A filipino fairytale

Happy tears, lots of it!

God was indeed so generous and gracious, His will triumphs over anything.

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The wedding was so beautiful and memorable, worth all the pains, wait and hurdles. We met numerous challenges, family emergencies/illness, problems, people and hindrances. There was a time when we thought we’d lose my in-law due to a critical condition and wedding date was compromised, but God intervened. It was His timing, so perfect.

I cannot thank God enough for this dream-came-true.

Seeking a good coordinator was the first step. So, I prayed for one and God gave me the best in town @events by miss p. The rest of the suppliers were equally amazing. Working with them were a bliss 🙂

We opted a very simple & uncomplicated wedding. Skipping many traditional and fancy components like not having bridesmaids and groomsmen, no lengthy or scripted photo shoot, etc. The venue itself was a Spanish antique house turned into a restaurant in Malacañan. Making the wedding more intimate. 

It was in Malacañan since we invited President Duterte and Madam Honeylet. And we are so honoured to have our principal sponsors during our wedding. 

 

with principal sponsors

Sec. Sal Panelo in behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte , Vice Mayor Jenny Sandoval in behalf of Madam Honeylet Avanceña, Mayor Joseph Estrada, Cong Jonathan dela Cruz in behalf of Senator Bongbong Marcos, Senator Tito Sotto, Gov. Imee Marcos, Cong. Rogelio Espina, Dra. Cecil Espina, Marose Borromeo Soberano, tatay Dondong Limchua, & Mrs. Diana Limchua

A Cebuano – Jun Escario made my beautiful wedding gown. Made up of separate pieces for I know exactly the trouble on pee-break while wearing a gown 🙂 It’s crafted with intricate french lace & imported fabric. Overall look is a fusion of Spanish-Filipiniana with accents of gold and of course my favorite – ecuadorian roses. 

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They say that grief can strike anytime, and so there I was, emotional and missing my father who passed away recently. You can read it my first post My wedding without daddy 

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yes, happy tears… as if there’s nothing else to do but cry. My uncle brought me together with my mom. 

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Fortunate to have our family and friends with us on this wondrous occasion. A celebration of love that stands against all odds.

 

The historic Basilica Menor de San Sebastian is the perfect church for our wedding. Though I felt we were on time constraint, had a quick photo session after the ceremony, still it justified the moment’s theme. Constructed in 1621 & completed in 1891, it is the only all-steel church in the Philippines and designated a National Historical Landmark since 1973. First time we visited this church, I was in awe for its beauty and grandeur. We are also blessed that this year, the parish is preparing for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Being a devotee myself, I felt so blessed by Mama Mary who has been a witness and a constant help in our journey.

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My sister Monica, sang us to tears. Moved by every word and notes. The officiating priest is worth mentioning, he is a Cebuano and has been in our compound during his younger days. His sermon was very timely and important. Using the abbreviation C.A.L.L. – c for communication, a for affection, love and loyalty, reminding us of these values every marriage requires. Being together for more than a decade, time has proven that staying in love is effortless if it is true. The foundation is Jesús, and that makes it a solid one. 

 

 

Pausing in prayer and remembrance, paying tribute to our late loved ones, especially my dad & brother who died a year ago. They are forever in our hearts…

much love,
mitch.e

 

special thanks;

events: Events by Miss P
photo/video: Thee Creation Media
florist/stylist: Amelia Blossoms
preps: Holiday Inn & Suites Makati
church: Basilica Menor de San Sebastián
reception: Casa Roces
bridal car: Don Robert
gown: Jun Escario

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Gifts any mom would love on Mother’s Day

There’s a myriad of gifts to give your mom this Mother’s Day but giving her something useful, practical and that will last is what we all desire for our special “Mama”.

So here are five (5) gifts any mom would love to receive on Mother’s Day. 

  • Organic soaps

Every mom loves to be pampered and bath time is no exemption. Lathering in organic, handmade and natural soaps is the most inexpensive luxury. Main reason is because they often lack time and just stick with the basic skin care – a gentle bar of soap. Gift her with one that is not just any soap but also effective to remove skin problems like acne, pimple marks, warts, and other imperfections. Tried and tested by the Japanese – Kojic Acid Soap is a perfect example, and so are the likes of Rice, Oatmeal, Gluthatione, & Papaya Soaps. 

Price starts at P100 shop here POSH BOUTIQUE ONLINE

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  • Makeup

Another staple, whether it is lipstick, eyebrow pen or powder. Moms need to look put-up and fab even in a time constricted life. Featured in past post How to look lovely when you’re always in a hurry – some beauty hacks for busy mothers.

*A Korean makeup trend is orange or peachy lippie hue that compliments almost any skintone.

Price starts at P99. Shop here POSH BOUTIQUE ONLINE

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  • Skin Care

The fame of K-beauty is due to its emphasis on skin care. From the simplest sheet mask to the more sophisticated serum and oils. The goal is to have clear, smooth and fair skin. And who doesn’t like that?!

