A Retelling of Life

beach

There’s a Vafalu For You And For Me

Indeed, life is full of surprises.  When I decided to move back to my hometown in late 2009, I didn’t have any future plans.  All I knew was that Makati life  no longer appealed to me.  I wanted to come home, to build a real life.  I had had enough of the rat race, of  chasing after deadlines, of  living on fast forward.

Of course, as in anything in life, the reality of  living back home did not meet the fantasies I had of Bacolod life.  The adjustment was tough in the beginning.  My bf (now hubby) still lived an hour’s ferry ride away, and I no longer had my RBG family to hang out with.  Eventually, things fell into place.  I rediscovered old friendships and nurtured new ones.

On December 28, 2010, hubby and I embarked on our greatest adventure yet.  A year later, we have now teamed up with good friends, Luisa and Fay to begin our adventure with Vafalu Design.  What was once just a dream is now a reality.  Welcome Vafalu.

St. Scholastica's Academy-St. Scho shirts-cute tees

Little Miss Scholastican-St. Scholastica's Academy-Bacolod

st. scho shirts-kolasa tees-kolasa t-shirts-kolasa shirts for sale-little miss scholastican

Special thanks to Nichola Mapa and Mimin Parreno for this fun shoot.  It’s early days yet.  During this “soft” season in Vafalu’s life, we’ve decided to focus on Kolasa shirts for the upcoming St. Scholastica’s Academy Alumni Homecoming slated on February 11, 2012.  Cheers to more creative years with Vafalu.

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On the Brink of Things

This is what I have always wanted. I am on the brink of a dream.  I acknowledge that just thinking about next week brings about  a fluttering of butterflies in my tummy.  However, as in anything in life, it is the moments where you risk the most, that you also have the most to gain.

Mark Twain’s reflection on life and going beyond your comfort zone made over a hundred years ago remains true.  “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover.”

I pray for guidance.  I pray for the discipline to follow through this time around.  I pray for the courage to believe in myself.  I pray Lord, that You work through me.  Let me be your instrument. Amen.


A Countdown to Our Anniversary – Day 2

We didn’t have a wedding organizer for our wedding.  We figured we’d spend the money we’d have paid for one to spend on the little things.  Moreover, we didn’t have much of a budget to work with since we didn’t think we’d get married til 2011.  Fortunately, both our families pitched it (both financially and physically…Yup, we’re super blessed. :))  It all worked out..thanks to wedding blogs and the help of amazing family and friends.

The postcards were created by my sister Kaye who after seeing me take in too much DIY work than I could handle, began editing the little postcards file, in between her duty hours at the hospital.   The “love” artwork was an advance wedding gift from  my childhood friend Michelle Tupaz; while the flower baskets where a find from the market of all markets, “Divi”.

Our rings were specially created for us by hubby’s Tita.  We decided on a two toned ring with gold lining the edges and a platinum band as we wanted something that would survive the test of time.

Our Bible was something I found in the Wedding Library in SM-MOA.  I just had to buy it as it fit our beach theme.  The wedding map was something I saw online which I revised to fit our Boracay wedding.  I’m really sorry I can’t credit the one who came up with the idea though, I was too much in a hurry at that time to note the website.  I did the sketch for this while attending a MCLE seminar.  (I imagine I looked like someone who was very interested in the lecture at that time. Haha) . So I guess this is it for Day 2.  Ciao!


Thank You Lu!

Hubby and I are celebrating our first year anniversary in a little over a month!  I think it’s high time I finish sharing tips about planning a wedding before I move onto other things.  Starting today until our anniversary, I’m sharing the little things I loved about our wedding.

A Thank You Card From the Heart

This little cartoon was created by my illustrator/artist friend Luisa Gonzales. 🙂  As I’ve said in a previous post, a wedding is a reflection of the couple.

Hubby and I have always loved going on adventures and well, the beach ranks quite high on our fave places to go.  In fact, the beach has often been a backdrop to our love story.   Thanks to Lu, we have this cartoon that captures  just how much hubby and I love the beach.


Bantayan: Welcome to an Idyllic Existence

It’s one windy morning in the Island of Negros.  An image of the beach flits through my mind.  However much I wish, I cannot do anything about the weather.  I decide to revisit Bantayan in pictures and take comfort in the solace it offers world-weary travellers.

The Bantayan Municipal Hall –

The port of Bantayan – This is what the Spaniards saw when they first visited the island.

Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church –  Located at the heart of the town, just across the town plaza, the church, like most Filipino churches of this time is made of coral stones put together by a mixture of tree sap and limestone.

Finished in 1863, the church is the seat of the first and, therefore, oldest parish in Visayas and Mindanao which was founded on June 11, 1580 since the Convento de la Asuncion de Nuestra Senora was at the time, under the direct supervision of the Diocese of Manila.

