Happily Ever After... And Then Some.

Our Storybook, one page at a time.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

So sorry to those who wrote comments previously -- your comments disappeared when I added Haloscan!

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Swiped from The Stepford Wives
Posted by Hello

I thought Stepford Wives was a really good movie, but apparently it gets mixed reviews especially from men and married couples. Of course there's the big issue of power in a marriage - and it doesn't help that the insecurity of men is magnified here. But I do believe that it is to each his own - after all, it's just a movie. Production-wise, it was worth the movie ticket to see table centerpieces, living room and kitchen arrangements, and cupcakes that Martha Stewart would have been proud of.

A few months ago, I read about the reality of house husbands in Time magazine. Instead of husbands who feel like losers since their wives are relatively more successful in the business arena, these househusbands are proud and more than happy to take over domestic duties.

Call me naive or optimistic, but I do believe that marriages are all about striking a balance between partners -- and if it means men giving up something important for the women in their lives, they are the ones who have balls, as opposed to the men who ask their wives to stay at home, prepare dinner, and do the laundry.

Interesting enough, in Thailand I've noticed that women are automatically subservient to their boyfriends and husbands. Aside from the lack in public affection, Thai women serve their men more than the other way around. I have yet to see a husband get up from his seat to fetch his wife dessert from the buffet table. To top it all off, Thai women unconsciously compete with each other for Thai men (read about this in Breaking the Silence : Violence Against Women In Asia). Sheesh, talk about a patriarchal society.

I've had friends who, quite irritatingly, impose silly rules on their girlfriends (not even wives, mind you) such as no sleeveless blouses, no talking to other guys, no texting/calling other guys... and the list goes on and on. Even worse, a few men assume that when they get married, their wives will stop working in the corporate world, and start slaving away in the kitchen. Talk about insecurity in bold, capital letters. I never really understood the machismo concept behind it -- well not in this day and age. I quietly pray that these egotistical friends of mine get hit in the balls and wake up to the reality that imposing rules is never a good thing.

In all our years together, Aldo has never stopped me from doing what I wanted. When I decided to move to Bangkok, he asked me when I was leaving, and encouraged me instead of giving me a long list of rules to follow -- and he'd patiently listen to my sobbing when things got too difficult. He never dictated that I should give up my life as I know it, and move to Canada, but I (will) willingly do that (the Martha Stewart housewife bit is another story altogether).

For that and a hundred other little things, I am truly thankful I have Aldo.

Friday, September 24, 2004

shutterspeeds and clicks

Posted by Hello

Finding a photographer has been one tedious but fun wedding task for me. Since January, I've been compiling photographers' names and websites, rates, and reviewing supplier ratings from brides over at weddings at work. I've bookmarked about 20 sites, e-mailed around 5 photographers, and took note of around 15 webshots albums. (Hmm, telltale signs of a stalker!). After 8 months of pouring through websites, albums, magazines, and even stock photography, I finally made up my mind on who I want... my vote (based on talent + budget of course) goes to Terry Uy and John Mateos Ong.

The next, more difficult task however, was to get Aldo's approval. Since he's a photographer and an art director as well, he's harder to please, plus he gets all technical on me when it comes to photo quality. After showing him works of one photographer after another, he finally found 4 that he liked: Lito Sy, Jorge Maniquis, Eddie Boy Escudero, and Terry Uy. But when we started gathering their rates, I found Lito Sy too steep, and Jorge Maniquis too ordinary for his rate (his website photos are awesome, but his photo coverage isn't that exciting). Eddie Boy Escudero, on the other hand, only does film photography so Aldo won't be able to manipulate those photos as well as the digital ones.

John Mateos Ong has been really patient in answering all my questions. I think I must have been exchanging e-mails with him since July... he must think I'm so kulit by now. The nicest thing is, he is accommodating enough to make me a deal that's really fit for someone so indecisive like me.

I sent Terry Uy an SMS today, and although a co-w@wie said he's in London for a holiday, he replied! Even funnier, he was boarding a plane so after 2 questions he had to tell me he was turning his phone off. Now how pro is that! I'm definitely impressed!

If all wedding suppliers were this nice, then it should be like collecting friends in the coming months!

