bulacan

JD’s Dedication Day

  • Being a FTM is really exciting. After D (delivery) day, you’ll always look forward to what will happen next. From your baby’s first smile, first laugh, first everything. But one of the biggest events that I’m truly thrilled about is JD’s Dedication to the Lord. We are born-again Christians so we’re allowed not to held the “dedicating ceremony” in a church. For that reason, we tried to look for a venue that is spacious enough for the short program and at the same time share something to eat. I do not plan to held an event like this at home because 1. I don’t want to bother other people in preparing for the food, setting up of chairs and tables and decorations and 2. I’m not a fan of cleaning the after mess, lol! To tell the truth, we were in rush when we prepared for this event. A week before the event, my grandmom was hospitalized and admitted in the ICU. 3 days before the event, she went home with the Lord already. I asked my mom if we need to reschedule it but as per her brother, my uncle, pastor who will dedicate JD, told us that it was fine to push through with it because it is a celebration of life. All invitations were distributed so I really can’t cancel or resched it. Good thing I have a very supportive family and relatives. Going back to the preparation, below are the things that we needed:

Budget. We really would want to stick to a 30k pesos budget. This was the most important thing. This is really hard because we both have a huge family.

Caterer. I immediately contacted our caterer from our wedding. They gave us a discount already but considering that we still have to pay for the event’s place, I doubted if we can stick within our budget. Hence, I looked for a venue with a budget of 3-5k pesos to afford the caterer. To my dismay, there’s no such place with a price like that nowadays. I’m lost from here and I don’t know what to do but to stretch our budget to 35-40k pesos.

Venue. Since we can’t find a place that is within our budget, Jek thought of the cafรฉ/resto just above the office where he worked before. His previous boss is also our ninong in our wedding. We thought we can have a discount. We hurriedly went to Beans and Leaves in their branch in Guiguinto. We went there with my mom because we planned to also dine in there so we could taste the food. However, they serve different dishes for their daily menu and occassion/event menu. After checking the place out, they invited us to come over to the next event that they will cater for us to taste their food. My mom agreed that she will be the one to attend because we’re unable to do so because of Jek’s work schedule. As per my mom’s approval upon having a taste of some of their food, we immediately booked them as event’s place and also the caterer. Below are our deals that made us say yes:

  • Free use of venue for 4 hours.
  • Menu consisting of 4 viands, 1 pasta, steamed rice, desserts and drinks. Mind you, this is a buffet / eat all you can style.
  • Free basic set-up according to color motif.
  • Basic sound system.
  • LCD TV with USB port if you have AVP to be played.

    Prices vary depending on the package you will avail. You will be billed as to how many guests attended per plate. We got the 229/head for adults and 99/head for kids 7 years old and below.

    Buffet Table

    Guests. We reserved for 100 guests. Upon payment, there are still 17 plates left out of 100 that we reserved so we have the chance to take home the left overs, except the drinks. To total, we paid only Php22,900 for the venue and food for 100pax.
    Invitations. To save, Jek made the layout for the invitations and have them printed out. So this one is free.

    Invitation

    Souvenirs and Giveaways. We just ordered cupcakes from our good friend Koni of Cerahlicious Sweet Treats as giveaway to JD’s godparents. A box of 6 cupcakes costs Php140/box (discounted). We ordered 16 boxes that costs Php2,240. For the guests’ souvenirs, we made-to-order ref magnets to my cousin Ate Rizzel and Kuya Pau of 7 Folds Printing. We ordered 50pcs for Php15 each totalling to Php750 which they ended up giving it for free as gift for JD. Yey! Thanks guys.
    Cake. We just wanted to have a customized cake so we also ordered a customized one from Koni. I don’t know how to explain it but the cake was sooooo perfect! From its look, size, quality, taste, everything is so perfect, beyond my expectation. I forgot about its size but it is really purely cake even on the inside and it was heavy and thick. For just Php2,500, its really worth every bite. I highly recommend Koni’s creations.

    Tarpaulin. Jek also made the layout so we just looked for tarpaulin printing shop. We found one in Bocaue. If I’m not mistaken, the size is 5×5 for just Php370.

    OOTD. Ofcourse we needed some cute outfit especially for JD. I don’t want it to be the normal “baptismal outfit”. I want it to be unique so I looked online and found Luna Belle’s Facebook. She customized baby clothes and costumes. I made to order a cute bloomer with suspender, necktie and bow tie with the print design I wanted for Php450

    Didn’t let JD wear the bow tie because it’s too tight.

    Candles. I forgot much much was the cost but definitely under P100 including the ribbon. The big candle was recycled from our wedding.

    Photo booth. We are so blessed for having Ninong Kerwin, Jek’s cousin. He is a photographer as profession and owns and operates a photobooth. We are so thrilled that he offered his service for free. Thanks Ninong Kerwin for the unlimited shots and print outs.


    REVIEWS: 

    Beans and Leaves Cafรฉ. The food was superb! We chose creamy vegetables, fish fillet, menudo, kare-kare, carbonara and brought lechon (gifted by my FIL and MIL) from outside. Everything was delicious and perfectly cooked. Good thing they didn’t charged us corkage fee for bringing in the lechon and also the watermelon. As for the drinks, we chose gulaman and it was so refreshing. Water was also available. For the dessert, we chose graham balls and coffee jelly. I haven’t got the chance to taste the coffee jelly though but the graham balls are so yummy. The service was good. One of the things we want about them is that it was not a “tong buffet”. You can have whatever you one from the buffet as much as you want. No limits. The staff was already friendly especially Sir Carlo. They were all very accommodating and easy to talk to.

