - for being my 'partner' in wedding styling. hehehe...
- for the beautiful, customized cord used in the Wedding ceremony of Dad and Mom

For everything and anything (including those I may have failed to mention), thanks so much for everything! It's great to be part of this family!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The past two days have all been about wedding stuff. With a few good laughs here and there mostly because of our costumes, all the hullabaloo on the Ruby has kinda taken a toll on me today leaving me drained.

We just came from practice where I'm a non-participant. And now my head is blank and my mood is blah... Too tired...

Pressure's kicking in!!! :I

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One More Week

It's 1:49 am of July 21. I have been trying to sleep for the past 30 minutes but my attempts have been futile.

We have one more week to go before the Ruby Anniversary of Daddy Boy and Mommy Shalene. I know it's not going to be perfect but at least whatever we can do to at least make it close to perfection, we do whatever we can and we do it within this week! Crunch time!!!

I went over the checklist, emailed our brotherhood and sisterhood, updated files, edited missalette, finalized some content for one avp, listed my to-dos for tomorrow. I thought I was pooped but when I lay down on the bed, closed my eyes, all that happened was my mind thinking of more wedding stuff!!! Gosh, the tension!!! And to think this isn't even my wedding!!! Hehe...

It's just a great thing that our siblings all kinda know our strengths and weaknesses. One fills in where the other one needs help. One does what one does best. One does what's asked. Hehe... All of us do what we can to make the Ruby special... all for the love of Dad and Mom.

It's also just great that we have a talented family, a cooperative and equally gifted support system in our relatives and co-workers.

One more week guys and gals!!!

Thank yous are in order but that will wait til after the Ruby... Lest Mom spots this site... although I know she doesn't... but I can't risk anything. So, til the next few posts...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Oooh-some Massage

This Saturday was a full day. Had to wake up early for our 10am practice, then had a children's party at 3:30pm. What made it worse was my bum stomach. It felt like some invisible hand had grappled and squeezed my insides so tight. I'd have spasms every so often.

So Boydee and I, with Bric and Yaya Mila, decided to go home earlier than usual from Zeena's (Bric's future wife... hehe...) 1st birthday party. I was actually already drooling on the spaghetti at the kiddie's buffet spread but my stomach was just churning and grumbling. We did manage to smuggle a few chicken nuggets... thanks to Zhar and Rod for choosing a strategic table. Hehe...

When we got home, we asked Marivic to call Manong Romy. A few minutes and a spam & egg sandwich later, he was here. I was sooo weak, I plopped my whole body on the massage bed and let his hands do the work. And it was pure magic. He hit the painful spots, the achy joints and the hard muscles. Today, he did a fantastic job. I oohed and aahhed from pain and pleasure in between dozing off to sleep only to be awaken by my snore. Hahaha...

I have a funny view of hilots. Somehow, there's something mystical about them. They know which pressure points to hit if you're having a tummy ache, or a cold or a head ache, and sometimes these points aren't near that particular achy body part. I know it's reflexology but I betcha they didn't read text books on that. Perhaps this gift was passed on from generation to generation, or learned through experience.

I see them as psychic because they seem to know what's wrong with you just by feeling your body. I'm eating too salty food, or there's something wrong with your kidney, or I'm drinking too much cold water that's why my tummy's acting up.

Perhaps the believers and practitioners of science and medicine are skeptical on this alternative, all natural healing method. But whatever works for me, I take. So, whether it's magic or a studied profession, the manghihilots are here to stay... and I am just so glad that they're still in existence.

Thanks to Manong Romy for my two-hour massage. My tummy feels so much better now!

Believe it or not! :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

HK Disney (Part 4)

Day 2, June 17, 2008. We woke up early to catch the 1st seating of the Disney character breakfast buffet at Enchanted Garden Restaurant. Here, Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Pluto hopped from table to table to give all the guests a photo op with them. Bric quickly memorized their names and called them (Mickey Mouse - Bout, Goofy - Pee, Pluto - Toe) but when any one of the characters really came near him, he would cling to us ever so tightly and cry if they touched him. Hehe... But when they walked away, he would start calling them again. Hehe...

We devoted the whole day today for the park. But it was such a rainy day... It practically rained the whole day!!!

Talk about bad timing. But despite being drenched, we still had loads of fun. The paranoid Mom wanted to go back to the hotel, scared Bric might get sick, but the adventurous Dad prevailed. And good thing, too, because then we were able to ride "It's a Small World", not once but twice. Bric loooved this ride!!! No pictures here, only videos. Hehe...

