Wedding Update #1

Hey! How’s it going?

I’m really sorry for the lack of updates. Things started going cray right after the proposal. I joined a bunch of wedding groups and they strongly emphasized to start booking suppliers early. And that I did; my mom thought I was nuts. And because I got super focused on the wedding, work started to pile up so I had to attend to that after. But, now, I’m sort-of back! So I’ll just update you on what we’ve checked off from our list so far,

Okay, wait. Initially, I didn’t want to do wedding updates in this blog because you know, life. See paragraph above. Then, I realized this is something I want to document and maybe look back on years from now.

Date –  February 4, 2018

Our family is guided by feng shui especially when it comes to dates. My mom was very adamant that we find a lucky day for our wedding.

Side story: When I got home after our beach trip, I was joking that my mom might have a date already. And she did!

It took quite a while before we finalized the date. If given a choice, we (Kit & I) would’ve wanted a ber-month wedding para medyo malamig pa. My mom, together with her contacts, tried to find us a date during the ber months but there were none. There was only one date (Feb 4, 2018) and the next good one would be two years from now.

Church – St. Therese Parish

My parents are really traditional so they wanted me to get married at our hometown. We (Kit & I) also decided that this was the wisest choice because a.) It would be waaay cheaper b.) Most churches in Manila would’ve been booked already since we had less than a year to plan. We chose a small parish, my high school’s parish, where my parents and brothers got married. Nice, noh?

Reception and Caterer – Gloria Maris Dagupan, CSI Stadia

This was really a no-brainer. Chinese wedding= Chinese food. We got our relative who owns a Chinese restaurant. The venue is already packaged with the caterer. We’re already familiar with the venue and honestly, it may be the best in the city.

Photographer – Jaja Samaniego

Before we started looking for suppliers, Kit and I talked about our non-negotiables. One of mine was that the photographer and videographer should come from Manila, or at least not from Dagupan. I wanted my wedding to be different from other weddings held in our town and I knew if I got a local one, my photos would definitely look like my brother’s.

This was probably the hardest decision by far. We wanted our photos to be bright and happy. Also, since we’re both not good in front of the camera, we tried to find a photographer that can capture moments without the need to direct us too much. We want genuine emotions and not those fake smiles.

We shortlisted, I think, four photographers: three from Manila and one from Baguio. We got their rates and ranked them based on their rates first and then work next. We narrowed them to two after talking to them through e-mail. Ultimately, we chose Jaja because we think she offered the best package for the price. We got the Wedding + Album and Prenup from her.

We met her after a month of communication and I could say that I liked her aesthetic. Even her office was immaculate- simple but classy. I was slightly intimidated and nervous while we were on our way to her office but soon realized that I had nothing to worry about when we shook hands. We booked her that day.

Videographer – Woodstock Cinema

I was not that much particular with the videographer. All I wanted was that they came from Manila. I left the research to Kit and he found Woodstock Cinema. They are relatively new to the wedding scene so their rates are competitive. They suggested that we meet them at a bridal fair para we get to save money. Sakto rin kasi Kit & I were scheduled to meet in Manila that weekend.

I loved them the moment we met them. They’re very friendly and I’d say, kalog. They gave us free aerial coverage and a possible coverage the night before the wedding if ever merong dinner or what-not. They also offered a staggered payments option during the fair which I think was generous of them considering na they’re new lang

Host – Filbert and Shanda Uy

One of the things that someone told me to do and I wished I listened to was to book a host ASAP. See, Chinese weddings GREATLY depend on auspicious dates. It is not a shock for certain dates to be very busy with Chinese weddings leading to a shortage of Chinese hosts. Unlike regular wedding hosts whose basic requirement would be to speak Filipino or English fluently, Chinese hosts also need to speak AND sing Mandarin/Fookien very well. Hindi sulit kung hindi kumakanta ang host.

