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FLUMSERBERG, SWITZERLAND


The best thing about living in Europe is that I feel like a traveller everyday.

Even if it’s just roaming around where we live, there is always something new to marvel at.

Just this weekend, we brought our visitor H to Flumserberg, a part of the Swiss Alps, which is just a few hours away from our house. We were expecting bad weather but God surprised us with snow and sunshine! :)

Finally created another travel video. It’s been quite a while since I made one!

Switzerland is majestic! I am so lucky to have migrated here. I love the fact that just hopping on a train in Zurich Hauptbanhof will get me to another country anytime.

In April, the DBF and I are off to Portugal and I can’t wait! :) It’s his 2nd year anniversary gift to me. :)

Cheers to more travels,

d.

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DETAILS


WÜTHRICHCONGCOFRONTCOVER

12 January 2015. I don’t ever want to forget this day.

This post is for me to remember the day when I first felt fear for my life. I never feared death. I would always say that I am ready to go, any time. But that day, as I was walking down the aisle, I felt a surge of joy, excitement, and panic all at the same time. I thought to myself, “I am not alone anymore. I will officially have a husband to take care of. I will have someone to create a life with. I will have someone to depend on me the way that I will depend on him. I now have someone to live for. And we have an entire lifetime to build. New dreams to reach together.”

That day gave me a renewed reason and drive to live. It gave me something more meaningful to look forward to. I am not anymore just Dens who goes to work/school and spends the day aimlessly. I am now Dens with Mike who is living everyday with more meaning and purpose. I will now be defined not just of what I do for a living but to whom I am doing things for. I don’t want to ever forget this. I am living for my family. I am living for my soul’s counterpoint in another. I am living for the God who made all of this happen.

I don’t ever want to forget this day and the details that made it truly our own.

Dens with Details:

The DHB chose an engagement ring that doesn’t have protruded edges just how I need it to be. ([I’m now calling him DHB for Dear Husband. I’m retiring DBF on this blog. ;)]

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Platinum wedding bands to last us a lifetime.

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Because “Love Travels”– boarding pass and bag tag invites and a fan with the entourage list and a travel crossword to keep guests busy while waiting. Printed by Printsonalities. Our wedding logo was designed by Kay Aranzanso and Lai Geluz-Reyes.

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This view. We chose Anvaya Cove for its magnificent view, good food, and excellent service. Members only = Privacy = Perfection!

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Road signs! Spark Graphics printed these tarps and my Papa together with my Tito spent the entire day putting these up from Subic’s entrance toll gate to Anvaya Cove.

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I made these signs with the help of Mundo Builders and my cousin’s boyfriend Francis.
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Beige shoes I can still wear after the wedding. I ended up trading these though for my Maid-of-Honor’s Ipanema slippers because I wanted to enjoy the party comfortably. :) Best decision EVER.

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These Melissa wedges were what I ended up wearing at the ceremony. They were my “something blue” because the wedges were blocks of blue jellies.

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The moment I bought this Atelier Pronovias Ocanto wedding gown, I felt such a huge relief. A-line, Spanish lace, mother of pearl flat sequins. Classic. Elegant. Timeless. I made it my own by having it altered into a sweetheart cut instead of the original straight bustier.


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I totally got along with our florist Miss Jane Pineda of Details and Blooms. I enjoyed all of our meetings and she totally got my vision for my bouquet.

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Chic designer Rosalyn Lagdameo created my lace headpiece. It’s dainty, simple, and it goes well with my dress.

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I wore my mama’s earrings on my wedding day. They were a pair of South Sea pearls that are detachable from these diamond encrusted gold ribbon earrings. I like wearing pearls coz they brighten up my face.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - PREP-881

One of the first things that I knew for certain that the DHB liked about me was my scent. Lancôme La Vie Est Belle. Every woman must have a signature scent and this is mine. Reminds me that life is indeed beautiful!
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From Miss D to Mrs. DCW. La Tercera created a peach robe with Chantilly lace and an embroidery of my new initials at the back.

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The DHB had 7 months to buy his wedding shoes but he procrastinated.  Just days before the wedding, we found ourselves running from one mall to another to find the perfect brown shoes for him. Oh and don’t get me started about the socks!
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I bought these hangers for our entourage. I used permanent acrylic markers to write their names on it. Iloilo-based designer Sidney Eculla made the groom’s coat and it was shipped several times from Iloilo to Manila and back! I had it dry cleaned at Rockwell a week before the wedding. #fiancéeduties

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Kathy and Kathy Bespoke made these white gold cuff links that bear our reversible initials DWM/MWD.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - PREP-1100

Vatel Manila’s sister company {ETC Handmade Goodness} created the groomsmens’ bouttonnieres.

