MI went home for my only brother’s wedding.
I had makeup workshops and shoots in between helping them with wedding prep. I was specifically in-charge of the family presentation. I had to teach everyone the routine my brother and I choreographed together from top to bottom. It was extra-challenging because folks are flying from the US to the Philippines and arriving on different dates so I had to teach them per group until the day before the wedding when everyone was already in one venue. Good thing everything went down smoothly. It was extra fun because we were able to force Papa to join us and learn the steps! I love that he was acting like he didn’t want to dance but when it was time for him to join, he already knew the steps!!! He was secretly practising in their room while we were downstairs dancing. I love it!
The boys from Chicago flew in. It felt like a reunion of sorts. Carlos’ friends from Xavier whom I grew up knowing were in complete attendance. After the wedding that was really a dance concert, both families went to Anvaya (where the DHB and I got married) and spent a few days bonding by the beach. 15 years together will already make your families mash well since we all supported their relationship since Day 1.
I am also grateful that the DHB was able to spend a week with us. It was really such a cherished time and memories created during this period will be forever remembered. I also love that I spent most of the time with my Papa and Mama. I felt like I was their baby once again. They shopped for my clothes and treated me like I was the prodigal daughter. I really cannot ask for a better set of loving parents.
I thank God every day for family time.
Until my next adventure,
I always enjoy a long stopover. I don’t like enduring the 13-14 hour flight from Zurich to Manila without any breaks. I like lounging around the airport, even going out to visit the city even for just a few hours.
Singapore has always been my favorite stop because of these reasons:
- It has the best airport in the world– TRAVEL TIP: They give a free 20SGD voucher for those transiting in SG which you can use at the stores inside Changi. I always get mine and use it either for a quick snack or a tube of lipstick.
- They have Sephora– When you order online at Sephora Philippines, the goods will most likely come from Sephora Singapore. So might as well buy direct and avoid the shipping and custom fees.
- Aside from its cleanliness and safety, I love that I can easily go out of the airport without a visa requirement, hop on the metro and roam around the city for less than a few dollars.
- The food– Chilli King Crabs, Irvin’s salted potato chips, ice cream sandwich, Hainanese chicken from the hawkers, the list goes on!
- Awesome Filipino connection in SG! Whenever I’m in Singapore, I always end up not spending a dime coz there’s certainly a Filipino crew who adopts me for the day. This time around, it was Kuya L and Ate M who treated me lunch! I am so thankful for generous souls I meet all over the world!
- I arrive in SG at around 5 am and I watch the sun rise at the Marina Bay Sands. It’s the most awesome feeling to see the city awaken.
- It’s probably my 5th time in Singapore but each time I visit, there’s still something that makes my heart flutter.
Looking forward to going back,
We celebrated our 2nd year anniversary as a married couple last January. True to his thoughtful nature, the DHB surprised me with booked tickets to Malta. But as fate would have it, he met a basketball accident and had to be operated on some time in December. He tore his ACL and his meniscus disc got twisted. He couldn't walk normally for months. He had to undergo physiotherapy everyday after his surgery. We had no choice but postpone the trip and rebook the tickets to April, in time for his 35th birthday.
Malta is a country much like the Philippines in the sense that it is also made up of islands and it was also conquered by different nations throughout its history. Malta is so much smaller though. You can tour its biggest island in a day or two.
We decided to stay in Sliema which is at the coastline and strategically located between Valletta, the city center, and St. Julian's the more touristy beach place.
What I liked about our hotel, Park Hotel, is that it's perfectly situated in front of the hop-on, hop-off bus stop. It's also just across the coastline that was perfect for walking at the crack of dawn or at night where the lights enliven the walk way and the music from the cafés provide such a dreamy atmosphere. The DBF and I walked along the coast several times, holding hands, while discussing the future. I will forever cherish these peaceful moments.
For dinner, we had kebab at this Trip Advisor awardee place that was literally just at the corner of our hotel. We also tried gluten free pasta at the Sicilian place nearby on the DHB's 35th birthday. The DHB had his favorite vongole although he wished he opted for the less healthy pasta.
The only bad thing I remember about Sliema was how rowdy the Italian teenagers were at our hotel. We were awakened every time they'd come running back to the hotel from wherever they were the entire day. Their noise just filled the halls. Malta used to be a part of Italy which is why many Italians choose it as a destination for summer. What's interesting though is that the Maltese were also invaded by the Moors, the Knights, the French, and the Brits. So you'd hear the people speak with British accents yet the doors of their houses would either have a Muslim symbol or a Catholic religious sculpture.
Overall, I think choosing Sliema as our base was a wise decision because it was not as packed as St. Julian's and not as landlocked as Valletta City.
I am not a very sporty person. And so the idea of hiking up the mountain for a photoshoot did not excite me at first. In fact, it terrified me a bit. And so I initially just planned on having this gorgeous bride-to-be go to my place for hair and makeup, let her go, and trust that the makeup stays in place. After all, she only wanted a fresh and natural look. The thing with the Swiss though is that they are not very flamboyant. They are usually understated. And so there are no dresses or ball gowns in this shoot. Just the bride-to-be wearing a black jacket with small cute flowers (by M) on her hair, and the groom in a straight-up black thick parka.
But something felt right about that day that I found myself agreeing to go with them up the alps. I did not regret my decision though. Although panting at a certain stage of the hike, I was able to join them where they wanted to take photos and the view was just magnificent. Pictures cannot even capture the feeling of grandeur and satisfaction. I wish every man can see what I saw that day so he’d probably start believing in the divine. No man could have ever created this thing of beauty. It was just so intelligently designed. The parts where the snow touches the sky, and the mountains contrast with the lake– no man could have ever thought of that. It was just poetic at every turn.
As you can see, I am still completely overwhelmed. I should be hiking up mountains more instead of chilling at home to watch Netflix. This kind of view is so much more satisfying than the next episode of Designated Survivor. or Riverdale.
(I’d like to thank F and T for taking me up with them to the alps. They’re gonna get married here in October by the lake, surrounded by the Swiss Alps. It’s gonna be epic. Below are my behind-the-scenes shots. )