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SINGEN, GERMANY


The Swiss are really blessed people! The topography of their country is marvelous. There are mountains, lakes, and rivers all around. The government provides well for the people. Education is free. Mass Transportation Services are outstanding. Rules are followed and there is order in everything that they do. My favorite perk though is that Switzerland is right smack in the center of Italy, France, and Germany! 

I’ve said this many times but what I love about Europe, and now living in Switzerland, is that I can just hop on a train and be at another country in less than an hour! That’s exactly what I did yesterday. I went to the Zürich banhof and bought 3 tickets to Singen, Germany at 10:45am. At 11:05, I was inside the cross-country train with B and C headed towards Germany. At 12nn, I was already having a pretzel with butter and chives at Singen. As the Swiss say: “Mega Cool!”

Some people even have their meals at different countries in a day. Breakfast in Switzerland, Lunch in Germany, Dinner in Italy. I love it!!!

And it’s not the feeling of luxe that I am really after. It’s really just that switch in dynamics, culture, food, and language that I enjoy so much. I like going to city centers and observing the people’s way of life. I reflect on how it’s the same and yet so different from all the towns I’ve been to. I like taking it all in and making mental notes of how else I can spend my day. 

I thank God everyday for this opportunity to see the world in different perspectives. Some people just stay in one place and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you can find joy in the life that you have, that’s enough for me. But I always encourage my friends to get out some more. To explore this huge world that God has designed so beautifully. It doesn’t have to be grand vacations. It can just be a simple backpacking trip. It doesn’t even have to be from one country to another. Even just island-hopping in the Philippines can already broaden your perspective. Try even just once a year to go somewhere you haven’t been. Believe me, it’s worth more than that bag you are saving for or even that shiny jewelry you have been eyeing.

Yesterday, I had two items on my to-do list: Visit Singen’s city center and shop for cheap items. 

It was not even a grand vacation but I already got a feel of how the people in that town near the German-Swiss border operate. The people are warm, contrary to how some Germans are perceived. They enjoy their bratwurst sandwiches in the morning. They enjoy their coffee al fresco even if it’s a little bit gloomy outside. The town is starting to welcome the bigger international brands. Mango has just opened right across H&M. They have a number of “wastelands” or shopping stores with all of the basic thingamajigs for the home.  

I didn’t have much time to create a long video but this 20-seconder is already a good teaser.

   
               Invest in experience. That’s something that will never depreciate.

Love,

dcw

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WEDDING FILM


HERE IT IS!!! :) :) :) I edited the hours worth of wedding film given by our video supplier Photogenics (I loooove them!) into a 15-minuter.

This is a very simple edit of what transpired on the 12th day of January 2015 in Anvaya Cove, Philippines. No special camera or editing tricks. Just a simple rundown of the highlights of our wedding (shirtless men and funny speeches included! hahahaha!)

I’m sharing this with those who have supported us since Day 1.

I edited out this line from my long vows but this is really the gist of our love story: “When you think God is giving you a difficult time and making you wait, He is really just seasoning you for bigger and better things to come.” Our love story was 4-5 years in the making. But it was well worth the wait.

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PALMAS-RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL


Before my wedding, I got in touch with my then soon-to-be father-in-law. I gave him a surprise overseas call from the Philippines to Brazil where he is now based. I introduced myself (he knows of me but we haven’t really spoken until that time). I asked if he could send a photo of himself and a letter for his son which I planned on giving on the day of our wedding.

From his first “Hallo!”, I immediately felt like he had the same cheerful vibe as my husband’s. After that call, he immediately referred to me over SMS as his “daughter-in-law” which made my heart melt.

He was not able to attend our wedding because he is already 72 years old. He thinks he is too old to endure a long haul flight. But my husband promised to visit him in Brazil right after our wedding. He wanted me to come but I opted for them to meet first. I didn’t want to rob them off that father and son bonding time by tagging along. They were, after all, going to meet again after 20 long years!!!

And so my husband flew to Palmas, Brazil to meet his “Papi”.

As soon as they met, my husband gave me a call. He sounded like a kid thrilled to have just met Santa Claus! He was so happy! I was actually teary-eyed for him!

My husband spent almost a week with his dad. And then he flew to Rio to see the Christ the Redeemer shrine. His bff Cy who’s a flight steward met-up with him in Rio.

When my husband returned to Zurich, he was a renewed man. We spent his first day back just talking about his grand time with his dad. He can’t stop raving about how his dad was a former-Formula 3 car racer and was friends with Formula 1’s Peter Sauber. (His dad actually won a Swiss Championship!) Together, we watched the video clips he took from his trip. And I promised to edit them and make a travel video for him.

