Category Archives: wedding

Terry’s slideshow

Hi!  If y’all care to see Terry’s slideshow for Jay and I, here it is:

Step 1: visit

Step 2: click on “CLIENT ACCESS”

Step 3: enter password: TANK

Step 4: click on “slideshow” and it will take you to “CATHY & JAY: THE WEDDING”.  Wait for the images to load as it’s in flash and then… ENJOY!



Filed under Filipino Wedding, Photography, Tank, wedding, Wedding Essentials

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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… or should I say a grain of it?

Let me back up a bit and provide some context before I explain the salt thing.

I’ve been back here in Manila for almost two years now and I must admit that the first 1.5 years were difficult. I came back and stayed mostly for reasons that had to do with my family and particularly my mom (who was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in March of 2006). During this time I ended up going back to my passion (writing and literature) and I’m also doing what I never thought I’d be doing, at least not this early in the game – teaching at a respected university (DLSU Manila).

And the super extra bonus of all bonuses – Jay and I also found each other again, after 12 years of bad timing, geographic obstacles, and general life flux. Yay! 🙂

But I had to get used to a lot of other things that I didn’t have to deal with when I was living abroad. At least not to the extent that I feel like I do here. I’m talking about gossip. No, I’m not saying it’s something unique to us Pinoys so please don’t get your panties in a bundle. But from my personal experience, people gossip a lot over here.

I guess it’s a bit more obvious to me because before I was living in Washington, DC, where, in gossip’s stead, people talked about politics and social justice issues like it was going out of style. But our subjects were public figures (and their political agenda/issues equally public), so I guess they’re fair game to be ‘gossiped about’. But when people start talking about people you actually know, it all of a sudden makes for an uncomfortable situation altogether. At least for me it does.  Or it did… I guess you could say I’ve developed a thicker skin.

As my boss likes to say, I’ve been reintroduced to the mangniniras, the ‘haters’ who are displeased with their current predicament so they make it a personal mission to bring you down with them. It exists everywhere and has different monikers (oh – read the current issue of Psychology Today and it discusses mangniniras in Australia and New Zealand; in their parts it’s called “tall poppy syndrome,” first introduced to me by my Auzzie-Pinay friend and maid of honor [along with Dre], Wendy).

Now, like I said in my April 28 post, I had plugged in the names of my suppliers in the W@W e-group/forum search engine to see what other brides (past and present) had to say about each of them. I wasn’t going to blog about it because a moderator told me that it could influence (negatively) other brides out there who may be swayed by what I had to say. It could mean bad business for my suppliers.

But I’ve thought long and hard about it and I realize that that’s giving me way too much credit and empowerment (although… thank you?) – Jay and I and this little blog, after all, are little fish inside a very big blog pond, and what the heck do we know except what we personally think and feel, based on our own very subjective experiences?  As a writer, I’m also not the best of friends with censorship.

Additionally, it’s not giving other couples out there enough credit. I’m sure if we can sort through the muck, they can, too.

So I will say this – almost all of my suppliers (except Chinkie, our coordinator) received negative reviews. In fact, our designer and florist had a string of bad ones. But they also received glowing reviews. And after talking it over with Jay, we’ve decided to take everything with a grain of salt. Marimi talagang mga mangninira.

I could tell that a few disgruntled brides in the e-group didn’t have the best experience with a few of my suppliers; they’re entitled to their opinions. But I can distinguish between one bad experience and an agenda, as some are on a personal mission to sway other brides from going through the same hell. But that’s their hell. Who knows, perhaps they were a bit bridezilla to begin with. 🙂 Or perhaps expectations were never on equal level. Whatever the reasons, as a discerning couple, you really have to weigh out the good and the bad reviews that you read in e-groups/forums with your own personal experience with a particular supplier because everything is relative. What was rude to one couple may be seen as strictly professional and direct for another. What’s tacky to one couple may be classy for another, right?

One of my suppliers was called ‘binge’ (deaf… grabe!), there were complaints about how high a particular make-up artist’s rates are – but then again what is high for one person is affordable for another, and to my knowledge, the supposed ‘binge’ supplier of mine heard me loud and clear when I chatted with him.

So couples, YOU be the judge. Take everything you hear and read with a grain of salt. Yes, a pattern of bad behavior should set off red flags. But trust your instincts and be weary of reviews (especially nega ones) that sound too much alike because they could be written by the same person/couple who have an agenda. Go with your personal taste, preferences, and experiences. Which means beyond the forums and e-groups, if you can spare the time, go and meet with each supplier so that you can weigh out your options yourselves instead of basing your choices on someone else’s perceptions.

