Life

Let’s talk about my wedding

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a candid shot at the 1st reception

So, I got married! It was four months ago, but I only had time to write anything about anything now. And I don’t actually have time now, I’m just doing this in between the many other things I have to do. I didn’t realize living in Japan meant I had to work 24/7. Or, okay, that’s inaccurate. There is some time to rest–but that’s just it. In my current situation, all the time that’s for rest is really for just that: rest. So, pardon me if I’d been remiss in blogging duties in favor of relaxing and sleeping. Anyway, I’m not a real blogger. But, I do want to update this blog to talk about my wedding. Or rather, I want to talk about my wedding, but my friends are sick of listening to me, and so I’m here! That’s what this place is for, right?

So, anyway, I had two wedding receptions. The picture above is the one I had with my bosses, co-workers and some people in the town I’m living. I wasn’t planning on having it, I originally just wanted a celebration with my family and closest friends from the Philippines. But living here for a year, spending every day with co-workers and things, I realized that I wanted to share the moment with them, too. And R agreed, so voila! We had a wedding party at a local restaurant.

I only wish the restaurant had told me that they were going to decorate their function room to include wedding-themed balloons, as I still regret to this day that I said no when they asked me if I wanted them to put a white backdrop instead of the usual green and gold that they already had on there. I just thought white would’ve been too boring. Well, it would’ve been if they hadn’t put balloons, but they did, and I realized too late that with the balloons there, the white would’ve been perfect. But, what’s done is done. And nobody noticed anyway. So, it actually doesn’t matter. Except to me. Because I’ll always know. But don’t get me wrong–I’m not complaining. It was a super fun party. All my co-teachers were there and my parents and aunt made it, too. It was too bad my siblings had to miss it, but they were present at the main thing, anyway.

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a non-candid pic with my family at the 2nd reception

You can’t see it in this pic, but behind us was an incredible view of the Tokyo skyline. This pic was taken at the 42nd floor of one of the many Mori Towers, after all. What you can see in this pic, though, is the yummy food that we had. It was really yummy Japanese food. Even the Japanese guests said so (which I was really happy about).

I’d always wanted a small wedding, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I never wanted a big wedding. I mean, I liked attending my friends’ and relatives’ big weddings, but I always knew it wasn’t for me. Call us non-traditional, but both my siblings and I all had small destination weddings. And that’s actually where I got the idea of having my reception at a tower with a breathtaking night view of a city. You see, my sister got married at a farm. In New Zealand. With beautiful, green, rolling hills in the background. In New Zealand. I mean, nature doesn’t get any better than that. Unless, you’re at a beach, in which case, the beauty is kind of even. And that’s exactly where my brother got married. At a beach. In our very own country, the Philippines! And sure, we’re not the best country in the world. But in terms of beaches, ours are definitely top notch. Now, tell me, how do you compete with that?

OK. I’m aware that life isn’t a competition and all that matters is that you’re happy and that you have love and blah, blah, blah. But the fact of the matter is, I didn’t want to be the only one in our family that didn’t have a beautiful wedding. And yes, sure, all weddings are beautiful, blah, blah, blah. The point is, I wanted my wedding to be as beautiful. I say “as beautiful” because I’m very aware that there’s just no way you can top New Zealand and The Philippines as locations for rolling hills and beaches. So, what was I to do?

The deserts in Dubai were mentioned a few times. And I think they’re beautiful, too. But, I just don’t have a connection with Dubai. The other interesting suggestion I heard was to have it at a historical/famous place, like the Eiffel Tower, or Mt. Fuji. Well, I think those are beautiful, too, of course, but I don’t have that kind of budget. Besides, I think it’s also kind of cheesy to have a wedding at those kinds of places. I mean, they’re good for tours and things, but they don’t really spell “wedding” to me. So, I thought long and hard, and thought, what would be a nice contrast to my siblings’ close-to-nature sunset weddings?

Why, a city wedding, of course! What could be further from the atmosphere of a mountain and a beach if not the middle of a bustling city? And what city could be more bustling than Tokyo? It was perfect!