    FB page – Beans and Leaves

    *They have 3 branches in Bulacan. Balagtas, Sta. Maria and Guiguinto. Guiguinto is the largest and spacious for events.

    Photobooth. We really love pictures. Especially when they are printed out already. Photo booths are the best for any occasion. We love Kerwin’s photo booth because 1. It’s free. Who doesn’t want free stuffs? 2. Personalized backdrop using chroma. 3. You can request reprints. 4. Lots of props to be used. 5. High quality camera and equipments. 6. Very friendly operator. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    FB page – Kerwin Photography

    *They also conduct Basic Photography tutorial from time to time.

    Cakes. The best! Koni made all my requests possible plus the taste was so yummy and mouth watering. Bonus, very huge and thick cake. I’mso in love with her chocolate cake. It was moist in the inside and the fondant was perfectly done.

    FB page – Cerahlicious Sweet Treats

    *You may have your cake customized or just indulge in readily available pastries once in a while.
    I’d like to thank the Lord for all the blessings the He has given us. For a wonderful child, JD. We owe everything to You and we dedicate JD’s life to You only. Also, to our families especially to my family and relatives. You still came and supported us even though we are grieving for Nanay’s loss. To Papa Jun, the pastor, for officiating the dedication. To Jek’s family. To all JD’s godparents, thank you for giving your time to attend. To our friends, neighbors and everybody who came, thank you for the time and gifts as well. To Beans and Leaves, thank you very much especially Sir Carlo and Ms. Lyn. To Koni, muffin, thanks for the cakes and also for Jek’s bday cake. To Kerwin, thank you for your generosity for the photo booth. Ate Rizzel and Kuya Pau for the souvenirs. To Luna Belle on FB for JD’s OOTD, thanks for the cute outfit. To Joshua for the pictures, thank you so much! We are so grateful for everything. Thank you for sharing your precious time with us. God bless you all.

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    Hugot Sizzling Hub

    Mga beshies, Tagalog blog para intense!

    Inaalay ko ang blog na ito sa minamahal kong kaibigan na si Aiko Lee na pagkahaba-haba at pagkalalim-lalim ng hugot.

    Nagpunta kami dito nung March pa. Sorry mga bes, busy sa junakis ang lola nyo. Wala na nga akong oras para maligo, magblog pa kaya? ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ Enihaw, galing kami sa lamay ng kapatid ng tropa namin sa Marilao. Pauwi na kami at nagiisip ng makakainan dahil halos dumugo na ang mga tyan namin dahil sa gutom. Gaya ng masalimuot na lab story ng kaibigan kong sobrang nakakadugo ng puso. Naalala ko na gusto ko nga palang kumain sa Hugot Sizzling Hub na matagal ko ng nadadaan daanan. Matatagpuan ito sa 3rd floor ng St. Anne’s Building sa Balagtas, Bulacan sa tapat lang ng palengke at sa taas ng KFC. May parking space naman kaya lang kung madaming kumakain sa KFC, siguradong wala ka ng mapaparkan. May mga bata naman doon na tutulong sayo na magpark kaya wag kang magalala. Tutulungan ka nila hanggang sa OK ka na sa dispusisyon mo. Parang yung kaibigan ko, talagang tinutulungan pa nya maging OK ang kanyang dating iniibig (o hanggang ngayon pa). Move on na day! Ayun na nga, pagakyat mo ng medyo nakakapagod na hagdan, bubungad na sayo yung Hugot. Maliit lang yung lugar pero maayos at nakakaaliw yung mga nakapaskil sa dingding. Pero dahil gutom na nga kami, agad kaming umorder para makalamon na. Akala naming mabilis lang kaming makakapili ng mga putahe, mahirap pala. Mas gugustuhin mo muna kasing basahin yung menu.

    Oh diba? Malilibang ka muna bago ka makaorder. OK naman yung menu nila, madaming pagpipilian. Pero sa mga drinks, hindi lahat available. Ewan ko lang kung dahil pasara na nung pumunta kami kaya naubos na siguro yung gusto ko. Mabilis din naman dumating yung mga order namin. At eto na nga sila..

    #LettingGo Pasta Carbora. Ang sarap nito promise. Kasing sarap ng dating pagmamahalan ng mga kaibigan ko. Tamang tama ang timpla, may crunch pa. Ang kasamang toasted bread ay masarap din. Parang may butter at garlic yata kung di ako nagkakamali. Pasensya na nakalimutan ko na. Mabilis akong makalimot di tulad ng kaibigan ko na hindi pa din makalimot sa past nya.

    #Tinadhanang Pork Sisig. Sorry Hugot pero di namin to bet. Nakalimutan ko na yung lasa basta hindi ko bet. May matitigas na parts. Kasing tigas ng puso ng kaibigan ko. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜–

    #MahalagaKa Tofu Con Liempo. Ay winner to! Bet na bet mga besh! Pagkasarap.. Di ko maexplain. Basta masarap. May anghang din. Gaya ng nagaanghangang masasakit na salita na nasambit ng mga kaibigan ko. ๐Ÿ˜”

    #BurningForYou Choco Hot Fudge in Pabida at Cucumber Juice. Sa kaibigan ko yung juice so hindi ko alam yung lasa. Pero sa tingin ko ito yung nabibili lang din sa Nestle na powdered juice. Pero yung frappe, masarap din. Matamis gaya ng dating pagmamahalan ng mga kaibigan ko. 

