Thursday, November 15, 2012

Garden Venues in Marikina

Marikina residents need not go out of the city to look for garden-inspired venues for their wedding.  These five venues are perfect for Marikina couples who not not want the hassle of travelling far from their homes and whose relatives, friends and other guests are mostly from the same city.  Check out these venues I have listed below and see if there is at least one that fits your criteria.
1. World of Butterflies - The World of Butterflies is located at the corner of Champagnat and Gen. Ordonez Streets, Barangay Marikina Heights and right beside Marikina Heights National High School. 
Telephone numbers: 941-3747 or 430-9737.
Garden capacity is up to 200 pax.  Click here to check out some pictures.
2. Lai-Lyn's Garden - This is located at #8 E. Rodriguez Ave., Sto Nino, Marikina City. Click here to see the map.
Telephone numbers: 933-09-78 / 997-7672
Telefax: 998-87-97
Email address:

Contact Person: Eliza Lyn Labos
Click here to see some pictures and here for the wedding packages.
3. La Veranda Marikina and Garden Spa - This is located at The Marikina Orchidarium Compound, #70 General Ordonez St. Marikina Heights, Marikina City, Philippines. Click here to see the map.

Telephone number: (632) 940-4811 
Fax Number: (632) 941- 5035
Click here to see some pictures.
4. Villa Ronar Garden Resort and Hotel - This is located at 112 Dao St. corner Champaca St., Marikina Heights, Marikina City.

Telephone Numbers: 475-4093 / 998-8448 / 502-9184
Mobile number: 0917-8151029
5. Water Nymph Resort - This is located at Pio del Pilar cor. Tecson Sts., Concepcion Dos, Marikina City. Click here to check the map.
Telephone number : (632) 948 2293
Telefax: 948-2293
Mobile number: (632) 927 354 2212

Email Addresses:


Thursday, November 8, 2012

God of My Tomorrows

Here's a poem I wrote years ago when I had no idea what would happen next in my life.  I wrote it at a time when I had so many uncertainties.  I chose to embrace the grace of God instead of letting my uncertainties sow seeds of doubt in my heart.
I'm sharing it today in my blog today because I'm at a point in my life now when there are many new opportunities coming my way.  They are all good but as with many new things, they bring with them many uncertainties as well. Today, I choose to surrender once more my future, my endeavors, plans and dreams to God.
This poem was inspired by my meditations on Jeremiah 29:11-14 and Judith 9:5-6.   I wrote it on December 29, 2004 and was eventually published in my book When My Bridegroom Comes in 2005.  I find comfort in these words every time I'm confronted with uncertainty about my future.   I hope it would inspire others who are in the same boat.

God of My Tomorrows
I woke up one morning
Not knowing where to run
Stumbling in the darkness
Groping for the sun
God, where is tomorrow?
I asked, "What lies ahead?"
My heart filled with sorrow
These questions in my head
Then you came with answers
I've waited for so long
You brought light and meaning
Now I can sing this song
Your hand guided all that happened
Everything was part of your plan
Past, present, what is yet to come...
Who am I to challenge your wisdom?
Who am I to question your plan?
Your Word, once spoken, is as good as done
Now all my tomorrows
Are in your mighty hands
You who hold the future
Now also hold my hand

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marrying for Religious Reasons

Would you say “yes” to a guy who’s courting you and agree to be his girlfriend by virtue of this guy’s reflection on a Bible passage?  You might think that it’s weird or overly religious but that’s what I did six years ago.  I said “yes” to a friend of mine who decided to court me. 

Let me share with you parts of the journal entry I wrote days after I made that decision.

Around past midnight of last Wednesday – that was already October 19 -- God gave me a much unexpected surprise. 

We have just attended Bible study at Greenbelt chapel.  When we arrived at my apartment, I asked him his insights on the Bible passage I asked him to meditate on, 1 Samuel 15.  I have received this passage in my prayer time and I felt strongly that it was not only for me but that I needed to share it with him.  So after much thought and prayer, I decided to give it to him.  At the back of my mind, I was thinking and quite expectant that after he reads it he would decide to stop pursuing me.  Well, aside from the fact that I wanted him to do that, I also know very well the main lesson in that passage.  It talks about King Saul’s disobedience and God’s rejection of him as king because he went ahead of God.  So, I was very surprised and I think a bit shocked when he shared his insight.