Monday, September 20, 2004

little by little

"... And one by one the nights between our separated cities join with the night which makes us one...."
-- The Captain Verses by Pablo Neruda

our wedding preps are currently at a snail's pace, but i'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's going to pick up soon. of course it doesn't help that before i elicit a reaction from aldo about something wedding-related, it takes him 2 days thanks to the time difference.

there are days i get a tad bit envious of engaged couples who have the luxury of preparing for their wedding together - not relying on websites, digital photos or on e-mail - but visiting shops, feeling wedding stationery, and talking to suppliers in person.

on days like these, i find comfort in knowing that if the world was one big country, then it wouldn't be so irritating.

current mantra: if we've lasted as long as we have, then another year of paperwork, wedding preps, and travel schedules won't hurt.

*sigh* the consequences of being in a long distance relationship.

on the bright and chirpy side... looking at the calendar is now more exciting than it used to be. it is no longer a time-conversion exercise for me, but now a countdown. in exactly 2 months, aldo and i will be boarding different planes to one destination: manila (it'll take him 2 days, while it'll take me 3 hours).

then the real work begins.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

for bangkok honeymooners

Since a lot of friends have asked me for Bangkok hotels, restaurants, shopping guides, and honeymoon destinations, I've decided to post them here.

I think Bangkok, or Thailand for that matter, is a must-see Asian destination -- and not just because I live here. Thailand offers an exotic cultural charm that is unlike the spanish or chinese culture that we have bits and pieces of. The Thais are a unique and preserved bunch altogether since they are virtually untouched by colonization. I could go on and on about how different they are, but that belongs to the other blog.

Aldo and I aren't sure if we're going to have a honeymoon, but if we do and it's in Thailand, I would definitely want to go to 1 of these places:

1. Krabi - Pimalai Resort or Rayavadee Resort
2. Phuket - Banyan Tree Phuket or Evason Phuket
3. Samui - Tonsai Bay

*For more info, check sawadee.com

For those going on a Bangkok honeymoon, here's a random list for you:

Bangkok Honeymoon Must-Sees, Must-Eats, and Must-Experience (In Random Order):

1. Buddhist Temples Tour - Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and the Grand Palace
2. Jim Thompson Museum House for a glimpse of real Thai architecture.
3. Chao Praya River Dinner Cruise
4. Thai Massage - One of the most quiet and most authentic spas I've been to is in Home Spa, Sukhumvit Soi 12. For 250 Baht, you get a one-hour thai massage in a special outdoor hut with a canopy. If you're lucky, you can even hear the pitter-patter of raindrops (when it's raining of course!).
5. Eat, eat, eat - somtum (papaya salad) and grilled pork, pomelo salad, pad thai, tom yam, and pandan chicken. Honeymoon-ish restos are: Jim Thompson Cafe in Sala Daeng Soi 1, Anna's Cafe in Sala Daeng Soi 2 or Nana Station, The Oriental, or Mahanaga in Sukhumvit Soi 39
6. Wine and Dine - For good pizza to go with good wine, there's Limoncello in Sukhumvit Soi 11. For chocolate fondue try Cafe Andaman in Thonglor Soi 5. For seduction by ice cream, there's Iberry, Swensen's, or Haagen Daazs with numerous outlets. For drinks and nice music, try Hazara's or Face Bar in Sukhumvit Soi 26 (I think!).
7. Watch A Movie - Before a movie starts, the King's anthem is playes and everyone must stand up to honor him. If the movie is really worth it, you can try EGV Cinema's special honeymoon chairs or loveseats (forgot what it's called exactly), and watch in a smaller theater while sipping champagne.

For more Bangkok restos, shopping guides, adventures, and hotels, go here.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

a chocoholic's dream


We had brunch at the Oriental last Sunday and their dessert buffet was so sinful! I couldn't resist - I had temporary selective diet amnesia so I tried their dark chocolate mousse and absolutely had to try the chocolate fountain. The chocolate mousse was perfectly bittersweet and addicting - a rarity here in Bangkok. The chocolate fountain, on the other hand, proved to be better appreciated from a distance because *sigh* the Thais being Thais, they had to ruin the whole experience by pairing off chocolate with watermelon, pineapple, and melon. (What is it with these nutty people - we've tried the chocolate founde at Cafe Swiss and they combined the same fruits, even worse because Cafe Swiss had papaya!) The only good thing about it was the chocolate itself. Hmph!

