Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Bridal Car that Never Showed Up

Before the year ends I thought I'd leave this bit of bad news first. On my wedding day my bridal car did not show up! Imagine me waiting at the hotel's carport desperately calling up Jack & Jenn Catering and my groom. When my Dad started to stress out I knew that I just needed to be calm, so I called up my friend who was helping out for the wedding and asked him to pick me up from the hotel. Lucky enough I arrived on the dot with a freaked out taxi driver hehehe.

After the reception Jay and I didn't have transpo back to the hotel, so our dear friend, Juned, offered his trusty delivery Ford Fiera (yup PickFresh) which everyone coined as Bridal One (any transpo the US President goes on becomes Airforce One).

Presenting Bridal One (photo by Blogie Robillo):



For the full story please visit Twisted Wedding Planner.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Aileen & Jay Wedding Video




Our on the day wedding video by Buddy Gancenia.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our 800th Click, Our Wedding Day



For Jay

This is the moment
I have been dreaming about all my life
It used to be you'd come in my dreams
But I never saw your face
For years I searched for you
But you never came
Until God said it was time
And unexpectedly one night
You came in my dream
Waiting for me at the altar
And today is the day
That we will say I do
To seal our love forever
That I thought
Was once just a dream.

Friday, December 25, 2009

I'm Getting Married in the Morning

Woke up early today and saw my Kuya peeping through my door. When he saw I was awake he came in my room and tickled my feet while singing, "I'm getting married in the morning..." He went on for a bit and asked for my Mom's PC's password. He's the one currently fixing up the golden wedding anniversary celebration of my parents.

Things were going great. I was busy fussing over the final set-up for the wedding and packing my bag until my Mom told me that she couldn't locate our driver. The driver was scheduled to bring me to the hotel by 2 in the afternoon, but my Mom wanted him to come in earlier since she needed to buy some stuff. That's what stressed me out a lot and from that time on I was tense for the rest of the day. My Kuya's jokes during lunch also made my mood more sour and it lasted until about a few minutes ago when Sweetie sent me a message that broke whatever it was I was feeling.

Now I'm just munching on some ensaymada while watching Boys Over Flowers. At least I can tell myself I don't have any more of those love emo problems because tomorrow I'm marrying the love of my life! Too bad I didn't see anything from the Melason love team on PBB, that would've made my day.

Anyway, I pray that things will go just great and fabulous tomorrow!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dalawang Tulog na Lang!

4It's 2:16 in the afternoon, the 24th of December 2009, meaning I would be walking down the aisle to marry the love of my life in less than 28 hours. A lot of friends have been asking how I'm feeling right now and the past few days I've been saying that I feel bangag (dazed) with a dash of excitement. I guess I am dazed from all the last minute preparations, having my Kuya and his family around, the news that my Ate's flight got cancelled due to the heavy snow fall in the US and the fact that my best friend for almost 20 years now, Darwin, won't make it to the wedding because his grandmother passed away hours before he was supposed to fly in from Cebu.

I prayed really hard that my sister would be able to get her flights re-booked. A complete family is my one and only wish for my wedding. It's been years since we've been complete. My brother and sister weren't in each others wedding when I was a kid and since then I always wanted both my siblings to be there on my wedding day.

The past few days have been a flurry of activity. After hearing mass last Sunday my high school friends headed to ATC and had a hefty lunch, spent some time at Starbucks and went to the spa. It was a happy time because we always end up laughing when we're together. After dinner I spent time with my childhood/choir friends. They were practicing for the wedding and even though we haven't gotten together for a long time now they sounded really, really good. Then we had coffee afterwards at Bastille, just like the old days.

I don't remember much what happened last Monday. I think I spent most of my day finishing up with preparations and packing the wedding boxes and shuttling from home and the soon-to-be home because there's so much stuff to fix there (our landlady is 80 years old already so we're just having stuff done and reimbursing it later). Oh! My best friend from Singapore, Tappy, passed by the house to pick up her gown last Monday. Got my wedding gown last Tuesday and my designer ooh-ed and ahh-ed at my hablon-weaved custom-made bridal shoes. Wednesday was spent doing some wedding and packing chores and then we had our family reunion in the evening.

Now all I want to do is sleep... zzzzz...

Pasko Paksiw Pasko Paksiw!



I must say that Pasko-paksiw is one of the hardest tongue twisters around. I can only reach up to the fifth repetition then I'm a goner.

