Monthly Archives: June 2007


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The Barong Tagalog

Countdown: 4 months left

I’ll spare you the history of the ‘national attire’, which you could read about here. But as pimp as I would look in a suit, there was no doubt I was going to put on a Barong for my wedding.
I’m Filipino. Cathy’s Filipino. Our wedding is Filipino. The Barong Tagalog is Filipino.
When Cathy walks down that aisle and I’m trying my hardest to hold back the waterworks (by the way, Cathy thinks my emotional pulse is not unlike that of a robot and is confident I won’t shed a tear), I want to make sure I’m at least breaking down in style. What I love about the Barong Tagalog is that it looks vintage and old school, but brings so much class and style. That ‘untucked’ look with a buttoned up collar and long sleeves exudes confidence but stays comfortable at the same time. Coupled with a crisp pair of pants and spanking new shoes, I will definitely hold my own at the Big Day.
Now, all I have to do is find one to wear.
I actually found material this past weekend which I thought would look great, but upon further research on the Barong Tagalog, I found some nifty designs online that I may like to look at. I won’t put up any sample images, because I want to surprise Cathy, but I’m excited to find that right one and get it tailored to my specifications.
It’s also going to be great to see all my best men and groomsmen decked out in a Barong Tagalog! Especially on my good buddy Kai Paul. A strapping young American man (but Indonesian at heart), well over 6 feet tall, and fiery red hair that would put Conan O’Brien to shame. Him, in a Barong Tagalog. Priceless.


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I know, I know, it’s been 6 days since our last entry. But a lot has been going on since we came back from the long weekend!

1) MUSIC. We heard Aquarela at their CD launch at Shang Mall and although they were musically and technically spot-on, we think that their appeal is to a more mature crowd. Definitely buy their album cos it’s the kind of music that you want to play over a dinner with friends, or on a lazy Sunday morning. But we are looking for a band that will bring the house down for our wedding.

A friend of ours, Irene, who is the vocalist for Chubibo, recommended Guarana. They played at her wedding and she said that they were entertaining, and that Eileen Sison even taught everyone how to samba, and had a conga line goin’ on at some point! This kind of festive performance is definitely something we want for our reception so we’re going to check them out on Tuesday at Cafe Havana.

2) FRIENDS. We got a chance to see our Jakarta friends (including Erwin, who has finally resurfaced!) last weekend for a surprise party. And one of our favorite little tots was there! She’s the daughter of our friend, Ana, and has got to be one of the most adorable little girls you’ll ever meet. So adorable that she’s the new face behind Johnson & Johnson’s no more tears campaign – and the photog (at least for the spread in the Star, Good Housekeeping, Smart Parenting, and Working Mom) is none other than my very talented fiancee! Claps!

Our group baby making lambing to Jay the entire time. Apparently she really likes facial hair. Cute.


Jay and Erwin (with Jamie in the background sneaking in some food)


(sorry for low res shots, just taken with my phone cam)

3) ANDREA & WENDY. My maids of honor have started e-mailing me about the bridal shower and the bachelorette. Just preliminary questions so they can start planning and contacting the invitees both here and abroad. They are so put together, these two. And are so enthused about the whole thing! I am very lucky to have them by my side throughout all of this. I feel quite blessed, I can’t say that enough.

I’ve also been getting e-vite reminders for my friend, Nicole’s, bachelorette in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Unfortunately, since it’s in Mexico and it’s in July, I won’t be able to go. However, we’re all set to head on over to her wine country wedding in October! I’ll be a bridesmaid along with the other Pangkor girls. Sonoma, here we come!

4) HEALTH. One of the reasons that I haven’t gotten a chance to blog is because I am getting my butt kicked in Bikram Yoga, the only studio (in 2 locations – Salcedo Village and Tomas Morato) in Manila that’s sanctioned by Bikram himself, and only has Bikram certified instructors. Flexibility wise, it’s fine because I used to dance. But mentally, it’s a whole different ball game. I am literally having to fight-off panic attacks as I ease myself into camel pose. The heat, the sweat, the chatter in my head – all of that I fight to let go of for 90 minutes. Waiting to hear from a potential employer – let it go. Wedding planning – let it go. Smelly guy next to me – let it go. Claustrophobia – let it go. Letting go is hard work.

Jay has also started his boxing and basketball sessions, so we are motivating each other throughout this process, keeping ourselves hydrated and rested and supporting each other after a not-so-great practice. We talked about it a couple of nights ago and our health is definitely one of those things that we are willing to invest in – whether it’s through a monthly membership at a studio or a gym or whatever. Personally speaking, I am so tired of getting sick. My stomach hasn’t gotten used to Manila and I’ve been here for 2 years!

After all is said (by doctors, parents, friends) and done, I know that I need to detoxify – not just with what I eat, but with my surroundings and environment as well. So I am just laying low, taking it easy, surrounding myself with positivity, and staying committed to Bikram, which has helped me gain some focus, discipline, perspective, and a sense of commitment, attributes that I’ve been lacking.

Anyways, I am going to let go of this entry now and leave you with this fantastic video that, at first, Jay and I started implementing into our lives as a joke – a big joke – but now, we know why there are laughter clubs all over the world. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Puerto Galera + Cathy’s Family

As blogged by super-blogger extraordinaire posing as my fiance Cathy below, we had quite an eventful weekend. The highlight being our trip to Puerto Galera. It also was my first out-of-town trip with Cathy’s immediate and extended family. One would assume the awkwardness and uncomfortable silence between idle conversations that’s naturally common in get-togethers involving future in-laws. Not with Cathy’s family/relatives. They are a very tight-knit group and although seeing all of them together as a pack can be quite intimidating, they welcomed me with open arms.

