The South Reclamation Project Engagement Shoot

21 Sep

Here are 15 shots from the second part of our Engagement Shoot.  I decided not to slack off and post them a few days before going back to Manila. Currently in CDO right now for one of my best friend’s wedding—I’ll be raving about her wedding soon on this blog.


Location: SRP

Photographer: Mark Cantalejo

Hair and Makeup: Ramil Solis
















I could have easily put “SRP Engagement Shoot” as a title for this post but for some reason when I kept repeating it to myself, it sounded so tacky. “South Reclamation Project” sounded more legit…more regal. When Mark Cantalejo suggested this place as our venue for the second shoot I was down for it, I was down for anything and I trusted him completely but I found myself thinking,”Wait, where’s this again?”. You see, this road is like our go-to highway…To me and my family, SRP is really just the quickest way to get to Cebu City proper if you’re someone like us, from Talisay (South of Cebu). Mark described the place where he wanted to shoot and I easily knew which structure he was talking about. I’ve passed by it so many times and never knew what it was until he brought it up, apparently this area was government property and on it was a government building where by the way, we asked for our permit to shoot. The process was simple and hassle-free, a few days before the shoot I simply went into the building, told them what I wanted to do and they just had me fill up 2 slips, they signed it and handed one back to me. Easy.

Once again, we were not ready for this shoot, if you’ve noticed we only changed our outfits once and mind you, one of those two outfits was what I was wearing as I was running errands for that day. It wasn’t so hot as we expected it would be but Marco was sweating anyway. I really was impressed with how the photos turned out, it didn’t show the sweatiness and ickiness and the bug bites and the itchiness of it all. We could have fooled ourselves looking so relaxed, so calm and serene in those photos. And Mark, you really are the real thing! You just made a slob of a place look like paradise, you truly see the beauty beyond what is there. I’m telling you, if y’all visited the place, you’d be like ” Woah, they had the shoot here?” Shout out to Mami Ramil and company for making me beautiful that day and for the sweat proof makeup. Haha. Kudos to you and Mark Cantalejo!


50’s Cafe Engagement Shoot

17 Sep

Here are 15 shots from the first part of our Engagement Shoot. Enjoy! I’ll be finishing up on the next batch of photos next week.


Location: Fifties Cafe at Crown Regency Towers

Photographer: Mark Cantalejo

Hair and Makeup: Ramil Solis

















Not prepared—that was the last thing I wanted to be for the Engagement shoot but what do you know, we were NOT prepared at all. The first time we met with Marky at Starbucks Ayala Center-Cebu, Marco and I were unsure of what we wanted for the shoot. We were so preoccupied with other wedding preparations that we ended up putting this aside. We had some ideas but they were never final until we got to talk to our photographer. Marky helped us come up with pegs for the shoot and he also suggested a few locations that would be good for our “theme”. Another problem was the apparel and I think that was what frustrated me the most. I have my closet just sitting there in Houston while I didn’t know where to get clothes here in Cebu; Marco on the other hand just didn’t have anything at all that he could pass off as vintage or 50’s.  But with Mark’s expertise and Mami Ramil’s magic touch, we were able to pull off a good shoot considering that we were limited in our change of clothes. Thank God, it all worked out in the end.

Btw, here’s the Engagement Shoot AVP that Mark Cantalejo showed on our wedding day.


Miguel’s First World Cup

13 Sep

This would have to be one of the cutest themed parties I’ve ever been to and even with the rain it turned out to be a complete success. Kid’s 1st birthday parties are really big nowadays, almost like planning for a wedding and this one had it all.

Let’s start with the invitation made by one of Miguel’s aunts, Katrina Encanto.

That cute kid on that ticket is seriously Miguel! Haha. Talk about personalizing the theme and making it your own. Thanks Gels for inviting us.

And since we purchased our gift last minute, I had to make do with Mita Bo’s gift wrapping stash which is a whole lot btw. I couldn’t find a wrapper with soccer balls in it (because if I did then that would be pushing it) but this was the closest one I could find. I wanted to make sure the way I wrapped the gift complemented the theme and the occasion, of course.