He said that he was struck with verse 17: “Even though you consider yourself of no importance, you are the leader of the tribes of Israel.  The Lord anointed you king of Israel.”  I was really taken aback when he shared that he was struck by this verse so I asked him to explain why.  His reflection surprised me even more.  I was speechless for a few moments.  I could not believe I was hearing those words from him.  What he shared was very different from my expectation.

He said that he was struck by that verse because that’s exactly how he feels particularly in his relationship with me.  He feels so unworthy of my affection especially because he knows I’m more spiritually mature than him; but because he loves me, he continues to ask God for me.  And to receive that word from God, he felt so blessed that God has anointed him.  That although it’s something that he thinks he’s undeserving, he expects in faith that God will answer his prayer.  He chooses to believe that God can give me to him.

At that point, I could no longer ignore or deny that God’s favor was upon him.  God instructed me in 2001 to use the character of King David as guide in choosing my future spouse.  I studied his life and his character so that when someone comes my way, I could discern if he has David qualities or not and that would enable me to decide whether I should choose someone or not.  I have learned that David means “God’s anointed or God’s chosen one.”  I have learned that David has a very humble heart and a very strong faith in God.  So, after hearing his insights, I realized that he has David qualities and that God has anointed him at this time for me to choose him.  So although I didn’t want to choose him initially, I chose to trust God’s wisdom and to submit to His plans because I know that God has anointed him.  I have anointed him that night after hearing God’s voice.  He’s now my boyfriend.
I honestly had a lot of hesitations and fears but I simply chose to abandon them and trust God completely.  I have so much faith in Him.  I know that He would not give me something that would harm or hurt me.  I know that His plans are best and that He knows me best.  I know that I could not rely on my heart because the human heart is so deceptive and unstable.  But I know that God’s heart is very reliable.  He has repeatedly told me that He sees and knows the hearts of men and so I asked Him many times in the past to show me who is worthy of my love and I would accept and rejoice in His choice.  I would be a hypocrite if I do not admit that I didn’t struggle to accept and rejoice in God’s choice.  I struggled much actually but I chose not to focus on the struggle but to focus on the truth of God’s Word.  I have always used His Word as a lamp to my feet and that night, He gave me just enough light to make another step of faith.  I thank God for the grace to say yes not only to George but more importantly to Him.

That Bible passage paved the way for me to have my FIRST and ONLY boyfriend.  Yes, you read it right.  He was my first and only boyfriend.  And I was not romantically attracted to him at first.  He was one of my good friends then and I struggled to see him as more than a friend.  He was very blessed that God endorsed him. ;)  That friendship barrier was broken eventually and I fell in love with him.

A year later, I married this guy mainly because of religious reasons.  You read it right again.  My main reasons were religious in nature.  I was already romantically attracted to him but my feelings then were just secondary.

I can give you a long explanation why I said that but since this is simply a blog entry, I will keep it a bit short.  If you are interested to know the details of my journey to married life though and you have time, you can read my book When MyBridegroom Comes and Bo Sanchez’ book 40 Stories of Finding Your One True Love, where our love story was included.    

Now, here are my religious reasons:

1.    I discerned that God was calling me to the married vocation and that it is in this state of life that I can love and serve God best.  Moreover, I discerned that it is in the married vocation that I would grow in faith the most.

2.    I discerned that God was calling me to love Him and express my love for Him through this man.

This may sound very spiritual to you or most people but that’s the truth. 

Last Sunday, I was surprised and happy to hear the priest say in his homily that men and women should marry mainly because of a religious or spiritual reason.  He shared that he has interviewed many couples who were planning to get married in his ministry as a priest (more than 20 years if I remember it right) and that’s one of the things he wants to hear when he interviews couples who are planning and preparing for marriage.  He further said that even romantic reasons are not enough to keep married couples together for life.  He said that all marriages should have a third party but the only third party that should be allowed in a couple’s marriage is God.  I was struck the most when the priest said that when men and women marry, it should be because he or she commits to let the woman or man he/she intends to marry to experience the love and faithfulness of God through him/her.  Wow!  It was the first time I heard that.  Looking back, now I know why my family and I celebrated Mass at Gateway suites last Sunday.  We normally celebrate Mass at PICC during The Feast but because we needed to meet someone in Gateway last Sunday, we decided that it would be practical to hear Mass there as well since there's a Mass at Gateway at 5 PM also.  I realized that God wanted me to hear that priest's homily.  :)      

This was a pleasant and delightful surprise for me.  I felt that it was God affirming and honoring me for the decision I made this same month six years ago.