It was a great trip, not only because we would spend it with family, but also because Cathy and I needed a break from the city. It has been awhile since we trekked out of town, and the past few weeks had started to take a toll on us physically, mentally and emotionally. We wanted to get the hell outta Dodge. Except, instead of Dodge, it’s Manila. And not Kansas, but the Philippines. You know what I mean.

But I came to a small realization post-getaway trip. The plan for the trip came last minute, merely a few days before we left. Prior to that our other proposed trip for our much needed ‘getaway’, had been cancelled. Although disappointed it didn’t push through, we stayed positive and knew we would catch a break soon. Lo and behold, Cathy’s parents told us about the Puerto trip and asked if we wanted to go. We wanted to go.

I have to say, that ‘silver lining’ is very underrated.

So after lots of eating, sand, sun, snorkeling, eating, taking photos, island hopping, eating, conversations, story telling, laughing, sweating, while eating, banana boating, waiting in line for parasailing, bangka-riding, and finally lot’s of eating. Cathy and I got our much needed R&R.

It was indeed an eventful weekend. Thank the Lord and his silver lining.



More photos here

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Our weekend

What a weekend!

On Saturday we went to hear the UA&P Choir sing at a wedding at the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Makati.  At this performance, there were 16 of them (Jay knew one of the tenors, funny enough).  We sat upstairs where the choir was at and looked down at the ceremony from the balcony.


We liked the way UA&P sang ‘Bukas Palad’ although we expected them to be louder… so if we go with them, we’ll have to ask for more singers (20 perhaps) cos St. James is a big church and out of the 5 songs we heard in their repertoire, only 3 impressed us and ‘moved’ us; we felt like the first 2 were sorta faint.  But they were good, I mean in terms of voice quality, everything was fine.  We really enjoyed their male soloists.  We’re still going to hear Ateneo and MADZ, although UA&P is still in the running.

After that, we decided we’d fill our cupcake craving and head to Cupcakes by Sonja at Serendra.  On the way, we saw this:

A big ole chowchow on Ayala and then Edsa!  Enjoying his Saturday with his friends in a red car, with not a care in the world.  You go, dog.

Jay and I didn’t realize how much we’d been missing Sonja’s cupcakes until Saturday!  We had ourselves some Vanilla Sunshine, PB&J and Red Velvet Devil’s Foodcake(?) and we were so full and satisfied afterwards.  A lot of people dog Sonja’s probably because they are jelly of all the sales!  That place is always busy.  They complain about the high prices and make sira but then no one has really topped her cupcakes and they sell like.. well, hotcakes 😉   You get what you pay for with Sonja’s and I guess people don’t realize the cost of her overhead. She’s upped the ante with the frosting (thank you! it was too sparse before for our taste) and her cake has gotten better since the opening. 

The following day, Jay and I headed over to a private little place in Puerto with my family and relatives from Mindoro. We snorkeled, went around the different islands, and ate a helluva lot. 

We had an incredible, much-needed weekend with family and with each other.  I took my dlsr around and Jay snapped away in film this time around. 


Sometimes it’s good to see new scenery and landscapes to awaken your sensibilities… to eat different kinds of food, taste different textures, see color saturations and pairings that you don’t always see in the city… just to give you a gentle reminder that there’s so much more out there – not only in our country, but in life – to see and take in.  Hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day weekend, too!

 Saya cintamu, ngusoh.

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A Michi Calica bride

My friend and old dance-mate, Maiga, had a rustic wedding ceremony in Vermont last month.  Her and her then-fiancee and now-husband kicked-off the year with a reception here in Manila, but they finally had a chance to exchange vows and make it official in May. 

Maiga and I always have these funny life intersections and coincidentally, she picked Michi Calica as her designer, too.  Great minds think alike, Maigs! 😉

She was kind enough to let me post a few pics from her wedding.  She was an out-of-town bride and she told me that, generally speaking, Michi was great to work with.  It makes sense as Michi also told me that she’s used to working with out of town brides – which bodes well for Jay and I and a handful of our out of town entourage members who can only e-mail their measurements and will probably have time for one fitting (if that) when they arrive.

 A few images from her wedding:

Lovely spring colors!

This is such an awesome candid shot… Maigs said that she had a bongga train to go along with the dress 🙂 but because of the rain, she couldn’t wear it because it would’ve just gotten soaked.  Oh well – she still looked gorgeous. 

Glowing with happiness 🙂

First dance!


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Jay and I are deciding between the Ateneo de Manila Glee Club and the UA&P Chorale.  Both of them sound pretty good (we’ve listened to their samples online, googled them and read bits and pieces about them, watched videos on their websites, looked through their photo albums…) and they seem pretty much at par with each other.  The clincher will be when we hear UA&P at a church wedding ceremony (that we’re going to ever so quietly crash… you won’t even know that we’re there) this Saturday, and when we hear Ateneo at a rehearsal in 2 weeks. 

UA&P charges P5,000 less than Ateneo (who charges P20,000 for a 16-member choir + P1,000 for the pianist).

We heard that Ateneo can sing the song that we want to hear (seee-cret) after Fr. Francis pronounces us as Mr. and Mrs. Lara (whoa… that’s the first time I’ve ever written that with us in mind and not Jay’s parents… ha!).  But we’ll really have to hear the rest of their repertoire.  And UA&P’s obviously.  Btw, UA&P is Jay’s alma mater.  We have no ties to ADMU 🙂 My dad was UP Prep and then UP Diliman and my mom was a scholar at Philippine Women’s University. 




(picture taken from

…or UA&P?


(picture taken from

 SO HARD!  We’ll have to come back to this post in 2 weeks to let you guys know which one we decided to go with.  If you have any stories to share (esp wedding-related ones) about either one of these groups, please share!

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