Yep, we’re in the right place—the LaVista Clubhouse.

 And I knew this was going to be big because they had food stalls outside…tacos, hotdog, ice-cream, fish balls, tempura and cotton candy.

This one took the cake….they had a POTATO CORNER stall outside and Marco and I went crazy. How awesome is that!!!

This was the set-up inside when it wasn’t jam-packed yet. We were early birds, we even got their before Gela and Jau did. hahaha. Excited much.

The center pieces were to die for, they had assorted hand-picked football jerseys with Miguel’s photo sitting on top of faux green with stress-reliever soccer balls.

At the back of the jersey center piece, there was a bunch of these world cup inspired cookies ready for the taking.

Mr. and Mrs. Marco Mendezona raided Kuya JV’s closet. Thanks again kuya for letting us raid your jersey stash.

Gela, proud ninang of Miguel and Jau, the sound technician/ spotify enthusiast. Haha.

La Vista ladies—a bunch of football posers. Oh, wait Gela plays na pala. Hahaha.

Did I mention they also has face painting and special effects! Bri opted for a realistic “gash”. haha.

Look who made it to the party…Haven’t seen klarkey in the longest time! Meet her cute daughter, Midori.

Miguel’s football cake.


Here’s the birthday celebrant with his dad, Basco.

And here’s Miguel with his mom, Melissa.

Miguel’s own version of his trophy wall.

One word for the dessert table—WOW!

Miguel, the cutie patootie in the middle of the dessert table.

Last but not the least, their giveaways were football stools. We were able to get one for Diego and Mateo, yay!

Nothing’s changed, we still enjoy themed parties. Thanks so much to the Encantos for having us.

 Happy happy 1st birthday Miguel! #miguelturnsone #miguelisone


Mendezona-Ramas Nuptials: The Ceremony

14 Jun

On my way to the church, I was a nervous wreck. I wasn’t going hysterical or anything but my heart was pounding like crazy, like it was ready to jump out of my chest. In my entire life, I can safely say that I’ve been in front of people on stage a hundred or more so times but I don’t recall ever feeling this uneasy. It took a good 2 years to prepare this wedding…countless phone calls, countless Viber calls, Skype dates and FaceTime, hundreds of emails and inquiries all the way from Houston, a whole month’s visit to the Philippines just to check on suppliers and another whole month prior to the wedding of running last minute errands, decision making and finalizations yet when I woke up on my wedding day, I knew there were things that still needed to be addressed. I couldn’t tell myself that everything was the way I wanted them to be but as my morning progressed I made a decision to Let go and Let God.

Preparing for a wedding is indeed like preparing for a theatrical production, you have to go into details: the look, the theme, the venue, the lights, the sounds, the outfits, the cast or in this case the entourage—just the whole lot. If I looked at it as if it were a show, I think I would’t have been as nervous, but I didn’t…It wasn’t just a show and I wasn’t just a performer, it was my wedding day. This was the day that God promised me and Marco, a long time ago, the special day he told us to wait for. And here it was, the day that will mark the end of our 7-year long distance relationship. #nomoreLDR

I sat quietly inside the vintage car Marco and I picked for our wedding day,  my dad had to sit in front because my dress was humongous and with that, the three of us couldn’t fit in the back of the car. My mom squeezed my hand gently and asked me if I was okay, I nodded but I told her I had a hard time breathing. She told me everything was going to be alright, she reminded me that every time I worried things usually turn out better than expected, it’s always been like that ever since I was small (not that I’m any bigger now).

To get married at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral was a dream come true for me, it is one of the most sought out churches in Cebu , I’m guessing because of it’s look and ambiance. Like everyone else, I too fell in love with this cathedral instantaneously but not just with the way it looked, I appreciated it’s architectural structure and the history behind it. It’s really overwhelming, who would’ve thought that after spending my entire college life in Manila and migrating to Houston that I would get married in the city that I grew up in, Thank you to Marco and his family for allowing this wedding to take place in Cebu.