    Bukod sa masaklap na kwento ng kaibigan ko habang kumakain kami, madami ding masasaklap na hugot ang resto na ito. Pero ako muna ang huhugot tungkol dito, OK naman, masarap at madami yung serving nila. Hindi ka na lugi beshy. Mura na, masarap pa. Madami kang pagpipilian depende sa trip mo. Parang jowa lang yan, madami kang mahahanap kung anong trip mo. Basta piliin mo lang mabuti at wag kung sino lang. Makakahanap ka din ng masarap at sulit mahalin. Pero tandaan mo, lahat ng bagay nagbabago. Gaya ng sisig na nakain ko, hindi sya sulit. Pero malay mo magimprove sa darating na panahon. Gaya ng ex mo, maaaring may mali sakanya, maaaring may kulang, maaaring masyadong matapang. Pero pwedeng magbago yan. Pwedeng magimprove yan. Kapit lang mga bes! Malay nyo maging swak ulit kayo sa tamang panahon.

    Kitchen Avenue – Cravings Satisfied!

    Another food blog! โ˜บโ˜บโ˜บ

    Kitchen Avenue is the newest food haven for Bulakeรฑos which opened last February 2017. Located in GD Plaza McArthur Highway, Ilang-Ilang, Guiguinto (in front of Waltermart). They’re open everyday from 10AM to 10PM. They have huge parking space and very accessible both through private and public transport. They offer wide variety of comfort food from burgers, pastas, rice meals, salads and refreshment that will satisfy your cravings. 

    I went there with Jek, JD and Isha last February 17. First thing that I noticed was the clean and classy look of its interior, simple yet comfy. You’ll feel at-home. Thanks to Kuya Pau who designed and conceptualized all the imagery that you can see inside the place. The air-condition gives just right coolness inside.

    Here are what we ordered and our thoughts about them:
    My order.

    Beef nachos for all of us. It was the typical one but the sauce is really delicious, not the ordinary cheese whiz-like. The portion served is just right for 2-3 persons, I guess. I recommend this one.

    Pesto pasta with chicken. It was okay and it tasted better that The Old Spaghetti House’s version. I like this one way better. I chose chicken over shirmp as toppings. This was served with toasted bread. The serving is good to fill my hungry tummy.

    Mango Milkshake Grande. I liked its presentation. It was so inviting to have a sip. With caramel over the whipped cream plus candy sprinkles and a marshmallow, wow! It tasted good. Not too sweet yet not too bland. It is creamy as well. Next time I’ll order the large one because this is too much for me.

    Jek’s order.

    Johnny Bravo Burger. Oh my! 3 layers of quarter pounder beef patty? No surprise why Jek was really busolve (busog + solve). It was really filling just by the looks of it. I managed to taste it and it was heavenly for me. I love its patty, really tasty! The taste of smoke and meat… Wow! It was not dry and it was juicy. 2 thumbs up for me but I can’t finish this one so I guess I’ll choose the other smaller burger over this next time.

    Isha’s order.

    Sizzling Chicken BBQ. I didn’t had the chance to taste this because I was carrying JD while they served this to Isha. But as per her, it was good. The sauce was also good. The chicken also looks tender and perfectly cooked. Plus the mixed veggies adding some color, perfect!

    Cookies & Cream Shake. I wondered if the cookie on top of it was Oreo or something else. But it was good. Isha didn’t finished this all up so I had the chance to taste it. I think this is their best seller. It tasted really good and it’s creamy. I loved it.

    Overall, it was a good experience to dine here. I love the ambiance and the food, of course. I’m looking forward to taste the rest of their menu. Next time I’ll try to have burger because I’m really craving for its taste. The price range is good for its serving and quality of food and service. The wide variety of food to be chosen is a plus. Looking forward to visit this place again some other time.

    Kitchen Avenue, pop na pop! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Bunjo Home-Cooked Specials Buffet

    Buffet restos are so in right now. Filipinos are known for good cooks and mahilig kumain. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why buffets or eat-all-you-can restaurants are popular in the Philippines. From the famous Vikings, Barrio Fiesta, Dad’s and all others, there are also small-scale businesses like these across the country. The newest I’ve discovered is the Bunjo Home Cooked Specials. Located at Brgy. Parulan, Plaridel, Bulacan and opens every Tuesday to Sunday. They serve lunch from 11:30am-2:00pm while their dinner is served from 6:00pm-9:00pm. For the price? A whooping P150.00 only per head. For elderly, they offer senior citizen discount if you can present your senior citizen ID for only P120.00. We went there for lunch on a Sunday after Church Service. We texted their number for reservation but we were told that reservation is full but we can just walk-in and so we did. We got there around 12nn or so and we got in at 1pm. There’s a reservation for 30pax that time for a reception for baptismal. That explains the long waiting time. When we got in, the place is just small but clean. They have ACs and a restroom. The entire place can accommodate 85 persons. Without further ado, we lined-up to grab some food.

    Starting with a plain rice. Just a normal rice.

    This pancit canton is the bomb! It’s really delicious.

    Their baked-mac is also mouth-watering. I can tell that there is a secret ingredient in here that I can’t distinguish. It’s very flavorful. The photo about can tell, once it was refilled, it needed to be refilled again after a short while.

    I didn’t manage to taste this one but it looks like a potato salad or something. It looks yummy, though.

    This one I have no idea what this is but I should tell, it’s really good. One of the best. I believe it’s made of pork.

    This is the beef Kare Kare. I melt. This may not be the best KareKare I’ve tasted but probably 3rd of the best. The meat is tender and the peanut sauce is just right.

    Here are the veggies for the KareKare. I’m not sure if there were any other veggies but these two were the only veggies I got. Along side with the bagoong. I think it’s also home-made.

    This! Grilled squid. Lovely! They’re very tender and not chewy. Cooked just right. With toyomanci as dip.

    I didn’t taste this but I think it’s ham omelette or something. Not sure though. But they said, it was good also.

