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Apat na Buwan Pa Lang

Apat na buwan pa lang mula nang tayo’y pinag-isa

Sandali pa lang naman pala

Sa pakiramdam ay sobrang tagal na

Apat na buwan na puno nang iyak at tawa

Nasugatan ng malalim pero kinakaya

Masakit man, nagagawa pa rin magsaya

Apat na buwan pa lang, pero tayo’y sinubok na

Parang quota na agad sa sakit at luha

Sobra pa sa iniyak natin sa isang taon na tayo’y mag-jowa

Apat na buwan pa lang na puno nang aral at alaala

Na isusulat ko sa iba’t ibang tula

Upang baunin natin hanggang sa pagtanda

Apat na buwan pa lang sa pangarap nating lima o anim na dekada

Marami pa tayong isasayaw at ikakanta

Hanggang sa daliri mo’y di na kayang mag-gitara

Apat na buwan pa lang tayong mag-asawa

Ang dami na nating malalim na buntong hininga

Buti na lang nasa Diyos ang ating pag-asa

Apat na buwan pa lang tayong nagsisimula

Malayo pa tayo kahit sa gitna

Pagsubok siguro ay marami pa

Apat na buwan pa lang, may habambuhay pa

Wala namang di kakayanin, ‘di ba?

Hanggang kapit natin ang isa’t isa

Apat na buwan pa lang ang lumipas at nawala,

May mga darating na bukas pa

Haharapin natin lahat na magkasama

Apat na buwan pa lang ngayon, Papa

Marami pang buwan at taon na mamahalin kita

Dahil “hanggang wala nang bukas” ang pangako natin sa isa’t isa

and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh – Mark 10:8

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When God Sees (The Wedding Proposal Part II)

It took me a year to be able to finally write the Part II of my ex-boyfriend’s (now husband) wedding proposal. The Part I contains all the details of what actually transpired on the day, but this post is intended to share something that is invisible to the eyes when he proposed — a heart matter.

Let me start with how unworthy I was. I am not a perfect woman. I am a sinner who desperately needs a Savior. I sin and fall short from the glory of Jesus. In the area of dating and relationship, I’ve stumbled and fall many times. In the area of purity, be physical or emotional, I was not a good example.

My heart was filthy, deceiptful, and corrupt. I know God’s holiness cannot look at such a heart, yet I know He sees and hears all my deepest desires. The following details of Julius’ wedding proposal last year are my evidences:

1) The Age

When I was a little girl, I always say that I will marry at the age of 28, just like my Aunts, Myleen and Mae. Over and over again, I claim in my heart that at 28 years old I will be with the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life. At 25, I still didn’t have a boyfriend; my heart was at its darkest but the longing was still there. On the night I exactly turned 28, Julius came into my life. Months after, he asked me to marry him.

Of all my impatience and immaturity over the past years, God still delivered on the dot! He hears what my heart repeatedly says since I was a little girl.

2) The BACKPACK

Shallow as it may sound but some years ago my longing heart and careless mind desired something from a viral photo online. It was a collage of the proposal for the actresses, Kaye Abad and Bianca Gonzales. Both proposals were purely candid that the ladies were not even dressed up for it. They were just on their casual get up with a backpack. So, I carelessly (but hopefully) shared back then that I will always bring my backpack with me just in case someone publicly propose for a marriage.

This was the photo I shared before.

On the day that Julius’ proposed, I totally did not have the will to dress up much more wear make-up. I didn’t even wash my hair, thus I still have the braided hair from the other day. I chose to wear a comfortable jeans, a loose blouse, and flats, which didn’t make me look like a College Instructor.

Now here’s the best part. When Julius’ comrades walked me out of the faculty room to bring me to the proposal scene, we were already at the door but I went back and said I’ll just get my bag. They told me that no need for it, but something inside me wants to really bring my bag.

Now, I believe, it was God telling me, “Hey! You’ve dreamed this before. Go get that backpack of yours!”

img_5653By the way, that backpack was bought by Julius himself.

