Got married to the Doctor! Part 3: the church, food, cake, and flowers

Previously, in The Islander Girl…
Adrian and I got married! Our wedding was Doctor Who-themed! Our prenup video had us escaping from Darth Vader, a stormtrooper, and a Cyberman, and traveling through space and time! The groom dressed as the Tenth Doctor! I had a headpiece made of stars! And now, the venues, food, and flowers…
The church:
Wedding venue was Nuestra Senora de Gracia Parish in Guadalupe Viejo, Makati AKA the site of almost every telenovela wedding ever. Despite its stately facade, NSDG is actually smaller on the inside. Seating capacity is around 200-230 people (5 people/pew X 2 pews/row X 20 rows) with a relatively short aisle: save the long train for a different church.

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Our reception was in the garden of the Monasterio de Guadalupe next door. The garden is in the middle of the monastery and with some planning, was able to accommodate 2 long tables, 21 round tables, 2 buffet setups, the couple setup, the band stage, the projector screen, and the TARDIS.
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The monastery let us use their airconditioned library (where I got my makeup touched up and stored the wedding cake) and their non-airconditioned recreation room (became the storage area for our suppliers). The monastery has toilets on the first floor for visitors but since their staff don’t maintain those during events, my ninang (who operates a restaurant maintenance company) hired two staffers to keep the toilets clean and restock toilet paper throughout the reception.
Weekend weddings are scheduled for 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm, while the garden can host one event per day.

Continue reading “Got married to the Doctor! Part 3: the church, food, cake, and flowers”

Got married to the Doctor! Part 2: the wedding garb

Previously, on The Islander Girl…

Adrian and I got married! Our wedding was Doctor Who-themed! Our prenup video had us escaping from Darth Vader, a stormtrooper, and a Cyberman, and traveling through space and time! And now, for the wedding preparations…

Our wedding clothes were inspired by a few key Doctor Who looks.
Adrian’s suit was the easiest part: of course he wanted the Tenth Doctor’s suit 😛 He already had the brown suit made but he wanted the blue pinstripe suit for a more formal look. We couldn’t find the exact navy blue with red pinstripes so we got navy blue with light blue pinstripes instead (thanks Divisoria!). Not exactly accurate but close enough. Shoutout to Mang Mando (Kamuning Market) for making the time to make Adrian’s suit! Apparently, Adrian had recommended Mang Mando to everyone who asked about his brown suit and Mang Mando got so many orders to the point that he almost didn’t have the time to make Adrian’s blue suit.

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My wedding dress was a custom dress by Ann Cuatico-Mansueto. The first design that Ann and I talked about was based on the Constance Reformation dress but with an additional French lace overlay. I’d initially wanted just the Constance dress but my mom insisted that it was “too plain” and needed lace. Oh well. Unfortunately, no matter what Ann did with the cut, I still ended up looking bigger than I actually am. I guess the flowy dress look isn’t for everyone. The added lace also prevented the dress from being swishy so it just became bulky.

The second dress design was the result of a mishap with the lace. The French lace for my gown was a wedding gift from an uncle who works for a lace factory in New York (thank you Tito Junjun!). My uncle gifted me with three yards of gorgeous uncorded white lace in June 2015. However, because of the first dress’ flowy design, the narrow width of the lace, and the scalloping at the ends of the lace cut, three yards wasn’t enough. My uncle then brought an additional four yards when he visited the Philippines for Christmas 2015. However, the lace he got was one yard of uncorded white lace and three yards of corded ivory lace. Ann and I toyed with the idea of alternating the white and ivory lace to make them fit but decided on making an entirely new dress using just the three yards of ivory lace. Because of the limited lace, the second dress was cut closer to my body and had a semi-mermaid skirt instead of a full skirt. The lace mishap turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the second dress turned out so much better than the first one. It was gorgeous and it matched my body type. I’m so happy with it <3 Ann’s team saved one scalloped edge to use as an accent to cover the join at the waist and to use as tiny sleeves. They also added some minor beading to the dress and salvaged additional lace for the train.

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01b wedding dress

LOOK AT IT!!! IT’S SO PRETTY!!! <3

My headpiece was custom-made by Steph Lopez of Flow Jewelry and Crafts. I asked for a headpiece with stars and touches of blue for a traveling-through-space-and-time feel. Steph used silver, pink, and gold metal stars in two sizes, blue and clear glass beads, and wire to make it. Steph sent me photos first before delivering so that I could comment and make changes if necessary. She didn’t need to change a thing. It was perfect.