    Grilled pink salmon. I’m not a fan of fish so I can’t say if it’s good or not. But my mom recommended it so I guess it’s good.

    Shirmp. I don’t know how they cooked this. I think they just fried it? Haha. It’s good also. Comes with a vinegar dip.

    This is soooooooo good! Cheese sticks I don’t know if it’s just me but I really liked it. With the dip that I don’t know what that is. It tasted garlic, mayo and something else. Really good! And crispy too.

    Chicken BBQ. By the looks of it, I know it’s good as well. I have read somewhere that this is good. My mom also said it was.

    Haaaaay.. I want to go back there now just for this lechon kawali. Super crispy and flavorful. Comes with just Mang Tomas sauce but still, the winner!

    Pineapple slices. There is also sliced watermelon. It’s good that they also have fruits for dessert. I would like some mangoes or banana, though.

    Vegetable salad. It’s just cucumber a lettuce but the dressing is good, thousand island, I think.

    They also serve buco pandan for dessert. But without the buco strips/meat. Hehe. But it was good as well. Not too sweet.

    That was the menu for that day. I believe they change their menu once in a while depending on the availability. I heard they have sisig and baked tahong , which I really would like to try. Maybe some other time.

    When I had a chance to tall to the owner, Sir Fritz, he told me that he and his mother were the ones who cooked. Bunjo is what he was called since his childhood. Being an only child, I guess it meant bunso or youngest child. He told me that they just started last July 5 of this year, 2016. I asked him if they’re not lugi for their price of P150.00, he said no because they own the place. They need not to rent. They are planning of expanding the place because obviously, their parking area can just accommodate like 10 vehicles, I think. Also, for the dining area itself. I suggested to include some ice cream for dessert but he said they might increase the P150.00 price if they did that. Silly me! Of course! What did I asked that in the first place? But maybe they can charge additional if you will avail unlimited ice cream, right? I almost forgot, they also serve free water to quench the thirst. Just don’t drink to much for you will be filled with it. You want to be stuffed with great food, not just water.

    I super recommend this place. It’s really Pop na Pop. For it’s price and quality and huge variant of food? No other place like Bunjo.

    If you’re planning to visit, I suggest to contact them first at 09237118920. I’m not sure the honor a reservation through text. You can try to reserve, it not, you can always walk-in just like what we did. Honestly, I don’t know how to go there if you were to commute. But if you have a private vehicle, you can take the route from Walter Mart Plaridel then turn right to the way going to Bustos, Bulacan. You may also take route from Plaridel Crossing, I guess it’s easier from there. Sorry I’m not familiar with the place also, though I’m live in Plaridel. Haha. If you happen to take a visit, please share your experience as well.

    Being Pregnant – The Struggles Are Real

     After being in a relationship for 10 years before we got married, now I am happily bearing the fruit of our love. I confess that we didn’t plan it to be this early but I believe that it is God who planted this little creature as a gift for me and Jek. When we’re doing it, LOL, I told Jek that if it is meant-to-be, it is meant to be. If nothing will be made, then, it’s OK but if we would be able to make it, then it’s a blessing from God.

    (Photo credits to the owner)

    The first day of my last monthly period (LMP) was March 8, 2016, 3 days after our wedding, haha! Both Jek and I love going to the beach and road-tripping. It was the perfect summer. We were able to go out-of-town and even visited resorts in Bulacan with our family and friends. Of course when there is beach, there is beer, hahaha! For about a month of beaching, swimming, travelling and drinking, I have no idea that I am pregnant already. When I realized that it was pass my period and missed it, I asked Jek to get me a pregnancy test. To our surprise, positive. I was really happy but at the same time, scared because of my drinking, Hehe! I really prayed to God to please give us a healthy baby in spite of what I’ve done in the past month. We then scheduled a trip to the ob-gyne for a check-up right away. We went to Graman Medical and Maternity Hospital in Malolos. I was examined and underwent transvaginal ultrasound by Dr. Anna Grace Sevilla. It was then that we saw our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Right then and there, I thanked God that my baby is alive. It was really moving and heart-warming to see something beating inside you. The check-up, transvaginal ultrasound and a print-out of baby’s first picture cost P800.00. Baby was 7 weeks then. Promptly, we announced it to our families (and Facebook, LOL).

    First 3 pregnancy tests and baby’s first photo.

    The first month went easy because I was unaware of my pregnancy. Actually, the whole 1st trimester went really easy. I am blessed that I didn’t experienced any difficulties of paglilihi and morning sickness. Aside from my sense of smell that became more active and weird. I remembered drinking Anmum in Chocolate flavor and it smelled like chopped wood (btw, no need to drink milk supplements for preggies, as I’ve researched, it will just add up extra pounds on you). Also, I was always hungry. I’m craving for everything, LOL! The struggle is real! If I want to eat something but isn’t available, I cried. If I watched a touching movie, I cried. If my husband wasn’t able to do something for me, I cried. Whatever I do, I cried. Just kidding! I am a happy preggy now. I was over those crying moments. They say, the baby will also feel sad whenever you’re sad. So always be happy so that you’ll also have a happy baby.

    Speaking of a happy baby, my thinking then was to give baby all happy foods. From chocolate to ice cream, chips to sodas, French fries to pizza. Well, you can actually eat those but in moderation. Don’t do what I did. You’ll end up being huge like me now, haha. Avocado is a really good fruit to have as a snack as well as other fruits and nuts like cashew. As much as possible, if you are just staying at home, make time to do something. Don’t just sit there. We need to exercise. There are lots of video tutorials on YouTube about pregancy exercises and also mobile applications that you can actually download for free. Please ask your OB first if you are safe to exercise. Even walking for half an hour will do. Doing household chores is also good. Just refrain from carrying heavy objects or furnitures. Stay away from cleaning detergents or soaps with strong smell that may cause you nausea. Also, take time to have a rest.

