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

My Niece’s Wedding

Surely, this is the mark of a true old maid: when you attend your niece’s wedding as a bridesmaid. And yes, I know, the fact of the matter is, we’re an unconventional aunt&niece pair as she is only five years younger than I, but still, she is my cousin’s daughter, and she does call me “Tita.” And though I expected it, I still found it kind of funny that all my aunts asked me, “Ikaw? Kelan ka?” One aunt even said, after she found out what my job is, “‘Wag ka nang mag-homebased na trabaho! Paano ka makakahanap [ng asawa] niyan kung nakatago ka lang sa bahay?” to which, by the way, my own mother replied, “‘Eh ‘di online!”

Since I know better than to take those things seriously and didn’t feel like going into the intricacies of my long-distance relationship with R, I just faked a laugh and continued eating my chocolate-covered marshmallow from the dessert bar.

Sincerely, I am very happy for my niece and her husband and am quite flattered she still asked me to be her bridesmaid even though we’re not as close as we used to be. Perhaps she enjoyed that time when she was 7 and my sister and I brought her to SM Storyland and did all the rides with her and bought her some stationery from the bookstore afterwards more than I thought. Or maybe I’m the one who enjoyed it more as that is still my most distinct memory of her, even though that was literally 20 years ago, SM Storyland doesn’t even exist anymore and if it did, we wouldn’t be allowed on the rides anymore we’ve grown too big.

Anyway, one more story about the wedding:

I was seated next to another one of the bridesmaids and she asked me: Cousin mo si Pau?
I answered: Pamangkin ko siya.
She said: Ah… Talaga po?

And then she and the rest of the bridesmaids proceeded to call me “Ate” for the rest of the night. I guess, that’s a little better than “Tita” from people whom I know are only five years younger than me. And at least nobody actually called me an old maid. At least not to my face. Except my brother. But he’s a jerk so it doesn’t count. Right?

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Best wishes to my beautiful, beautiful niece! #IkzAndPau4Ever!!!

Life, Travel

Wedding Weekend

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And a mere three and a half days after going to Boracay, I went to yet another one of the best summer destinations in the Philippines, Bohol! This year is starting out really really well. 😀

I went to Bohol for a very important reason, though. One of my sister’s best friends got married! Her family is from Bohol so they had the wedding there. I’m actually really flattered that she invited me to her wedding since it was a very intimate affair (only 50 guests!) and it’s really my sister who’s her friend. But my sister’s friends are nice enough to treat me like their little sister, too. 🙂

I left Manila early Saturday morning and got back Monday afternoon. This I think is one of the best advantages of being in the night shift. It was a 3-day 2-night trip, but I didn’t have to file any leaves for work! Lucky me. I was also able to get discounted tickets from Air Asia. And good deals re: my accommodations because my sister’s friends and my sister and her husband were kind enough to allow me to sleep on an extra bed in the rooms that they booked. 🙂

For the first night, I stayed with my sister’s friends at Dubay Panglao Beachfront Resort. It’s a simple resort with basic amenities (i.e. shampoo, soap, towel, hot/cold shower) but it’s along a beach so beautiful that the basics are really all that you need. On the second night, I stayed with my sister and her husband at Amarela Resort. This resort, on the other hand, is very pretty and classy. It has a library, a room with a view, an infinity pool and everything! Although, the beach near it is smaller and the waves are stronger in the area so it’s more difficult to swim there. I guess all resorts have their advantages and disadvantages.

The wedding itself was in another resort in the area, Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa. If I’m not mistaken, it’s the biggest resort in Panglao island. It’s one of the nicest ones, too. The function room made for some really pretty pictures and we enjoyed the coffee and snacks that we ordered at the restaurant after the wedding. And yes, we went to the restaurant to eat again after the wedding. I don’t think that’s strange at all. 😛

Actually there was another eating event at the bride’s house the day after the wedding. And I say eating event because we really didn’t do anything else there but tell stories and eat (and, ok, drink tequila hehehe). I had lechon three times in one weekend! I guess it’s not good for me, but the lechon in Cebu/Bohol is really delicious! I don’t know why lechon places in Manila can’t make lechon that good.

