The Home

For a couple of months, we’ve been searching the perfect place to live once we’re married. We scouted here and there until we were led to what we will soon call – home. The story behind finding it was all by chance or should I say, it was just really destined to be.

I happen to call an agent I saw online. All along I thought he what he posted was the condo we were eyeing to stay at. Apparently, a day before our scheduled visit, the agent called me for confirmation. It was then that I realized it was the other condo of the same developer. It was the condo we never thought of checking out.

 

Out of courtesy, we agreed to visit the place anyway. Turned out, there we will find what we have been looking for. But before finding the right unit, we chanced upon a unit we liked based on what we can afford. Sadly, the day we were about to reserve the unit, it wasn’t already available. Yeah, it was a little heartbreaking until the agent convinced us to check other available units. We were a little hesitant (especially me) first since the price is high, but checked on them anyway.

 

I guess our agent was heaven-sent. If not for him and his very good sales skills (and urging), we wouldn’t find the one. We found our nest at Cityland Grand Central. We found our home. We found the place where we will (with so much hope) start our life and (our soon-to-be/in-God’s-time) family together. It’s nothing grand, but, it’s just right for starters like us. We cannot wait to turn this unit to a home.


Meanwhile, as of this writing, we’re halfway to making it look like a “real” home. We have purchased what we think are much-needed items already while the others we thought of buying after the wedding. My fiancé has already lived there for almost two months, while I sometimes do sleepover to get the feel of it. I cannot wait to eventually move in in the next few weeks (enter separation anxiety in the picture – hehehe).

 

PS: We are yet to do a house warming. Hoping to do it before the wedding together with our families. Nothing grand, just so it is blessed.

The Prenup Shoot

When we were preparing for the shoot, I thought it would be easy since we do not have a theme to follow. We just wanted it laidback and fun. 

However, I was proven wrong. Apparently, the preparation was stressful — especially for someone who doesn’t have a “fashion-worthy” closet. My clothes are mostly basic and because of that, it was hard to find the right outfit for our simple, non-themed shoot.

But because the Lord is good, He took that opportunity for me to trust in Him and the goodness and generosity of friends.

A week before the shoot, I was already in panic because I have nothing to wear (or so I thought). Then came Kat, a friend from the SFL community. When I saw her during our community gathering, there was that instant light bulb moment. She was the one I was looking for — a fashionista friend who would do styling for us and yes, would lend me clothes to wear (but she was more than that, see below photo).

After a couple of consulations, we had the perfect outfit for the shoot. Ops! I said awhile ago that we didn’t have a theme. Did not even think of having it styled (there’s just a lot of things to do before getting married, you know), but because we have awesome and amazing friends, what we thought was simple came out to be more than what we imagined it to be.

Ate Jenny and Kuya Ryan of Flower Power Flowers and Event Styling came on the day of the shoot prepared. They brought not just my beautiful bouquet but brought other stuff to make our shoot Bride and Breakfast worthy.

So blessed with friends, right? Not just that, we had a few more friends who helped and made the shoot more meaningful for us — We had Francis the best man and Med the maid of honor who made sure everything were well taken cared of. Kat and Princess served as our PAs while Vic and Jiezan where there to help capture behind-the-scene moments. Kuya EY and Macy were there to help us out too and to take inspiration from as they’re getting married as well.

Of course, the shoot won’t be complete without our official photo team, BrilliantBum Photography. Serg and his team did an awesome job in spite of the hot weather.

We were all soaked in the sun but no one complained. Everyone just kept laughing and hopefully enjoyed each other’s company. Oh, and we had that bumpy and dusty ride going up and down the mountains too.

It was tiring but it was more than fun. It was filled with so much love not just between us, but between each of us. Thank you Lord for blessing us with awesome people in our lives.❤

The Reception Venue

The day we went up to Antipolo City to check the church, we happen to pass by LeBlanc Exclusive Resort. Well, I’d say it was a head-turner because of its all-white look. So we thought of passing by the place and check after visiting the church.

Just how it felt in the church, LeBlanc was like an answered prayer. It wasn’t hard for us to decide that it was our wedding’s reception venue. With it being white, it basically resemble the church. They’re a perfect match!

A few days after booking the church, we also had our reception venue reserved. LeBlanc matches our dream of an intimate wedding party place. With the size that’s right, the ambiance – trivia, I’ve always loved white. It’s all about going back to the basic.

Oh yeah, needless to say, their bridal room a.k.a. presidential suite is perfect. It’s very spacious – and the bathroom too! The bathtub is so dramatic. Hehehe.

The Church

 

Funny thing, we booked the church and the reception even before we got engaged! That’s a rare case, don’t you think? That is just one of the things that make our story unique. We are not the type who would go for the norm, we break the norm.

Two months back, me and my love were on a long weekend trip when we decided to sit down and talk about getting married. My love has always been straightforward in telling people that he wants us to marry next year – I, however, would not take things seriously.