So, will I choose to do the same thing if I go back in time?  Absolutely!  Not because my marriage or family life is perfect; but because I believe that marrying my husband is part of God’s perfect plan for my life.  I did not marry Mr. Perfect; but by marrying my husband, I was able to say “yes” once more to my perfect God and Father.   

How about you?  Do you think you’d marry for religious reasons as well?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

On Wedding Color and Brides' Personalities

I stumbled upon an interesting article that talks about wedding colors and how the colors brides choose are related to their personalities.  I thought that it would be nice to share this here in my blog and help brides decide on what color to choose for their wedding or if a wedding color has already been decided, this post might affirm the bride that she has made the right choice.
So, what's your wedding color?  Mine was shades of purple/lavender and pink. 

Here are some of our wedding pictures.  Warning: purple and pink overload! :)

Princess Bride with her Fairy Godmother --
that's me with one of our principal sponsors
who incidentally is my baptismal godmother also.
I designed my gown and her gown.
My bride's maids, matron of honor and flower girls. 
I designed their gowns, too.
My matron of honor whose gown I designed as well.  
That's me walking down the aisle with my parents.  I designed my mom's gown too.
Notice the pink and purple beads on my gown's neckline and hemline.

Bride's maids, secondary sponsors and groom's men with me and my groom. 
Notice the wall of the church -- it's also shimmering purple.
Our yummy wedding cake made extra sweet by dainty flowers designed by me again.
Notice the pink and purple details on my gown. :)
The couple's table and its backdrop.

According to the article, brides who love purple are outgoing, tolerant, witty, fearless and charming.  This versatile color can be construed as sweet (lilac, lavender) or passionate (deep eggplant).  Brides who love pink are compassionate, sweet, feminine, demure and a diehard romantic at heart.  Brides who choose pink also embody the same qualities as red fanatics, except softened up a bit.  What are the personality traits of brides who choose red?  They are passionate, fiercely loyal, impulsive, and a natural-born leader.  A bride who likes red most likely will have a wedding that's luxe and dramatic (in the best possible way).  Tame that a bit, that would be a bride who loves pink.
Click here to read the full article and see if your wedding color reflects your personality.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tips on Planning Your Wedding Souvenirs

Part of the wedding tradition is giving away souvenirs to guests as the couple's way of expressing their gratitude to the people who took time to witness and celebrate an important occasion in their life.  There's a wide range of souvenir ideas that sometimes couples get overwhelmed on what to choose.  Let me share some tips to help you make a shortlist of potential souvenirs/give aways for your wedding day and eventually decide on what to give away.
1. Use your wedding theme and/or motif as springboard/s in making a list of potential wedding souvenirs.  I saw this beautiful souvenir box that can be a very apt container for wedding favors in a fairy tale-themed wedding.
Photo source here.
Here is another fairy tale-themed wedding give away.
Glass slipper key chain. Photo source here.
Here is another wedding souvenir or give away fit for a sea or beach-inspired wedding. 
Photo source here.
2. Make your wedding souvenirs tell your love story or your passions as individuals or as a couple.  What do you and your future spouse love or love to do?  Let your souvenirs give your guests a clue.
One of our wedding souvenirs or give aways was the Catholic scriptural guide called Didache with reflections on the readings.  We chose this because the Scripture or the Word of God played a vital part in our love story.  It was also one of the ministries of the Catholic community where my fiance and I met and served together when we were single.  So aside from helping us share something related to our love story, through our wedding souvenirs, we were able to support our community's ministry.

Our give away to our guests.

