Archive for December, 2008

My Cousin’s Wedding

December 20, 2008

I’ve been waiting for this wedding since I learned about their engagement last summer.  Dondon is one of my cousins on my father’s side for whom I have great affection.  I am not as close to them as I am to my cousins on my mother’s side, but the now almost-yearly vacations in Capiz is slowly changing that.  Dondon is the one closest to my age, being only a year younger than me.  Because of that, I was “foisted” on him whenever we would visit the province when we were younger.  He barely knew me then, but he gladly showed me around and brought me along to some of his summer activities.  I found him to be very nice…and sorta funny, haha!  We’ve gotten along very well since that first summer.

Anyway, on to the wedding… It wasn’t a big, grand wedding, but it was beautiful and filled with love.  It was the story of two longtime friends who fell in love and didn’t waste any more time in deciding to spend the rest of their lives together.  Many of their friends were actually surprised that they eventually ended up together.

The funniest and most heartwarming moments happened at the reception.  Don was asked to do a sexy dance prior to removing the garter.  Well, uhm, hmm….let’s just say that I have it on video and he better be nice to me always! Haha! 😉  On the other hand, I liked their thank-you speeches, especially when his new wife, Meann, thanked our side of the family for warmly welcoming her.  She said it with such sincerity, warmth and affection.  I liked her immediately when I met her, so it’s no chore to be nice to her.

The “not-so-nice” part of the wedding?  My relatives teasing me that the next wedding in the family should be mine.  After all, if we go by age, I should have been married ahead of Don.  Haha, we’ll see… 😀

Cheers to Don and Meann, and may the kids come as soon as you wished! 😉





Itchy Feet Again

Off to Guimaras in March!  Yey!  I’m happy to be quickly crossing off items on my Philippine travel list, especially places in Visayas.  Hmm…I think I’m sadly neglecting places in Luzon (especially the North) and Mindanao though.  That should be next on the agenda.  This coming Guimaras trip was a spur-of-the-moment thing brought about by…you guessed it, Cebu Pacific’s Zero-Peso seat sale.

The main item on our travel list this year is Cambodia (and possibly Vietnam) or any other foreign country, but that’s scheduled for the last quarter of the year.  So until then, we’re off around good ol’ Pinas.

Merry Christmas!

Whatever kind of year you had, may you find light, joy, and hope today and on the days ahead.  🙂

Bellini’s Marikina

Something’s making me (and my tummy) very happy! 😀 Bellini’s, that authentic Italian restaurant at the Marikina Shoe Expo in Cubao is now actually, truly in Marikina.  And it’s just literally around the corner from our house.  Bellini’s Marikina branch opened just last week.  Finally, a good pasta and pizza restaurant VERY NEAR where I live.

It’s funny how my dad and I got to try it out.  We had already planned to eat there one of these days, but the day – er, the night – came sooner than expected.  We got locked out last Monday when our maid attended the 9pm Simbang Gabi, leaving shortly before we arrived home.  My dad just came back from the 8pm Mass and I just arrived from work.  We both didn’t have our keys with us.  Since I badly needed a bathroom and was very hungry as well, we proceeded to the nearest restaurant, which was Bellini’s.

We ordered Pesto and Penne Arrabiata.  Both were good, but the Pesto was just a tad too salty.  The Marikina branch is managed by the son of the owner.  He is a nice Italian gent, with a very personal approach.  He makes it a point to talk to the diners, help out with unfamiliar menu items, and ask for feedback.  The rest of the staff are also friendly and competent.  The prices of the pasta dishes are in the P220-P350 range, pretty much the average for Italian restos here in Metro Manila.

I can’t wait to try out their pizzas and other dishes next time.  I’m so glad to have quick access to my favorite Margherita pizza. 😀

Bellini’s Marikina is at J.P. Rizal St., near the market, Krung Thai and Johnny’s Fried Chicken.  Telephone number is 646-5412.

Just a bit of blogging before I zonk out for the rest of the afternoon.  I really need that sleep if I want to make it to Noche Buena awake.  Anna and I did some Christmas bonding last night that lasted until a breakfast of Puto Bumbong after the Simbang Gabi early this morning.

