Friday, May 18, 2012

Love begets love

I feel the love. The universe is on a roll sending me good vibes and that amazing outpouring of support from family and friends. And the world has truly become a global village. 
I am so overwhelmed. Right now, I feel like I am the luckiest girl in the world. *silent scream* 

It started with the formal announcement on my save the date.  
a save the date cum buy your ticket now e-card to all our friends.
In a matter of hours, most of our friends have already booked their flights and reserved their hotel accommodation. I feel so blessed. 

Everyone is just so excited to be one with us in this celebration. My initial thoughts that no one would probably attend, save for a few, were thwarted when I get confirmations as early as Day 1 that they're coming. It's one event that hardly needs an RSVP. 

As a young girl, I fantasized about a fairytale wedding in a forest-like setting. It would have been a total production. Now that am older though, I realized that what I really, really want is an intimate gathering of family and friends. 

Am keeping everything, sleek and simple. Befitting to a laid-back destination, I must say. I no longer want the frou-frou of celebrations like this. We dream to celebrate in muted style, understated elegance, if we can achieve it. 

The moment we declared to the world that we're indeed, getting married, the idea became real. We needed already to sit down on the planning and logistics. 

We spoke to friends who shall have a special participation on the big day. And that's when we get surprised, time and time again. 

I flew in to Cebu for work. And took a side trip (an extra weekend stay in the city) to meet with friends and share with them the news. I was looking for an officiant, and my friend re-introduced me to one. I had a chat with him and he agreed to fly to Davao. Incredible. 

The same friend will gift me with calla lilies to be flown in all the way from Baguio. And her daughter's singing, too. 
Photo credit: Pinterest

Suddenly, am all set. Nearly. The night I was to leave back to Manila, another friend met me for a night cap. She's ecstatic for me. We've friends for long that we've been through a lot of relationship conversations. And then she asked, "what can I pledge for you?" Just told her, show up, that's all. But she insisted so I promised I will think about it. 

And then, I met with my maid-of-honor, her hubby and smart kid. We had a great mongolian lunch. After a lengthy catch up, we firmed down the details. And then, she offered Cebu lechon as her present. Am I lucky or what? 

On one hand, when I flew to Davao for another business trip. I received more goodie good news. My Godparent (mom of MOH) will give me another lechon. Sigh. Am drowning in so much blessing. 

I've never been so overwhelmed in my whole life. But things keep getting better. Another good friend gave an early present. An extravagant amount for my wedding shoes. Am dreaming of a fabulous pairs of Jimmy Choo and Christian Loubotin. A girl can dream, right? So the money she gave is still in my purse, as I search for the next best thing -- a Choo and Loubi may just be a dream yet. 

All those happened last April. 

Fast forward to this month (May). 

Another surprise unfolded in the wee hours of the Thursday (May 17) morning while I valiantly tried to sleep the remaining few hours before I catch a flight back to Cebu. I was tossing around the comfortable bed of Marco Polo Davao when I just sort of give up on shut eye. Instead, I browsed through my facebook page. Thanks to free wifi!

My good friend (one of my bridesmaids, supposedly but her vacay is in December yet) who's from Canada sent me private message. She's wondering if my cake is already pledged for. If not, she will. I told her, a friend has made it her present for us. 

This morning, she sent me another message. She's sending me $$$ so I can just buy the shoes that I want. Oh my. *fans self* 

When it rains, it really pours. Another girlfriend is generously lending her ceremony stuff such as the bible, ring pillow, arrhae, fascinator (hahaha not) veil and cord. She had a beautiful wedding last March. Aw. Very pretty bride, too. 

They say a traditional wedding must-haves are: something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

I think I already have them all. I have a bit of something from family and friends. We haven't tied the knot yet. The ceremony is yet to happen. But am already bursting with happiness and love. 

All of my friends have actually pledged. Some are specific for my wedding day. The rest are gifting us with their time and presence. 