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Spark Graphics also gave us these huge wedding logos mounted on sintra boards.

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Ate Gi bought these white umbrellas from Divisoria while I got the

wooden hamper from SM.

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The DHB and I have always believed that we are better together. 2 years of maintaining a long distance relationship makes you realize that.

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We used my London travel case (a gift from our couple friend on my surprise 30th birthday which the DHB prepared for me in London) for the pillows that the little boys will carry. {ETC Handmade Goodness} also made our pillows for the rings and the coins as well as the Bible band.

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Our cord came with my Pronovias gown.

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My cool garter with a flask was a gift from my Maid-of-Honor.

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More hangers with names for my lovely bridesmaids.

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I commissioned Aranáz to customize their grama bags for my bridesmaids. 
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Botak Philippines customized the Pilipinas basketball jerseys of the groomsmen.

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Madeline of Izzo Shop collaborated with me for these give-away tote bags.

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Mundo Builders fabricated our sea foam green doors. These doors were actually from the house of one of the owners of SM! We passed this on to a couple who was going to get married in Baler.
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Since we already got legally married in Switzerland, it was of course too late for the groom to run now! :)

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He calls me his Babe-oh!

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How pretty are our flower girls?! Their dresses were made by Bea Romero. Their eucalyptus headpieces were by Jane Pineda. The baskets were the same as our table centerpieces. I bought them from SM, too. I just asked Miss Jane to attach handles so the girls can carry them.

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I love crisp white polos so I asked my bridesmaids to wear them during the preps. I was wearing one of my groom’s white polos.

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Some brides give their grooms Rolexes on their wedding day. I opted to give something more meaningful– a letter and pictures from his Dad who is in Brazil. He couldn’t make it coz he can’t travel anymore but the DHB will meet him in Brazil this year.
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We asked our groomsmen to wear white polos, blue trousers, brown belts, and brown shoes. It’s amazing how the blues did not come in different shades! Everyone followed the visual peg which made my heart soooo happy! :)

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This was my bridal carT.

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My mama wore a dress by Sidney Eculla. How lovely is she?!

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I did my own makeup while Ren Bautista did my hair.

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Our Entourage. Dresses by Bea Romero. Hair and Makeup by Ferdie Santiago of Shu Uemura London, Benjie Angeles, and Ren Bautista.

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Our generous and groovy Godparents!MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - CERE-1594

The sparklers were bought by my brother while the ribbons were lovingly made by my papa and yayas.

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This stunning sunset. As soon as the ceremony was over, the sun went down beautifully.

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Our cake was made by my grade school classmate and dear friend Claudine of Francine’s Sweet Treats. Our Bestman Cy brought boxes of Swiss chocolates which we scattered around the cake for the guests.

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I printed our travel photos and put it on each table. Succulents x peach and blue flowers were put inside the baskets I bought from SM. I was surprised to find out that my Mama distributed random chocolates on each table. She was so worried that the guests will go hungry while waiting for the buffet tables to open.

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I created all the table name cards.

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When the Australian brand Typo opened a wasteland here in the Philippines, I bought this cool light box. I knew I’d be able to use it for the wedding.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-16

We asked for marriage advice, date ideas, and recipes from our guests during the cocktails.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-18

Picturebooks printed our pre-nuptial pictures for our guestbooks.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-20

These hashtags were supposed to be for the photobooth for the guests to hold so I was surprised to see them hanging on stage when we entered the ballroom! Turned out nice though so I’m not complaining.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-96

We also had a video booth by Picparrazzi which turns the photos into bound flip books.

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Teejay and Sandy of Sound Salad entertained our guests. We had a rocking full band!MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-143

Special song number from my super talented nephew Ren Bautista (yes, same person who did my hair!)MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-164

Bought the letters from Typo as well.MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-92

Thank God for talented friends! Ian Villamor flew in from LA to host our wedding together with former Extra co-host (yes, the US entertainment show!) Bianca Oros (who is now based in Zürich). MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-168

For our entrance, we danced to the tune of Crazy in Love, Bootylicious, and Time of My Life!

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These folks delivered heartfelt and funny speeches! We love you, guys!

Our Bestman even prepared a video wherein the Pilipinas Gilas basketball players he met at a game in France greeted us.

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The DHB and I met through his sister Audrey so she definitely had something interesting to say! :)
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My Papa channeled Liam Neeson in Taken that night. His speech was epic!MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-856

Andrew, our adopted son, had good words to say, too.
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Chris, our handsome godfather, is one of those people whom we really look up to. MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-1276

The DHB’s mom picked up Bible verses to guide us throughout our marriage.
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My rockstar groom showcased his e-guitar playing skills and sang our theme song together with his band– John and Audrey on back-up vocals, Joseph on percussions, Rainier and Kurt on guitars, and Andrew on keyboards.