It's Christmas again! I've been too busy to blog the past few weeks and just wanted to greet everyone a happy, happy Christmas. Also please don't forget to pray for those who have been severely affected by Mount Mayon's volcanic activity and the fires that's been happening all over the Metro. They'll be celebrating Christmas at evacuation centers.

Every year is like our favorite paksiw. There are times we are bitter from bad things that happen, but there are a lot of times too that things are just so sweet. This year has got to be one of the most challenging for me. I was really sick the first few months and almost had heart surgery. But on the other hand even though my physical heart was wonky it was filled with so much love and hope. I lost most of my stuff during Typhoon Ondoy, but looking back I also received so much blessings and having my Mom help me helped get me back on my feet fast.

I guess that's just how things really are, there will always be a good balance between good and bad and besides God only gives us what we can bear.

Happy birthday Jesus! May we always remember that this season is for you.

Hugs to everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Week Before the Wedding

Written on December 20, 2009, 1:17 a.m.

I'm keeping this post to myself first and publishing it after the wedding. We decided after getting engaged that we would keep our wedding day a secret because we wanted it to be a private party and spend it with family and close friends (di namin kaya SMX eh hehehe).

We spent a lot of time on the wedding. After getting engaged last March we went through all that an engaged couple goes through. Pamamanhikan, looked for a church that was in between Marikina and Paranaque, did a lot of food tasting and research to find the yummiest food and then we rested for a whole quarter. Realized we were behind sched and started running around town again, did the pre-cana, then Ondoy happened which forced us to stop doing wedding stuff for about a month and then the mad dash to the finish line.

We haven't had a decent date in the past few months. What little time and energy I had left after work was spent on preparing for the wedding and in the 9 months since we got engaged I've been to Singapore twice, Cagayan de Oro thrice, Iloilo twice, Davao, Bataan and I don't remember anymore where I've been and let's not talk about all the events I've done and attended too. If not for the miracle last April I would probably not have survived the last 2 quarters of this year.

It's been a stressful time. I never expected to be stressed out over the wedding. The jitters set in when December came around. I honestly started to feel overwhelmed and anxious. I thought I'd just be cool and happy about things, but I guess it's just normal. Sweetie said earlier that next week would be a turning point in both our lives and we're going to go through it together. What he said made me less anxious and I feel excited again.

So we had our last date today as boyfriend-girlfriend. It felt odd since we had to go to the church, check the hotel and buy stuff for our new home. I guess we can just go back to our normal dating routine once we settle down in our new home.

A new life, a new adventure. By the time you get to read this I am already Mrs. Aileen Apolo-De Jesus. Yihee!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Map Your Neighborhood and Get a Chance to Win $50,000 for the Philippines!

Google has announced a competition that could benefit you and your country! All you need to do is map your neighborhood through Google Mapmaker. I have been relying a lot on Google Maps for map info especially when I go in and out of Manila and remember how we used the map during Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng?

Interested people can register for the Map Maker Global Competition at http://www.google.com/help/mapmaker/competitions/global/getstarted.html. The contest is open from December 15, 2009 to January 31, 2010. Entries will be evaluated on:

· Mapping quality: Mapping additions and edits must be accurate and detailed.
· Mapping quantity: The more mapping additions and edits published, the better!
· Moderation quality: Moderations of mapping changes must be polite, helpful, and correct.
· Moderation quantity: The more moderations completed, the better!

In addition to the USD50,000 UNICEF donation, the contest winner will get a VIP tour from UNICEF officials of the local project in their country that will benefit from the donation. Google will also invite the winner to attend the Google Super Mappers 2010 conference, all expenses paid.

The winner will be announced by February 15, 2010.

Additional information about the Map Maker Global Competition can be found on http://www.google.com/help/mapmaker/competitions/global/index.html.

Here's some resources you can use to guide you on how to use Google Mapmaker:

Google Mapmaker Tutorial
Mapping Party Kit (if you wanna do it with friends)
Google Mapmaker Youtube Channel (for video tutorials)

Here's a great vid of how Laoag was mapped by Leonel (a doctor!):

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Last Few Days as a Singleton

The past few months have been really crazy for me. There was typhoon Ondoy, then I had to handle a project that took up every waking moment and required me to travel a lot and then wedding preparations. I realized last night that I have not spent any quality time for myself before the wedding.

After getting scolded by some friends and colleagues I finally succumbed and asked permission from my boss to take some time off. I did. But I've still been doing some work the past week and finishing up with preparations for the wedding. Good thing my loyal and lovable high school friends have been really helpful and they've planned out a surprise for Sunday. I really have no idea what they are up to and they've been really secretive about it!