    When you’re pregnant, there are lots of things to think about. Aside from the vitamins and calcium that you will be prescribed to take (this is a struggle for me because I can’t swallow a medicine without crying, srsly), there are also monthly check-ups to your OB. You may also struggle in finding an OB. My sisters’ OB were based in Malolos which is far from our place. So I hit Google and look for one. I came across to Dr. Ma. Victoria Badjao who’s based in Sta. Maria, where we live. I got her clinic address and schedule online. It’s really a blessing that her PF is just P200.00 ๐Ÿ˜. Aside from the check-ups, I remembered I was injected with an anti-tetanus shot. I think it’s just P300.00. This was given to me in my 4th or 5th month, I think.

    Another struggle I experienced was in my 2nd trimester. One morning, I woke up with tingling, numbing fingers. I thought it was just my wedding ring getting tighter as I gain weight, haha, but one week had past and it is getting worst. I looked for an answer in Google and it says that’s common for preggies to have carpal tunnel syndrome. However, it will be gone after you gave birth. I asked my OB about it and prescribed me b-complex vitamins. I bought Pharex for P3.00 each. Massaging your wrist and hand may also help. I should say, it won’t be gone but it will lessen the pain especially when you wake up in the morning. Also, 2nd trimester was tougher in the wallet, haha! By these times, I am already window shopping in Lazada, Shopee and online shops from Facebook and Instagram. Although I still didn’t know if we’re having a baby girl or boy by then, I was fantacising for baby clothes, feeding bottles, baby gears, cloth diapers and baby carrier (wraps). I wanted to buy everything but I don’t want to splurge on things that we won’t be able to use for the longest time possible. Practicality is the key. There are more things to consider like your delivery and post-natal checkups. What I did was, compared items and prices first. There are items that are cheaper when you buy online than from the mall. Also, there are huge sales with cash on delivery and free shipping especially in Lazada and Shopee. I was able to bought 2 cloth diapers with inserts for just P170.00 both with free shipping. Normally, a cloth diaper costs P150.00 to P250.00 per piece with insert. I’ll make a blog about it some other time. To save more money, you may ask your family or friends to buy those baby items for you as a gift, haha! Also, you may accept hand-me-downs from your nieces and nephews. Baby clothes will just be worn for just a short period of time because they are easily outgrew in time. Baby gears such as cribs, strollers, baby bath tub, car seat, etc may be borrowed from your family if they’re done using them already.

    Came 3rd trimester which is even tougher in the wallet. When I reached my 7th month, I was advised to take a blood test. I believe this is to detect if you’ve got diabetes (pregnant women are prone to this). I was advised to fast for 8-10 hours before undergoing the lab test. When I got there, BA Laboratories in Sta. Maria, infront of Rogaciano Hospital (not sure of the name), they took 4 blood samples from me with an hour interval each. After 12 hours of hunger, I was able to finally took my lunch. I chose to eat at Chowking (chicharap ftw, haha). The test costs P1500.00. Fortunately, the results are normal and I don’t have a diabetes even tough I ate lots of sweets. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I haven’t felt anything bad with my body aside from the back aches and numbing feet when walking for hours or even just standing. It is because of the weight and the pressure of being heavier because your baby is of course getting bigger inside. In the evening when you’re on bed, you’ll probably experience difficulty in catching sleep or you may find your self tossing and turning and I tell you, it’s hard to toss and turn with a heavy tummy. In some instances, I experienced catching my breath even without doing anything. As per Mr. Google, it is because of the baby and may tend to push or squeeze in together your organs including your lungs. Just move your body and let your baby change his/her position to free your sardines-like organs inside. It’s not just physically that I experienced some struggling. I was mentally and emotionally affected by other’s comments. Being this huge, with my nose red and big, armpits darkening and so as my neck (slightly), I was called lots of names. I accepted them all because I know they are all true. I myself cannot conceal my nose with highlight and contour anymore. I can’t use any of my shorts and pants, as well as my blouses. No matter how hard I scrub my body, the darkening is still there. At first, I got frustrated. Voices haunt me, “Ang taba mo.” “Baboy ka na.” “Lalake yang anak mo, ang laki ng ilong mo eh.” “Naiba muka mo.” Yes, please, I know, that’s why sometimes I cried alone. I never wanted this but it is nothing to me because I know it will all be gone and will be back to normal after I gave birth. I am over it already because somehow, I am thankful because not all women are given a chance to have a baby. We may accept all these words but please, never ever say something to a pregnant woman these things because it will make them sad. And depression is common to preggies because of the hormones. Just please be sensitive enough, to all other human.

    Let’s get back. When you’re in your 7th month, it is the safest and most accurate time to have your baby’s gender checked. I actually took a 2D ultrasound in my 6th month that costs P280.00 but the doctor said it was just 70% accurate. There is still 30% chance that it may be the other way around and besides, we weren’t able to see clearly because it’s just 2D and black and white in color. So to be sure, we opt to look for a 3D/4D ultrasound. We stumbled upon Health Hub located in 4th floor of Robinsons Place Malolos (I will make a different post about our experience here and the baby’s gender soon). We availed their Package D consisting of the pelvic scan, CD with 15 still pictures of face and gender, 1 8r or 4 4r prints and an ultrasound report, costs P2200.00. It may be expensive but I quote what I said to Jek in our exchange of vows, “It is worth the wait, this is priceless.” When we finally entered the clinic, the attending OB is Dr. Angelita Teotico. She was nice and smiling although I am her 25th patient that day (or night). We were very excited to see the gender. When we finally saw the face, I wanted to cry but dismissed it immediately because it will ruin my makeup, LOL. The first thing a saw was that baby’s nose looks like mine (nooooooo!!!!) Lips also looks like mine. Cheeks are chubby so that’s mine also. ๐Ÿ˜ What is not expected is that baby looks like my father. I’m somehow sad because daddy was not able to see his 6th grandchild. ๐Ÿ˜ข Anyway, we’re still happy and get us more excited that we’re looking forward to finally see our baby in about 2 months.