3. The RING

The ring that Julius bought for me, the size and its simplicity is the one I always have in mind and heart. I did not desire for any other stones or designs. I just want it plain and simple. When Julius opened the red box with a shaking hand, I looked at the ring and I was at my happiest, knowing that it is what I really wanted.

 

4. The CENTENNIAL FOREST

I always wanted to have a public proposal. There, I finally said it out loud — that’s a hidden desire of my heart. I even want to have it in a carnival, either in front of a carousel or a ferris wheel.

However, when Julius and I watched Erwan’s proposal to Anne, I told him I want it to be as simple and meaningful as theirs, so he should just propose privately to me at home. But, Julius said that he will also propose to me in a forest. I took that as a joke, but God sees and hears everything; He turns and makes things beautiful in His time. Julius did propose in Muntinlupa’s Centennial Forest with so many students watching. It was public yet still intimate.

 

5. The MAN

I grow up desiring a man of action, a knight in shining armor. Would you believe that one of my all time favorite movies is Pearl Harbor? I guess that’s one of the reasons I took up Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I always feel like I’m a woman destined to a warrior who can fight and win battles for me (and with me). I even remember writing about choosing the Knight over Jack the Giant Slayer if I was the princess in the story.

When I first laid my eyes on Julius, my initial impression of him is that he was just a “boy” or “helper” of the Special Forces assigned outside our home. He was always in sando and shorts, preparing their meals, washing the dishes, and cleaning around the kitchen. He was also the one who would go to the market to buy their supplies. He didn’t look like a prince or a knight in shining armor to me but more of a servant. And, that servant heart of Julius totally won me over.

When he proposed, that was the very first time I saw him in his uniform! I looked at him smiling at me and he is handsome. As he went near and knelt before me, I know my prince has arrived.

God saw my heart’s desires, and He knew that I’ll be in good hands with a man who has a servant heart, with a knight’s courage, and a prince-like character. No wonder why God keeps on redeeming me from the frogs I thought were princes before.

It has been a year since I said “Yes” to Julius. It has also been a year of saying “Yes” to God’s faithfulness.

God sees the darkest and dirtiest parts of my heart but He loves so much to still grant its deepest desires.

Truly, God sees and hears our deep longings even our shallow musings. And, he is faithful to give every little desire as long as it is aligned to His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.” – Psalm‬ ‭139:1-4‬

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What People Remember (and Praised) about our Wedding

Most newlywed or engaged couples would advise that come wedding day everything that was prepared for should be entrusted to God — “to let go and let God”. However, our take on this is that we should not only trust God on “the day” itself. We can always start with God from Day 1 of everything. I believe the reason why my husband and I had a beautiful wedding is because we lift everything to God from the start. We wanted to give God the spotlight on our big day because that’s a wedding should be. A wedding is not just about the bride and groom but also God who binds the two. Thus, the verse used commonly referenced during weddings,

A cord of three strands cannot easily broken. –  Ecclesiastes 4:12

The three strands represent God, the bride, and the groom. Sadly, with all the wedding trends that we have these days, God is commonly taken out of the big picture. 😦

My husband and I can only plan the wedding well, but it cannot be executed without the generosity, prayers, and labor of love from our ministry, friends, and families and the grace of God.

We chose the best suppliers we can afford and compromised on the things that we can. We may not be millionaires to afford such a wedding, but we believe that we are children of God, thus we know (and acted) in faith that we can pull off such a lovely wedding.

The following are the 6 things that people remember most and praised about our wedding:

1. The PLACE

We had our wedding preparations, ceremony, cocktails, and reception all in one place. Since our wedding falls on a Monday, we chose a place that’s near and convenient to our friends and families coming mostly from Metro Manila.