With that said – happy supplier hunting to all!

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There are certain things that Jay and I will admit to in planning our wedding:

1) We are lucky and yes, privileged. We are aware that the cost of our flowers alone costs three times as much as our co-worker’s entire bill for his wedding. When our Catholic Guilt gets the best of us we heave and sob and stay up at night telling ourselves that we are going to burn in hell. But then my mom is always the first one to bring me back from inferno, telling me that she will kick my a$$ if we don’t get quality flowers, or centerpieces, that people can take home and admire.

2) There are some so-called wedding traditions (if you do research, you’ll soon find out that the seemingly historically rooted accoutrement were created by the very people who profit from the wedding industry and who happily take money from wide-eyed brides and nervous grooms who want to make sure that they have a diamond ring that isn’t too big, but isn’t too small, either) that we will forego.

Like fireworks. As I type, I hear fireworks in the background… omg!!! Providential.

And the parlor games at the reception, the throwing of this or that (because you know if you’re throwing something, you’re going to have it buy it first). Of course I’ll throw (or perhaps just hand?) my bouquet to… someone… 🙂 But we’ll really do away or borrow the little things, like the arrhae (huh?) and the ring pillows (we’ll have them in a velvet pouch that I already have and my friend, Charley, will be our ring bearer so she’ll keep it in her purse), by taking from what we already have or from Jay’s brother, who got married last year. But for sure, we’re buying the important stuff for the church ceremony, like our family bible.

3) We want to look fly. So we’re spending on designers.

4) We want to be immortalized looking fly. So we’re having two photographers (Terry Uy and Jill Lejano) and a videographer (Threelogy). As some of you know, Jay is a kick-ass photog, and I’m starting-out myself, so images, both still and moving, are a priority. Since Jay and I want to look through every second of the wedding video footage, unedited, he and I will edit it ourselves (well, Jay will edit it for the most part, I’ll point and make comments :)).

5) We want to make sure that the exchange of our vows is special, so we want a top-notch choir to serenade us through the ceremony. My dad wants MADZ. But when I do the math, I really can’t justify dropping P50,000 for an hour. Even if it’s for MADZ (sorry! more power!). My dad is insisting. I’m resisting. We’re thinking a younger choir may fit more with our theme anyway.

Any suggestions? Has anyone heard Ateneo Glee Club? UP Singing Ambassadors? UA&P Chorale? Or a boy’s choir?

6) We want mad tunes at the reception, and after an hour of eating, speeches, that kind of thing – we want to open up the dance floor so people can D-A-N-C-E! YEAAAAAA!!! So yes, we want a quality dj.

But you know… I’ve really calmed down a lot in the planning. Now we just have to go on taste tests, that kind of thing, but I really don’t want to get sucked into more and more costs because… we have the rest of our lives, for pete’s sake. I also just read this article on and the last thing I want is to be a sucker… or is it to be a level 10 sucker as opposed to just a… let’s say a 6 or 7? That’s where we’re (mostly me, coughcough) at now and would like to stay there.


We’d like to reiterate that we are not here to judge anyone for the choices that they are making with regards to their wedding. It’s your day. Spend your bucks, time, energy, love, patience, patience, patience, however you want to spend it! As long as you are growing closer as partners, you’re happy, and you can afford it, tickle yourselves pink with the planning and execution, by all means!

Oh, we forgot one more thing. We want bubbles throughout the day and lots of it.


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Save the Date


Some people were a bit bothered at the simplicity of our Save the Date.  But oh well 🙂 we just put the necessary stuff on it, mostly so people can just block-off their calendar (esp those abroad).  It’s a wedding.  It’s on a Saturday.  It’s on November 24, 2007.  You’ll get the invite 🙂 Simple lang.


Filed under Filipino Wedding, wedding, Wedding Essentials

Madge Lejano Trial HAMU

I had my trial HAMU (it’s not a sangwich, silly.  It’s hair and make-up) with Madge Lejano and her hairstylist, A (for Aaron) yesterday.  It went well!

Generally, I tend to look like this:


Big eyes.  Bangs.  Eyebags (yuck).  And a sharp jaw that is really hard to hide in pictures.  A few marks here and there from picking at zits which I am slowly but surely trying to correct with microdermabrasion (sand paper for the face, really), both with a machine and with Origins’ microdermabrasion scrub.