The town plaza is a testament to the municipality’s commitment to eco-tourism.  Everything is green in Bantayan.  Proper waste disposal is observed, even the markets are clean.

See how the dried fish sellers have organized their wares… =)

The Omagieca Mangrove Park

Kota Park Madridejos Walkway

After a long day of walking around the beach, we spent a chillaxing in town.


God’s Little Miracles

On a limited budget and with two month’s preparations (but with the abundant support of friends and family), the Lord gave us the wedding of our dreams. As a bonus, he led a lovely couple who just happened to be publishers of a travel magazine, to notice us while we had our sunset photoshoot near Willy’s Rock. The result of such a joyous happenstance is this article:

Life is full of miracles. Our wedding was God’s gift to us and this article, well, this is a testament to the wonder of God’s love.


A Fun Wedding Needs a Great Host

The 2 months I had to prepare for the wedding were spent scouring the internet for tips and ides.  Thanks to a number of wedding blogs I chanced upon, hubby and I had a wealth of ideas to choose from.  I noticed though that when it came to the actual wedding reception, there wasn’t much material online.  We used a mix of the tips and through the help of our able and lively emcee, my sister and bestfriend, Dr. Kaye Parreno (now Parreno-Bautista), we came up with a program that we though would inspire our guests to unwind and just enjoy.  A special thanks goes out also to my other sister Mimin, who was the “sous chef” of Kaye.

In the spirit of giving back, I’m posting the draft of our wedding reception program to serve as reference for brides to be…

DINNER RECEPTION Program and Script

By Kaye Parreno

Call to Order

NOTE: Test microphone before speaking.

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. May I have your attention please. We are about to begin our Dinner Reception so please find a seat and make yourself comfortable.

Let us begin this celebration with a prayer to be led by __________. Let us all stand, bow down our heads and put ourselves in the presence of God. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Opening Prayer by __________

Heavenly Father,

Love has been your richest and greatest gift to this world.
Love between a man and a woman which matures into marriage.
Today, we celebrate that love.
Lord for the joy of this occasion, we thank You.
For Your presence here and now and at all times, we thank You.
Protect, guide, and bless Raymund and Val and everyone present here.
Surround us with Your love now and always.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Welcome Address

A pleasant evening to everyone!  Welcome to the celebration fo Raymund and Valerie’s Greatest Day Ever.  This beach is indeed a fitting setting for our newlyweds as we mark the beginning of their life together.  So sit, down, enjoy the cool breeze, and enjoy the rest of the evening.

I am Kaye, the Maid of Honor, and your host for the night.  We thank you all for gracing this occasion, especially those who took a leave of absence from work or school, and those who have traveled miles just to be with us today.  In behalf of Raymund and Val, and their proud parents, I would like to express heartfelt gratitude for your presence tonight.  It is indeed a pleasure to have you all here.

Introduction and Acknowledgments

Parents of the Newlyweds

Before anything else, we would like to acknowledge the persons who took a great part of this joyous affair.  For without their support, this even would not have been made possible.  Ladies and Gentlement, it is with great pleasure to introduce to you the Parents of the Bride, Mr and Mrs. Joe and Carmen Parreno.

(Optional:  description of parents?)

And of course, let us get to know the Parents of the Groom.  Friends, let us give a big hand to Mr. and Mrs. Aaron and Nora Alova.  (Optional:  description of parents?)

Principal Sponsors

We would also like to acknowledge our Principal Sponsors.  Starting off with the ladies..

  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description
  • __________________ – description

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, our most distinguished set of principal sponsors.  A Round of applause!  Thank you Sir and Madam, for taking time out to be with us.

Family and Friends

A wedding brings two people and their families together.  It refreshes the family ties and friendship that have gone stale and almost forgotten against the toll of time and distance.  For this allow me to give a very special welcome to the families and friends who traveled away from home to be here.

From the Bride’s Side:

  1. _____
  2. _____
  3. _____
  4. _____
  5. _____

From the Groom’s Side:

  1. _____
  2. _____
  3. _____
  4. _____
  5. _____

Also with us here togight, it is our pleasure to have Rev _____________, our officiating priest for the wedding ceremony.

So I guess that’s about it.

Entrance of the Bridal Party

At this point, I assume everyone has settled down. May I request our lovely cousin _____ (Manang Grace?) to please facilitate the welcoming party for our newlyweds.