We booked Farm Hills Garden in Tagaytay way back February 2018 when the place was not completely developed yet. We booked it at first sight. Why? Because it is naturally lovely! The pine trees, the interior designs, the greenery, every little thing and corner is IG-worthy in Farm Hills. Their villas are themed per room (Scandinavian, Rustic, Tropical, Industrial, etc.) We stayed in five of their 12 villas, and everyone just loved their stay in the place. As to the ceremony area, the garden is plain and simple but is more than enough. Simplicity is beauty, always. For the pavilion and its styling, it was simply classy.

After the wedding, friends who see the photos and videos of our wedding said that the place is beautiful and picturesque. Those present in the wedding praised us for choosing the place. Some friends even want to have their weddings there too. Days after our wedding, our AE, Geanne, informed us that there are inquiries and ocular visits already for their place from people connected to us.

 

 

2. The PAGKAIN (FOOD)

This is definitely one of the things that guests will remember about the wedding, that’s why we made sure that the guests will remember ours in a positive way, and thankfully they did. The place and the catering are a package from Farm Hills Garden. The in-house chef, Chef Ryan,cooks deliciously well that each of our guests praised us for the food that was served. Not only the food taste good but the serving was generous too. Guests said that we never made them hungry from the cocktails to the dinner. Months after the wedding, some of my friends still cannot get over the menu of the wedding; they are even considering Chef Ryan to cater to their future events.

We are truly grateful that God led us to Farm Hills Garden. Up to the moment of writing this, the memory of my then fiancé holding my hand as we pray while scouting for a venue is still fresh with me. Truly, God was there with us from the start.

3. The PHOTOS & VIDEOS

We acted in faith and wisdom in this matter. We needed wisdom in this because the photos and videos are non-negotiable and non-compromising elements for us, and we definitely acted in faith knowing that we needed a lot of money for this.

While celebrity weddings are covered by creative teams amounting to almost half a million pesos, we spent only a hundred thousand pesos for our photos and videos. We didn’t get the top names in the wedding industry but we chose those who are best in their crafts. The price we paid may still be expensive for others and cheap for some. But, the shoot and the output was all worth it! Everyone who watched our AVPs and SDEs praised the photos and video. Until now, the views on our SDE keep on increasing. I guess our SDE is so awesome to the point that it is being used now as an advertisement by Vidlens.

More importantly, our friends, families, and guests loved working with the photo and Video team. They were not just professionals but they also acted out as friends.

Photo team: Ram Marcelo Photography

Video team: Vidlens

Ram Marcelo PhotographyRam Marcelo Photography

4. The PEOPLE

We only had 100 guests! But, Julius did not want the photo and video teams to eat crew meals, so the 16 of them were counted as well for the buffet, thus making our guests count to 116. Nowadays, 100 guests are already considered intimate, so everyone praised us for still keeping an intimate one. Our guests praised the wedding for the kind and polite volunteer coordinators, the superb service from the staff of Farm Hills Garden, the ever-friendly photographers/videographers (this is a must, so choose your photo/videographers wisely), and our cooperative entourage.

Truly, we can say that our wedding is beautiful not because it was our own, but because it was a celebration of our lives and love with the people who chose to celebrate with us and helped us make it beautiful.

Co-planner & Coordinator: Dara Obog

Host: Jeff dela Cruz

5. The POETIC Vows and Songs

Our friends from the Music Ministry were volunteer musicians for our wedding.

“Wala na. Finish na!”, were their words when I told them what songs we would like them to play. The singer and the musicians all agreed that the line-up of Danao and Dancel was amazing. When I walked down the aisle with Ebe’s Bawat Daan, even the singer started to cry. Our theme song, Hanggang Wala ng Bukas was also played at the recessional. I also made sure that the songs played on the wedding will be the same songs on the SDEs. After the wedding, my friends from UP said that it was such an Ebe Dancel soundtrack wedding. The songs added all the feels.