Pineapple and watermelon aside, a chocolate fountain is a really great idea. If we're going to have a chocolate fountain at the wedding reception though, Aldo and I might never leave the buffet table.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

charlotte moments

Do you have Charlotte moments?
Posted by Hello

Last night's SATC episode gave me an unexpected realization. Charlotte's I've-given-up-Christ-now-it's-your-turn-to-give-up-TV outburst over dinner with Harry looked silly and bratty of her... and then I realized that Aldo and I have a lot of those moments too. I realized what a nut I'm turning into - and I have to agree with Harry, rolling out the what-have-you-given-up list has to stop.

I must say, seeing a spat like that gave me a well-deserved whack in the head. Good thing Aldo is extremely patient and hasn't exchanged our engagement ring for fishing gear.

*Photo from hbo.com

shoulda worn this to banff

sleigh ride
Posted by Hello

Maybe I should have worn a pink hat to our sleigh ride - for maximum romantic fluff. Hehehe.

*Photo from hbo.com

Thursday, September 02, 2004

September 10, 2005

My mom called Mary The Queen -- yet again -- to inquire if they had a ready form for the Certificate they required. The person in-charge said that to simplify things, they just need a simple letter from a priest saying that I am single and that I have not exchanged vows with someone. AHA! I knew having a priest in the family is important.

My grand-uncle will be our wedding officiant/priest, AND it does help greatly that he celebrates mass regularly in Mary The Queen... so PHEW! All I have to do is ask him for the said letter and we're all set. Aldo, on the other hand, already has his Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry so we're good to go.

Our Edsa Shang booking is also slowly taking shape. We're not getting their bridal package since we don't want most of the inclusions anyway, so my mom and sister asked for a different menu cost estimate and it was approved today too... one of the perks of having a mom and a sister in the hotel industry! My sister booked the Palawan Ballroom since we're having a relatively small wedding with only (hopefully!) 100 guests.

It's nearly official: SEPTEMBER 10, 2005!

Thank God for family!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

officially the start of hard work

I thought that getting a Certificate of Freedom to Marry would be as easy as applying for a re-entry permit in Thailand (you just line up for it at the Immigration Department). After 2 consecutive Sundays of running after Fr. Martin, it seems like this Certificate is as difficult as teaching a Thai adult to speak English!

Fr. Martin insists that the church in the Philippines (in my case, Mary The Queen) should look for proof from the church where I was baptized, since I can only get one baptismal certificate (for marriage purposes) in my lifetime -- and that he, or my parish here in Bangkok, cannot prove that I did not get married during the 2 years I've been here unless I show him that baptismal certificate as well.

*Thought bubble: You have to be kidding!*

I asked him if there is ANY other way around that process since Mary The Queen is really strict about the requirements. He said that the best he can do for me is to use the Certificate of Non-marriage for Non-Catholics, which basically has one person who knows me testifying that I did not get married in Thailand, and that he will just sign over it. Ok so that was a relatively easy one to do -- I knew volunteering to teach for Sunday School would pay off somehow hehe.
BUT it's for non-catholics... which definitely does not apply to me -- besides the fact that I am handing it over to a CATHOLIC church.

That was 2 Sundays ago. Last Sunday, I got the Non-Catholic form, got my friend P to sign it, and waited patiently for Fr. Martin to finish his Junior High class lecture. With an accomplished form in tow, I asked him what I was going to do next. He gave me a puzzled look that seemed like he thought I was really nuts for trying to get a certificate -- and told me that maybe he should just draft a letter saying that P knows me and solemnly swears that I am not married, co-signed by him.

Hmm, in short he'll copy the form and take out the masthead that says "for Non-Catholics".

Argh, it's better than nothing -- let's see how this goes. If his letter of sorts doesn't work, then I'll draft a letter that says the church registry doesn't have my name in their list of marriages from June 2001 to the present -- maybe that's an even better alternative.

Hay, we'll see. Argh, all that fuss for one piece of paper... and it's only the beginning.

On a lighter note... it's SEPTEMBER! One whole year to our church wedding (that doesn't even have a definite date yikes!), and 2 months til I see Aldo again in Manila!