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My makeup was by Chichi Sotomil and hair by Rommel Escobido . Truthfully, I know next to nothing about makeup (the only thing I’m sure of is that I need to use VMV Hypoallergenics because I’m allergic to a lot of stuff). This is why I ran all of the makeup artists’ portfolios past Anna 😛 Anna initially recommended Mayone Bakunawa because she liked what Mayone did for her friend’s wedding about two years ago. Mayone wasn’t available but she did give me a list of makeup artists that she would vouch for. Chichi was included in the list. After much discussion with Anna and moving stuff around in the budget, I decided to book Chichi even though her fee was way more than what I had planned to spend for HMU because I wanted to be absolutely sure that I’d look drop-dead gorgeous on our wedding day. Looking at our wedding pictures, I think it was money well spent.

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I requested for the dark red lipstick (“Studded Kiss” by MAC is love) because I wanted to look classic. For the record, I didn’t wear a veil during the ceremony because I wanted my face to be seen clearly in all the photos 😛 Chichi’s airbrush makeup withstood a non-airconditioned church and a garden reception in March. You can’t get any better than that.

I’d planned to have the test makeup done on the day of the prenup shoot but Chichi couldn’t do it because she’d just had her baby (the prenup shoot was in December) and couldn’t travel to Pasig from Las Pinas. In the end, I decided to trust Chichi’s skill and not have a test makeup session anymore. Plus money. Haha.

I bought my wedding shoes from Hush Puppies. Yes, Hush Puppies! I have flat feet so it was a pleasant surprise to find out that Hush Puppies has a formal wear line. Unfortunately, the local stores don’t carry it so I had to order the shoes from Amazon and a friend of my mom’s who lives in California brought them to Manila. The color is called “bone” and the shoes matched my ivory gown.

wedding shoes

More blog posts to follow! Food! Photo and video! Lots of Doctor Who goodness in everything!

How DC Comics got me to run

DC Comics got me to run my first race. Not personal health and fitness, not Adrian, not my friends. It took DC Comics, a Wonder Woman race singlet, and a finisher’s medal with “Justice League” on it to get me to run.

Back story: DC Comics is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year and the company is pulling out all the stops for the celebration. In the Philippines, one of the events was the World of DC Comics All-Star Fun Run. Race distances were 3 kilometers, 5 kilometers, and 10 kilometers. Now, running is NOT my idea of fun but this run came with special incentives: an official DC Comics singlet, a character accessory, a slingbag, and a finisher’s medal embossed with the “Justice League” design.

World-Of-DC-All-Star-Fun-Run-Poster

Look at the shiny!

World-Of-DC-All-Star-Fun-Run-Medal

Continue reading “How DC Comics got me to run”

Stereodeal launches their first album “Singularity”!

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Last Saturday marked a major milestone in Stereodeal‘s history as they launched their first album Singularity. The album has been almost 6 years in the making, which included several lineup changes and founder Adrian Arcega almost quitting altogether. But the band persevered and the result is definitely something worthy of being added to your music library.

@stereodeal #Singularity album launch is about to start! Aw yess! Contrats guys! 😀 <3

A photo posted by Macy (@theislandergirl) on

 

The launch happened at Route 196, a cozy (is that a flattering adjective for a bar?) and rocking little bar along Katipunan. Stereodeal received great support with The Purplechickens, Oktaves, and Peso Movement paving the way. I confess that I didn’t get to watch them play as I was busy manning the merchandise booth.

@stereodeal #Singularity merchandise table! #swag #album #shirt <3

A photo posted by Macy (@theislandergirl) on

Look at all the pretty albums and shirts! Adrian did such a fantastic job with the album cover – which became the shirt design too – that I can say, without any bias, that I’d wear the shirt even without knowing the band. Haha. Adrian Arcega (vocals, lead guitar), Dax Gonzaga (bass), Dax Balmeo (rhythm guitar, synthesizers), and Marie de Guzman (drums) make such beautiful music together. I love them.

