A Retelling of Life

Archive for August, 2011

God’s Guarantee


“All things will work out for the good.” That is the Lord’s promise, one I hold dear to my heart. No matter what our circumstance, things will work for the good. Thank you for an awesome life Lord. Amen.


Book Sale Heaven


I discovered these gems in our local 2nd hand bookstore costing from 20php to a 100 (2.5$). Hmmm…which book should I start with?


Ode to the Sea

On a rainy day such as this, I miss the feel the feel of the sun on my skin, the sound of the waves, the smell of the sea.  I miss the promise that summer brings…

In the Isle of Guimaras: Where Legends Abound.

Too Much On My Plate?

The entire day, I’ve been glued to my PC, storing DIY templates, bookmarking websites on US constitutional Law and surveying the records on my desk.  I have accomplished a little of something, so all is not lost. 🙂

I’m that type of person.  When fixing my room, I spend a few minutes on cleaning and hours rereading magazines, books and letters that I’m supposed to put in order.    Or I begin one task and then, before finishing, move to another.  To sum it up, my problem has always been finishing projects.  Not all projects in particular, but projects with no deadlines.

I had no problem with school or the bar or even lawyering because there were time periods I had to meet.  Now, I am in control of my time.  Time is a luxury I enjoy and it is something I haven’t been able to control–yet.


I am trying to change that though.  I am married now.  Although, we still are in a long distance relationship, we are a legal “us”.  That means that we have to make plans, set deadlines for our goals.  It means going beyond our adventures and making day to day decisions.  It means getting the “fun” us to also do some “serious” time.  I know that it’s early days yet and there’ll be more adjustments to make in the future.  Like hubby is sick with fever now.  I want to visit him but can’t because I have work here.  😦

I am confident though that the Lord is looking out for us.  Stay tuned, life will only get better. 🙂





Falling in Love With the Law

Back when I was in law school, a mastery of the law was something I aspired to.  I was in love with the law. I found beauty in its complexities.  I breathed it.  I enjoyed dissecting opinions, drafting case briefs and going on Socratic journeys with my professors.

When I passed and joined a firm, I began to appreciate its application in the real world.  I loved the thrill of finding jurisprudence that was all fours with my own case.  I loved drafting legal memoranda, legal opinions, petitions for certiorari.  However, I didn’t like how work pervaded every part of my life.  I didn’t have real vacations as I’d have to check my email and reply to clients, despite being away from work.  I remember receiving calls while on the street, speaking with a very demanding client as I waited for a bus in HK.  It was very exacting work and it didn’t really give me the quality of life I desired.  Also, I was away from my family and RE (my then boyfriend, now husband).

I finally felt the compulsion to leave the firm in early 2009.  I applied and was accepted for a government job in my hometown.  September 2009 remains to be among the saddest months of my life. I said goodbye not just  to a firm, where I had spent a good 4 years of my early lawyer years but to the associates — friends, who to this day, I count to be among my soul sisters.

I will forever treasure that time in my life.  It was the season of my rebirth.  It was the time where I found out the person I wanted to be.  I was free to explore life, free from the constrictions of living in a small town.  I embraced travelling/backpacking, immersed myself in the arts (plays, museums, shows), “lived” in bookstores and became a “yes” girl (I grabbed all opportunities that came my way).  Before I left to come back home, I had accomplished what I had set out to do, I  found the version of  “me” that I loved.

I am now back in my hometown.  I have been for almost 2 years now.  It hasn’t been easy coming back home. In fact, my travails on this matter is material for an additional lengthy post.

I am now an aspiring master of laws student.  Being in the government service has its pros and cons but the most important thing it has given me is the luxury of time.  I am untouchable at 5pm on weekdays plus my weekends are absolutely my own to enjoy.  Of course, there are days when I decide to work late, but the decision is up to me.  There are no deadlines.  There is just my old self aiming to please even litigants and lawyers, wanting to finish work in “old RBG lawfirm” fashion.

I love being back in the academe.  I love being among a throng of people who care enough about the law, to study and discuss it.  I love having a professor who pushes me to demand more of myself.  I love having the opportunity for “eureka” moments.  I love having to fall in love with the law again.

My special thanks go out to our dear Lord up there and my loving hubby RE, who made this journey possible.

Yes to life! Yes to love! Yes to the law. =)

Listening to “Blessings” by Laura Story

Today, I go on youtube and browse for a video of “Blessings” a song that has brought me on a journey to peace. Recently, my family has hurdled one crisis after the other. Storms have come and go in the past but not with the frequency they have arrived these past few weeks.

Still, the storms are blessings in themselves. I speak with experience when I say that there is a silver lining in every dark cloud. I am thankful to the Lord for the storms for they have brought with them the assurance that the Lord hears our prayers. The storms in themselves are our answered prayers. Healing is on the way for our family. Indeed, sometimes blessings come from teardrops.

“We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise.”

Thank you for a wonderful life Lord. Amen.