This video is a story of men. There is nothing sad about it but while I was editing, I felt very emotional. My heart was overflowing with joy for my husband. I am so glad he made an effort to reconnect with his dad.

I can see that my future kid/s will have a cool großvater (grandfather) in Papi Kurt!

Spread the love,

dcw

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MALMÖ, SWEDEN


From Helsingborg, we took the train to Malmö which is also a city of Sweden.

We had one agenda: to shop!

I love my new hometown Zürich but everything here is expensive! That’s why when I go out of Switzerland, I take advantage of the cheaper shopping alternatives. For perspective, one tube of MAC lipstick costs around 25USD in Zurich versus 16USD almost anywhere else in the world! 😂

I set aside half a day for shopping at the biggest mall in Scandinavia: The Emporia.

It’s a gold building just a walk from the Malmö train station. It has a U-shaped rooftop that makes the building look like it could be a setting of a sci-fi movie. 

For half a day, I bought trenchcoats, shoes, and other essentials. Of course, I spent the longest time in H&M because I was, after all, in Sweden!

We took a 30-minute underwater train ride from Malmö to Copenhagen. We capped the day eating churros at Nyhavn.

   
               

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HELSINGBORG, SWEDEN


From Helsingor, Denmark where the “Hamlet” castle is, we cruised to historic Helsingborg, Sweden which is a scenic coastal city.  The structures in Helsinborg are old-style and stone-built. Churches and medieval ruins can be found all over the place. The most visited is the Kärnan tower which is the only thing that was left of the 600 year old medieval fortress that was bombed in the city center. I enjoyed walking Kullagatan, the main shopping street and the first pedestrian shopping street in Sweden.                                                   

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COPENHAGEN, DENMARK


As a kid, when asked what my favorte country is, I’d always answer Denmark even if I haven’t even been there. I figured it’s the one closest to my name. :) “Denise will make a mark. Denmark!”

I once had a suitor whose name is Mark and he kept on saying that if we become a couple, we will own a country and rule the world: Den + Mark = Denmark! (Toinks!)
Well, I married a Mike. And we are now conquering the world, one country at a time! Close enough. 😉 He also spent for my recent “me-time” trip to Denmark and that’s even better! 😂

I specifically went to Copenhagen and stayed at my husband’s cousin’s place at Alholm. R&L, newlyweds, hosted me for a few days. L toured me around the usual spots. Her mother-in-law accompanied me to Field’s (mall) and this huge grocery store (Bilka) to buy stuff to bring home. R cooked for us.

My favorite place is the Walking Street where all the lifestyle stores are.

I saw the round tower, several castles, and parliament houses.

What’s nice about Copenhagen is that all the tourist spots are close to one another. You don’t even have to take the metro to go from one place to the next.

It’s also a very flat city. No hills or mountains at all! Buildings are also not very high which makes you see the entire glory of the sky especially at night.

The highlight of my trip is seeing The Little Mermaid. My favorite snack that I’ve tried in Copenhagen are the soft taquitos sold at 7-11. I also loved the churros dipped in milk with Oreos. The Danish pastries were also to die for!

I loved the fact that they are very eco-friendly and they planned their city well. Most of the Danish use bikes which they can park inside the trains. They recycle. They have blind trails all over the city. They get their electricity from biofuel. It’s no wonder Copenhagen is one of the world’s best cities to live in!


                                                                                    

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WELCOME TO SCANDINAVIA


Oh, Scandinavia.

You now occupy a space in my heart.

As a creative person, I know for a fact that it is very hard to edit your own art. It’s quite difficult for a creative output to have that wow factor and yet still be so simple. I think this is what the Danish and the Swedish people do best. They produce creative yet simple stuff that are very marketable in today’s world.

As much as I fell in love with the history of Denmark and Sweden (Vikings and all), I was also mesmerized by the quality of work they have produced in the design department (Interior design pieces, etc.). I was not able to take photos and videos of the showrooms I’ve seen because I wanted to take everything in. I just want to write about it here so that I will remember how fascinated I was with the things that I saw when I went to Scandinavia. I created the usual travel video though that features the tourist spots. I also have a few photos to share.

This will definitely not be the last time I’m going there! I am now checking out New Scandinavian Designers’ websites for our flat that is begging for some redecorating. ;)

Until my next trip, dcw

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EXPLORING EGYPT


One thing I like about my relationship with the DHB is that we give each other space. We understand that as much as we need to mature as a couple, we also need to grow as individuals. This is why I have no qualms in allowing him to travel without me. 