I was busy with work so I let Kit handle this one too. He messaged SEVERAL hosts asking for their availability. I think he asked more than five and guess what, most of them were already booked; two (most famous) did not reply and one rejected us. I followed-up with one of the in-demand ones (Jerome Go) via Messenger but he was also booked. I really commend him because I felt he really wanted to work with us but in the end, he chose to be professional and not let anything compromise my and his other event. He even offered to look for a host for us.

I asked others for recommendations and we were able to ask more people. In the end, I think we had three choices. We narrowed it again to two and chose the one who sings. Haha.

Later on, the other famous host, finally replied and said he was already booked on our date. SINCE LAST YEAR. CHINESE WEDDINGS BE CRAYYYY.

OTD Coordinator- Kiss The Girl

OTD coordination was not one of the suppliers I wanted to splurge on because I thought on-the-day lang and most probably, they haven’t worked with our local suppliers yet. I was thinking they might have a hard time coordinating if that’s the case.

I still asked for the rates of the Manila-based OTD coordinators just to have some baseline when I started looking locally.

I found two coordinators in our city and contacted them both. I got turned off by the first one I texted so I was planning on getting the second one I found. Some issue suddenly appeared and it needed time to get resolved. Kit & I decided that we won’t wait for it anymore. He messaged Kiss The Girl and talked to Arbee. I’ve been reading a bunch of good reviews about them so wala talagang hesitation on my part. Kit was okay with their rates given na our guest list will be a bit big so we booked them.

Prenup Stylist- Indie Hippie (Halsy)

When we asked Jaja the best time for a prenup shoot, she suggested a few months before the wedding but before their peak months starting September. Our wedding was set on Feb kaya the ‘ideal’ months would obviously fall on their busiest.

After talking to everyone involved, we settled on August hopefully before the rainy season fully sets in kasi we plan on doing it in the beach.

Because our theme was laid-back and casual, I did not think we needed a stylist. I guess Kit thought na we would not have much time to conceptualize or plan the layouts so he suggested we get a stylist. We did find a reasonable package with Indie Hippie kasi it included the make-up na plus no OOTF if we pick them up.

Priest

I had not planned on choosing our priest but I wanted someone I knew. Wala naman akong ka-close na priest kaya I let this thought go but my family suggested we get this one. I do know him but I’ve always been shy in front of him. I won’t disclose who he is kasi I’m not sure if pwede. Hehe.

I’m glad that he’s available on our date but also nervous at the same time. He wants to meet us personally before the wedding which I am excited to go to 🙂 It makes me feel like he wants to know us more and not give a generic homily during the wedding. Haha. Tell me if ganito lahat ng priests.

 

Hmm.. I think that’s it for now. I’ve met with two designers already and I’m close to booking one. I love his design process that involves me giving him so much input. It also doesn’t hurt that he made my prom gowns, my mom’s ninang and MOG gowns and one of my brother’s entourage gowns 😉

I’ve also scheduled a trial with a potential HMUA and been talking to different stylists for the church and reception. We have a potential lights and sounds supplier and band na.

What else… Oh, entourage list is also almost done. Ang hirap pala kapag malaki ang family tapos parehong bunso ang couple. Hehe. Hint: We’re going to have 10 flower girls 😛

I guess that’s it.

See ya soon!

Stranded in Siargao: Day After

The next day, we woke up with more information about the earthquake. We realized that the quake was greater than we thought–magnitude 6.7 with the epicenter near Surigao City.  We felt lucky we were already in Siargao when the quake happened; not in Surigao or in Club Tara na isolated (actually, I still wonder how they did during and after the earthquake).  Buti na rin that no tsunami warnings were raised. You can find more info and photos of the damage here CNN Philippines Surigao Quake

We also found out that there was damage to the runway in Surigao airport resulting to cancellation of all flights while they were assessing the damage. PAL (our booked airline) flights to and from Surigao airport were being re-routed to a different airport which was a few hours ride from Surigao. This plus the almost one-hour boat ride from Siargao to Surigao did not sit with us that well.