Marco’s best men: his cousin Snap and his brother Nacho

My Handsome Groom and his parents

Godparents: Dada Benj and Mita Bo

Godparents: Ninong Jun and Ninang Ofel

Godparents: Tito Mikel and Tita Ito

Godparents: Tito Joey and Tita Leni

Godparents: Ninong Hey and Manang Aio


Secondary Sponsors: L: Kuya Jv and Anna; R: Hans and Mariana

Missing Andoni and Patricia


Bearers and Flower Girls

My Brother John in the picture.


My Little Ladies-in- Waiting: Angelie, Nicole, Anya and Brianna

When Marco and I started our relationship, these girls were just babies…now they’re beautiful young ladies.


Groomsmen and Bridesmaids


My maid of honor, Pauline and my matron of honor, Ate Jemma.

The parents of the bride—-my parents.

Our Little Diego did it!!!

Thanks so much for the awesome signage, Snap. :)

They told me I was going to walk down the aisle in a few minutes…I took a deep breath and prayed to God I wouldn’t trip. I think that is every bride’s worst nightmare. Don’t you think?

My make up artist, Mami Ramil, told me not to cry because he wouldn’t be at the altar to retouch my makeup. Haha.

The sight of Marco crying was a total shock for me. In our entire 10 1/2 years together, I’ve only seen him cry once and that was when we almost put an end to our relationship. Believe me, at this point, I was on the verge of tears…I just wanted to hug him tight.


Of course when Marco cried, the women started crying…


That moment…when the doors slowly open and everyone’s anticipating the bride’s entrance.

For my bridal march, I wanted the quartet to play a medley of Yiruma‘s River Flows in You and Kiss the Rain but they could only do the first one, so we settled for that. I have Matt from the St. Angela Merici choir to thank for introducing me to that beautiful piece and of course my younger sisters for overplaying this song on the piano. It was perfect!

(If you want to listen to it, click “PLAY” on the youtube video at the bottom of this post)

collage5 collage6

Ever-reliable Snoogie, my wedding coordinator, telling us what to do and where to go.

The cathedral looked so ethereal, thank you Tita Teresin Mendezona and Pinky Flora for setting the mood.


Thankful that our commentator (Pauline) and all of our readers (JM, Mita Wee and Andy) were very clear and articulate.

Marco and I were supposed to read our own vows, it’s a good thing we ran out of time, I would’ve been an emotional wreck after that. Haha. Not good for the post-nup photos.

Offerors: Kuya Andrew and Tita Gands

Offerors: Daddy Pakong and Mommy Babe


Kuya Jv and Anna lighting the candles—-symbolizes the presence of God in this union.

Jiro and Pilica putting on the veil—a symbolism for being one.

Thanks lic for being Patricia’s proxy.

Andoni and Mariana putting on the cord—-to signify everlasting fidelity.

The Lord’s Prayer

Thanks to my inaanaks, Godric and Derron for being my coin and bible bearer.

To my little brother John, thank you so much for still walking down that aisle earlier even without that suit. It just goes to show what you’d do for me and kuya Marco even if you felt embarrassed by it. We love you so much and you truly are the best ring bearer in the entire universe. Thanks for being such a sport, langga!

(Just to let you know, Ivan Belocura, what you did was foul…just remember what goes around comes around)

Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time as a married couple is such a beautiful experience

Gladly signing our lives away to each other.


The long awaited kiss…our first kiss as Mr. and Mrs. Marco Mendezona.

Thank you so much Msgr. Tajanlangit for being our celebrant.


Our last shot before leaving for Casino Espanol….

(Notice the UP sticker on the car. )


Mendezona-Ramas Nuptials: The Preparation

14 Jun

Photos below (except for the 2nd one) are from our official wedding photographer, Mark Cantalejo. Getting him is one of the best things we ever did for this wedding! Thank you for capturing the details, the emotions and the wonderful candid moments during our big day.