She called me up last night and asked if I wanted to go with her to the Marikina River Park tiangge after she closes her shop.  She wanted to look for simple giveaways (in lieu of cash) for kids who knock on their door on Christmas Day.  With nothing else to do, I readily said yes.  I had planned to attend the dawn Mass, so I invited her to go with me as well.

There was a MULTITUDE of people at the River Park.  You wouldn’t think that the economy is in bad shape.  Traffic was still heavy at around 1.30 am, when we went back to my house.  Since we would be walking to the church by 3.45 am, we decided not to sleep anymore.  We just watched TV and chatted, until I couldn’t take it anymore and I fell asleep for about an hour.

Anna went home at around 6.30, and I promptly went to sleep.  Woke up again at around 8.30 to do some banking errands – which turned to be quite frustrating.  BDO, how can you go offline at the opening of banking day?!  Anyway, though I’m still fuzzy-headed, I enjoyed the time spent with Anna.


The Long Christmas Break

Exactly one week to go and I’m off work for the rest of the year!  I’m using my remaining leaves, so it means that I won’t be back at work until January 5.  Well, technically that’s only 3 days worth of leaves because of the declared holidays for this season.

I was originally excited about this extra-long break because of my big plan – stay in and do everything I’ve been putting off the entire year: mundane and nerdy stuff such as fixing the bookshelves, cleaning out the closet, catching up on my reading and writing, finally whipping my travel blog into decent shape, starting that blog with Anna and Minmin, and finishing the clean-up and upgrade of my Mac.  I’m actually relishing the idea of not venturing outside except for some reunions.

Now, I think I’m really gonna need this long break to replenish and rejuvenate for the coming year.  I’ve had the rug pulled out from under my feet at work this morning – but I mean that in a good and challenging way.  I think I’m in for a very interesting year ahead.  I’m getting the career challenge that I’m looking for.  I’m getting further away from being solely a Copywriter and moving deeper into the PR & Marketing realm, but I’m loving it at the moment.  This should have been my natural progression after I left the graphic design agency a few years ago, instead of taking that odd detour.  Anyway, I’m back on track.  I’m also happy about the fact that my long break begins with my cousin Dondon’s wedding – something I seriously doubted we would ever witness, haha! (Sorry, Don 😀 ) 😉

Not a bad deal

From the CNN website:  “Over the past 50 years, Shakespeare & Company has provided both inspiration and accommodation for more than 30,000 writers. In exchange for a night’s rest on one of six beds crammed between the towering shelves, they must work in the book shop and read one book a day. “

This bookstore is just across Notre Dame in Paris.  Why did I not see it when I was there?  Oh, right, because it was already dark by the time I reached the Cathedral since I got lost for about 30 minutes, hehe.  I was hurrying to get inside before it closed, so I pretty much did not notice anything else around.

Starbucks Molten Chocolate Cake

This is my favorite dessert at the moment.  My officemate – and fellow Heroes addict – Josh recommended it to me.  It is a gooey chocolate confection, but without the excessive sweetness.  The whipped cream on top seems to add to its sinfulness, but it actually perfectly complements the chocolate.  The whipped cream that Starbucks used is not too sweet and heavy.  It almost tastes like fresh milk.  I was so excited to eat the cake that I forgot to take a picture for this blog.

Make sure to eat it at the coffeeshop or within 5 to 10 minutes of purchase.  The cake is warmed, and then the whipped cream is added on top, so…you get the picture.

I normally try to keep this blog separate from work stuff, but I make exceptions every now and then, such as today.  We’ve been working with Smart the last month and a half, and the promo already launched this week.  The promo was conceptualized by Smart, in cooperation with the radio stations, and powered by our Mobilemo mobile site platform.

Get a chance to win a Nokia 6120 in a daily raffle.  Register at to create your own mobile site, then visit the Mobilemo mobile sites of Wave 89.1 ( and Magic 89.9 ( using your WAP-enabled mobile phone.  Click on the Win Nokia 6120 link and answer the question correctly.  Fill in the other required fields to qualify for the raffle.  Tune in to Wave and Magic for the complete mechanics and for the programs where the promo will run.

* This promo is exclusive to Smart subscribers in the Philippines.  Winners will be asked to present the Smart SIM they used to join the contest for verification purposes.

…to make the snow look better.