Because I got a bit caught up in talking to Madge and A at the THAMU, I totally forgot to take my ‘before’ shot.  And no, it’s not cos I looked bad; I looked ok (and had a little make-up on because I went to 2 work meetings right before).  It’s cos we started chatting pretty much as soon as I came through her studio doors (which is right across from John Mateos Ong’s studio and right in front of Michi’s bridal salon). 

The process went something like this:

1) Chinkie (our planner) scheduled my appointment with Madge and A;

2) I came in at exactly 1:30PM and Madge was still working on someone’s make-up (she was a bridesmaid for a wedding) so Madge had me look through her slideshow of BEFOREs and AFTERs.  WOW.  That’s all I can say.  Some brides had rosacea/severe acne, some had lots of discoloration, some had eyes that seem quite small, especially when they smiled.  They all looked pretty darn good in the AFTER shots.  She has a few before and after shots in her multiply album.

3) When A started working on the other lady’s hair, Madge started working on my make-up.  I said that I just wanted to look fresh and awake.  Like Lea Salonga did on her wedding day.  And Madge got very excited because she said her idol (Juan Sarte?) did Lea’s make-up and that she totally ‘got it.’

So, while she and I chatted about pretty much everything, from make-up remover (apparently you shouldn’t stress the skin out right before applying make-up, so what she did was just wipe a clean tissue over my face to pat it clean instead of putting a liquid on it); we talked about my jaw (it sounds so proper, with me, to call it ‘panga’ like with tuna panga, cos that’s how big it is); to her recommendation for me not to wear eyelash extensions.  I even told her that I tend to get anxiety-related sickness (nausea, vomitting, the flu, etc.).

Finally, the bangs stayed a bit down here (click on thumbnails to enlarge):



Now, A couldn’t achieve what I wanted with my updo quite yet because my hair needs to be about 3-4 inches longer for him to coil it into a healthy and shall we say ‘robust’ looking low bun (going for the classy and clean look); so he just did a simple coil for now.

up-hair-1.jpg      up-hair-3.jpg 

So I ended up looking a bit like this (click on thumbs above and below), which is what I wanted.  Enhanced, but still fresh and recognizable under the gook.  It’s still me. 🙂


Ugh, my eyebags are kinda gross and clearly my left eye is smaller than my right.  And my jaw… OMG MY JAW!!!  Jay teases that you can sharpen knives with it (wailing, tears, sobbing).  I need to learn how to smile without… er, accentuating it further.  And I hold a lot of tension in my neck/collarbone area! AAAAAAAAAA! 

Madge told me to do the following between now and November:

1) get a bit more of a tan, which I will happily do!  I’m usually a shade or two darker anyway… I clearly haven’t been sunbathing as much as I’d like…

2) grow-out my eyebrows so that they are bushy and so she can tell how they naturally arch, instead of the too far apart and weird state they are in now 😦

3) stay healthy!

So that was that.   I paid for the THAMU (P2,000) and also the downpayment for the day-of package (includes bride + groom [MINIMAL] + 2 heads; P2,000 per extra head) so that I could book her already because I know that she gets booked pretty quickly (not to mention that our wedding day is w/in peak season).

Hair and make-up, check.

 [note: all trial HAMU pics taken by Madge]


Filed under Filipino Wedding, wedding, Wedding Essentials

Our Awesome Planet

Our friend and blogging maverick, Anton Diaz, who maintains what we think is the best lifestyle blog in the country Our Awesome Planet, blogged about the Love Strip Contest and urged his readers to vote for Jay and I.  Bless Anton!   We really appreciate the fact that we were able to mobilize our friends from all over the world – and we heard from some of you whom we haven’t heard from in ages! Our e-mail inbox was flooded with updates and kind words and if anything, that has been the coolest part about this contest.

Oh – lest we forget – to all blog purveyors out there who took the time to vote – our sincere thanks!!! If you haven’t voted yet, there’s still time (until April 15) to vote for Jay and I, Couple #1, here

Again, thanks to everyone’s who’s already voted and blessings to everyone this Holy Week. We leave you all in peace as we take heed from Anton and go on our own blogging fast as well.

Blessings, peace and light to all.

J&C 🙂

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Filed under Cliquebooth Lovestrip Contest, Filipino Wedding, Friends, Photography, wedding, What's Up