Clear skies on our wedding day, Thank you God Almighty!

Before anything else, I want to thank my wedding coordinator Snoogie Mata and her team for being 100% on top of everything. You guys are indeed God-sent , thank you so much for being our stress buffers and for dealing with He-who-should-not-be-named. On the other hand, I’m sorry that you guys ended up getting stressed with him. You saved my sanity, you guys were a big factor to the success of our wedding.


I woke up to a surprise!!!!

So this was what the balloons were for. Haha…My bridesmaids, Gela and Jem, woke up extra early and tied the polaroids from last night’s bachelorette party to gold balloons. I love you girls!

Hair and Makeup by my favorite makeup artist in this world—Ramil Solis.

Ramil has taken care of me since pageant and prom days in high school, I think he’s mastered the contour of my face. Haha. Thanks Mami, you’ve never failed to make me look beautiful. As long as I’m in Cebu, know that I’ll keep coming back to you.


Special Delivery from my sweetest, he got me a GoPro for our future adventures.


I had the bridesmaids robes made in Cordova where you can pick the cloth and they sew it according to your specifications. Picked two different colored cloths with the same prints, beige for the bridesmaids and light pink (a younger color) for the Jr. bridesmaids. I opted for plain pink and went to Metro so they could embroider “bride” on my robe.

There was a lot of drama behind this wedding dress but this Alexis Monsanto piece turned out to be my dream wedding dress after all. Tito Bong, as I prefer to call him, put to life the dress I had envisioned—the lace, the sleeves, the conservative neckline and the crystals. This beauty was sent through a package from L.A to Houston, then packed in a Balikbayan Box from Houston -Moscow-Seoul-Cebu. Thank God it was safe and intact when I opened it to air it out.

Alexis Monsanto on this wedding piece…

Gatsby themed wedding meets Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind influence in this vintage ecru all silk ensemble , alencon corded lace gown with detachable skirt in tiers of pleated silk organdy, boarder lace, french tulle adorn with swarouvski crystals….Made in Los Angeles

We would have loved to display this on a body stand but apparently we had a hard time looking for one that suit my measurements so it had to be hung on one of the hangers that I made. Funny thing is I made all my bridesmaids and Jr. bridesmaids personalized hangers and forgot to make myself one, so I think I ended borrowing Pilica’s.


Brides nowadays usually go for “Brandname-Statements” with their wedding shoes, as I was browsing through wedding shoes inspirations, I could see that names were trending —I’ve seen Monique Lhuillier, Christian Dior, Jimmy Choo, Christian Loubotin and the less pricier ones like Badgley Mischka and David Tutera. I on the other hand didn’t want to go mainstream on this one, I  searched the design I wanted and googled laser cut wedding shoes just because they give you that “lacey” look and ended up falling in love with a Christian Louboutin. I almost died. It’s a good thing I stumbled across a pair of peep toe laser cuts with a similar baroque vibe as the Loboutins but more practical in terms of price, in the color that I wanted, champagne gold.

Yes, I wore a Klub Nico (Moxie) on my wedding day and I just purchased it online from Nordstrom.


Thank you Pink Flora for the simple flower ensemble for me and the entourage, I was scared it would upstage our dresses but it was perfectly complimentary with the theme and the outfits.

Spot Ferdinand Marcos, the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana. Haha.


Top Left:  Arrhae; Assorted Coins from the Mendezonas/ Top Right: The Bible/

Bottom Left: The Cord/ Bottom Right: The Veil

All the wedding pillows (3) , the cord, the veil and blue garter were also provided by Alexis Monsanto; he used the same materials for all to unify them with the wedding gown and vintage purse he designed for me.


My Cebu friends a.k.a my childhood friends started a sisterhood of the traveling blue garter tradition. Haha. They really are the cutest. Here’s my something blue and something borrowed.

Our wedding rings were beautifully crafted by Wilma Pena, Marco’s abuelito and abuelita’s go-to jeweler in Cebu.