    *Updated Oct.15, 2016 – I woke up with very tender and felt something tingling in my right breast. It was so painful. Even if I just touched it hurt so much. About afternoon, I was feeling unwell like I had a flu. I merely did nothing the whole day because it hurt when I moved. At night, I asked Jek to gave my breast a hot compress. It felt good but it didn’t ease the pain. I was worried I got Mastitis, commonly acquired by breastfeeding moms. When I hit google, it says it is normal to experience tenderness of the breast during the 3rd trimester. As far as I remembered, it was because the breast is getting ready for the milk production. When I woke up the next morning, the pain was lesser but it was still there. By the afternoon, it was all gone. 

    I know more struggles will come our way for the next 2 months until delivery. I will be updating this post once we get there.

    For those of you interested with the doctors I mentioned above or any facility, please message me or leave a comment. I would be glad to assist you. 

    How did your pregnancy went? Please share your stories with me. 

    Until my next post. See you soon. Thank you and have a great day ahead.

    Our Garden Wedding Preparations

    I vividly remembered the day Jek proposed to me. It was last November 10 of 2015. Exactly 10 years after he asked to court me way back highschool (we were in the same school since pre-school). ๐Ÿ˜Š He proposed right infront of my father’s grave. He knows very well how I wanted my father to be involved in all of the major moments in my life. I think it’s a really nice gesture and very gentleman of him. Daddy, I found the man who will take care of me as much as you cared for me. I know you’re happy up There. After the proposal, the first question that popped up to me is WHEN. I think that is one of the toughest decisions a couple would decide in to. As much as I wanted to pick our anniversary date as boyfriend-girlfriend, which is February 10, I dropped the thought immediately because 1. It lands on a Wednesday and 2. I thought it was too early for just 3 months of preparation. So I thought of the next nearest 10th of the month that will land on a weekend and that is in the month of April. OK, set! 5 months of preparation is good. But wait! There’s more… Something sudden happened. Jek’s uncle died and so Papa, my father-in-law, who’s working abroad, supposedly be going back in the Philippines in March, booked for an earlier flight which was January. To cut the long, complicated and stressful story short, the date we picked was March 5. I chose the earliest weekend possible. You’ll never know what’s going to happen in the future. So I made sure that nothing’s gonna stop my dream wedding from happening, haha!
    Please take note that we don’t have any wedding coordinators. We wanted a DIY wedding, it’s good for our budget and more exciting. The more the stress, the happier. LOL!

    @Pastry Chef after the proposal ๐Ÿ˜

    After we’ve picked the date, we immediately booked our officiating pastor which happens to be my uncle (my mom’s sibling). Then, the most crucial, frustrating, tiring but fun part of preparing was to choose the venue. As I’ve said in my previous post, as early as our 2nd year as bf-gf, I’m already planning my Dream Wedding. ๐Ÿ˜ I wanted a beach wedding. However, having a huge family, both sides, we can’t have a beach wedding because of the budget. How are we going to transport our family members of more or less 100 pax and accomodate them in a beach resort/hotel? Not to mention our friends, colleagues and others. So practically, we chose to have garden wedding instead. So pretty damn quick, I hit Google and looked for garden wedding venues in Bulacan. To save time and money, searching online would be the best option then just compare all the details you’ve gathered. But first, here are the things we considered in choosing a venue:

    • Number of attending guests
    • Availability of the venue
    • Rates, corkages if outside cateres and amenities you’ll be needing for the wedding
    • Accessibility of location
    • Parking space
    • Okay for fireworks display (if you’ll be needing it)
    • Access to drone / aerial photography (if you’ll be needing it)
    • Weather conditions
    • Fit our desired motif / theme
    • Enough space for the wedding ceremony
    • Near hotels and other accommodations

      Scouting for a venue. Photo taken @ Grass Garden Resort

      We’ve been scouting for garden venues that will fit all the criteria mentioned above. It wasn’t easy. We examined like 5 to 7 different venues and we ended up in booking Malolos Heights Clubhouse for 10,000php good for 24hrs usage of the venue. It was perfect for what I imagined. It has a heart-shaped pool, a covered pavilion (if ever rain pours) and an open space perfect for our wedding ceremony with nice dramatic aerial shots courtesy of the drone. Having more or less 250 guests, it was really spacious because it can accommodate up to 500 guests depending on the setup. Also, the parking space is really huge. It is also accessible for commuters, just 1 tricycle-ride from the national highway where jeepneys, buses and UV express can access.