And yes, I know Paris is “The City of Lights” and arguments have also been made for Hong Kong, Singapore and New York having better skylines. But, just like with the Dubai thing, I just don’t have any connections with those places. Meanwhile, Tokyo, albeit not the residence or hometown of my husband, is still the capital of the country he was born in. Not to mention that when I finally got a job here, it happened to be at a town just outside of Tokyo. So, like I said before, it was perfect!

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Ryuichi and me on our wedding day

Anyway, it took us some time to choose the restaurant–there are a lot in Tokyo, and of course, we had to think of budget concerns, menu concerns and all that. But eventually we found it. And it was perfect. 🙂

So, that’s the story of my wedding. For now. I mean, there are many more details, of course, but this is the part I want to share at the moment. Happy four months to us!

Life

Love Quotes Dump

Sorry for dumping these all at once. I was out of town (naks!) for the past few days and didn’t have time until today. Anyway, I hope you like these quotes, which are for February 4-5 and 8-9, 2010.

Click on image to enlarge.

Some images and quotes from various places on the net (e.g. Facebook ;)) and one of my favorite books — The Speaker’s Quote Book by Roy Zuck. Others are from Le Love.

Lokal

I’m In Love With Home

In times of trouble (and I think that everyday has been trouble because our country is misdeveloping), in order to survive, you’ll have to stay positive. Hence, I am writing a list of

Why I Love the Philippines:

Delicious Food – Of course, this is the first thing I’ll mention. Because for me, Filipino food is just the best food in the world. I don’t like food in other Asian countries much because they’re too spicy. And I don’t like food from all the other countries, because they’re too bland. I’m totally biased of course because this is the kind of food I grew up eating, but for my taste, the food in the Philippines is just perfect.

Food Sharing – Still about food haha! Anyway, something I noticed that’s different about Western-style restaurants and Filipino restaurants is the serving size. Western-style restaurants usually have “per plate” menus, meaning that you order a dish that’s ideally for just one person. But in Filipino restaurants, more often than not, the food serving is always for sharing. A plate of rice is good for 4 people. A bowl of sinigang serves 3. Probably because it’s more common for Filipinos to eat in groups of 4 or 5, instead of just 2 or alone. And even when you and your friends order a plate that’s meant to be for just one person, I love how it’s totally ok to ask the other person if you can have some of his/her food. I know it’s impolite in some cultures to take food from another person’s plate, but if you have his/her permission, I really like the fact that it’s totally normal to share.

Mi Casa es Su Casa – I know, this is a Spanish phrase. But it sounds cooler so I’m using it. Anyway, as I’m sure you know, this means “My House is Your House”, and what I mean by this, for the purposes of this blog entry, is that I absolutely love how when you’re in another place (be it another country or another province), it’s almost absolutely ok to stay in the house of a friend or a relative. In fact, they sort of expect it.

I’m immensely thankful to this Filipino custom (if I can call it that) because it saves us a lot of money when we’re traveling. Instead of checking into an expensive hotel, we can just stay at a friend/relative’s house, and for free! Never mind that we all have to share a room or sleep on a mattress or whatever, if it saves us a couple hundred bucks, then I’m all for it. Plus, we get to spend more time with our friends/relatives, because we’ll all be in the same house.

I know this all has to do with different cultures and stuff, but it strikes me as absurd when you’re in the same city as one of your relatives but you still have to check into a hotel. Except if their house is really small/busy, and there’s really no room for guests, then that’s fine. But if not, then it should be ok for relatives to stay. You get to help some people save money. That’s a good thing, right?

Tagalog – As much as I love English and its filthy rich vocabulary, I really love my native tongue the most. It’s just so easy/convenient to be polite with this language. It includes staple words for courtesy like “po” and “opo”, and cheat titles like “Manong” or “Ate” for people on the street who you don’t know the names of. I also love how you can just add “Tito” or “Tita” in front of a name of your friend’s parents and that makes you sound respectful. There’s nothing more awkward for me, than having to call someone as old as my parents by their first name. But then, calling them “Mrs. Last Name” or Mr. Last Name” is just as awkward, so really, Tagalog is very helpful.

Oh, and a special mention to the word “Yiheee“, too. Seriously, how can you not love a language that has a one-word equivalent for the whole “Thomas and Dana sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G” chant?!

Jokes – Especially the ultra corny ones that you hear on the radio. I love that it takes so little to make people laugh here.