Wedding Singer: Princess Royon

Musicians: Joseph, Aaron, and Archie

The poet in me was also unleashed in my wedding vow. After the wedding, our friends (specially brothers in Christ) said that the Tagalog vows were amazing and truly remarkable. I still receive compliments until now, and I like that most of them were able to memorize some of the lines. The most favorite was,

Mahal, hindi mo kailangang magpaka-bayani, dahil simula ngayon, ikaw na ang aking bayan; pagsisilbihan kita at ipaglalaban.

Ram Marcelo Photography

6. The PREACHING

Yes! You’ve read that right – the preaching on our wedding ceremony was praised by our guests. While some couples do not give much importance on what will be preached on their big day and some guests do not pay much attention to the ceremony at all, we made sure that God will be glorified in every event of our wedding. Amazingly, almost every guest said that they loved the preaching on our wedding ceremony. God’s Words were highlighted on our big day!

Officiating Minister: Pastor Ryan Gidor of Victory Christian Fellowship – Alabang

At the end of the celebration, we are forever thankful not only because we were blessed with a beautiful wedding but because we were able to give the glory to God – the One who deserves all the praises for our wedding.

Ram Marcelo Photography

Our wedding is not just about our union but a day that glorifies the Lord, the Author of our love story.

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A Glimpse of Our Haven

Three days from now I’ll be a 1-month old wife. Hurrahhh!!! It still feels like it was only yesterday when we were just planning our garden wedding (click on this link for our wedding SDE).

As I’ve shared in my recent posts, our courtship, dating, and wedding preparations all happened in just one year. BUT, even if I was 95% sure that my boyfriend then (now husband) is the one for me, there were times before we wed that I needed to question my decision of saying “yes” to him. The questioning was more of an act of securing wisdom rather than doubting.

Entering married life needs a firm decision of changing our lives, not just our surname and status. That’s why I had to question my emotions back then. Was it so high that I’m so giddy to be married? Or, was it so low that it made me needy for a marriage? Thankfully, my emotions then were balanced that I was able to squeeze wisdom in it.

December 2017 when Julius (my husband) and I came out in the public as a couple. When January 2018 came, I needed to ask him, “What’s your vision for your future?” His response didn’t sound and feel right for me. I was troubled and disappointed to the point that I considered a breakup. Why? Because I don’t think I can be with a man who doesn’t have a clear vision in life. I told Julius that I cannot marry him if he still don’t know where he wants to go. I love him but I don’t want to be lost with him. If he is uncertain of his future, then my future and our children’s future will be at risk.

A man who doesn’t have a vision for his life is worst than a blind man.

That’s why we, women, should never be with a man who will only tell us “let’s just go with the flow.” Clearly that man (probably a boy) don’t have a vision. Either you’ll get yourself drown with him or you’ll get tired floating to the unknown.

Thankfully, Julius responded in faith and actions. His responses were assurance that I will not face the unknown tomorrow blindly with him. Thus, the wedding was pursued.

During our wedding preparations, Julius found an amazing vision for his future (which is the same as mine). While searching for a wedding venue, the very first one we visited was Our Haven Events Place in Indang, Cavite. The owners of the place are very much accomodating and kind. They have a lovely home turned into a bed & breakfast and now an event place with a swimming pool, outdoor area for team building activities, a tree house, an amphitheater, and more bed & breakfast rooms to accomodate more guests. If I’m not mistaken it’s more than a 2-hectare area surrounded by trees and pineapples.

It was such a haven in the middle of the woods. We really wanted to get married there but because our wedding fall on a Monday and it is a bit far from the Metro, we opted for a nearer venue. Still, Julius and I decided to have our prenup photoshoot there.