After watching a few more shows and posing with mascots, we took a glimpse of Hollywood Hotel.

While HK Disney Hotel is Victorian, Hollywood Hotel's style is art deco. Very modern, and quite full of people at that time. After a wet day, we finally settled back in our hotel. Boydee and I had a date in Crystal Lotus again and bought some more Disney shirts. Then, we went back to our room to pack. We were going to go home tomorrow.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

HK Disney (Part 3)

HK Disneyland Hotel...

We finally had our room at the end of a long afternoon at the park. Bric woke up to an unfamiliar but very tempting to explore place... So, he forced himself up from his nap and ran around our room.

HK Disneyland Hotel is one of the 2 hotels in the Disney complex. The other one is the HK Hollywood Hotel. It's an experience being in a Disney hotel. There are cute Disney accents in the most used furniture or items.

Take this Mickey Mouse-shaped catsup.

Or their Seven dwarves toiletry kit:

Even their mirror had the Disney characters at the corners.

Being a family hotel, the hotel also had cribs available upon request at no additional cost. We got one for Bric.

But what took Bric's breath away was the telephone by the toilet bowl. He was so amused by its presence there, that it became his favorite place to play. He'd go there and lift it and say "Hello, hello". Hehe...

We had a late dinner at Crystal Lotus, right after catching a few minutes of the fireworks display of Disney from our hotel.

We went back to our room and slept... Amassing energy for the next full day in Disney.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Like a Virgin... Tagged for the Very First Time!

I've been tagged... by Ate Rona... on her blog... Since it's public, it leaves me no choice but to accept the Tag. Hehe... So here goes...

The Rules: Answer the questions using only one word. Then tag four others.

1. Where is your cell phone? BATHROOM
2. Your significant other? BOYDEE!!!
3. Your hair? HIGHLIGHTED!
4. Your mother? AWAY
5. Your father? HEAVEN
6. Your favorite thing? LOVE
7. Your dream last night? SNORE...
8 Your favorite drink? WATER
9. Your dream/goal? HAPPINESS
10. The room you’re in? BOYDEE'S
11. Your hobby? THINKING... hehe...
12. Your fear? LOSS
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? PHILIPPINES pa rin!!!
14. What you’re not? DUMB (haha)
15. Muffins? CUPCAKES
16. One of your wish list items? BABY GIRL! :) oops this is 2 words: DAUGHTER... there, that's better :)
17. Where you grew up? CEBU!!!!
18. The last thing you did? BLOGGED
19. What are you wearing? PJS
20. Favorite gadget? CAMERA
21. Your pets? NONE :(
22. Your computer? MAC
23. Your mood? HAPPY
24. Missing someone? BRIC (he's sleeping with Lolo Boy til MamaLyn comes back)
25. Your car? CEFIRO
26. Something you’re not wearing? FISHNET STOCKINGS
27. Favorite store? CHOWKING!
28. Like someone? FAMILY
29. Your favorite color? WHITE
30. When is the last time you laughed? TODAY
31. Last time you cried? TODAY (from laughing so hard!)

Now, I tag:
1. Father Benny :)
2. Carlo Ejercito :)
3. Joel Pascual :)
4. Mavie Ungco! :)


Monday, July 07, 2008

HK Disney (part 2)

Still Day 1, June 16. The weather was soo hot and humid, we were all sweaty and sticky by the time the Water Parade ended. We headed off to watch Lion King and since we were too early, decided to buy Disney shirts to change as we were just drenched.

It wasn't long before it started to rain so I took out my bandana and put it on Bric. We were on our way to watch The Lion King.

Bric was enthralled at The Lion King. He sat so still in Boydee's lap just watching the performances of the animals unravel before his very eyes. The show, after all, was indeed entertaining.

By the time we finished, it was pouring outside so we got our yellow Disney raincoats which Boydee and I bought in Anaheim Disney during our honeymoon for the Jurassic Park Ride... hmmm... or was it at Universal Studios? Anyway, Boydee and Bric wore them while I opted for my blue bandana.

After that, we had our usual photo ops and while walking around the park, Bric dozed off in the stroller. So, we decided to head back to our hotel.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

And It's Rafa

It's 5:00 am. There's a new Wimbledon Champion and it's Rafael "Rafa" Nadal. The match took more than 4 hours of heart pumping, finger biting, throat drying action.