      Next, we opt to look for a caterer. Again, Google is really helpful. Aside from the referrals from others. This would be easy if our budget is extravagant. Haha! But we have limited resources so this is really challenging. I looked into several caterers from Bulacan, about 6 or more, I think. Nothing appealing to me because my criteria again is high. Here are some that we considered:

      • Rates
      • Quality of food /food tasting
      • Date availability
      • Grant our desired motif / theme
      • Flexibility regarding menu and other requests
      • Dedication and responsiveness to our queries
      • Experience
      • All-in packages

      The caterer we chose is Al’rise Catering. They are less popular but when I stumbled upon their Facebook Group and saw their wedding setup, I fell in love to it right away. That particular photo of a black and red motif with a touch of elegance of a table setup really captured me. I was really excited and hit them a message without further ado. The owner, Sir Joey Villavicencio, asked me how much our budget will be and that he can arrange a package for me. Having tight resources, I told him that we only have 75,000php for the catering. He then gave me a package inclusive of food, drinks and desert for 250pax + VIP services for the pastor, parents, sponsors and abays, complete ceremony and reception area setup with our Rustic Rock N Roll Theme, cake and gift table arrangement, dove cage, wine bucket, stage setup for the couple, pair of dove, wine, 2-layer fondant cake, on-the-day wedding host, lights and sounds and fresh flowers for the setup. Wheeew! That really covered almost everything we need. But as we negotiate further, I ended up slashing off the cake from the list then replaced it to mobile bar for 3hrs unlimited and photobooth also for 3hrs unlimited and ended up with a contract of 80,000php. Great deal, huh? For me, this is really a relief to us because almost everything was covered including the emcee. Disclaimer: This may depend on the package and your negotiation with the caterer according to your preference and needs. If you’re interested with Al’rise Catering, you may visit their Facebook Page linked above or contact Sir Joey here, 09227838266 / 09154911863.

      Setup for the wedding ceremony area.

      Venue and caterer done, now let’s move on to gowns and suits. This is also important to prepare as early as possible especially if you want to customize your gown or make a new gown for you and all your abays. There are 2 popular places in the Philippines if you are looking for gowns, one is Divisoria and the other is Pandi, Bulacan. Of course we dropped by on both places. We’ve learned that most of the shops in Divisoria were sewn and came from Pandi. So we went back to Pandi specifically in Brgy. Bagong Bario to look for shops that can sew my own customized wedding gown, Jek and bestman’s coats, my mom’s gown and 12 gowns for the abays (1 maid of honor, 3 secondary sponsors, 3 bride’s maids, 2 junior bride’s maids, 3 flower girls)to be finished for a month. Again, it was not easy. We searched Pandi for one whole day to look for the cheapest but has good quality gowns. At around 4PM, I think, we found the humble shop of Ate Tressie in Poblacion, Pandi (I lost her contact number when I reformat my phone. You can just ask the locals where her shop is). Anyway, Ate Tressie is really accomodating and super nice. Plus, she offered me incredibly affordable rates for different gowns. What catches my attention is that she can make my dream gown for just 6,000php (compared to others who offered me 10,000php or more). Included also in my wedding gown package are the garter, white bag, veil, cord, pillows for bible and coin, coin or arras and the long veil). I forgot the individual prices for the gowns of adult gowns and kiddie gowns plus the 2 coats but more or less, we paid 16,000php. As Ate Tressie being nice, she also made me a free cocktail dress as a gift. Plus free rental of a half-body mannequin for the pictorial of my wedding gown. Just a tip, for us to save money and to fit for our budget, we asked our abays if they can pay for their gown. Fortunately, some of them agreed and so all of us were happy. LOL! This is now acceptable nowadays, you can offer half, full or free. It’s up to you and the generosity of your abays especially if they can keep the gowns after they use it in your wedding. For the male abays, we asked them to provide their own coats and black & white Converse Chuck Taylors. We just bought for them red neck tie for the adult and black bow tie and suspenders for the kids.

      I so love black and red. ๐Ÿ˜

      Another important things are the souvenirs and invitations. For the souvenirs, we came up with 2 kinds, 1 for the sponsors and the other for the guests. For the sponsors, we asked my mom’s friend, Tita Ellen, to bake a red velvet cake for us (perfect for our black and red theme) and a chocolate ganache cake. We have 20 sponsors in total. Cake is 300php each for I think 6 or 8 inches in diameter. I should say, they’re really mouthwatering! For the souvenirs to the other guests, we went to Tabora St., Divisoria. This is the most popular souvenir place in the Philippines. I’m looking for something that represents me and Jek. I opted for the Jack Daniel’s mini bottle but we just can’t afford it, haha. I think it costs 150 each. May I just say, drinking is our favorite thing and our bonding moments. That explains why I wanted that JD bottle. As we hunt for more, we found a shot glass which contains 3 bottles of wine in it. Perfect! Another alcoholic souvenir, haha! I forgot about the price but roughly 40-50php each. We just ordered 80pcs, I think. As for the invitations, we are genuinely blessed that my cousin, Ate Rizzel and her husband, Kuya Pau were into printing business. Before anything else, I’d like to thank my super friend, Aiko Lee, for the layout of our invitation. I wanted the invitation to look neat regardless of the motif black and red. Also, I wanted to add gig ticket-looking piece of insert to add on. We arrive finally to 4 parts of invitation (gig poster-style front page, list of entourage names, ticket-type invite and a logo consisting of our name initials to be pasted in front of the invitation). For guests not inluded in the entourage, we just provided them the ticket-type. This saved us a lot of money by not printing all the other 3 parts of the invitation. Now for the printing, as I’ve said how blessed we are, Ate Rizzel and Kuya Pau didn’t charge us even a single cent. After like 3 days of printing, we just bought special papers (1 embossed floral design and 1 black with like tiny silver particles) and arrange the as an envelope for the invitations. We also bought a red heart-design ribbon to enclose it. Again, it was a DIY invitation. Simple but I like it because it’s black and red, LOL.

      DIY invitation.