But things changed when I asked him if he feels bad whenever I would not take his words seriously, when he said yes, it was then that I knew he was not really – at all – kidding about it. So it was also then that I decided to join him and jumped.

We agreed about the details: 1. Wedding should be out of Metro Manila. 2. Not in my or his hometown. 3. It has to be on a weekday. 4. It has to be a morning ceremony.

Then, I started searching for churches in nearby provinces. I was sure of one thing about the church, it has to be a Marian Church. At first, I wanted the date to be Marian as well, but I guess, God has better plans and so we ended up on a non-Marian date.

After a couple of churches seen online, there’s one that stood out. Disclaimer, it has nothing to do with Popoy and Basha really. Personally, there’s a certain peace that radiates by just looking at it. We both decided to visit the parish one sunny Monday. You know that feeling you can’t explain but you just know that’s it? The search is over? We felt it the moment we stepped into that church. Right there and then, we knew that that is the church for us. And yes, it’s Marian, it is called Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The next day, I had to call the parish office to have our preferred date penciled booked. Now, here’s a fact, that cliché that says “be careful of what you pray/wish for”? We wanted a morning wedding, right? So God gave us exactly what we wanted. The only time available for us on our preferred date: 8:30AM.

The date, the day, the time and the church – they’re all perfectly God’s will.

Will share about the story behind the date in my next entry.

it’s official

As of this posting, it’s been five days since my beloved formally proposed with the “props” and six days since he asked my family’s blessing to marry me. To be honest, I am still up in the air. Still savoring the moments there were the past days. This year is so epic! 2016, I never thought you’d be this great!

So how did everything go? It was Sunday, my nephew’s baptism. We were all happy since the family is almost in complete attendance, plus some relatives were also present. After all the day’s event, we were left as family.

So while everyone’s still up, I approached our oldest sister to help me gather mama and papa. But it turned out, ate gathered everyone. So there we were, seated as one family having like a household of some sort or in our own words, a family meeting.

As we would always do it, there was an opening prayer by yours truly. Then, my beloved started talking. Funny thing, when he asked if he could ask my hand in marriage, my ate took the knife from the lechon and said, “Sure ka kamay lang (Are you sure you want her hand)?” Then laughter broke, him saying, “Lahat po pala (i want everything).”

He said his piece, then papa and mama spoke, them being surprised about the news. Everyone was so welcoming. We were filled with so much words of wisdom. Let me share some:

1.       Love. Always love each other. When something unexpected happens or when fighting, always go back to where you started. Always remember why you love each other in the first place.

2.       Communication. Always talk things out. Everything can be settled if you talk.

3.       Care. Always take care of each other.

4.       Trust. Trust each other. Keep it. Do not let your partner mistrust you. Once you break it, you can never gain it back the way it used to be.

Those are just four of the countless words of wisdom from the elders. Something we can always go back to when we’re facing challenges or joys along our soon-to-be married life.

Honestly, that moment with my family was really epic. I would have not wanted it any other way. It was exactly how I envisioned it to be. Truly, the Lord keeps His promises. Another check on my checklist. Hehehe. 

Looking back, it was filled with tears, but not of sadness rather of joy and hope of a love and joy-filled, fruitful marriage for us.

So now let me take you to that moment when he formally sealed the engagement. Me and my soon-to-be husband were on our usual daily morning routine to work. After praying the rosary inside the car, we were on our usual happy self. Kidding around.

Then, when we reached Makati Ave, he said he has “letters” for me. I got excited thinking I have something to read. Yes, I thought what he meant by letters was writings. Apparently, he was literally meaning it. He handed me letters in the alphabet and asked me to puzzle it out. When I saw the letter “w,” I told him “Alam ko na ‘to (I already know it), will you marry me?”

After I finished laying the letters down, I thought he’d bring out the ring. But to my dismay, he didn’t. Since I already thought there was none, I asked if I could now dismantle the letters and gave them back to him. I was already disappointed in a way, but not until we reached Bonifacio High Street. About a block away from my office, he said he’s not done yet. His props were not yet complete, so he brought out the “red box” containing the ring. My face has that huge smile, and got awake as I was sober because of lack of sleep.

The moment he opened the box, there was that – if I may call it – magical light. A ray of the sun hit the diamond in the ring and there was just something in there I cannot explain. To my delight, I shouted and asked him to do it again so I could document. But, as they say, some moments – special moments – are often uncaptured. That was one of those moments I will just keep in my memory box.

The proposal was not grand. It was exactly how I wanted it to be. Simple, sincere, and private. Definitely no pressure to say “yes”.

With all that’s said, I and him give back the glory to God. All these things, He made them happen. It wasn’t how we might have planned things to be, but we cling on to the fact that it was God’s plan. After all, since we got together, it has always been His over ours. Thank you, Lord!

the joy in waiting

Before I move on to the next adventures of my soon-to-be-bride self, let me go down memory lane and talk about how I joyfully waited until I reached this point in my life.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Lord made me wait like since birth before He finally gave me His sweetest surprise. I had gone through my share of tears from heartbreaks, my cups of insecurities, my emo moments, and so on – just like most of us, girls.