Price starts at P39. Shop here POSH BOUTIQUE ONLINE

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  • Travel essentials

Mothers don’t need to travel in order to have these must-haves, these are essential items in any working mom. Commuting can bring so much stress to our dear momsies especially in dealing with Manila traffic. Bag organisers or cosmetic bags are very practical and so is eye cooling mask. Relaxes tired eyes from a day’s work or trip. 

Price starts at P149. Shop Here POSH BOUTIQUE ONLINE

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  • Coin Purse/Wallets

Koreans also came out with cute, fashionable and most importantly – affordable coin purses/wallet. Moms know first and foremost how to save every peso coin. Giving her a purse will be of greatest use for her and she will surely be delighted.

Price starts at P49. Shop here POSH BOUTIQUE ONLINE 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: PHOTOS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE ACTUAL COLOUR OR APPEARANCE OF THE ITEM. 

much love,

mitch.e

My wedding without daddy

Still in cloud-9 days after my church wedding. Another dream came true all to God’s glory… It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, sky was clear, weather was fair. Even the notorious Manila traffic seemed to be cooperating and so we arrived in Basilica Menór de San Sebastián 40 minutes early. Long enough to finish praying the rosary, simultaneously I talked to the chauffeur and coordinator assistants. I convinced myself not to cry, “yep this is nothing” anyway Dadi is smiling down from heaven and I’m sure he is very happy for me. Finally this day came, after twelve years of anticipation…

I wrapped the rosary around my wrist like armor to strengthen me. 

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I thought I was equipped not to cry,

I thought wrong.

The antique steel door slowly unclosed. I was instructed to count 5 seconds before making the first step. The door flung open, and there my poor heart started beating rapidly. So fast that it felt like my heart leaped off my chest. My hands were shaking. The coordinators kept on reminding to walk slowly, I heard them faintly for my heart was much stronger ~ it desired the man standing in the altar waiting for me. 

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“love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust.

Love still stands when all else has fallen”

1 Corinthians 13:7-8

I looked way pass him, still trying to stop the welling of my eyes. Yet, it made me more emotional. To see the image of the blessed Mother Mary (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel) was the best reminder of this dream that was about to unfold. All attempts failed and I wept, using up the tissue prepared in my hidden pocket. At that moment, everything else was blurry in my sight, I didn’t mind looking terrible and drenched in tears.

Happy tears. 

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Then, I looked at the right of the altar and saw a familiar cross with the sacred image of Jesus. A similar crucifix as that of Lourdes, France. The church is such a perfect setting, everything seemed so surprisingly wonderful and surreal. 

Little trivia: The church is the only all-steel church in the Philippines, made by a French engineer – Gustave Eiffel who also made the famous landmark Eiffel Tower in Paris. 

And it hurts because a year ago my father died suddenly and unexpectedly, missing him in the most significant day in my life… I would have wanted him to be there even in wheelchair. But, the turn of events were tough, became even more difficult when my father-in law was again hospitalized and placed in ICU and my mom-in law needing to stay with him. And so both my in-laws and my Dadi were missing, it was painfully sweet and special.

Fatherless wedding. 

The wedding was almost perfect, maybe perfect, because everything was God’s gift to me and Erik. 

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I opted for a simple one and specifically asked the photo/videographer to capture raw, candid, real emotions. I skipped many traditional scenes and the reason for this is that my life has too much melancholy and sadness already. No need to be fancy and dramatic. Masking the blues with laughters, giggles and smiles. At the back of my mind, I’d wished for Dadi to be there, handsome in his Barong Tagalog. Maybe, a chance for us to bond and to be a little vocal of how we actually feel. I missed the opportunity to tell him I love him, a goodbye never said, a guilt that affects me and regret that changed my life then on. 

This post is to honor the memory of my dad, for my late brother as well. Taking opportunity to remember with love those who are no longer with us, they are in our hearts forever.

Happily ever after continues on next post…

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Thank you to these awesome people/team ♥️
P/V: Thee Creation Media http://www.theecreationsmedia.com
Wedding Coordinator: Events by Miss P https://www.facebook.com/eventsbymissp/
Preps: Holiday Inn, Makati
Ceremony: Basilica Menor de San Sebastián
Reception: Casa Roces Malacañan
BridalCar: Don Robert
Florist/Stylist: Amelia Blossoms
Gown: Jun Escario http://www.junescario.com
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travel essentials

We are going on a trip yay!

It’s been 3 years since our last vacation and looking forward for a whole new perspective, visit places, meet people, discover their culture and the best part is to taste their food (Spanish tapas – yum!)

Here’s an accustomed checklist of mine improved through time & designed for long trips with young family members, kids and also elderly having special needs. 