– Sori Marie, hindi ka pala nakasama dun sa pic. 🙁 #Stereodeal A photo posted by Japo Anareta (@japoanareta) on

Marie isn’t pictured but don’t fret. She just avoided the “Japo Curse”. Legend has it that whenever Japo takes Stereodeal’s official band photo, the drummer in the photo quits 😛 Side story: Marie was sessioning for Stereodeal after previous drummer Chris Cantada had to quit for health reasons. Adrian, Dax, and Dax proposed to Marie on bended knee with the question “Will you be our permanent drummer?”. Marie says this was the first time any guy kneeled for her 😛

Stereodeal played all the songs off their album, starting with the sensual Hush and their first single Relentless, capping it off with a one-two punch courtesy of the epic stylings of Hypertime and the fierce kick-in-the-gut that is Grundy. In between were The Spin, August, New Jersey, and 01000011 (also known as Binary). Judging by the jumping and the cheering, I’m pretty sure those who came to the launch had an excellent time 🙂


If you weren’t able to attend the Singularity launch and get your CD there, don’t fret! Stereodeal’s playing at Saguijo on January 28 and they’ll be bringing copies of Singularity and shirts. You can also buy the CD and shirt online via their official website. For digital purchases, you can get them via Bandcamp and Amazon (iTunes and Spotify streaming are in the works).

2013 in photos

With certain notable exceptions, 2013 was a personal banner year. I’m not sure how 2014 will top it, but hopefully it will *graduation!!!*

February: I got to meet Costas Christ when he visited El Nido Resorts as a judge for the World Travel & Tourism Council’s 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. It was an honor to be able to pick his brain about sustainable tourism.
02 Feb Costas Christ

March: Bloc Party in Manila! HOMG Bloc Party in Manila!!! I’d dreamed of this moment since I got hooked by Weekend in the City. To see and hear them in the flesh… WOW.
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Continue reading “2013 in photos”

I’m shortlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards!

The title says it all: I’ve been shortlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards for the category Best Photography for Responsible Tourism! The organizers officially emailed me about it last September 18 – I read the email at 1am as the 17th was my birthday – but the official press release came just a few days ago.

shortlist

*deep breath*
AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As someone who’s been working in the responsible tourism industry for the past six years, this is definitely one of the Top 10 Most Exciting Things to Ever Happen to Me. It’s not #1 – I’m reserving that spot for when I get my master’s diploma – but it’s pretty damn close. I don’t even have to win (but of course it’ll be awesome if I did!) as being shortlisted is already an honor.

This is the photo that was shortlisted:

beach cleanup Macy Anonuevo

This photo was taken last April 22, 2013 during the Earth Day beach cleanup in Dilumacad Island, El Nido, Palawan. The guy on the left is Zandy, while Kuya Jovenly is the one on the right. They’re Marine Sports Guides of El Nido Resorts and they, along with other resort staff, volunteered to clean up El Nido’s beaches during their off-duty hours. That’s some serious love right there. The bags contain trash that was either left on the beach by irresponsible tourists or that washed ashore.

I was invited to attend the awards ceremony to be held during the World Travel Mart on November 6 in London but alas, I won’t be able to go as I’ll have to pay my own way (or as Filipinos like to call it, KKB or “kanya-kanyang bayad”). Ah well. They’ll be live streaming the event so at least I can still watch. Wish me luck!

Macy’s guide to surviving Star Wars Weekends

So I’m home from a 15-day trip across the United States (and Canada!) split almost evenly between the two coasts: a few days in Seattle, a week-long cruise in Alaska, then another six days in Orlando. The Orlando leg of the trip was the most tiring by far, partly because it was the last leg but mostly because of all the walking we did in the theme parks. The most tiring theme park? Disney Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends. Woke up at 4:30am, left our hotel at 5:30, fell in line at 5:45 for the celebrity FastPass autograph distribution , entered the park at 7:30, started the day at the merchandise tent at 8am, then finally left DHS at 9:15pm. WOW. For the record, I had a GLORIOUS time and would definitely do it again. However, having a great time at Star Wars Weekends requires some planning and a whole lot of refreshments. Here are my tips to maximize your stay:

1. Get there early. How early depends on what you want to do. If you’re after a FastPass ticket to get an autograph from the visiting celebrities, get there by 6am. I arrived at 5:45am and this is the line I encountered:
line at celebrity fastpass distribution
Even if you’re not interested in getting an autograph, arriving early also means that you get to be the first ones on the major rides and cut the waiting time. DHS opens at 8am during SWW (usual opening time is 9am) so arriving at 7:30 should be fine. Once you’re in, I recommend doing all the major attractions first: the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, the Tower of Terror, The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, and Star Tours. We were able to ride Star Tours two times in a row with only 15-20 minutes waiting time in between. There was also practically no waiting time for the Aerosmith ride but my friend wasn’t up for it so I let it go. When we got to The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at 2pm, the waiting time was listed at 45 minutes but ended up being longer. We had to leave the line to make it in time for our 3:20pm slot for the autograph signing with Sam Witwer.