In fact, this May, he is headed to Brazil to meet his father while I go to Denmark and Sweden alone (but sponsored by him of course! Haha!)

Some time last year, he asked me if he may go on a trip to Egypt with one of his best buds A. I was in the Philippines arranging our wedding. Of course I said yes! He came back with awesome videos of the Pyramids!

It’s only now that I’ve gotten to edit the videos they’ve taken. I still have to teach him how to take better footage though. 

Here’s what I came up with–

Wanderlusting,

Mrs. DCW

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BRIDE AND BREAKFAST


The best wedding website in the Philippines featured our wedding!!!

I have been secretly dreaming of Bride and Breakfast.ph picking up our wedding because for me, that would be a nice remembrance and also a cool validation that we did a good job in planning our wedding details.

Sorry, we were already married in Switzerland so the Philippine wedding was more of a passion project for me.  I was really more into the details of it.

I did not have any coordinators while planning that wedding and I was kind of managing everything from Europe towards the last stretch. The added pressure made me really take full ownership of the “project” and I was determined to make it as well executed as possible.

I had 2 friends, D and V, whom I constantly consulted on Viber so I am sharing this milestone with them.

I’ve always enjoyed brainstorming sessions. I like coming up with ideas and shooting down those that are not aligned with the vision. I was in Advertising and Publishing after all. I was trained and paid to sift through ideas and implement the winning ones. Seeing what once were mere thoughts come to life gives me an inexplicable high. I have always reveled in the creative process.

I knew our photographer already uploaded our pictures on his site so when no feature came, I felt kinda sad. I have no shame in admitting that I was expecting one! Hahaha! Maybe this illustration explains how I really am with projects–

After celebrating 3 months of marriage,  I woke up one morning with people tagging me on Instagram pictures! To my delight, they were showing me the photos from our wedding that were posted on Bride and Breakfast’s Instagram page! My husband was the one who got a literal “rude awakening” coz I shook him beside me while he was so deep in sleep just to show the pictures! I was jumping up and down for joy! Achievement unlocked!!!

They liked our chosen rings! They also found the beach view amazing! They liked our intimate “almost kissing” black and white photo! Waaaah.

But what really made my heart happy was reading their blog caption!

Mike and Den’s wedding is pure class sprinkled with calm charm.” -Bride and Breakfast

 

And the title of the feature was “Caught up in the Classy”.

They got it! They got my concept! They got meeee!!! 

I have envisioned for us a beach wedding that is still very classy and elegant. Not too bohemian. I am chill but not too boho chill. I am also not hipster. I have always been the “classic with a twist” kind of girl. 

And so I chose really timeless elements like peach tones, Pronovias Spanish tulle gown, minimalist decor, etc. The location was also very calming to the senses. The ceremony was by the beach in an exclusive luxury resort and it was finished just before the sun went down so everyone saw the glorious sunset. 

“Gorgeous bridesmaids outfits, cute signage on the aisle, the most adorable invitation suite, and guest fans are just some details that are making us swoon. Now who wouldn’t have a good day after seeing this?”

It was a good day for us! And I hope that somehow, a bride-to-be out there gets inspired with the details of our wedding.

Thank you, Janna Simpao and the B and B team! Thank you for putting that yummy  cherry on top of our already delicious wedding experience! 

 

Love,

#denswithmike

 

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SINTRA, PORTUGAL


The day that we planned to go out of Lisbon and take the train to Sintra was the very day that the train workers decided to go on strike. We were already inside the train, waiting for it to move, when we realised that no one was planning on operating the trains that day.

Sintra is about an hour away from Lisbon and to take the cab back and forth is quite expensive. So my brilliant DHB thought of asking random folks if they would like to share a cab to Sintra with us. Luckily, we found this Russian couple Dmitri and Anastasia (her name is very Romanov! I love it!!!) who agreed to hitch with us. Doesn’t Anastasia look like the actress Rachel Weisz?! :)

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Sintra was such a beautiful surprise! The city takes pride in all of the castles that the Moors built years ago. We took a hop on, hop off bus to go up the mountain and see the Pena National Palace of Sintra and the Moors Castle. The view was amazing! It made the unexpected cab ride worth it!

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Portugal is my 27th country to visit and the DHB’s 31st. I can’t wait to know what my 28th country will be this year!

To more safe travels,

d.