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The Zurich Crew headed by my groom surprised me with a dance number!MIKE + DENS Wedding Photos - RECE-801

Who would have thought that our first dance will be a surprise from the groom, too?! I’m a lucky wife!

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My cousins and brother danced, too!

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And our entire family danced to the tune of Happy which perfectly describes how we were all feeling as the night ended! :)
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It was everything we ever dreamed of and more!

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Until my next milestone,

Mrs. DCW

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BABY DUCK


When he first saw me on Skype, He asked his sister, “Isn’t she a bit chubby?” And so when he ended up with chubby ol’ me, he called me his “Baby Ching ching”, short for “Baby Tabachingching!”

When we got married, he realized that not only was I chubby, I’m also very talkative! I have a rebuttal for everything. I can talk for hours. And I will debate my way to victory at any given time.

So the chubby wife with a big butt got a new term of endearment: “Baby Duck”. Short for “Baby Dakdak!” When the yakking becomes too much, Baby Duck levels-up to “Dens-moncita/ Demoncita!” :P

But even if I am chubby and talkative, he still promised these things to me when we got married–

Full transcript of his vows:

“To my lover, companion, friend, and my greatest challenge– I am your biggest fan. I believe in your dreams and I promise to nurture them.

I promise to support and encourage you. But most of all, I promise to cherish you.

I promise to put God first in my life, because He’s the only one who can help us make it together in this wonderland.

I love taking care of you and I will do that forever. I love you more than I love myself and I commit to holding your hand no matter where life may lead us.

I love you, Babe-oh!”

Yes, “Babe-oh” is for when he doesn’t feel like teasing the Baby Duck. :) My first reaction when he finished saying his vows: “That’s it?! Mine is back-to-back?!” (Referring to the bond paper I was holding!) Considering how long my speech was compared to his, I’m thinking maybe the Baby Duck title is well-deserved after all! :)

Here’s the transcript and video of MY wedding vows:

“Mike, I could have met you 5 years ago when your sister was my intern. I could have bumped into you when we were both working at the same mall in Manila. But God did not make that happen 5,4, or 3 years ago. He made us go through the grind first. Pinahirapan muna tayo! He gave us the time to grow and learn about resilience before He allowed our paths to cross.

He made us meet years later when I was already taking up my Masters in London. My MBA. “Mission accomplished!” said my friends because for them my MBA stood for Maghanap ng Boyfriend Academy (Find a Boyfriend Academy) and I found you.

Our story is proof that sometimes, when we think God is giving us a hard time and making us wait, He is really just seasoning us for bigger and better things to come.

And because of that, we already now know how to love boldly and courageously.

Without you knowing, He was strengthening you so that you are now more patient to close the cabinets I have left open. To take the trash out when I don’t want to get my hands dirty. And to finish the odd-tasting meals I’ve tried so hard to cook. ;) And for that, I am grateful!

Zürich to London to Manila. How could we have done it if we didn’t have the approval and the provision of the Man above?

Our matchmaker is the very God that is keeping us together now. And this is why I know that I owe it to Him to honour you; be kind and gracious to you. Be less of a “demoncita” to you.

You don’t know this because I don’t make it obvious. But sometimes, when I fight with you, I feel guilty immediately after especially when you do not engage. I think to myself, “How can I demand for more from this handsome and thoughtful guy?” You who have made me feel like I’m the girl worth coming up with creative surprises for! You who have made my life more Facebook and Instagram-worthy. You who have made me radiate that kind of happy glow that no amount of makeup can ever achieve.

What others see when they look at you is perhaps your nice be-dimpled smile. But what I see is a generous person who knows no limit when it comes to showing how much he cares. You have more than 20 friends and family who flew in from Europe just to see you make the huge mistake of marrying me! That alone is already testament of your awesomeness! And that alone is enough reason for me to be proud and thankful that you have chosen me to be your wife.

Mike, I am allowing you to uproot me from my comfort zone. I will go wherever you lead me because I trust you 100%. It breaks my heart to leave my Mama, Papa and my only brother behind. But I find comfort in knowing that they are entrusting me to a responsible man.

I can make a lot of promises today. I can tell you I will be the best wife one can ever have. But I am a marketing professional. I will not over promise only to under deliver.

But this, I will tell you– I will always be that someone you can hold hands and see the world with. I will always be your cheerleader–through good games and bad. I will shop for nice work clothes for you until my feet hurt. You will always come home to a clean house and a good-smelling wife! And most importantly, I will give you my utmost love and respect. I will try to be the best version of myself because you deserve nothing less.