The Lord allowed me to embrace both the good and bad that the world offers before He decided to realize the best love story ever (okay, it’s me who’s writing this piece so allow me to use those words).

I remember when I reached mid-20’s down to my (ehem!) late 20’s (excuse me, I am still in the 20-ish bracket). I had my share of monologues. Asking God, “Do you really want me single all my life?” “Do you want me for religious life?” and those moments of solitude (emo moments, you know?) when I’d ask myself, “Am I not good enough to be noticed?” “Am I ugly?” “Should I change my negotiables and non-negotiables to meet guys’ expectations?” “Should I just be carefree and let loose and stop being ‘mataray’?”

When you’re on that stage and you are not in a relationship and most of the younger ones have one, you just have a lot of unanswerable questions in mind. Hahaha!

But God is good. Really. He is so good that He made me realize one day that perhaps the reason why I am still single at that time was because He is not finished with me yet, and that He is still preparing him too. The waiting is the Lord’s unspoken words to tell me that, “Hey daughter, there are so much more that you need to do so you can be fully ready to have someone in your life.”

It was one day that the Lord woke me up with a realization that the time I had alone was the very exact time that the Lord planned for me so I can enjoy my singleness, have fun with what the world can offer to a young adult like me. It was the Lord’s way of telling me that I should explore the world out there (with proper caution of course) and see how beautiful it is. It was the Lord’s will so I can say now that I have fully lived my single life.

Those times when I was alone were the times that God allotted so I can go to places I’ve never been, and do things I’ve never done. In those moments, I also got to know myself more. I got to know how impatient I can be, how bully I am – okay, more on the positive side now – how I was beautifully created by God. He made me feel so loved. He equipped me talents and skills. He made me serve Him, love Him and long for Him first.

A lot of single women – usually Christians – have used the word, “joyfully wait” or “the joy in waiting”. For me, the joy in my waiting were those times I had with myself and God. Those getting to know myself better moments. The moments when God showed me how much He loves me and how I am so worth it.

No, it is not about bragging about anything. It’s not about me being proud of myself. It is about bragging and being proud that I allowed myself to be loved and to love the greatest Lover the world has ever had. I was and am loved by a God of joy, a God of love and a God of promises. He made me wait so I can love Him and He can love me even more. So much that my love cup would overflow and I’d have enough (or more) to give to the one he prepared for me.

Today, as I look back, I could not be anything but grateful to the Lord. I am grateful that He made me go through all that I have gone through in life so I can be here now. Truly, all is worth it. Truly, there is joy in waiting.

the journey begins

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It’s 10:25PM, I actually just woke up from sleep–and then suddenly thought of writing my thoughts. A few months back, I made a major decision in my life. Something that my heart desires — to love and be loved. I have opened my heart to another person.

I am used to just being with myself. For a long time in my life, I have not allowed anyone to invade my relationship with myself. I have showered myself with all the love I could give — and along the way, there was only one Man who has had the permission to dig into the world I had with myself. Apart from God, nobody else.

But I guess the Lord truly knows when it’s time. He knows when and how He’d make His plans happen without you noticing it. One day, I just had to tell the Lord, “Hey, I am ready. Let’s get it on.” And so we did. The moment I said those words, He brought me to the world He has planned for me even before I was born.

The next thing I knew, I am at a time when I had to meet someone and then viola, allowed him to enter into my world. Apart from God, now we are three. I met him at a time when the Lord said so. He came at a season when the Lord knows it was time. Looking back, maybe if he came earlier, I would have not noticed him, perhaps even pushed him away. Thank heavens He listened to God’s direction! Hehehe.

So the long wait is over. Yes, in a way or another, I had my own waiting time. The Lord made me wait for awhile (like since birth) for me to meet the man He has perfectly prepared for me. He made sure I enjoyed my waiting time first before He bombarded me with such a sweet surprise.

Gboy and I met at a time when we were both readied by God. He made sure we are both prepared to receive each other as gift from God. He made sure that once we get to read our love story, we’d say, the Lord is indeed the best writer, the best storyteller.

It has only been about five months since we got together but the Lord showered so much blessings in our relationship. We had our share of sweet arguments we’ve surpassed, a series of temptations fought, and we both know there’s so much more along the way. Needless to say, we get to annoy and bully each other from time to time (or should I say, every time).

The five months that we’ve been together so far has been the best five months in my life and I know there’s more to come. With God’s grace and mercy, we claim of many more months and years of joy, love and God-filled moments in our lives as individuals and as one.

I can’t wait for the coming days — how the Lord will unfold all that He has planned for us. I can’t wait until all the blurry details by far will be made clear by Him. I am just so filled with excitement at how the Lord will make us both kilig with His amazing grace.

My heart is just filled with gratitude because the Lord is ever so good. Now time to go back to sleep. Time check, it’s 10:46PM.