We didn’t have any design in mind when we visited the jeweler so we started browsing through some magazines and fell in love with Chanel wedding bands. We showed her the design and with no hesitation, said that she could do it. Marco and I couldn’t agree on the color of our wedding bands, I wanted white gold so it would match the engagement ring he gave me, he said he preferred yellow gold. Abuleita Tit (Marco’s grandmother ) suggested why not have both, that’s what she and Abuelito Mario did for their wedding bands, and that’s how we ended with our wedding band design.

Oh yeah, learned a new term today from Abu…chispaz a.k.a brilliantitos.

Our invitation was designed by the one and only Jihannee Tan of Twenty O four, one of my closest friends in Cebu. I’ve probably known this girl since kindergarten and it was a thrill to pick her as one of our wedding suppliers. It was actually nice of her to still make it to my wedding, considering the fact that it was also her birthday on the actual wedding day. haha. Thanks so much, mach and Happy Birthday! :)

People usually don’t see the beauty in letterpress, they always say “so, what’s so special about it?”, I guess I’m unlike other people. I went with letterpress not because it was a fad in the wedding industry, I consider it as a form of art like calligraphy and appreciate the tedious process that goes behind it.

Delicate, light, vintage and very old-world, I fell in love with the invitations in an instant.


Vintage Car—check! Thanks Reggie Ocampo!


Payback time! I gave hime the mini iPad that he’s been raving about. I made sure that his name was engraved in the back.




Marco’s classic suit was custom made by Cornell’s Tailoring in Manila. Awww… my sweetie looking so dapper. Thank you Snap for the referral!

More family photos before the wedding…

The loves of my life—my family.


The little brother and the littler brother

Ramas Sisters—with my little sisters.

Mendezona Sisters—and my new not-so-little sisters.

My beautiful ladies in waiting.

Nicole. Angelie. Brianna. Ann Marie. Pilica. Anya. Pauline. Jemma. Gela. Jem. Janine. Karina.


Photo with our Moms.


Photo with our Dads.

The Mendezonas (Mikel and the babies not in the picture)


The Luzuriagas

Marco and his boys

Groomsmen ala “Beatles”

Bachelorette @ Distillery

13 Jun

The night before my wedding was definitely a night to remember because of all the craziness that occurred in one night. It’s hard to fathom how I even dared to go on a night out when I still had a lot of things to accomplish for the wedding. I  literally left my fiancé to do the seat plan with my mom because we decided last minute to do that instead of zoning the guests. I wasn’t sure of what I was going to wear, I didn’t have time to do my hair, I couldn’t even remember how to put my make up on so Jem had to do it for me—so I guess you can say I was a very stressed out bride, I didn’t feel pretty at all. But you know what, I just realized that having a strong support system in times like these can really help you out. It’s important to surround yourself with family and friends that try to understand you, people who are patient enough to deal with your drama, people who don’t judge you just coz you’re “acting a bit off” lately.

To those people that I’ve ignored or haven’t gotten back to especially during those times, I apologize for doing so but I’d be lying if I also didn’t say that I expected you to understand me. Those who know me most should know that in any other circumstance I would put other people’s concerns first but in this particular situation I think I deserved to focus on myself and be a little bit selfish if that’s how you’d want to put it. Bride-to be’s really DO go through different levels of stress just dealing with all the wedding suppliers, the family dramas and sensitivities, the emotional roller coaster, the wedding jitters–and not everyone can deal with stress graciously so forgive me if I wasn’t the calm, blooming, stress-free bride everyone wanted me to be, believe me I tried. So there… I just needed to get that out of the way.

To the women of Marco’s side who threw me this bachelorette party and all of my girls who came (both family and friends)…a BIG THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Every single one of you helped me de-stress, and with a little help from the booze I got rid of those last minute wedding jitters. I appreciate you enjoying that night with me, just having mindless fun and I am thankful for all the fun, kinky, sexy gifts I got. I will find a way to put all of them into good use.Haha.

Gela and Jem—-years after they still got my back. I love you both so much. Missing Andy love.