We are already more than a month married now. And our second anniversary as a couple just passed. And everyday that I am being a wife to my husband, I realize that LOVE, no matter how people express it in words, is really in the simplest of things, moments, and gestures.

Now that we are married, all the more I see that love is fortified by doing little acts of goodness towards each other. It’s in the mundane. It’s in letting the other breathe first before you bombard him/her with silly requests. :) It’s in knowing when to speak. It’s in that touch that calms each other down.

I call him “My Balut” when he has his full beard on. “Mikey Monkey” when I find him goofy . I laugh at his college pictures when he was soooo thin and I question how on earth did he get girls with a face and body that looked like that?! Hahahahahha! I would tell him that I met him at his “best” and poor him, coz he met me at my “worst” (coz I used to be waaay thinner and I had a six-pack!) hahahaha so I got the better end of the deal! Hahahahaha!

Pet names and terms of endearment are usually romantic and cheesy. But the funny spot-on ones are the best for me because they stand for what love is really about especially in marriage. It’s about accepting each other, flaws and all! It’s about appreciating the love handles…or the lack thereof! It’s about having the ability to laugh at each other’s mistakes! It’s about finding amusement in the silliest of things! It’s about forgiving each other’s poor decisions and seeing things through…together.

’til my next post,

Babe-oh-chingching-duck-cita! ;)

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WE DID IT!


Yes, we finally had our Christian wedding in the Philippines!

After 7 months of planning (and fighting), we finally did it!

This is the culmination of our Love Story (click HERE for the Timeline).

We spent the beautiful day in Anvaya Cove with 130 of our friends, most of whom travelled looong and faaaar just to be with us on our special day!

I can’t wait to get the official photos so I can share how everything came together!

But in the meantime,  here are videos from the day–

Same Day Edit by Photogenics

Just married,

d.

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MY 2014 WAS ONE BIG PARTY!


I just got home from our family Christmas dinner and movie. I’m already in bed but I couldn’t sleep coz I’m still jetlagged from my long haul flight (Zurich-Manila) last night. My brain is still very much awake and it is making me reflect on my 2014. What a year filled with celebrations for me!

2014 accomplishments:

1) Earning my Masters of Business Administration degree from Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom. When I answer forms now, I do not anymore click on just College Graduate. I already have the right to tick that Postgraduate Education (higher education) box! It makes me feel more equipped! :)

2) I was able to travel to Cambodia, Monaco, and Greece for the first time. And I was able to come back to Switzerland (Zürich, Basel, Zermatt for our mini-honeymoon), Hong Kong, France (saw Nice, Cannes, and Provence), Italy (Genova), Singapore (stopover), Dubai (UAE stopover), and the Philippines.

3) I got engaged to the love of my life and bane of my existence! Ha!

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4) And because I couldn’t work full-time anymore coz I am bound to migrate to Switzerland anyway, I decided to go freelance with my marketing career and established myself as a consultant. Got to launch campaigns and events for the companies I worked part-time for. It’s amazing how an idea that pops-up in my head comes to life with the help of my partner agencies and clients.

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5) The DBF and I got married in Switzerland! I stayed there for a month to get my residence permit. Went back to the Philippines for the holidays and for the part2 of our wedding celebration. Yep, he loves me so much, he’s marrying me twice! LOL.

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There were too many parties that filled my 2014–

1) Our engagement parties.
One in Zurich at Nelson’s Pub and
one in Manila at Privé.

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2) Our pamamanhikan. The DBF’s family travelled to our hometown Cabiao, Nueva Ecija to formally ask for my hand in marriage. It was the first time our families met.

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3) My bachelorette. The theme was Sex and the City. All 30++ of us partied at a suite in Y2 Hotel, Makati.

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4) Our civil wedding lunch and dinner. The DBF’s mom cooked for our guests.

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5) My 31st birthday party surprise arranged by my now forever date!

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I will always remember this year as a game changer. But there will be less games and more real-life action as soon as this year closes!

I cannot be prancing around like a kid enjoying life anymore. I need to step-up to more adult challenges like building and managing a home. I need to be more fit to prepare for the inevitable big word: motherhood (just the thought of it makes me feel slightly faint!). I need to be less selfish and to also think of the guy who just made a huge mistake of marrying me! Ha!

2015 will be tough but you know what they say… my God is bigger than my fears! So I say, bring it on, Life, brrrring it on!

Happy New Year!!!

Onward forward,
d.

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WHAT IT REALLY MEANS


When I think of weddings, I imagine everything pretty–the dress, the shoes, the bouquet.

I have been on a roll in both Facebook and Instagram. I have been posting photos of my wedding DIY stuff. It has been all about the beautiful little details.