I was rooting for Federer, 5 time Wimby Champ, because he's known to be one of the nicest guys in Tennis and I always want good people to win... not that Rafa isn't one. I just wanted Federer to break records and make history.

But I have to admit, the better player won tonight. Rafa was just unstoppable although Federer did his darnest best, and almost won it. But Rafa's raw energy and athleticism won the game for him. Roger just had too many unforced errors. Although he did have 25 aces!

Oh well, I'm not sad nor disheartened that Roger didn't win. I'm happy for Nadal. Both of them are amazing players and great champions. Rafa deserved that trophy tonight with the way he played. What a match!!!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Mini Family Bonding (HK Disney!)

June 16-18 saw our mini family off to HK for a stay in HK Disneyland Hotel. It was just Boydee, yours truly, Bric and Yaya Mila. We scheduled this months in advance since we had miles expiring from PAL's Mabuhay Miles Program. It wasn't the best time of the year to go, what with the rainy forecast but we were all so looking forward to this break and bonding session with Bric that we pushed on so off we went to Disneyland.

We took the 10am flight and arrived around 12. Yaya Mila thought of putting Bric on top of our luggage. That's him down there sitting steadily on our Samsonite bag :)

We took a cab going to our hotel since the ticketing officer for the train advised us that it was less expensive than the train. We got to the hotel in less than 30 minutes. Bric was excited to explore the lobby. He was running, not walking.

Check in time was 3pm. We were there around 1 something. So we decided to have late lunch at the cafe. That's Bric h0lding his favorite-french fries (pronounced dai-dai) with his pinky sticking out.

I have to say the 3pm check in time of HK Disney Hotel sucked. It totally destroyed our schedule especially in terms of our outfits. Hehe.. Good thing I decided at the last minute to wear flat shoes instead of heels during our flight. Because we didn't have rooms yet, we couldn't change into more comfy outfits (shorts & shirt & rubber shoes). There was a scheduled Water Works Parade at 3:30pm so we decided to just go to the park wearing what we were already wearing. We brought out our rain coats tho since the forecast was rain.

Oh, that stroller we rented from the hotel. Lai, best to rent from the hotel since from the shuttle drop off, it's still quite a distance for Bric/Robyn to walk to the park entrance. The park rents strollers too but it's inside the park only and you can't bring it out of the park. Rental of stroller is HK$50 per day.

That's my two boys watching the water parade. Don't they look like they're enjoying the show?!? Hehe... The weather was just sooo hot and humid!!! And there were some Chinese people in front who couldn't care less that the people behind them (us) couldn't see the show since they were standing, even after we asked so politely.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

And I'm Hooked... Again

Scrapping with Ikea Goddess' blogsite is just sooo addicting. After my trip and a brief respite from all the downloading of kits and elements, I got back and checked on her site. And I'm hooked yet again. It takes patience to download but I am extremely thankful that there are kind hearted, talented artists there who give away freebies. So, my addiction for downloading started officially again last night. Hehe...

But I have to say, I'm a neophyte still compared to my SIL, THE ultimate digiscrapper/downloader/blogger... Ate Rona!!! Hehehe...

Back to the Daily Grind

I was thinking of taking the day off today from work, having just survived a gruelling 20 hour flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg to Doha to Cebu to Manila but there was 1st Wednesday Mass today so I just had to go to the office. Besides, Bric was coming along so we could do more bonding time.

After work, we rushed to Apitong for our dance practice. I so badly need this exercise because I've gained weight (yes, yet again!). It was fun and tiring, but satisfying as well. I got tense for awhile since the PACEM priests said they decided to just sing for Dad and Mom instead of dance. To think we've already prepared a number for them. After much lambing and convincing, my charms worked. Whew... Much credit of course goes to Margot, our game na game choreographer for making the dance steps easy and fun. So, off goes the harana number and in comes our dancing priests!

Of course I shan't forget to mention Father Benny who'll be dancing in our family circle. Hehe... I can still imagine his karate... I mean hustle moves. Hehehe... But thank God for family, relatives and friends who patiently attend each practice just so they can be part of our little tribute to our parents. Personally, all the work, effort and sacrifice for the Ruby is just my own little way of giving back, however little and humble, all the love, acceptance and affection Mom and Dad have shown me. I'm sure they've shown that to all those who are part of the dance. They are indeed much loved.

Now, it's time to rest my ACHING feet!