See the Star Tours line at 10am. Not bad, eh?

2. If you want an autograph from the visiting celebrities, arrive at the park before 6am to guarantee a FastPass for the signing. They distribute a limited number of FastPasses per day (wasn’t able to get the exact number). If you get there later, say around 7am, you’re most likely to get a standby ticket. “Standby” means that you aren’t guaranteed an autograph but have a good chance of getting one depending on how fast the guaranteed line is progressing and if the celebrity is up for it. Just a reminder: each person is allowed only ONE FastPass autograph ticket. Basically, choose the celebrity you would most like to meet. No substitutions will also be allowed. The FastPass also comes with a wristband and you need both at the autograph signing. If you want your kid to be able to meet the celebrities, they better be there in line with you too. The way other folks got more autographs is that they had other family members line up for the other celebrities and just give them the photos to be signed. I saw a guy and his autographed photo collection lined up for Sam Witwer, his dad for Tim Rose, and his mom for Warwick Davis.

What you get for waking up at 4:30am: Please note the mistake they made regarding the character that Sam Witwer voiced in TCW *facepalm*

3. Go on a Friday. It’s (relatively) the least busy of the three days.
4. Prioritize. Accept that you will not be able to do all the SWW events AND all of the regular DHS attractions in one day. Once you get the schedules of the SWW activities and the regular DHS attractions, set up your schedule for the day.
Our schedule:
  • Darth Mall
  • Star Tours (twice!)
  • 11:00 am – the “Legends of the Force” celebrity parade
  • 12:00 pm – “Behind the Force: Star Wars Voices” (Ashley Eckstein, Sam Witwer, and James Arnold Taylor)
  • lunch
  • 1:45 pm – Indiana Jones stunt show
  • fell in line at the Captain Jack Sparrow ride but had to leave because the line was too long
  • 3:20 pm – autograph signing with Sam Witwer (!!!)
  • missed the 3:30pm “Stars of the Saga” show with James Arnold Taylor because the autograph signing ran late so we arrived at the theater at 3:45 pm
  • 5:00 pm – “An Ewok’s Tale – My Short Story” (Warwick Davis)
  • 6:30 pm – “Obi-Wan and Beyond” (James Arnold Taylor)
  • 8:00 pm – Hyperspace Hoopla
Please note that the only regular DHS things we were able to do were the Indiana Jones stunt show and Star Tours. No photographs with the costumed characters too, though I purposely skipped this because hey, my friends and I regular dress up as Star Wars characters anyway 😛 If you want to have photos taken with all of the characters, be prepared to cull even more events from your schedule and/or to get show seats that are in the back of the theater.
5. The one-stop shop for event merchandise is the “Darth Mall” tent. However, if all you’re after are small items like event shirts, mugs, glasses, pins, and the like, there’s really no need for you to brave the crowds at the Mall since these items are scattered in the other gift shops around the park. Going to Darth Mall is only worth it if you’re going to buy a lot of toys, collectibles, and artwork (and Ashley Eckstein’s Her Universe line) since you’ll find them all in one place. If you’re going to Darth Mall, get there early as well to avoid the lines.
6. Be patient! And either bring a friend who loves Star Wars just as much as you do or someone who likes you enough to willingly subject themselves to the immense crows and long lines.
7. Drink lots of water. Seriously. It was freaking hot.
8. Bring something to read or a friend. Waiting in line may get boring. Another option is chatting with the other people in line.
9. No whining.
10. Have fun!
And those are my tips for a kick-ass time at Star Wars Weekends. My feet ached and I had no money left but hey, IT WAS WORTH IT. It was an experience I’ll never forget and something I look forward to doing again in the future. May the Force be with you! 😀