My friends who were with us when we visited the place for our prenup photoshoot said that driving there gave them “the feels” in one part of the movie Crazy Rich Asians. I can’t agree with them because I haven’t watched it yet. But, they too loved the place. It is good for intimate or large garden weddings and will surely suit all themes. Aside from events, Our Haven is perfect for staycations, picnics, teambuildings, and glamping! This is why I highly recommend the place. Check out their social media pages below to see more of its beauty.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OurHavenIndang/

Instagram – https://instagram.com/ourhaven.indang?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=75m9al1p5z9i

Our Haven Events Place is so captivating that it becomes an instrument for Julius to have a glimpse of our family’s future. He now envisions to have a home with a beautiful garden and a backyard farm as lovely (may be not as big) as the one in Our Haven’s, where the two of us can retire and welcome family, friends, missionaries, and guests. We can work together now to build that retirement home (or business) in God’s perfect time (and provisions).

My then boyfriend’s vision is aligned with mine. If it wasn’t, then I wouldn’t marry him. Why? Because two different people with different visions will definitely go to different directions.

Our shared vision from God is an assurance that the two of us can be one.

img_1043

All photos are from Ram Marcelo Photography, our official wedding photographer.

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Homebound

Julius and I met October 8, 2017 and we got married October 8, 2018. JUST ONE YEAR of friendship and love, then we wed.

Some people, specially those who are not of the same faith, ask me about why do I marry Julius given that I only knew him for a year.

Some even asked, “Are you pregnant?” Of course, I am not and I will not marry just because I’m one (my mom will kill me).

Others consider that our wedding is just a “head-over-heels” decision. But, everyone close to us gave us their blessings, even God blessed us so much to pull off a beautiful wedding.

Some are worried for me that I might end up marrying someone I barely know.

BUT, Julius was never a stranger to me. When I met him on the night of my birthday last year, I didn’t have that butterflies in the stomach kind of feeling. I didn’t went “gaga” or crazy, madly, deeply in love. “Kilig” was (still is) there but I was rational that my life, in all aspects, was not even altered by his coming (I got to balance my acads and work amazingly well with him). I’m not anxious about how I would look like in front of him or worry about what he’ll think of me. I was calm and at peace and not crazy and emotional.

As days passed by in our friendship, I knew I’m already home. Home, for me, is where I can find peace, where I can rest on, where I can feel secured all the time, where I look forward to at the end of every day, where I can be vulnerable with, where I can be my truest self (far from the prying and judging eyes of this world). A home is where I am safe and loved unconditionally.

When I met Julius, he does not make me feel like a teenage girl with raging hormones and is giddy whenever she’s with her “crush”, rather Julius made me feel like a school girl running home, excited to tell her parents how her day went by.

Yes, Julius was never a stranger. He will always be a family to me, and with him is where I will always belong.

Marrying him is running fast, homebound.

I looked high and low, and didn’t find him. And then the night watchmen found me as they patrolled the darkened city. “Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked. No sooner had I left them than I found him, found my dear lost love. I threw my arms around him and held him tight, wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again, safe at home beside the fire.

– Song of Solomon‬ ‭3:1-4, MSG

Our wedding photos courtesy of Ram Marcelo Photography

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Same Time Last Year

Same time last year, I received a prophecy. It was a declaration from God, telling me of a new and blooming season.

Same time last year, I started going back to school, as one of the full-time scholars in DLSU-Manila under the Ford Foundation.

Same time last year, I was determined with improving my body — went back to the gym.

Same time last year, I started investing on make-ups.

Same time last year, I spent majority of my weekends volunteering in the church ministry and youth empowerment.

Same time last year, I was discipling young women to walk in love with Lord.

Same time last year, I was putting up creative ideas for this website.

Same time last year, I was preparing for my 28th birthday.

Same time last year, I started telling my friends about a “man” I’m starting to like.

This year, I’m turning a year older…

– entering a fruitful season

– finishing my last term in DLSU-Manila

– with so much weight gain

– and eyebags (no more time for concealers)

– in hiatus with the ministry and social advocacies

– still inspiring young girls to raise and keep their standards high (according to the ways of the Lord)

– keeping up with this website

– preparing for my coming 29th birthday

– AND marrying the man I started to like same time last year.

But, there’s something MORE with what happened same time last year.