Anyway I've been experiencing some wedding jitters already and that's the reason why I have not been able to blog. I thought I'd make a list of stuff I'd do before the big day:

1. Get a massage, body scrub and a facial.
2. Buy myself a Christmas gift.
3. Go out with the girls.
4. Get a lot of shut-eye.
5. Spend some time with the son, the siblings and the bestfriend.

Any other suggestions?


Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Story about the White Rose

How do you know he is the one?

I got this question from my Formspring page. Years ago I asked the same question and I bugged quite a number of married friends. Most of them said the same thing,

"You will just know."

So I bugged more people, including my brother and he said the same thing. One friend though gave me very valuable advise. Her then boyfriend (now husband) was 7 years younger than her and she felt very anxious about their age difference. She kept breaking up with him, but he kept wooing her back. Throughout their relationship she would ask for a sign and the signs were very specific signs like a certain number of flowers, food and the last one she asked before she left for another country was a white angel. She prayed for all those signs and got positive responses each and every time.

So I did the same thing. I asked for several signs and got frustrated each and every time. It took years before I finally settled on one specific sign, white roses.

I followed Brother Bo's advise from his book, "Finding Your One True Love." He said one should meet as many guys as you can and turn these guys into friends and then pray. I can no longer count how many guy friends I have. A LOT! But looking back I think I met Sweetie during the first month I actively followed Bo's advise. He became a friend, then my best friend, my boyfriend, then my fiance. And things have been easy going between us. Things just fell into place.

And the white rose came into play the first time he visited me at home. My friends and I held a despidida de soltera for our soon-to-be-wed friend at home and I invited Sweetie to visit so he can meet my parents and my childhood friends. I was cooking spaghetti when he arrived and I didn't expect him to bring anything, much less flowers.

When my Mom called me to meet Sweetie at the door I almost fainted when I saw what he had brought me. Three white roses.

And my spaghetti? It burned. Worst spaghetti I ever cooked.

And that's how I knew he was the one.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

I'm not sure about my Mom's real age because she never gave the same answer whenever I asked. I checked out her IDs before and it had different birth years! My Mom vaguely explained that she got her driver's license at a very young age and so they had to add a couple of years on the form so she could get one. Another time she said that she started working young and the bank had an age requirement. Oh well, so I never really asked how old she really is. My guesstimate is she's about 2 years younger than my Dad.

My Mom loves flowers. She's got this huge garden (plus backyard) filled with flowering plants, including orchids. A lot of our neighbors say that she's got a green thumb and is a very talented amateur florist. And because of her garden my Mom doesn't like taking long vacations because her garden only comes to life when she is around. She left the garden to my care several times before and even though I water the plants and talk to them they all just wilt and turn brown on me. Hmph.

So I got Mom this really pretty orchid from the Manila Flower Center. When I saw the orchid I knew I had to get it for my Mom even though it meant that I wouldn't have any money left for lunch, merienda and dinner (yes, it was expensive!). I got the plant and prayed that it wouldn't wilt while Sweetie and I were delivering wedding invitations. The sacrifice was worth it because Mom had this huge smile on her face when she saw my pasalubong and early birthday gift. It was the same smile she always had when I brought her home a rose I'd buy after school when I was in sixth grade (I did so for about a week by scrimping on my allowance).

Happy birthday Mom! I know I'll be moving out soon... don't be sad (she's been emo the past quarter), I'll just be around the corner :)

*Special thanks to our Ninang and my baptismal Ninang for feeding us lunch and dinner. Hehehe.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Santino

I get goosebumps whenever I see Santino (with Bro) perform miracles in the hit telenovela, "May Bukas Pa." I mention the show whenever I do speaking engagements and I always see people smiling and nodding when I say it's one of my favorite shows. And I think everyone is watching it (but most are doing so secretly).

We need a miracle.

Our nation needs a MIRACLE.

I cannot explain to my friends and colleagues abroad why these things are happening in my country. Nakakahiya. I have to keep defending that there are many good things in my country too. It's sad because there are a lot of good things happening, but these bad things just keep happening, one after the other.

I keep the belief that God only gives us what we can bear. And the things that are happening in our nation is something that we all have to slug through together and rise from.

Miracles do happen.

I have been healed by Bro twice this year. The first one was in Lucban and the other time was at the Jaro Cathedral in Iloilo. Both times I felt a kalabit and an overwhelming feeling of love.

Maybe, if we all pray together and act then hopefully the golden age of country will soon come. Diba Santino?