But when the night before our civil wedding came, reality hit me big time. It made me realise that the wedding is just a teeny tiny part of what lies ahead. It is just the pretty word that goes before the overwhelmingly messier term: Marriage.

Our civil wedding was going to be officiated in Zürich, Switzerland. Naturally, the DBF and I had to prepare for EVERYTHING. Unlike in the Philippines, there are no househelpers to assist us with the stuff we needed to fix before our wedding here in Europe. We are lucky that his mom is also based in Switzerland though. She helped us with the procurement of legal documents and she also volunteered to cook for our guests.

But the night before our wedding, the DBF and I together with our friend CLEANED our place. There was division of labor.

But take this:

“I, the bride-to-be, found myself scrubbing the bathroom tiles THE NIGHT BEFORE MY WEDDING!”

Sabi ko talaga sa sarili ko: “Ano ba ‘to? Kasal ko bukas pero ito ang ginagawa ko?!”

But while I was doing that arduous task, I smiled at God’s irony. I knew at that time exactly what He was making me remember before I say “I do!” —

That marriage is really not a bed of roses all the time. Most of the time, it’s about the obligations and responsibilities (like scrubbing toilets and vacuuming the floors).

In this age where we can filter photos and make everything look beautiful online, it is easy to forget the hardwork that comes along with building a strong relationship and ultimately, a formidable marriage offline.

When the hashtags get old and the couple is back from their honeymoon, daily chores and big decisions come rushing in like an avalanche.

It is easy to say your “I do” while imagining all the romantic surprises and the fun dates. And so when it was my turn to say it, I had to stop and think of the moment I was cleaning our place. I had to take a deep breath and ask myself, “Do you take the bad, the ugly, and the difficult, too, for as long as you both shall live?”

Well, I guess, if I can survive cleaning the toilet the night before my wedding, I can already take on anything! ;)

I blurted out a loud, excited, and convinced “I do!” that made everyone in the room laugh.

But deep down, I knew, and we all knew…that marriage is no laughing matter.

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SUBIC, PHILIPPINES


I had 7 months to prepare for our wedding. And I have been back and forth to Subic 6 times within that period.

We are getting married in Anvaya Cove and Nature Club, an exclusive resort and seaside community in Morong Bataan, 30 minutes away from Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

I have been meeting up with Glenn, their gracious Events Manager and a couple of Olongapo-based suppliers. I commissioned the florist, lights and sounds provider, and even our video team from there.

Since I have been back to Subic many times and I wanted the DBF to see the place once he got the chance to come home to the Philippines, we decided to have our pre-nuptial video shoot over there too. We commissioned Photogenics to shoot our video and asked our friend Jay Aguas to take candid behind-the-scenes photos.

We wanted the team to capture our real chemistry. We didn’t want the shots to look contrived so spontaneity was the name of the game. We would tease each other and fight in-between takes just like how we are in real life. We kept the makeup and styling to a minimum. I told the DBF to just bring what he fancied wearing. And I adjusted my outfits to whatever he brought. So practically everything we wore were clothes that we usually don to our dates.

One of my friends who saw the photos and videos told us that there was so much laughter going on and that our smiles were genuine and our faces glowing. I guess that’s what happens when you are already comfortable with one another. The DBF and I have been to a dozen countries together and we’ve taken a bajillion of travel photos and videos. We were already seasoned for this shoot. hahahaha!

What I love about Subic is that it’s very scenic. You need trees and lush bushes? You need a body of water? You need lots of sunshine? You need a yacht? A highway with a few if no cars at all? Everything we needed for the concept to materialise was already there. But of course, big thanks to Eca Padesterio of Photogenics for managing the details of the shoot. She borrowed the red beetle for us and the bikes, too. We are also thankful to Ren Bautista who was so attentive to our needs. He also did our hair and my makeup base. My silver dress was created by Bea Romero in just a short notice and I love its peek-a-boo details and its billowy skirt.

Sharing with you the official SAVE-THE-DATE Video as shot and edited by Pat and Gian of Photogenics.

They even created a longer version! :)

And these are a few of the photos that Jay took. :)

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LOVE LIFE LESSONS


While shopping, the designer of my entourage dresses B suggested I write a book about all of my love life mishaps and triumphs. She thinks that my life is so interesting that it deserves to get published. I don’t think people will waste time and resources to listen to my telenovela but I thought of writing a few of the lessons I’ve learned about love, relationships, and breakups in this post (because I am procrastinating other more important errands).

This has no structure. Some might not even make sense. But these are my truths–

MY LOVE LIFE LESSONS:

1) TURN EACH AWFUL EXPERIENCE INTO A BLESSING

I’ve always believed that I was a lucky girl. And I’ve always attributed that luck to my sign Sagittarius because I’ve read that apparently, it is the luckiest of the Zodiac.

