A Retelling of Life

Posts tagged “Boracay

Discovering Swim Bike Mom a.k.a. Margaret Atwood

Before summer officially ended, hubby and I went to Boracay on a quick beach vacation.  Hubby biked all the way from Iloilo City to Boracay via Antique while I rode in a van with the wife of one of his bike buddies.  Yup, hubby is crazy about biking and so are about 7 or so of his other friends,  crazy enough to wake up at 2:00 in the morning to ride all the way to Caticlan.

Hard core stuff, I know.  I must imagine it must give you a different high to travel all 250 kms or so and know that you did it solely with your bike powered your two human legs.  I am proud of him.  I often wonder if I too can do it, if  I too can push myself to the limit, given my desire for shortcuts.

Yes, I was an athlete in high school.  I did track, 100 m dash, 200 m dash, 400 m dash, long jump and high jump…but marathons weren’t something I particularly excelled at or enjoyed.  Even in life, I have trouble preparing for life like a marathon..everyday is a short distance race for me.  My mantra is to take each day as it comes.  I have a vague view of the near future and I’m okay with that.  I entrust everything to the Lord, and I go where the wind blows.  So far, this has worked out for me.  Lawyering, marriage, motherhood, they were all just vague ideas that eventually came to fruition when the time was right.  But, I digress!

This post is not about life but about running marathons and completing triathlons.  Hubby has been slowly convincing me to embrace the triathlete life.  He’s struggling with his swimming but he’s slowly getting there.  As for me, I have to work on all three..biking especially since it really has been more pain than fun for me so far. 🙂  Hubby’s convincing didn’t really make an impression on me until I chanced upon a blog mentioning Meredith Atwood of swimbikemom  (http://www.swimbikemom.com/) fame.   She is an inspiration to mothers and women everywhere.  Indeed,  there just might be a triathlete inside us all.

I’m hoping that this time next year, I’ll be able to share tips to would be triathletes.  That’s quite a tall order but time will tell if I’ll actually be able to do it.

On that note, I thank the Lord for sports.  Where else an we get a free dose of happy hormones. =)


Another Bridal Shower

I’m a sucker for celebrations.  Bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, birthdays are wonderful reasons to celebrate and I celebrate them with gusto.  Last night, I was at a high school friend’s bridal shower.  We had way too much fun chatting that the “naughty games” were forgotten.

In the spirit of giving back, I’m sharing pictures of my own bridal shower and that of my sister’s.  Since hubby and I would be getting married in Boracay, my MOH/bestfriend/sister #1 came up with a luau theme for my party.

Aloha, Mrs. Alova

We all dressed for the occasion and thanks to Sister #2 had a great time with the games.

My “Goodbye to Singlehood” cake with real shells. =)

My friends and family came home with these sweet little things. 😉

In the interest of privacy, I’m withholding some of the pictures.  I will not go into details but the surprise featuring hubby was a great hit that night.  ;D

The Burlesque Party

Six months later, my sister also had her bridal shower.  This time, we went all out and did a Burlesque theme.

Indeed, life is short.  I have decided to say yes to all celebrations.  I had a slight fever last night but I still managed to attend my friend’s wedding shower.   I’m no longer saying no to moments.  Life must be celebrated..that is the only way to live.

 


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.


Revisiting Boracay

Four months after our wedding, we went back to Boracay to get our marriage certificate from the Church.  This time, there was no rush, no preparations to think about, no family and friends to consider.  We woke up whenever we wanted to, swam when we felt like swimming,   ate when we were hungry.  It was a real vacation – one that didn’t require a “vacation from the vacation” afterward.  We were just there soaking the sun up while afloat Boracay’s pristine waters.  It was just bliss.

Looking back at all that has happened since them, my heart is filed with gratitude to the Lord for blessing us with a wedding that was far more wonderful than what we had imagined, for the overwhelming support that we got from our family and for friends who gave up their own holidays to be with us on our wedding day.

We are thankful too for our married life…albeit we haven’t had the opportunity to fully embrace our new state (us, having to keep our jobs, thus separate residences)..the journey from gf-bf to wifey-hubby has been a wonderful adventure of sorts.  The new discoveries about each other are endless but the process has been a fun and exciting one for us.  We continue to pray for the Lord’s guidance as we journey on to marital bliss. =)

We love you Lord. Thank you.


3: Journeying On

It’s been 3 months since we began our greatest adventure yet.  It still feels surreal.  We both feel like we’ve been married forever.  (in a good way)  You know, the kind where you’ve found someone you wouldn’t mind being trapped in a foxhole forever with (not that I’m wishing for that to happen!).  I am reminded of why we started this blog…our desire to give back..to let people know that a budget beach wedding is an achievable goal.