It occurred to me as I was going home that this was my 4th visit to Bohol. When I went to Boracay this year, it was my 4th time there, too. There are many other places I’ve never been to, but I think these are two places that I’ll never get tired of.

And best wishes to X and U. May you guys continue to live happily ever after. 😀

People

Will & Kate

Confession: I am so totally happy about these two getting married.

I’m probably the only person in the world, but whatever. Haters go to hell.

I mean, look how adorable they are! 🙂 And isn’t their love story so sweet? Of course, I only know what I’ve read on the “press releases” which I’m sure aren’t that accurate, but since I like to edit facts when I store them in my head anyway, I will believe that their love story goes like this:

  1. William (apologies for not using correct titles and such, I’m from a country without a royal family) goes to college at a “normal” university and does what normal university students do, like attend fashion shows that the students have organized for charity.
  2. During one of these fashion shows, one of the student models catches William’s eye. And the prince isn’t able to stop thinking about her since.
  3. He eventually meets her, because you know, it’s not that big a university, and he is a prince, and at first they’re just “friends”, because of course since he’s a prince, he can’t really just start relationships with whoever. And Kate has her inhibitions about dating a prince, but then gets to know him better and starts liking him for who he is.
  4. So they officially become a couple and do couple-y stuff, like go on ski trips with each others’ families, or go to the beach with their friends.
  5. But the fact that William is a prince and so is somewhat “public property” takes its toll on them and they “break up”.
  6. But the break up doesn’t last long because, well I like to believe that it’s because of true love.
  7. And so they get back together, and after a few years, they get engaged. And they’ll get married and they’ll live happily ever after.

It’s a happy story, right? But people can just be really mean, I guess. Hence, I can’t help but react to their meanness.

  • Lots of people say that this doesn’t matter anymore because monarchies should be extinct. So yeah, I’ll agree to that to a certain point. I mean, titles are just titles and when you think about what’s really important in life, being a prince is just about the same as failing a pop quiz in 5th grade–it ultimately doesn’t matter. But, I’m not really fascinated by this because of the whole royalty thing. I’m happy for them because they are two people in the world who have found love and, why wouldn’t you want to be happy about that?
  • Americans Some people are such hypocrites. They keep talking about how “nobody cares” about this royal wedding because monarchies are wrong and should therefore no longer exist or be talked about, but if there’s an issue about Brangelina, they’re so concerned about it. What’s the difference, really? Just because Brangelina aren’t “royal” then it’s OK to obsess about them, but if you obsess about the Prince of England then you’re a supporter of outdated philosophies?! Double standards, much?
  • The meanest of all — Waitie Katie. WTH?! How can people insult/criticize Kate for “waiting too long” for William? What? Is there a rule that says you can only be boyfriend/girlfriend for like, 2 years and then after that you should either be married or broken up? Besides, in case you didn’t notice, Will and Kate are only on their late 20s, which is a perfectly OK age to get married. And William’s actually quite consistent with what he said before when he and Kate started dating seriously — that he probably wouldn’t be ready for marriage until he was at least 28. Well, he’s 28 now, so the timing of this is actually quite exact. And besides, what makes people assume that Kate was the one waiting for William, anyway? Why is it always the woman who’s “waiting”? Hasn’t anybody else considered that maybe she wasn’t ready to get married either before now? Just because we never heard her say it, doesn’t mean that the only reason she’s been with William all these years is because she’s “waiting for him”. Honestly. 🙄

That said, I really hope that these two will make it in sickness and in health and ’til death. We know it’s not impossible. I mean, just because the previous royal wedding with Charles and Diana ended in a divorce, doesn’t necessarily mean that this one will, too. So, best of luck to them! I really hope they make it. 🙂

P.S. Ang ganda ganda ni Kate Middleton.

P.P.S. Their wedding will be on April 29, 2011 Friday. I hope it gets shown on TV or something. I kind of want to see what a royal wedding is like. I wasn’t born yet when Charles and Diana were married.