Growing up, I almost never failed exams. I got accepted to all the schools I ever applied for. Even as an adult, I bagged the scholarship I was aiming for. In other words, I always make the cut.

I was lucky in life, I thought, but never in love.

I’ve been in a few relationships and even though most of the men I’ve been with treated me well, I always end up running away from them. When the going gets tough, I hit the eject button and parachute to safety. I got stuck in one long relationship though coz I cruised through that while working hard at my career. I allowed it to take years of my life only to end up being cheated on.

It was only a few years later that I realised why that had to happen. (I needed to gain courage to be able to handle what I now consider as the worst part of my life so far. So glad that was over!) And when I had that enlightenment, I was able to turn the bitterness into gratefulness. That painful experience made me stop attributing the good things that come into my life to luck. I began to fully recognise that it isn’t really luck but a blessing from God. No luck in the world can ever give you the grace to make you perceive what should be an awful experience as a gift of wisdom instead. Only God and His divine power can do that.

When you try to see everything–good or bad– as a gift, your perspective in life makes a 180-degree turn. When you are in a terrible situation but you have that beautiful perspective, you get to tell yourself “God has a plan for me. He shall reveal it when the time comes. So all I really need to do is to trudge strong now and take whatever lesson I can from this. And yes, through Him, this too, shall pass.”

I sound like a broken record when I share this kind of perspective with my friends. But I think that really, the key to having a good life is just seeing the beauty in every situation and recognising that life is short and you ought to make the best out of every moment and move along. Always move forward. Never dwell on the bad stuff. Never dwell on breakups especially the bad ones. It will only make you harbour ill feelings. You need to lighten your load in order for you to take the next step as gracefully as possible. Take note: GRACEFULLY. Always do everything with class and poise. And no, sending your exes loooong and bitter emails is not being graceful about the breakup.

Additional tip: Do not be enemies with your exes. Even those who cheated on you. Learn to forgive them. Always remember that it is NOT YOUR BURDEN to bear. That is their sin and they are answerable to God for their ways. Do not trouble your heart for what they ought to carry themselves. Make peace with yourself and with them.

2) NEVER ASSUME BUT GO GET WHAT YOU WANT

I am never the type who assumes a guy likes me or is in love with me until he says it out loud and asks me to be his girlfriend. Neither am I the type who just waits for the cookie to bake. I go ahead and buy the cookie at the store when I feel like eating one. hahahaha. Life is, again, too short to dilly-dally.  I never allow room for uncertainty especially when it comes to relationships. It’s either we are a couple or we are not. I never assume the role of girlfriend when the guy has not officially asked me. I never act like I am entitled to anything if I am not officially given the privilege because when you think that way, you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. A guy who really likes you will pursue you no matter what. If there is one thing I have learned in life it is that nothing can stop a man in love. He will chase and he will pursue and the girl will KNOW in her heart. And she will never have to ask or beg for attention. It will be handed to her on a silver platter by the man who deserves her too.

But even if I am never the type to assume, I am also not the type who will shy away from confrontation. If I feel like a guy is leading me on, I am quick to ask, “Hey, what is your deal?” Or if I feel like he is taking me on a trip, I am quick to call him out.

When I first felt like the DBF and I had that “tension”, I was quick to pull him out of a party to warn him that I am not the type who is just looking for a short term deal. That if and when he plans to pursue me, he ought to be in it for the long haul. Otherwise, we can both save each other the time and effort. I have NO SHAME in admitting that I confronted him and gave him the most awkward “talk” of his life. (I still cringe when he makes me remember but I have NO REGRETS! Ha!)

So to every girl who is in a “complicated” relationship or is unsure of her place or where she stands, I say–

1) Know what you really want

2) Don’t be afraid to ask but be ready for the honest truth

3) Have the courage to walk away from what is obviously will just shortchange you. God has a better plan for you!

These life lessons are not the type that mothers will pass on to their children. These are also not taught in school. They are learned through experience. And I am sharing these here not because I am an expert but because maybe, someone out there needs to read this. Maybe some clueless girl trudging through life needs to get a Love Survival 101.

I am being very reflective because I am about to get married soon. And I just published our pre-nuptial pictures. And everything is happening fast that I needed time to process things and make sense of my own life experiences.

I don’t know if we will do good at this marriage thing. What I know is that what makes us hopeful is that we have allowed God to be at the center of our relationship. It sounds like a cliché especially when it comes from Christian couples but it’s true! I’ve had happy relationships in the past but nothing felt this fulfilling and meaningful because in the past, I have forgotten to discuss faith and God with my partner. I have forgotten to lift everything up to Him.