      Photo and video coverage, this is another major thing to be prepared for. Wedding is just once in a lifetime and not all couples are blessed to be given an opportunity to have one. Although it will last in our hearts forever, printed memories and documented clips are exceptional in remembering this as years pass by and will give our future chidren a chance to have a glimpse of our happiness then. Being so much blessed, this is another good deal for us. We are fortunate that a friend of ours, Tope (videographer) and Joshua (assistant and photographer) are working in Red Media Photography which is based in Quezon City. Having high quality equipments and exquisite service from all their staff, their rates are also high but I should tell you, they are worth every penny. We got their package of just video coverage inclusive of prenup photoshoot, save the date video, whole wedding coverage, same-day-edit of wedding highlights and full length coverage of the wedding highlights plus the use of their drone. If I’m not mistaken, this package costs 35,000php. But having friends with them, we got a really decent discount. For the photo coverage, of course we also have a friend who offers to cover of our wedding from the preparations in the hotel up to the very end of the event. Kuya Lito is so generous to offer this for free. I suggest if you are planning to get married, befriend a photographer/videographer now. It will hep you save a lot of cachings.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      The videographer and photographer.

      With Kuya Lito and Best man.

      What is a garden without flowers? Of course we needed more flowers for the bouquet and corsage of the entourage. As referred by Jek’s cousin, we contacted Royal Empress Flower and Delivery from Hagonoy. When we had a meeting, i discussed that our motif is black and red. It is really unusual for a wedding but they still did it. I loved my red roses bouquet.I forgot how much we paid but as far as I remembered, it was 6,000php for my bouquet, 10 bouquets for ninangs, 9 bouquets for adult abays, 3 baskets with flowers for the flower girls, 26 flowers for men (I forgot what it’s called), flower arrangement for our bridal car and for Jek’s motorcycle. Plus a wedding couple bear included in the flower arrangement of car and motorcycle. 

      I believe we’re done with all the major things that we need to be prepared for. For some minor details, here are the list we could cosider and not to forget:

      • List of ninangs/ninong and abays
      • List of guests
      • Hotel accommodation near the venue
      • Hair and Makeup artist
      • Jewelries/accessories/shoes/small bag
      • Spa/relaxation treatment before the big day
      • Manicure/Pedicure
      • Bridal car
      • Fireworks
      • Candles and matches
      • Bible
      • Wedding cake

      For the list of attendees, you should be very strict with it. If you have limited resources like us, you may cut-down to just important persons that you want to celebrate with. Hotel accommodation is also a thing to be thought of. This will be the place where you can prepare before and after the wedding. We stayed in Paradise Resort and Hotel from 8am until 2pm the next day. We just paid for less than 6,000php inclusive of free breakfast for 2 and free use of all the amenities and swimming pools of the resort. We inquired in other different hotels but they won’t allow the time that we requested. It’s either we stayed for just 24 hours or extend for few hours and pay for a whole day room rate. Paradise is the only hotel which granted or wish to just pay for a minimal additional fee. Hair and makeup is really important. Again, a friend from my elementary days, Kim, is a HMUA. She did very well and great with my transformation, haha! She offered us good rates with discount of course, including Jek’s, my mom’s, 2 sisters’ and 3 nieces’ hair and makeup as well. Jewelries and accessories were courtesy of my mom, so no problem with that. I only struggle in looking for a pair of shoes, leather boots to be exact. I wanted the Dr. Marten’s but can’t afford it. Haha. So again, I asked Mr. Google where to find the perfect boots and landed in Moderno Sense‘s Facebook Page. I found this mid-high leather black boots with studded straps for just 900php. I immediately inquired, paid and waiut for the arrival at home. Another blessing is that we have a ninang, Ninang Julie, who owns Pretty Preciosa Spa which accommodated and entitled us a free whole body massage, facial and foot spa. This is to erase all those stresses that you accumulated in the process of the preparation. Just a reminder, have your facial sessions scheduled at least a week before the big day. You don’t want to have a red, bulging face on the camera. For the Mani/pedi, you may opt to do this a day before the wedding. We didn’t have a problem with the bridal car because we just used Jek’s family’s newly bought Ford Ranger (yes, a pick-up truck). For as you know, Jek is originally from Bocaue and we both studied in a school in Bocaue, home of fireworks. So obviously we have a Bocaueรฑo friend, Jericho, who owns RN Navarro Fireworks located in Turo, Bocaue. Meaning, we have a free fireworks display as a gift. Our wedding cake was sponsored by my father-in-law. Yey! Thank God for we are really highly favored with friends.

      OOTD @ Paradise Hotel

      Makeup transformation with Kim, LOL.

      Fireworks.

      Cake.

      Mobile bar.

      Bridal car.

      Bridal bike? Haha

      They say, “A great marriage is not when a perfect couple come together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”

      No one’s perfect. So as to a couple. There are no perfect couple. But giving yourselves to God, submit to Him and let Him be in the center of you relationship, everything else will follow near to perfection. It is true that the preparation for the wedding is really tough and frustrating but as I’ve said, keep your eyes on the prize, it will be all worth every tiring day and stressed mind. Just enjoy the journey.

      2nd entrance with the abays.

      Special guest, Mr. Phillip Salvador.

      See that cutie bear? His partner is in the bridal car.

      I love this bouquet…

      I hoped you learned something with my very brief narration of our preparation. If you think I forgot to mention a detail, please do comment down below. Also, if you are interested to get the contact details of our suppliers mentioned above, don’t hesitate to ask me. Should you have any stories related or want to share your’s, feel free to do so.

      This goes to all the ladies for your clueless minds on wedding preparations. I, myself, also experienced being clueless regarding this matter. Of course, we can only get married once here in the Philippines.

      I’ll end this blog for now. Have a great day ๐Ÿ˜†.