Background Music:  __________________

Description – voice over/MC

  • Flower Girls:
    • ______________  Description:
    • _______________  Description:
  • Bearers
    • Bible:_______________  Description:
    • Coin:_______________  Description:
    • Ring:_______________  Description:
  • Secondary sponsors
    • _______________  Description:
    • _______________  Description:
    • _______________  Description:
  • Groomsmen + Bridesmaids
    • _______________  Description:
    • _______________  Description:
    • _______________  Description:
  • Best man + Maid of Honor
    • _______________  Description:
    • _______________  Description:


GRAND ENRANCE OF BRIDE & GROOM

Tonight calls for a grand celebration and it is my distinct pleasure to introduce to you for the very first time Raymund and Valerie as husband and wife.  So without further ado, let us all rise and give our warmest welcome to Mr. and Mrs. Raymund and Valerie Alova!

(Newlyweds enter the hall)

(Grand entrance of the couple with effects like bubble and fog and confetti?)

(Spotlight on the couple)

BRIDAL PARTY DANCE: Music: Marry Me song c/o Mimin

– Whew!  What an opening number!  Excitement and positive energy are already starting to brew in this splendid beach wedding party, and that’s only the beginning!

To facilitate the official opening of this night’s event, a few words will be given by the Groom’s Parents.  May I request Tito ______ and Tita  _______ for the opening message.

OPENING MESSAGE:  from Groom’s Parents?

Thank you tita and tito.  Well I guess it’s time.  The food is ready and dinner will commence in a while.  May I call on _________________ to say grace.

GRACE before meals:  Nang Aileen

Just before DINNER

All right, dinner is served.  But not so fast, ladies and gentlemen.  First you have to prove you deserve this sumptuous feast by proving to us all that you know a little something about the Bride and the Groom.  So here’s the mechanics of this little pre-dinner game.  You are grouped according to your table. Each table has a name corresponding to every little adventure Raymund and Valerie have experienced.  I give out a Trivia Question and one member from each table stands up, shouts out the table name, and is given the chance to answer.  If the answer is correct, then congratulations!  Your table gets to approach the buffet table first!  Val, Raymund, you watch out for who stands up first.  If the first answer is wrong, the other tables get a chance to steal.  Ok?  Is that clear enough?  All set?

Now for the first question…

Trivia questions c/o Manang Pech

  • ??? – Congratulations table Corregidor!  To the Buffet Table now! J
  • ???  and so on…

DINNER

May I have your attention please.  While you are eating to your tummy’s content, the newlyweds would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone personally for your presence.  As your table is called, please approach Raymund and Valeie to have your picture taken.  Simultaneously, our beautiful Bridesmaids will be distributing wedding giveaways and passing along the guest book so please stand by in your seats.

–           Souvenir Picture Taking while Background Music: “Favorite Hits”

–          Wedding Giveaways

–          Guest book

Val’s dear friend Dee and her dear boyfriend ______, will now have the chance fill your hearts with songs.  May I call on Dee and ___________, for a lovely serenade.

Thanks u Dee.  Now, may I direct your focus on a little presentation here, prepared by the Bride and Groom, to share with you the simple travels they have shared in their journey of knowing each other

–           AVP:  Video/ powerpoint presentation of Adventures

Thank you for sharing those memorable times with us, Raymund and Val.  Now give us the chance to share something special with you..

–          AVP:  Messages from people who are not present

CAKE cutting by Bride and Groom

Okay.  So are you guys done with the main course?  Ready to go for dessert?  By all means, help yourself.

Speaking of dessert, it’s now time for the traditional Cake Cutting by the Bride and Groom.  Raymund, Valerie, can you guys join me here..

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen.  The cake has been cut.  May I now request the waiters to please serve the cake to our guests.

–          Happy Marriage Secrets.  Each time the guests “cling” their glass for the couple to kiss, the couple would kiss and the MC would have them call on another married couple to share their “secret” to a happy marriage and then kiss.

BOUQUET THROW

–           Mechanics to be clarified further

–          Singled Out Bridal Catch

P.s. It drizzled during dinner.  We didn’t let that dampen our spirits though.  Of course, the chair covers got wet, hence, the “naked” chairs. =)

–          Picture with new “couple”

TOAST and WISHES

A celebration is never complete without a toast and a bottle of good wine.  While the wine is being served and poured, let us hear from the well-wishers who have been a significant part of the lives of the couple, who love them and wish the best for them.  Starting off with:

WISHES

  • Tito Tony:  description
  • Gay:  description

TOAST

Best Man waits for everyone to stand up and see to it that everyone has raised their glasses and says:  (something like)  Here’s to good health, happiness, good luck and prosperity to Raymund and Val! Cheers!

  • all guests are requested to rise and participate
  • what to serve?  Wine?

Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen.  You may now be seated.

GAMES:  Introducing the Game Masters:  Jill and Boogs!

–          Married Couple Statue Dance.  All the married couples at the wedding join the newlyweds  on the dance floor and each couple will be eliminated based on the # of years they’ve been married (the fewest to the most years).