Another give away/gift that we had for our principal  sponsors was a dvd of an episode in Fr. Jun Lingad, S.D.B.'s program Word Made Flesh.  Fr. Jun discusses a Bible passage, usually the Gospel for a specific Sunday during his programs before.  We chose an episode wherein he discussed the verse "What God has joined together, let no man separate."  It was a Bible study episode perfect for a wedding, a reminder not only to my groom and me but also to our guests on the sanctity of marriage.  It also supported another ministry (the Word Made Flesh Foundation) that my groom and I are a part of and of something instrumental in our love story.  

Our gift to our principal sponsors.
We placed these souvenirs in pink and lavender cloth bags with ribbons and gift tags with our initials a short note from us.  Our gift tags were among our several DIY projects for our wedding. 
We also gave away flowering plants (star gazers) to our guests because our venue was at Blue Garden, an English Garden.
3. Think of something useful for your guests.  One of the reasons we chose Didache is because it's something that our guests can use every day as they pray and read Scriptures.  They will be reminded daily that it was a souvenir from our wedding.  It's also a meaningful souvenir because it's a reminder of our faith which is very important to me and my groom.
Here are useful and unique wedding souvenirs. 
Salt and Pepper Shaker. Photo source here.

Fit for weddings of couples who love sea creatures, a chrome dolphin bottle opener.  Photo source here.

4. Use your creativity and imagination to personalize your wedding favors/souvenirs.  One way to do this is through packaging or by adding details of your wedding or your names/initials to the souvenir itself or to the packaging. You can also choose to make your own wedding souvenirs or favors if you like crafts.  Or you can buy generic souvenirs that are related to your theme or story and then personalize them a bit.  You can also get a supplier who specializes in wedding souvenirs who can help you come up with one that's unique and perfect for your wedding theme.

For our wedding, my fiance and I personalized our give aways by making our own gift tags.  We printed them in nice colored paper with our initials and last names and a short note at the back. 

Personalized chocolate bar give away. Photo source here.
5. Don't break the bank just to impress your guests through your souvenirs.  I believe that the people you invite to your wedding day should be people close to you and your future spouse.  They are usually immediate family members, extended family members, close relatives and close friends from different circles.  Having said that, there certainly is no need to impress these people.  In the same way that you decided on a wedding budget, decide on a budget for your souvenirs.  Again, the key is it should be something that shows your gratitude to your guests and at the same time something that will remind them of your special day.  In our case, one way by which we stayed within our budget was to choose a give away within our budget and make the gift tags and the pouches for the gifts to our principal sponsors while we had the organza pouches for the Didache made at Divisoria.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Songs for the Bride's Dance with her Father

I'm featuring two beautiful songs that brides-to-be can choose from for their dance with their Dads on their wedding day.  The first song is already a very popular choice; while the second one is another beautiful song which may not be as popular as the first.  I encourage you though to check out its lyrics and video before you decide. 

My first recommendation is Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle.  It's a well-written song with beautiful lyrics and melody.  I'm sure every bride and father of the bride would be moved to tears or will be teary-eyed at least while dancing to this song during the wedding party.

Below is a video of the song and its lyrics.

Butterfly Kisses

There's two things I know for sure,
She was sent here from heaven,
And she's daddy's little girl.
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night,
She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes.
And I thank God for all the joy in my life,
But most of all, for...

Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer.
Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair.
"Walk beside the pony daddy,
Its my first ride."
"I know the cake looks funny,
Daddy, but I sure tried."
Oh, with all that I've done wrong,
I must have done something right
To deserve a hug every morning
And butterfly kisses at night.

Sweet sixteen today,
She's looking like her momma
A little more every day.
One part woman, the other part girl.
To perfume and makeup,
From ribbons and curls.
Trying her wings out in a great
Big world. But I remember...

Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer.
Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair.
"You know how much I love you daddy,
But if you don't mind,
I'm only going to kiss you on
The cheek this time."
With all that I've done wrong,
I must have done something right.
To deserve her love every morning,
And butterfly kisses at night.