Venue

We chose Boracay or rather, my Mom chose Boracay.  On a whim, she broached the idea of a December Boracay wedding   and the idea just took over our hearts and minds. When she changed her mind later (following a discussion with dad and after realizing that most of her friends wouldn’t be able to attend), we wouldn’t budge.

First off, we moved our wedding date to December instead of November of this year (2011).  The move was caused by the following factors:  1) hubby’s sister and entire family were visiting for the holidays from the Netherlands; 2) we couldn’t afford a Bacolod wedding (we’d have to invite a lot of people plus December was wedding high season and we didn’t feel like having to compete for venues given the 2 month time frame).  The Boracay idea had everything going for it: 1) we had a legitimate reason to keep our wedding small and intimate; 2) a quick call to the Holy Rosary Church in Boracay revealed that we still had a date; 3) hubby and I have always been spontaneous adventurers and loved the idea of a spontaneous wedding, 4) who could say no to having the white pristine waters of Boracay as the wedding backdrop plus 5) a beach wedding was just so romantic;

We started on a 30k budget and went on to spend at least 6x the original amount.  Still, it was a steal compared to a typical Boracay wedding.  This is how we did it:

1. Holy Rosary Church and Fr. Placer – Contact Number (036)2883219 -The first thing I did was call the Church, after all, we couldn’t get married if we didn’t have a church and a priest who would marry us. Google came to rescue, and I obtained the number in the net, called and found myself speaking with Fr. Placer who graciously said “yes, I’ll marry you” and gave us a date too – December 28, 2010.  The use of the church inclusive of priest stipend and choir cost 10,000 php.  (I hear that that is the going rate 🙂

2. Venue for the beach reception: Boracay Plaza Resort, Station 1 – 09189089808 – Now that we had a Church, we needed a venue for a wedding reception.  We called them all..but the rates were just too stiff.  After making several inquiries and realizing the mammoth rates that would be charged (we had decided on 50 to 70 guests and the usual rates were for 30 guests, any additions would be costly), we were getting desperate.  Earlier, we had decided that if we couldn’t get a similar rate to Bacolod, we’d just let our Boracay wedding go.

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Fortunately,we got to talk to Ms. Vicky of Boracay Plaza Resort, (who just happened to be the sister of hubby’s college schoolmate) . We’d stayed at Boracay Plaza on one of our summer trips and felt that it’d would be perfect to have our  reception there.  The thing was, Boracay Plaza didn’t cater for weddings.  That’s when Ms. Vicky suggested that we get a caterer from Caticlan and introduced us to Ms. Christy of Quency’s, our caterer…

Quency’s, 09209517729 –  Ms. Christy of Quency’s is a success story of sorts…She is an inspiration to people like me as she transformed herself from someone who knew little about cooking to being the premiere caterer of Caticlan and Boracay,catering for the likes of ex-pres PGMA and ex-VP Noli De castro.  She even has a cafe at the D’Mall in Boracay where you may feast on her sumptuous cakes.

The shells are edible!

To be continued…


A Map to Our Happy Ever After: A Wedding Map

From another site, I got the idea to create a wedding map.  We were getting married in Boracay and to correct the misconception (as there are no churches in Boracay) that we were having the ceremony at the beach , I set out drawing a map of the church and the venue for the reception.  Despite my awkward attempts to draw, our map was well-received.  At the back portion, we included information about Boracay, where to go, what to do, where to eat.  I love how we were able to personalize our wedding despite our limited budget.  Like I’ve always said, research pays off. =)

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Wedding Ideas from a Not So Crafty Bride

I love DIY projects…thing is, I’m not very artistic.  I’m a very good researcher though.  While researching wedding ideas for my own wedding, I came across pictures of wedding signposts.  I fell in love with the concept.  Luckily, I have a sister who’s quite crafty and a groom who’s super supportive (He had their carpenter build a sign post for me..oooh…love).  =) So, here’s the finished product!

wood signpost wedding


Raymund and Valerie Same Day Edit by JnR Family Studio


A Wedding in December


It is January now, hubby and I have been married for exactly 9 days now. We’re still amazed at how wonderful our wedding turned out to be. It was fun and relaxed, just the way hubby and I are.

We stuck to our budget and still managed to get the most amazing suppliers to work with us. It helps too to have a lot of support from family and friends. I still get teary-eyed when I think about how it all came together to be one fun wedding party. From the very start, we felt God’s hand in all our preparations. It was all so easy.
A lot of help also came in the form of blogs on weddings. This little blog is our little attempt to give back. We want all couples out there to know that a beach wedding need not be an exorbitantly costly affair. Enjoy!

Still Waiting

We’re still waiting on our venue. I pray Lord for you guidance. Lead us Lord. Please open doors for us. Bless us with a simple but beautiful wedding..a wedding where everyone will be having fun Lord. I lift up to you all our preparations Lord. May you continue to be the focus of our lives. Amen.