See you all on the big day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Down South

I feel nostalgic whenever I am back home. Or to be more apt in the city, I claim as mine. Truthfully, though I was never a city girl. I grew up in the most laid-back province, right in the heart of a banana plantation. Nothing could be as provincial as the life we lived in our hometown. 

But I studied in the city. So, I have grown an affinity to this southern belle. Back in the old days, we only had jeepneys and minicabs plying the wide roads. Now that progress has crept in, the roads seem narrower. And there are air-conditioned taxicabs roaming the city, nowadays. A far cry from the old days.

We used to hangout in Victoria Plaza. It was then the coolest place to meet. There was no mobile phone then, so we'd meet across McDonald's inside this mall. We'd wait for hours and hours when one of our friends decide to be very (un-)fashionably late. Today, the mall has become home of bargain items from China. It has lost its glamour. But the memory still lingers.

Friday nights are gimmick nights. We'd all converge at Zed Pizza to enjoy acoustic music, popcorn and the best tasting iced tea, ever. I don't know if it's still true these days. Our taste buds must have become more sophisticated. But this local pizza joint is still standing, after so many decades. It must have retained its magic to cash-strapped college students and young professionals who want a good time that doesn't a burn a hole in the pocket.

It's been over a decade that I have not claimed a residency status in Davao. But every so often, I get to visit my city. Aside from the usual Christmas Holidays, work takes me back here on business trips, frequently. 

So, I count myself lucky that I get to see the city's progress. I feel giddy when I see a new building rising in the very sparse horizon of the city. It's because I know that it means more job opportunities for my kababayans. 

And as much as possible, I shop when am here. It helps (hopefully) turn the wheels of the economy. I dine local, I buy local. 

Am a big coffee drinker. For a long time, I'd go out of my way to go to a local coffee joint. I'd drink durian coffee even if what I'd really love to enjoy is a cup of espresso. 

Things changed though when Abreeza, an Ayala Mall opened its doors to the Davao locals. It brought with it Manila-based shops and restaurants. And other international franchises. 

Inasmuch as I'd want a Blue Gre experience, I need my Starbucks fix. I think this is one of those few "vices" I have that's almost a non-negotiable. I go out of my way to sip my cuppa here and read a few chapters as I while away the time. Or just like tonight, write a blog while having a lovely chat with a friend. 

Times have changed. And it's a nice thing going. One thing that's welcome though is a respite from the noise of Manila. Because no matter how developments have sprouted in its landscape, the city will always retain it's laid-back vibe. 



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Biggest Loser

It's all about winning. No one wants to be labeled as a loser. In everything that we do, our buy in, always, is what's in it for me. 

But there's one thing that everyone wants to vie for that centers on losing. In fact, being the biggest loser gives one an all-time high. In the battle of the bulge, that is. 

When January rolled by, some colleagues thought that it would be a nice idea to lose all the pounds we've piled on during the holidays. However, we only got started sometime the following month. I guess, we were still holding on to the extra poundage. Ha ha ha. 

Two months into the challenge came the moment of truth. What started as a quest for vanity, looking good, feeling good or just bagging the pot money turned into a success story. 

One of our challengers lost a total of 13lbs. The contest paved a way for a serious change in lifestyle. To him, weeknights are spent an allotted one hour (minimum) to run around the Ayala Triangle. Dinner has become carb-less. A Filipino diet basically consists a generous serving of rice. And it goes in every meal. Sometimes, even as snacks. 

One can only imagine how hard it is to give up. But he did stay on the course of his resolve. Come final weigh in, he was declared as the biggest loser! He won the pot money and got back his health. Since he embarked on his active lifestyle, he noticed that his blood pressure has neutralized. It has been over two months already that he has completely stopped taking his maintenance medication for hypertension. 
Meet Rey. He just won the bragging rights as The Biggest Loser.
Now, this is the kind of losing I won't mind. And his story has become a springboard for all the participants to really kick start with their programs. 

What about you? What's your lose weight story? Please share.