All the precious time
Like the wind, the years go by
Precious butterfly
Spread your wings and fly

She'll change her name today.
She'll make a promise,
And I'll give her away.
Standing in the bride room
Just staring at her,
She asked me what I'm thinking,
And I said "I'm not sure,
I just feel like l'm losing my baby girl."
Then she leaned over...and gave me...
Butterfly kisses, with her mama there
Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair
"Walk me down the aisle daddy, it's just about time"
"Does my wedding gown look pretty daddy?"
"Daddy don't cry "
Oh with all that I've done wrong, I must have
Done something right
To deserve her love every morning
And butterfly kisses
I couldn't ask God for more, man, this is
What love is
I know I've gotta let her go, but I'll always remember
Every hug in the morning and butterfly kisses for life...

The other song I recommend is another moving song, this time by Luther Vandross -- Dance with My Father.

Check out the video and lyrics below.

Dance with My Father

Verse 1:
Back when I was a child
Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me and then
Spend me around till I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved

If I could get another chance
Another walk, another dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
How I'd love love love to dance with my father again

Verse 2:
When I and my mother would disagree
To get my way I would run from her to him
He'd make me laugh just to comfort me(yeah, yeah)
Then finally make me do just what my momma said
Later that night, when I was asleep
He left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he would be gone from me

If I could steal
One final glance
One final step
One final dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
Cause I'd love love love to dance with my father again

Verse 3:
Sometimes I'd listen outside her door
I'd hear how my mother cried for him
(2x) I'd pray for her even more than me

I know I'm praying for much too much
But could you send back the only man she loved
I know you don't do it usually
But dear Lord she' s dying to dance with my father again

Every night I fall asleep
And this is all I ever dream

What's your choice?  Well, I know that whichever you choose from these two, it will surely be a touching dance with your Dad.  Enjoy your dance!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Recommended Wedding Song: Come What May from Moulin Rouge

I fell in love with this song as soon as Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman sang this song in the movie Moulin Rouge.  It's funny as I look back now how I cried so much while watching that movie. hahaha I was broken hearted then and I simply could not hold back my tears.  I think I was crying for the most part of the movie.  That was the sad part of my love story.

Then, I met the man who eventually became my husband.  And the memory of me crying over that movie (while nursing a broken heart) was overshadowed by the promise of love and togetherness in a new relationship and a marriage.

My fiance and I liked this song very much because of its good melody and beautiful lyrics.  This is one of our favorite love songs.  It could even pass as out theme song. :)  Thus, it was part of our song list during our wedding.

Check out the song lyrics below.  It's very romantic and very apt for weddings.  It echoes the promise of brides and grooms that they will love each other until death... "'til death do us part" as couples say or as in the lyrics of the song "until my dying day."

Come What May
Soundtrack of the movie Moulin Rouge

Never knew I could feel like this
Like I've never seen the sky before
Want to vanish inside your kiss
Everyday I love you more and more
Listen to my heart, can you hear it sing
Telling me to give you everything
Seasons may change, winter to spring
But I love you, until the end of time

Come what may
Come what may
I will love you until my dying day

Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place
Suddenly it moves with such a perfect grace
Suddenly my life doesn't seem such a waste
It all revolves around you
And there's no mountain too high
No river too wide
Sing out this song and I'll be there by your side
Storm clouds may gather
And stars may collide
[Ewan:]But I love you
[Nicole:]I love you
Until the end of time

Come what may
Come what may
I will love you, until my dying day


I will love you (Come what may)
Oh Yes I will love you (Come what may)
I will love you, until my dying day.

Here is a video clip of the song.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Garden Venues in Manila

Garden venues are popular choices for weddings.  Be it for the ceremony and reception or for the wedding reception only.  That's why many events venues have opened in the past years to give soon-to-be brides and grooms more choices.  Here is a list of garden venues in the city of Manila.  I will be adding to this list in the future when I have more time. :)

1. Baluarte de San Diego - Click here to check out some photos.       
Address: Intramuros, Manila
Telephone Number: (632) 527-3096; (632) 527-9012
You may inquire at the Intramuros Administration at Palacio del Gobernador Building.