Q: Anong difference ng joke sa pagtatanim?
A: Ang joke, biro. Ang magtanim, ‘di biro!

Tagay! – I’m not really a drinker, but I do enjoy those drinking sessions that involve cheap liquor and one glass that you pass around. It’s just not the same as when you’re in a bar where there are a lot of people around you and there’s loud music and whatever.

Philippine Art – visual art, film, music, comic books, literature… everything. I do love art from other countries as well, but I love the art here that’s fused with the culture. But I’m only talking about the original art. Let’s not elaborate on all the Star Cinema/GMA movies that are Hollywood movie rip offs, or all the songs by Hale. Hehehe.

Videoke!! – This is more of an Asian thing, and will probably be included if I made a list of all the things I love about Asia. But anyway… Yeah. Just like in drinking sessions, I love how this is about microphone passing in videoke rooms, and not having to embarrass yourself on stage in front of people you don’t know, like how “karaoke” is in the U.S.

Islands! Beaches! – This country is a tropical paradise. Who’d prefer anything else over a paradise?!

Not Wasting Food – I have seen countless American shows wherein they have a food fight. It’s like an American tradition of some sort. When I was a kid, it seemed pretty funny. But eventually, when I thought about it, I found it to be really sad. Because, they’re basically wasting food. Perfectly good food, that would’ve helped some families in Africa.

In a sort of sick way, I’m kind of glad that we’re still a poor country, because we know that we shouldn’t take things forgranted.

Text Messaging – There’s something different about having time to think of what you’re going to say before saying it, which is why I think text messaging is such a hit here. Because when you’re on the phone talking to someone, your responses are instant and direct. In text messaging, messages can be subtle, and thoughtful. It’s almost like an art.

Pasalubong – I know it’s a pain sometimes, especially when you’re the one giving it. But when you’re the one receiving it, it’s such a joy to know that the person who’s giving you a souvenir, had actually thought of you while he/she was on a trip. It’s like they want to share part of their experience with you, so you can also enjoy what they did, even if you weren’t there. I mean, isn’t that just sweet?

*BTW, I excluded “family and friends” from this list because their location isn’t a factor as to why I love them.

—-

So there. 12 reasons why I love the Philippines.

I was thinking of writing this list in Filipino, but I thought that maybe even non-Filipino speakers would want to know. This list, was brought about by my observations of people in other countries. I don’t claim to be an expert of course, I’m not a travel writer who’s been everywhere and most of my experience in foreign lands consist of meeting with fellow Filipinos, but I have met a lot of other people who aren’t from here, and I do watch a lot of TV, and this is just my personal opinion anyway.

If I’d written all the reasons why I hate the Philippines, then the list would probably be 10 times longer, but you know, it’s like when you fall in love with someone to a degree that your love becomes unconditional. You accept them for their imperfections, forgive them for their faults, you never lose faith in them, and you always hope the best for them.

Life

I don’t know which is worse…

that he doesn’t love me and so I have to get over him

OR

that she’s got a new best friend and now I have to get over her, too.

Akalain mo ‘yun, kailangan mo rin palang matutong mag-move on sa mga friendship. Parang doble hirap kasi at least ‘pag ex-boyfriend ang kailangan mong pag-move-onan, tutulungan ka ng kaibigan mo. ‘Eh paano kung ‘yung kaibigan mo ang umiwan sa’yo? Wala ka namang boyfriend para tulungan ka. Paano na? Mag-isa ka na lang. Tulungan mo sarili mo.

May nag-send sa’kin ng quote, “Maturity begins when you realize that no one is coming to the rescue. In order to have a good future, you will have to take care of yourself, etc. etc.” hindi ko na masyadong maalala basta parang ganun ang dating. Fine. Hindi naman ako nagpapa-rescue. Malungkot lang.

Pasensya na. I know everybody’s talking about the new year, or perhaps people have stopped talking about it since the first week’s almost over. But since I’m on holiday and have no sense of time, the new year doesn’t officially begin for me until next Monday when everything will go back to “normal”. So in the mean time, wala munang new year-related posts from me. Actually sa totoo lang, ayoko naman talaga ng mga posts na napapanahon, kasi ‘pag nagbabasa ka ng mga blog ‘eh parang pare-pareho lang ang nababasa mo so nakaka-bore tuloy.