The Layout to Love

Six months after our wedding and a few days before our relatives arrived for my sister’s wedding, our wedding scrapbook arrived.  This is what a DIY Boracay wedding looks like.

beach wedding, Raymund and Valerie

The Little Things That Make a Wedding

Knowing we had only two months to plan, hubby and I made the most of every waking hour.  We employed the help of family and friends.  It was amazing how things fell into place.  We only made one visit to Boracay to meet with our suppliers and yet we pulled it off. It really was because our Lord guided us every step of the way.

What a blessing Nonoy (our make up artist) was to us.  Before him I had had at least 3 trials with 3 different make up artists.  Luckily, hubby and I bumped into his Tita who was also a wedding organizer.  She referred us to Nonoy and that was it.  A match made in beauty heaven. 🙂

Sibling Love

As early as 6:30 am, hubby and I were already up preparing for our 2:00 pm wedding.  Make up session began at 7:00 am.  My sisters Kaye and Mimin joined me on my last night as a singleton.  We were all exhausted from all the travelling we had to do.  Suffice it to say that we just slept the night through.

The Holy Rosary Chapel, Boracay Island, Philippines

Since we were staying at the Boracay Plaza Resort, which was located right in front of the church, I opted to walk to my wedding.  With my brother holding an umbrella to shield me from the warm rays of the sun and my younger sister holding my train, it was a fitting start to a beautiful new life.

The Groom – My hubby, a loving, kind and adventurous man who takes good care of me. =)

The entourage – Our hearts swelled at the sight of relatives, family and friends who came all the way to Boracay from the Philippines and all over the world despite the short notice.

A Walk to Love

Mixed emotions..that’s what I felt.  I was certain that the man standing, waiting for me at the altar was the one but still, it was a little sad kissing my mom and dad and leaving them, to walk toward him.

“When the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man, the very angels desert heaven and come and sit in that house and sing for joy.”  ~  Indeed, it was a joyful affair.  I’ve always loved weddings and I’m proud to say that I loved mine the most. (haha, love your own.)

Love is beautiful and weddings, well, they are the most definitive form of celebrating love.

A wedding is not just joining of two souls.  It too is the joining of families, the union of two houses.  I am now not only a Parreno but also an Alova.  🙂

We hadn’t thought of how we would get from the Church to the venue.  We figured we could easily walk to the reception.  After all, it was just across the Church! However, Ms. Vicky of Boracay Plaza Resort lent us her car and driver for the occasion.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a wedding car waiting to take us to the venue.

Boracay Plaza Resort

Our 90 or so guests were treated to cocktails and some light snacks while we went off to the beach in search of the perfect shots.  We prepared a hosts of things for them to do, a jigsaw puzzle, a DIY photo and video booth.  However, the concept of Do It Yourself in the Philippines hasn’t quite caught on.  While we had put signs asking them to record a message for us, no one actually did.  Still, it was a pleasant exercise in understanding the pysche of the Filipino wedding goer.

Our host and my maid of honor Kaye, kept the mood light and breezy.  Also, since only close relatives and friends were there, they  knew each other and were excited at the opportunity to reconnect.  Besides, Boracay is a paradise, guests pretty much entertained themselves.

It was a beautiful night filled with lots of singing and dancing.  Laughter filled the air as we celebrated love, the love between a husband and wife, the love among family, relatives and friends.

Boracay beach wedding

The Greatest Adventure of Our Lives

  And this is the story of our love. 🙂

This my friends, is the start of our greatest adventure yet.  Hope you enjoyed viewing the pictures.

Another Wedding in the Family

Four days ago, my younger sister walked down a church aisle lined with purple hydrangeas, an angelic vision in white lace.  It was a culmination of 7 months of  planning, 7 months that took my sister and her groom on a whirlwind round of photo and video ops in different locations around the island of Negros.

20 pairs of sponsors in varying shades of silver and gray heralded the start of the bridal march.  It took my breath away seeing her looking so happy and beautiful, a radiant bride excited to begin a new life with her dashing groom.  It was a fitting beginning to a love story that began in an inauspicious setting, at a doctor’s clinic, no less.

It was a beautiful wedding between two beautiful souls.  I may not have the words to aptly describe how beautiful the entire wedding was but believe me, it felt like a fairy tale…a wedding fit for a princess.  Then again, that is who Kaye is..our darling princess. 🙂   Sweet, amiable, loving and kind, she is a Disney princess, cast in the same mold as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.  Everyone takes to her as she is able to put everyone at ease, she is magical…she’s the closest a human can get to being magical anyway.

That said, my advice to all would be brides is this:  “a wedding should always be a reflection of who the bride is.”  In my sister’s case, it was fit for a princess.  🙂 Her talent and creativity and eye for exceptional beauty shone through every detail of her wedding.  In my case, it was as laidback and carefree as I am.  We both got the wedding of our dreams and that my friends, is what every bride should aspire for. 🙂