Continue reading “Stranded in Siargao: Day After”

Stranded in Siargao: Island Hopping Tour

Three years ago, we started what I think is a tradition— our annual beach trips! That year, I, Kit and three of our friends went to Dumaguete and Oslob to swim with the whalesharks (I failed). The year after that, we (plus two more friends) went to Siquijor to discover the magic that seemingly surrounds the island. This year, our beach trip was to sunny Siargao.

Siargao is the surfing capital of the Philippines—people from all over the world come here to enjoy the island life and ride the waves in Cloud 9. I, not being a surfer, only wanted to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle that I often see in social media. Hahahaha! Buti na lang supportive ang friends ko. Charot. Lahat naman kami nag-decide na pumunta sa Siargao this year.

We opted the Manila-Surigao-Siargao route—fly from Manila to Surigao and then ride a ferry to Siargao since this is cheaper.

Continue reading “Stranded in Siargao: Island Hopping Tour”

Guess what?

I’m getting married!

My next blog series was supposed to be about our beach trip in Siargao but I decided to slip in a post because I wanted to share something quite significant.

Last week, Kit staged this sweet and simple proposal with our friends in our favorite place, Montemar Beach Resort. It was everything I wanted the proposal to be- simple, intimate and meaningful.

The trip was supposed to be just my trip with friends but Kit’s friends also wanted a “beach trip”. The place was already fully booked when they inquired so they were waitlisted. A day before the trip, someone cancelled so Kit and his friends got their rooms. I learned that Kit already booked the rooms last month so the resort wasn’t really “fullybooked”. Sweet.

On the day of the trip, I woke up with a stomach bug and that made me contemplate if I still wanted to go. The resort was a four-hour drive from my house and I know there weren’t any reliable bathrooms on the way. Okay, sorry for the TMI. I decided to just go ahead since it’s been a long time since I saw my friends. #YOLO. My initial plan was to leave at 8AM so I could still make it in time for lunch at the resort but I left the house past 9AM already.  Kit and my friends got there first and were just waiting for me to arrive.

Just before 1PM, I finally arrived. What relief! I already drank medicines before leaving the house so I was all good but nevertheless, at least I had one less thing to worry about. We had lunch but just us girls. I was set on just focusing on my girls weekend and Kit was doing the same. We weren’t together all day; just the casual greetings whenever we crossed paths.
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At dinnertime, Kit and his friends got to the restaurant first. By the time we got there, I didn’t see them anymore and  I thought they were already in their rooms. After we finished our meal, we decided to go out and walk along the shore to have a photoshoot. We were wearing dresses because we were going to have a “Wine Night” in our room. Hahahahaha.

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The stars were abundant and shining,  and the waves were a joy to hear; soothing to the soul (naks). My friends were carrying flashlights kasi they said it would be dark. I remember Kit messaging me saying how bright the stars were and after a few meters, we saw some people sitting on the sand. I couldn’t see clearly who they were but they were waving to us so I just assumed it was Kit and his friends. As we were nearing them,  Eka grabbed my arm and led me closer to the water. I felt a slight nervousness and just told her,  “‘Wag mo naman ako lunurin, girl” or something like that. She handed me a note and they were holding the flashlight above me so I could read it. I knew then what was happening. I read Kit’s letter and I just started ugly crying. HAHAHAHA. I didn’t know what to do after reading it so I was just waiting. They asked me,  “Tapos mo na basahin?” When I said yes, they turned me around and there was Kit– standing in the middle of LED lights on the sand. I went closer to him and he knelt down and asked me to marry him. I don’t know where my voice went. I nodded and he started putting the ring on my left ring finger but because I am me, I asked him “Sa left ba? o sa right?” HAHHAHAHA. We honestly didn’t know so he put it on the right instead. We hugged each other and turned to face the crowd. IT WAS SO AWKWARD. ANO BA ANG GINAGAWA AFTER MA-ENGAGE?? I didn’t know know so I KEPT WAVING TO THEM AND SAYING THANK YOU. HAHAHAHA. Napansin ko lang ito after watching the videos.