Btw, thanks for hosting that night.

Ate Jemma, Pauline, Marie…the base of my support system, I just love my family to pieces.

Drinks to start the night, we had a lot of them.

Settling in. Half of the girls that made it that night.

I  love you Ate. I know I’ve stressed this out a lot of times already but you truly are the best for flying in even at your pregnant state.

These two up to their old antics. Hai, loves!



Flaming Shots…


more lingerie…

…and Macho Dancer DVDs. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Cheers to my two sisters (Marie and Pauline) and new sisters (Pilica and Pauline)

Cousin love.

Jem. Gela. Jemma.Pauline. Ann Marie. Bea. Bianca. Pilica. Pauline. Missy. Juanay. Anina. Krystelle. Claudia. Angel. Kaye

Thank you girls!!!


Circa 1900 Rehearsal Dinner

12 Jun

Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.


As I’ve mentioned in some of my posts from before, another favorite pastime of mine is looking at old, historical houses. In a heart beat I would pick Circa 1900 as a perfect place for the rehearsal dinner not only because of the fact that they wonderfully restored this old Spanish-Cebuano house to a charming white capacious beauty but also because Circa 1900 is know for their delicious and exquisite dishes and drinks, you tend to see a bunch of unique exciting ones on the menu like the Iba shake and malunggay ice cream for starters. The function room found below the house was just right for the 100 guests who came that night, thank you Adrian (and the rest of the staff) of Circa 1900 for accommodating us, helping us out with the menu and scheduling our taste test. Even with the lack of preparation in my part, the pre-wedding dinner turned out to be such  a wonderful and memorable affair for both sides.


 The Rehearsal Dinner invitations I made online ℅  Wedding Chicks (they were just sent out electronically). Do check their website and click on the link for more free downloadable templates. DIY made easy, don’t you just love DIY-ing?


Circa 1900 at night.

photo ℅


Circa 1900 is fairly hidden so to those who might want to visit them, here’s the map that we also just found in google to help our guests get there.


Since we failed to take photos of the buffet presentation during the rehearsal dinner, here are some photos of the menu that we picked during our taste test a few days prior to the eventful night.


Appetizer: Japanese Maki Rolls with Tuna, Salmon, Crabstick, Egg, Mango and Vegetables

Salad: Italian salad with Toast andGrilled Vegetables, Mozzarella Cubes, Tomato, Arugula and Pesto

Pasta: Angel Hair Pasta with Chorizo, Shrimps, Chili, Garlic, Red Onion, Olives and Tomato

Main Dish: Chicken Legs and Thighs with Cocodobo Sauce (must try!!!) and the Cripsy Fried Beef Ribs Tadyang

Vegetables: Wok-Fried Asian Vegetables with Beansprouts, Oyster Sauce and Sesame Seeds

Dessert: Maja Blanca Cheesecake & Blueberry Date and Chocolate Chip Crumble Pie


Nervous Smiles. Wedding Jitters, I suppose. Haha


Odilao sisters (missing Tita Gands)— with Ninang Ofel and Mom


Ramas & Odilao sisters— Mita Bo, Mita Wee, Mom and Ninang Ofel

Dadz reunited with the mitas, it’s like Houston all over again.


with Waning and Dadz


Marco and I with the bestest girlfriends from U.P—Jem and Gela. We missed you, Andy!






The Odilaos (mom’s side)


The Ramases (pop’s side)


Ramas-Mendezona siblings combined, we both come from big families.


Ramas- Mendezonas (complete version, haha)


with Marco’s parents


 …and my parents.


Our parents, the ones responsible for the man and woman Marco and I have become today. All your relationship advice and words of wisdom have resulted to this, the Long Distance Relationship Marco and I had would not have lasted without your guidance. Thank you for being the ones we can run to when we have a hard time understanding each other and thank you for showing us the beauty of love, patience, sacrifice and commitment. We are truly blessed to have you who love us unconditionally even with all our faults and failures. We love you both.



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