2. Father Blanco's Garden - Click here to see a photo.
Address: Gen. Luna St. Cor. Sta. Potenciana, Intramuros Mla.
Telephone Number: (632) 527-7553; (632) 527-7551

3. Ibarra's Garden - Click here to check out their wedding packages and here for pictures.
Address: 525 Padre Faura St., Ermita, Manila.
Telephone Number: (632) 522-9999; (632) 254-9088, Fax 254-9188
Contact Person: Ms. Angelica Cando - Sr. Banquet Sales Associate

4. Orchidarium Pavillion - Click here to see pictures of weddings at the Orchidarium.
Address: Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Rizal Park, Manila
Telephone Number: (632) 527-6376; (632) 527-6378/79

5. Paco Park Garden - Click here to see photos.
Address: 959 San Marcelino St., Paco, Manila City, Metro Manila.
Telephone Number:  (632) 525-7853, 524-2022 loc. 119

6. Patio Victoria - Click here and here to see pictures of the gardens in Patio Victoria.
Address: Intramuros, Manila
Click here to contact them.

7. Patio de Casa Manila - Click here to see a photo.
Address: Plaza San Luis Complex Corner General Luna And Real Streets, Intramuros, Manila.
Telephone Number: (632) 527-3135

8. Plaza Moriones - Check out some photos here.
Address: Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila.
Telephone Number: (632) 527-3096; (632) 527-9012

9. Puerta Real Gardens - Click here to see some photos.
Address: Intramuros, Manila
Telephone Number: (632) 527-3096; (632) 527-9012
You may inquire at the Intramuros Administration at Palacio del Gobernador Building.

10. San Agustin Church's Inner Garden - Click here to see a photo.
Address: Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila
Telephone Number: (632) 527-4052; (632) 527 527-2746 / Fax: (632) 527 338-2091
Hope this list helps couples who are planning their big day. 

I've also listed here some Catholic churches in the area to help you in your wedding planning and preparation.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Marriage Preparation Seminars

The wedding day is just the start of a couple's life together.  Thus, it is also important that ample time be invested in marriage preparation.  In fact, this is something that a couple seriously contemplating marriage must do.

My fiance and I went through a marriage discernment process with the guidance of the priest who was supposed to celebrate our wedding and some help from older married couples we know and look up to.  But even before we got engaged, we already used a very helpful tool used by Catholic churches in their Pre-Cana Seminars to help us see how compatible we were as a couple.

To help you prepare for your life together as man and wife, here are some seminars that I recommend you consider joining:

1. Pre-Cana Seminars are a must for Catholics in the Philippines.  It is usually scheduled after the canonical interview with the parish priest or the assistant parish priest of the church where the couple will wed.  Older married couples from the parish share their experiences and discuss various topics related to marriage and family life with the engaged couple during the seminar.  If you want to find out more about this seminar, just get in touch with your parish. 

Personally though, I would recommend that a soon-to-wed couple go through a marriage preparation or discernment process prior to reserving the church for their wedding or booking their reception venue.  Pre-Cana Seminars in parishes are usually done too close to the actual wedding (like around a month prior to the wedding date) and there are cases when these seminars are not enough to prepare soon-to-wed couples for the challenges and adjustments of married life.  So for those who want to invest more in their marriage preparation or those who want to discern if they should marry their current boyfriend or girlfriend before going ahead with their engagement, there are other helpful seminars and programs for you.

2. Marriage Preparation Workshop (Cana) of the Center for Family Ministries or CeFAM.  This is a two day, live-out seminar-workshop with psycho-spiritual approach for couples seriously contemplating marriage, for enganged couples, or for newly married couples who have not had the benefit of marriage preparation and are still adjusting to married life.  This was created by CeFAM to enable couples to know one another in depth and to understand the dynamics of their relationship; and to enable couples to discern their compatibility and preparedness for a lifetime.  The process and methodology used are lectures with focus on Human Maturity, Authentic Love and Value Clarification and one-on-one professionally facilitated couple dialogue on their Marriage Expectation Inventory, Interpersonal Comparison Test and Genogram (Psycho-Emotional Family Tree).  The couples’ readiness and non-readiness, compatibility and non-compatibility are highly brought to light with the use and interpretation of the counseling tools and other similar assessment instruments.  Couples who are seriously contemplating marriage are highly encouraged to attend this seminar-workshop at least 6 months to one year before their target date to marry. 

The next Marriage Preparation Workshop by CeFAM will be on July 21 and 22.  Check out the other schedules for 2012 here and the other topics covered in the workshop here.

