The Philippine Vacation

Our Philippine vacation this year was only because of two main things–to celebrate Clara’s first birthday celebration and to be wed in Boracay. So on March 22, 2011, we flew from Narita to Manila then to Bacolod for a three-week stay.

Clara’s birthday, celebrated on March 23, 2011 at Planta Centro Hotel and Residences was a blast. Because of the frequent trips we’ve made to Disneyland in the past few months, and also because every morning the girls would wake up and watch their daily dose of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show, we decided on making a theme based on these influences, thus Minnie Mouse Bow-tique. Clara couldn’t be Mickey Mouse for obvious reasons, so we chose her to be the next best thing in the show–Mickey’s better half, Minnie Mouse. Researching some more, I found out that Disney currently launched Minnie Mouse’s very own show, entitled Minnie Mouse Bow-toons. It is a show about Minnie Mouse and her newly-opened shop, the Bow-tique, which showcases bows of all sorts and kinds. Also, Patricia Sy-Gomez, a godmother of Clara, helped me out by giving me birthday ideas thru a very helpful website.

I chose the two most popular Minnie Mouse ensemble and colors as well: the pink, white and black one which is her contemporary look and the red-black-and white one, her traditional look. Based of of these, I chose two cake designs and coordinated with two cake makers respectively. The pink three-tiered cake was made by Nathalie Estero of Kriss’ Cakes and the red cake and cupcake cake combo was made by Ann Ledesma of Quino’s Cakes. Both cakes were delightfully oh-so-pretty! The party set-up and balloons , which was done by The Gigglebugs Gift and Party Shop Team under Miss Daydine Yusay, trasnformed the hotel venue into almost like the actual Bow-tique.

Even her invitations are Minnie Mouse inspired and were creatively made by Sigrid Lo.

The oh-so-Minnie giveaways were ingeniously crafted by Dynah Eufre of Buddy’s Bacolod, along with the creative inputs of my good friend and godmother of Clara, Karen Yu-Yip.

Of course, it is not a party without a pinata and pabitin, right? Thanks to Jenny Kalaw of Party Pieces and Co., I didn’t have to worry about that.

Kris Vidal of Planta Centro Hotel and Residences made sure that the food was fresh and delicious, the waiters were alert and passionately serving the guests, and the whole event just going smoothly. Special thanks to Melissa Ong for coordinating with Bea Uy on this too.

Kriziela Tabujara, a close friend of mine who just happened to give birth two weeks after i gave birth, extended her help to me as well, meaning she gave me the list of party shops and clowns as well. We both chose Big Jay Clown as our host/entertainer to our events and we never regretted it. The host is the one who makes or breaks the whole event and if everything was perfect but the host wasn’t, then everything I did would have been futile. So, a big thank you to Big Jay Clown for a fun-filled extravaganza for our little girl who obviously enjoyed her birthday party!

Pictures last forever and even though they were late, as they say, it is better late than never! Thank you Kieron and Gessilyn Tan of SKT for the precious shots and memories in pictures!

Birthdays are never fun for me and i have learned that only when i became a mother myself. Gone were the times when i could just attend a party, sit back and enjoy. But all for the love of my daughters, then me and my husband would gladly do so. Thank you, Mom, for helping me out as being my backhand and runner in Bacolod while i was here in Japan. None of this would be possible without you. And at the end of the day, thank you for all our friends and families who came and joined in our celebration. Our kids teach us everyday that it is important to share and give blessings to others. Thank you for your presence and for your gifts too! We certainly had quite a hard time packing them all and bringing them to Japan but nothing could compare to the smile it brings to Clara.

The very next day, me and my husband and our immediate families along with my closest friends, set out for Boracay. This is a cliche but I need to say it. It is every girl’s dream to be wed to the man she loves one day when she grows up. I actually thought i would never have this chance. I gave up on that little girl’s dream, just like everyone else. But God gave me the man that i should love, who is worthy of my devotion and who loves me back all that much. And that man showed me that there are people, and they are few, who look beyond your mistakes and actually see the real you and will actually, really love you, in the most amazing ways. I really didn’t believe in all this anymore, especially since i come from a place where being a single mother meant that you are this lowly being who was just stupid to have a baby. It is ironic how people will just easily label you as unworthy and not of value because of being a single mother. People nowadays have funny ways of measuring the value of a person. But thankfully, God gave me a man who measured me not through my annual income tax returns but through my unconditional love and support for him.

Standing there, with my toes curled in the white sands of Boracay, seeing the soft rays of the sun set on my husband’s face, i walked down the aisle. Willy’s Boracay made it an especially long walk for me with ‘Ikaw Lamang’ as the musical piece and i must say I will never forget that moment. Literally, everything else just blurred and I just saw him waiting for me. Walking, I tried hard to not well up in tears, as i was thinking about everything that we have been through. I looked at this man who fought for me, through everything and believed in me. This man actually believes in me and in my capacity to love him. That is all that matters. The happiest moment, so far.

The six hour travel to Boracay was not a joke especially when the hairdresser was already waiting for me at the hotel at 9am. Our entourage arrived at 2pm for the 4pm wedding and believe me, God amazingly made it all happen right before my very eyes. One cant imagine the tension that was filling up my whole being but i sucked it all up and just believed. Willy’s made it all happen for me and my husband. Thank you to Miss Ching Weiss and Miss Samantha Duran for sticking with me through all the last minute changes and adjustments. Thank you even to my friends who became instant primary and secondary sponsors! The show did actually go on! The set-up was beautiful, the food was sumptuous, and the fireworks was the icing on the cake and certainly gave our wedding a very bongga closing remarks as my sister said it. Allow me to mention the wedding buffet menu. For starters, we had chilled watermelon soup, grilled chicken caesar salad, smoked salmon brini canape with creme fraiche, open faced samosas with mashed potato, bacon and cheese, roast beef canape with bernaise sauce. Main entree was apple glazed pork with gravy, roasted chicken with grilled veggies and corn and smoked barbecue prawns with rice and creamy, cheese potatoes on the side. We finished off with creme brulee and fresh fruits and iced tea.

People watched the whole wedding and gave their compliments and congratulations to us which was very heartwarming. The next day, random guests would come up to us to compliment us on our beautiful wedding. Even the bartender at some bar in Station 3 recognized us and even showed us the pictures he took on his phone of our wedding. Tourists clicked away and we didn’t mind at all. There were random people taking pictures of and with our two precious beautiful flower girls–our daughters. Most of all, I saw how happy my husband was and that was all that matters.



Dreams do come true. Believe in it.