TRIBUTE to parents

Video Presentation:  Tribute


Mother/Son – Father/Daughter Dance followed by FIRST DANCE:  Music: Teenage Dream

It is said that our parents are our first teachers, raising us patiently from childhood to adulthood.  They have been our source of comfort, support and inspiration.

Raymund and Valerie are truly blessed with such wonderful set of parents, and I’m quite sure when it comes to knowing what marriage is all about, hey always have a word or two to share to their children.  We would like to call on the Father (or mother?)  of the Bride, Joe/Carmen Parreno, to say a few words of wisdom.

Thank you, Dad/Mom.  Thank you for that inspiring message.  Now we would like to call on the Father/Mother of the Groom, for words of wisdom that life and experience have taught.

Thank you once again.  Let us give them a big hand for such wonderful and meaningful testimonies.  Tito and Tita, Mom and Dad, this video is for you.

–            Video:  c/o Nong Raymund and Manang Pech

–          (Music plays in the background, and the newlyweds invite their father/mother to dance)

–           Father/daughter and Mother/son dance

BRIDE & GROOM speech

The night and this celebration has almost come to an end but for our newlyweds, it is just a start of their new life together.  As we each go our separate ways, may this day be as memorable for all of us as it is to them.  To personally convey their heartfelt gratitude let us now listen to what Raymund and Valerie have to say..

(After speech, Raymund invites the guests to go by the shore and form a farewell circle)

THE FAREWELL CIRCLE: Raymund and Val go on inside the circle and starting from opposite sides, bids each guest thank you and goodbye until reach each other.

(Everybody hold hands.  Bridesmaids distribute sparklers)  Raymund and Val dances while the sparklers are lit up.

Music fades in from the background: ___________________

Another dance from the couple

EXIT: Golf cart with “Just  Married”

(MC leads the applause as the couple drive away.. Mimin, takes over..)

(People head back to the reception area.)

Well, what an exquisite ending to a beautiful day.  We have finally reached the end of our program, ladies and gentlemen.  It has been momentous, sharing this evening with you all.  Again, thanks for coming.  God bless, and enjoy the rest of the night.

MIMIN takes over and the DANCING BEGINS!

— Open Ending—


Tips for a Beach Wedding – Part 1

A week ago, colleague’s daughter got married in Boracay.  I’m reminded of my own beach wedding and the purpose of this blog.  Considering how long it has been since I’ve written about planning a wedding, I’d be remiss in my duty as a would be “wedding blogger” if I don’t post a wedding related post soon.   After all, December’s coming–wedding high season.  Its high time that I get started blogging my tips for brides to be.

1.  Tone/Mood

Light and breezy, that’s what beach weddings are about. Thus, when planning a beach wedding, keep in mind that your guests just want to have fun.  Throw formality out of the window..and put on your gayest smile.  Except for the church ceremony, the cocktails and the reception should be a big party, a laidback celebration of love.

2.  Church Ceremony

If you’re getting married in the Holy Rosary Chapel, make arrangements with your florists to decorate the chapel’s door.  If you want to create the ethereal effect of a bride entering the church, you’ll have to have a white curtain cover the entrance.  The door of the chapel is quite heavy and closing the door before the bride enters. is not something even the strongest of men can manage without a squeak.  Besides, why have them go through all that trouble.  In my case, my friend Lore of “Chic and Choc’s Party Shop”, did a beautiful job of creating a simple curtain for me.  Jez, Jans, Dee and their significant others where there to make sure that the curtains opened for me at the right moment.  (As you may already have noticed, DIY weddings won’t be possible without the support of family and friends.)

3.  Transportation

Remember that there are no taxis or jeepneys in Boracay.  You take your pick between a trike and a walk to get where you want to go.  I walked to my wedding under the sweltering heat of sun but I got away with it because our resort was just in front of the Church.  Given the proximity of the church to Boracay Plaza Resort, we also didn’t have to arrange transportation for our guests.


His Vows

In the rush of planning our wedding, I wasn’t able to prepare my vows.  It totally slipped my mind that when the priest actually asked us to say our vows, my mind went literally blank.  Hubby went first.  My heart fluttered and tears of joy fell from my eyes.  Clearly, I had married a man after my own heart…someone who’d write me “sweet nothings” hopefully until I’m old and gray.

I busily composed my vows in my mind.  There were so many things I wanted to say.  However, come crunch time, I stuck to what I knew, afraid that I’d disintegrate into a mess of tears if I actually spoke from the heart.   Indeed, God knows best.  He sent me Raymund, who is as assertive as I am passive, who is as oc as I am disorganized, who’d consider living in Big Brother’s House while I shun publicity.  He sent me a man who is as curious about life, as eager to go on adventures, as passionate about travelling/backpacking as I am.  As such, I feel blessed and I pray that we will grow old with each other, with the Lord in the center of our lives.

Sunset in Boracay


Image

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.