Same time last year, I was focused in balancing my work, studies, self-improvement, and advocacies. All of these things at once, when suddenly, my attention was caught by a man. I started thinking of him countless of times in a day and speaking about him to anyone I converse with.

Same time last year, my heart was overwhelmed by this man that I started to pray to God concerning him. I told God that if this man is not good for me, then He should take him out of my way (every day). To my surprise, God did move him out of my way.

Same time last year, I was selfish to tell God that I really want this man, but He already took him away. God just answered my prayers, right? But, it hurts.

Same time last year, I was sort of heartbroken because my “crush” whom I never get the name, was already gone. Ouch!

Same time last year, I was about to move on and accept that God did not want me to know that man.

Same time last year, I told God my birthday prayer — I want the same man (who was gone) to return and ask for my name. I’m really pushy and hardheaded at times. (Don’t imitate me young ladies.)

Same time last year, God proved that His delays are not His denials. I’ve met the man I liked on the night of my birthday, just liked how I prayed for.

This year, I’m marrying the man I’d prayed for and patiently waited for.

So many things did happen in a year. I had to sacrifice a lot of things, but God is faithful. The losses are nothing compared to the gains.

Same time last year, I was a praying single woman. This year, I am a praying fiancé. Next year, I will be a prayerful wife.

The prophecy of God last year of a blooming season of flowers is now about to be fulfilled.

What’s next after the flowers? The fruits! I can’t help but be expectant and hopeful, knowing that God is there in all of my life’s seasons.

Photos are taken by Ram Marcelo Photography

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A Call for Help

Infinity War Spoiler Alert!

One of the scenes I liked in the Avengers: Infinity War movie is when Mr. Tony Stark looked up the number of Steve Rogers on his phone to call him for help. We, Avengers fans, know that Iron Man and Captain America were not really in speaking terms as they parted with unsettled issues in their last encounter. Based on the face of Tony Stark, he was having a hard time if he would really call Steve and so it wasn’t him who called (but the intent was already there).

Another favorite scene is when Tony Stark told Spidey that he didn’t like being with him in his mission to rescue Dr. Strange (because he thinks it’s dangerous for the boy). But, he let the boy help him still by including him in his plans and giving him tasks.

Tony Stark, a fictional superhero who is known to be super wealthy, famous, powerful, and intelligent, but knows when and how to call for help, even if he had a hard time doing so.

Asking for help is not easy for many of us because of our pride. When we are so full of ourselves, when we think we can do all things, and/or when we think we are always better than others, calling for help is not part of our actions.

Why would we ask for help when we think that we are better than others? Why would we ask for help when we think we are the strongest? Why would we ask for help when we think we can solve our problems by ourselves alone?

Our pride deceives us of who we really are. Pride makes us believe that we are the best, the greatest, the strongest, and awesomest, if there is such a word.

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

– Galatians 6:3, ESV

Let me share with you one of the things I loved the most about a real life “tagaligtas” (savior).

Given his profession, his body built, the trainings and challenges he overcame, the life struggles he surpassed, and the workforce he belonged to, a man like my Cardo have all the reasons to think he is strong, great, and/or awesome. But, he is not. He did not even want to talk about him being a member of a special force. Instead, Cardo is more comfortable telling me about his weaknesses.

The #CardoWhoSavesMyDay can admit that he also needs Saving. He knows he needs help at times. He is honest that he has weak points. He knows when he needs rebukes and openly accepts corrections. Moreso, he would humbly asks for prayers because he knows that God is the greatest in his life. That’s my Cardo!

I couldn’t boast that I’m marrying someone who is the strongest and the best. But, I can delight on the fact that a man like my Cardo is teachable and humble. I can see a better future with this man, knowing that he isn’t proud and that he can co-labor with a woman like me, his future helpmeet.

I think Ms. Potts felt the same way with Tony. She is not intimidated with who Tony is or what he is capable of, because with her, the well-known poweful Iron Man becomes vulnerable.

Images are grabbed from Google.