When the DBF and I fight and we end up patching things up, we are quick to recognise that perhaps God really wants us to be together because He has been finding ways for us to be OKAY.

If I did not allow God to heal my past hurts, if I did not know what I want and get it, if I shied away from confrontation, I don’t think I will even get to this point. If I clung to my past relationships, I would never have met this handsome and thoughtful guy I am about to marry. If I allowed myself to waste time in uncertain relationships, I would never reach this happy point.

I say free yourself from the chains of the past! Know what you want and get the life you think you deserve! And don’t ever ever forget that the only power that can make all of your dreams come true can only come from the divine. Do not exclude God from your life.

Sharing with you the music video I edited out of the raw files Photogenics gave us.

Of course, our theme is “Love Travels”.

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3RD ANNIVERSARY!


Happy 3rd Anniversary to CoolDetour.com!!! :) 

I’ve maintained this blog for 3 years now. I do not update it as often as I used to. And somewhere along the way, I decided to just update it whenever I get to travel or whenever my life has taken a significant “cool detour” worth writing about.

I’m keeping this blog for myself and for my future children. I write primarily to mark moments and process my experiences and emotions. I do not blog to brag nor do I write to appear like I’m an expert on something. I am just happy to throw my thoughts out there. I guess that’s really the essence of blogging — to have a log of all of your worthwhile moments and thoughts.

To mark another milestone, I’m gonna share with you how I got to choose my wedding gown. I’m not gonna show it yet but I will be posting photos of the “gowns that almost made it!” :)

*My official wedding gown is from Atelier Pronovias, Barcelona, Spain. I bought it from Mi Sueño Bridal Boutique owned by the pretty Pepper Periquet-Guanio.

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Before Mi Sueño, I went to Rosa Clara to fit their gowns from the latest collection.

I immediately fell in love with this very simple sweetheart cut gown with matching a-line skirt. The only thing I did not like about this was the squirrel-like embellishment attached to the left hip. I sent this to my cousin and he felt like it was lacking the “me factor”. I guess he found it too simple. I think simple is elegant though. Oh well, to cut the long story short, I had to let go of this gown.

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Also from Rosa Clara, this gown below made me consider something that has beadwork–

This picture, this moment, is very special for me and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my Mama for taking time off her busy schedule to accompany me on my first bridal gown fitting. This moment will be forever etched in my heart. Thank you, Mama, for all your love and care for me. One day, I will be the one to take care of you with everything that I’ve got.

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I had to sleep on it before deciding. I also had schedules with fashion designers within the same week I visited Rosa Clara. A few of them had already sent their sketches even before I decided to pick an RTW gown and I am soooo very grateful for the effort they all exerted in creating these designs. If only I have enough patience to wait for something custom-made, I would have gotten a Filipino fashion designer to create my gown. But my heart and EQ are both too weak to wait a long time so I decided to just buy off-the-rack. I will just have it adjusted to fit me like second skin a few days before the wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I am still working with Filipino designers for our entourage, prenuptial shoots, and civil wedding.

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When it was about time to pay the gown in full, I went back to Mi Sueño and the atmosphere in that room can really make you want to try on more dresses. With the bridal assistant E’s insistent prodding, I tried on 2 more dresses. The one on the left is pretty but I didn’t want my chest to be covered coz it will be hot at the beach. This particular cut will also shorten my neck. The gown on the right though almost made me change my mind about the gown that I ultimately chose. I liked it coz it emphasised my curves.

But I am really not  a froufrou-skirt-wearing bride. I have decided earlier on that I am done seeing bridal gown skirts that are fluffier than nimbus clouds. I wanted to wear a dress that will still be in style in the next years to come. I think the froufrou skirt will come and go. It lacks the timelessness feel that I was gunning for. I don’t want my photos to look dated just coz my dress is reminiscent of a certain era. I want a classic cut that looks and feels ethereal.

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When I posted this on Facebook, my notifications wouldn’t stop beeping, I had to hide this photo again. Perhaps my friends thought that this was my official wedding gown. It’s from the same designer, Pronovias, but definitely not the same dress. I also got scared that the gown I chose will now pale in comparison to this gown. I just had to find comfort in the fact that I know in my heart that’s more me than this gown. Plus the lightweight feel of the gown I chose is priceless! :)

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For brides-to-be out there, I really recommend trying ready-to-wear bridal gowns. They cut the creative process in half and they ultimately already give you a preview of how you are gonna look like on your wedding day. No surprises. I have heard of too many horror stories about wedding gown failures and booboos that I’m just glad I got this out of the way early in the planning stage. I was able to focus more on the other details of the wedding once I got “bridal gown” checked on my Wed Happy app!