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Sure ka ba?
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Oo

After all the photos and congratulations, we headed to our room to finally have our Wine Night… but in our pajamas.

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#NikKit4ever crew
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Cheers!

It was a weekend of fun, friendships and love. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Photo credits:
Eka & Jegs

Spa and Slope

On our last full day in Hokkaido, we were encouraged to go to the Sapporo Ice Festival  before checking out since it was just walking distance from our hotel.  My sister and I already saw most of the sculptures so we planned to drop by to just buy souvenirs; we also bought our other pasalubongs from Don Quijote last night. We still spent a few hours looking at all the available items there, though.

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Chestnuts!
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I’m really digging the baby winter gear

We went back just in time to board the bus going to our lunch venue where they served different kinds of crab dishes. Imagine steamed crab, crab sashimi, crab in soup. Super generous with crabs!

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After lunch, it was time to shop… for two hours. We wanted to buy sneakers for our dad so we located the nearest Adidas store which was maybe, 30 minutes away by foot. We walked to the mall (it was a beer factory-turned-mall) and spent just an hour there. We took a taxi going back and guess what, it only took around 10-15 minutes. My sister was pissed. HAHAHAHA.

With our shopping done, we were off to the Mt. Okura viewing point. The observatory is located inside the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium where the 1972 Winter Olympics ski jump competitions were held. Ski jumping is.. Well that. They jump from a slope in their skis.  While we were there, some athletes were training for their upcoming competitions. Sobrang wild nila.  I don’t know how steep the slopes were pero, grabe, when I saw them going down ako ang kinakabahan. What if they land wrong?  SOBRANG WILD.

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The slope!

To get to the observatory, we rode an open-air chair lift which was beside the slope. We had a good view just how fast the athletes were going down. HEART ATTACK. When we got to the top,  the view was so serene. Winter forest ang peg;  covered ng snow LAHAT. Sky meets snow lang as far as you can see!  Kapag spring na, puro green naman daw.

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My sana-di-ko-mabitawan-phone-ko face

 

 

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spot the athletes!

From that angle, we watched the athletes again. Wala kang makikitang hesitation. They go up via the chair lift, sit down sa waiting area and then boom, they ski jump.  Tapos akyat ulit.

 

Just before closing time, we went back down and travelled to our trip’s last stop, Jozenkai Tsuruga Resort Spa- Mori No Uta. It’s a spa resort and it is my current favorite place. GUSTO KONG BUMALIK. Ang calming ng interior nila. The place is so relaxing and nature- inspired which are my pegs for my future home.  Plus and plus for me.  Bawal magpasok ng shoes sa loob ng room so every floor may shoe locker and slippers!

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The lobby

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Left door goes to the shower. Right door (not in photo) goes to the toilet. I would’ve taken home the soap and stuff, kung pwede lang 😦

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Love
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Cute noh?

We didn’t get to avail the facilities  (like hot springs, massage, etc) kasi we had a very long dinner (with geishas!) and we still had to pack. I think if I’m  going to splurge on my next trip, this is one I’d splurge on. WALA AKONG MAGANDANG PICTURES SO THOSE WON’T DO THE PLACE ANY JUSTICE PERO HERE’S THE LINK TO THEIR WEBSITE, Mori No Uta. Promise, ang ganda talaga!

The next day we were up early for our flight back to Tokyo, and then Manila.

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It was honestly a surprise for me that I got back home healthy. I expected allergy attacks because of the cold temperature but I guess Hokkaido was kind to me. Despite the freezing days, I’d like to go back again to see more ice festivals (apparently, marami pala all around Hokkaido), to eat more of their dairy products and of course, to stay at Mori No Uta again, or maybe during spring? For now, I’ll just make do with the few photos (boo) from that Winter Wonderland.

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