You may get in touch with CeFAM at these numbers: 426-4289 to 92

3. The Discovery Weekend (DW) is a program designed to enrich and deepen the couple's relationship and prepare them better for the sacrament of marriage.   The Discovery Weekend aims to help couples to:

  • assess each one's relationship to oneself, to each other, to God and the community.
  • experience, develop and deepen their relationship through a method of communication and dialogue, which they can bring into their marriage.
  • witness to the many dimensions of marriage openly, honestly and realistically through a team of married couples and/or a priest.
  • plan their marriage and not just their wedding.

Any couple may join the program, regardless of the status of their relationship-as long as marriage is in their minds.  They can be engaged to marry in a week's time or going steady for a short period but contemplating marriage. The weekend is not necessarily for perfectly matched couples nor is it designed to help unstable relationships.

4. The Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE) is a three-day live-in marriage preparation course held in different locations in Metro Manila several times a year.  The CEE is conducted in groups by a group of married couples and a priest but couples who join the marriage preparation course are given plenty of time to discuss important and sensitive topics that can impact their future life together as a married couple.  For more information, you may in touch with  Chin & Lorna Fernandez at

Friday, July 6, 2012

If the Shoe Fits... Searching for the Princess' Shiny Shoe

Tiara, check.  Jewelry, check.  Wedding gown, check.  Shiny shoes... hmmm... still searching.

Would you believe that one the things I had a hard time searching for was my wedding shoes?  Yes, because I wanted to look and feel like a princess from head to toe.  Since the theme of our wedding was Disney Princess, I thought that my wedding shoes should fit 1. our theme; 2. my shoe size; and 3. our budget.

So, my shoes should be shiny, silver or white in color, or if I can find transparent shoes or something that looks like the glass slippers of Cinderella, much better.

We first went to The Landmark to search for the perfect shoes for me.  I saw a lot of shoes that were shiny and silvery or white.  But there was not one pair of shoes that convinced me they're the right pair for my wedding day.

Thus, my fiance and I continued our search for that elusive shiny shoe fit for a princess bride.

My fiance suggested that we go to Power Plant Mall.  Just like what we did at The Landmark, we went around every shoe store to check if there was a pair that I'd like and would fit my criteria.

It was in one of the shoe stores there that I saw what I think was the perfect shoes for a Princess Bride.  The shoes were transparent and they looked like Cinderella's glass slippers.  They had swarovski stones that made them sparkle and shine.  And they had a pair for my shoe size.  I excitedly tried a pair.  I even tried to dance some steps to see if I would feel comfortable dancing the foxtrot in them.  They felt perfect for my feet!

I looked at the saleslady and casually asked for the price of the beautiful pair I'm wearing.  As soon as she said the price, the big smile on my face started to fade and suddenly the shoes didn't seem perfect at all.  The price of the shoes I tried was Php16,000! 

I was amazed that I was able to think of an excuse right away to leave the store and leave "Cinderella's shoes" behind. haha :)

Okay, so I found the perfect shoes... well, not really, because it did not fit our budget.  I would never buy a shoe that expensive even for my wedding day. No way!  It was simply impractical.  I was even thinking that the shoes I will buy for my wedding should be something I can use again on other occasions.

I think we went to SM Makati and Glorietta to check out some shoe stores too but we found oursleves back at The Landmark.  This time, I was determined to buy the best pair of shiny shoes I'll fit into, one that satisfies all my criteria. 

I finally found the pair of shoes I wanted to wear for my wedding.  Yes, I tried to dance some foxtrot moves with them, walked around with them and stared at the mirror lengthily before finally buying the pair.

I was happy with my purchase.  It was a simple shiny pair of shoes, silver in color, with heels that are three inches tall.  They had straps around my ankles to make sure my shoes will not slide or will not be left behind during my bridal march or our first dance as a couple.  I liked Cinderella's story but I didn't want to experience that part where she lost one of her shoes. 

Important lessons learned during our hunt for my wedding shoes: Know your priorities and know what part of your dream wedding to compromise and what not, where to splurge and where to stick to the alloted budget.

I still felt like a true princess on my wedding day even though the price of my wedding shoes was just around a thousand pesos.  Let me tell you why through a quote in one of my favorite shirts: YES, I AM A PRINCESS BECAUSE MY FATHER IS THE KING OF KINGS!