More gowns and dresses in my future posts! ;)

Excited,

Mrs. DCW-to-be! :)

2

HONGKONG RENDEZVOUS


It has been 3 months since the DBF and I last saw each other. (After the engagement, I went back to Manila and have not been back to Zurich since.) This was the longest time we were apart so we decided to meet-up in HongKong even only for one weekend.

I decided to fly to HongKong a few days before him. I had 2 things on my agenda:

1) Order a custom-made wedding band
2) Look for the most comfortable pair of wedding shoes

I knew that I would get a good deal for both in HongKong.

The DBF was a little bit worried about me travelling alone in HongKong. And that’s coz he wasn’t present in my life yet when I would go there alone to bargain hunt!

My parents were not even worried a bit about me travelling alone there coz they knew that the place is practically my second home in Asia. When we were last there as a family, they even flew back to Manila ahead of me because I needed at least a day to shop around by myself. Nobody in my family dares to accompany me when I’m shopping because they know that I would rummage all the stores first before I decide to buy something.

I’m the type of shopper who has to know all the merchandise in all of my favorite stores first before I decide on spending my money on something. I don’t care if at the end of the day, I couldn’t feel my feet anymore. :)

Anyway, I got to check both items on my list.

I got to order my wedding band from a friend’s trusted Chinese jeweller. I will be able to get it before I fly back to Zurich in November. Shoutout to Aimee C., Angelica C., and Cholo C. for accompanying me to the jeweller and for facilitating for the payment and pick-up of the item! Thank you for the kindness!

I had a bit of a problem with what I wanted at first coz almost all of the stores in HongKong only produced rings in 18k gold. I was afraid our contact would also be limited to that metal. I wanted platinum setting. It’s hypoallergenic and it matches the ring that the DBF gave me.

Good thing the private jeweller accepts custom-made platinum jewellery! I was sooo relieved!

Here’s a similar ring to what I ordered. It looks nice next to my engagement ring coz it picks up the shape and color of the main stone.

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I had 2 days to roam around HongKong Central, Mongkok and TST. I spent at least half a day looking for a pair of wedding shoes. Unlike most girls, I’m really not into shoes because I have wide feet. I am all for comfort when I buy a pair of shoes. I also only have at least 3 pairs to last me more than a year. I only stick to mostly beige as well because I can pair it with anything.

That being said, I knew that for my wedding day, comfort is the primary priority. And because comfortable shoes for big feet are so hard to find nowadays, I went to all of the trusted shoe brands I could find. From Christian Louboutin to Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo to Valentino, Roger Vivier to Saint Laurent.

I ended up with these top 2 options:

Valentino in Monaco Blue and Beige

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and Low-heel (3in) YSL Tribute in hard-to-find Beige

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I also considered the pale pink version.

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I posted the shoes on my Instagram and my friends voted for the beige Tributes. Thanks to my good friend Amelie B. for finally convincing me to buy it! She says she’s “not French for nothing!” ;) Thanks also to my benefactor cousins Kaye and Bea C.!!! <3

I didn't really shop for anything else after that! Gone were the days when just the words "sale sale sale" were enough to make me go all Tazmanian devil at the shops! :) I've matured significantly already!

I didn't spend a lot on hotels in HongKong because my dear couple friends C and A adopted me at their pad in TungChung!

Look at my room! The view was spectacular!

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This is me with A roaming around the CityGate outlet mall just a few minutes away from their condo. Thank you for listening to my non-stop stories! I miss you already! :)

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I also stayed at my dear French friend’s pad at the Mid-level Towers in Central. We met at Central, ate at my favorite Xiao long bao place Din Tai Fung at Silvercord Mall, and had drinks at Cafe Havana in Lan Kwai Fong.

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I stayed the longest at the IFC Mall, Alexandria House, and the Landmark!

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The weekend came and it was time to meet my hot fiancé at the airport!

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I thought of creating this sign last minute. I stole a used bond paper at the travel and tours counter of the arrival area. :)

This weekend was really intended to be a double date with C and M.

We spent the weekend gorging on dimsum and HongKong style meals. We also went bar hopping. We lounged at a rooftop bar called Sevva. Then we got drenched in the rain looking for what was dubbed as the “best party bar in HongKong”, Play. Then we capped the night at Dusk til Dawn where a Filipino band was playing.

The DBF almost didn’t make it to HongKong but God is good and He gave us the much-needed time together.

It was a short but sweet weekend. I got to know more about the guy I’m gonna marry and my conviction to stay with him for a lifetime was all the more solidified in that so short a time. I am grateful.

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Til my next getaway,
d.