  • passport (VISA if applicable) – first on the list, obviously you can’t travel without it 😉

  • itinerary – unless you want to be carefree with your trip, be adventurous and just visit the places you’d like to see in your own time.

  • airplane tickets – internet made everything so easy and convenient. From buying to check in. Hooray for internet! 

  • book your room – for me this is very important, it’s your home away from home. There are several sites that will help you choose the best hotel that suits you. Below are direct links for legit and safe – hotel booking sites ↓ you’re welcome 🙂

Booking.com

Hotels.com

Trivago.com

Agoda.com

Expedia.com

BookingBuddy.com

  • medicines – the basic over-the-counter medicines, in no particular order; pain reliever, anti-diarrhea, for motion sickness, for dyspepsia, maintenance medicines for our elder companions (anti-hypertensive, anti-cholesterol, etc), anti-histamine for allergies and first aid kit.

  • neck pillows – because sleep or even quick nap is a must!

  • shawl/cap – to keep you warm & cap for sun protection

  • clothing and other accessories – if fashion is your statement 

  • vitamins and supplements – to support our immune system as we are exposed to a different environment when we travel

  • camera and extra memory cards – to store priceless selfies and memories

  • phone chargers, cable and adaptor – across the world, there are varying power outlets that may be different from your plug

  • powerbank – as we take a lot of selfies, our phone’s/camera’s batteries drain faster than usual

  • a good book 

  • traveler’s notebook and pen

  • toiletries

And the rest is all up to you 😉

 travel essntials

Baked cheesy salmon (super easy)

Pardon the photo, my family couldn’t wait to eat before I could snap some Instagram worthy photos. I’m sharing with you the recipe for this super easy and no fuss – baked cheesy salmon. 

ingredients

  • 2 lbs salmon fillet, boneless, with or without skin
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • lemon juice
  • ground black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 cup cheese, shredded (I used monterey jack, cheddar and parmesan cheese)
  • parsely, finely chopped (optional)

 

procedure

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  • line a large baking tray with parchment paper or a layer of cooking spray on a square baking dish will do
  • place the fillet with skin side down (if any) on the baking tray/dish, squeeze some lemon juice, rub garlic, sprinkle and rub salt and pepper then top with cheese
  • bake uncovered for 15 minutes
  • garnish with parsely if desired
  • serve warm and enjoy!

 

try this recipe today, it took me only 20 minutes to cook and about 5 minutes for my family to finish it 🙂

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much love,

mitch ❤

A letter to my daughter on her birthday

Dearest Baby girl,

Today is a very special day not just for you but also for me. On this day, I was blessed with a very beautiful baby. You may sometimes tease me when I get sappy, but what I’m feeling as your mom is best expressed with tears in my eyes for it is the finest feeling in the world. I’m so proud of you, maybe you already know that. And I want to be with you and see you in every milestone, every step, every dream you want to achieve. I will be here no matter what, I will be here as your confidant, as your art-buddy, as your adviser, as your mentor or math tutor, most especially I will be here as your mom – always and forever… I will give you all the love in the world, all the love I can give simply because you deserve it. You are such a wonderful being, a little timid, sensitive, compassionate, smart and an artist by heart. I would do everything I could so you can have a better life, better that what I had. The material is of least importance as we pass unto you the values and tradition we have received from our parents. These will guide you as go through life particularly on tough times. Always remember that God gives favor to those who love Him, believe and ask with your heart, God can hear you… just like when God heard me and gave me you…

happy birthday.

I love you,

forever, mom.

anyway

 

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat on you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

  • Mother Teresa

In our lifetime, we all experience pain, sufferings and sorrow. It used to give me a bitter outlook of the world that’s filled with heartaches. Both my partner and I encountered perfidious relationships from the past so when we met it was quite challenging. It was more hurtful for him because it involved his family. You will not know the exact meaning of pain until you’re cheated by someone you loved. And I believe it is the greatest tragedy of mankind.

People doubt, deceive, forget and are unkind…

There will always be a few, who would disagree and dislike. I don’t need to recount the myriad times I was judged and criticized, maybe all these are part of my “purification” I guess.

Having gone through a lot, lest we didn’t know God was there. He is always there… Until present day that I realized, all I need to do, all these time, I just need to talk to Him. to surrender,

“Lord… I do not trust my weakness, I can’t bear this pain, I can’t do this alone, I need You and I trust You… Your love for me is greater than anything else so I lift all these up to You…”

and it is only Him, who can judge, who can deliver, and can help us.

I’m glad I didn’t end up being bitter after all, there’s always a hint of hope inside of me. Perhaps, that is God’s grace over me…

When I lost my only brother this year, it was an awakening and it hurt so much because of a few regrets, I felt I could have done something before he died. The guilt being the eldest  and most able, forgiveness was not easy. As I thought I will not be able to recover, but I did. One of the countless blessings God has given me… I was healed, forgiven, heard and loved…

anyway.