This Year’s First Surprise

I can never blog during the early part of the year, the holidays are always a hectic time for me especially since I have mommy duties now. We just celebrated Cassie’s first Christmas and her first New Year and can I just say being a mom is beyond AWESOME!!! (even with the spits, the throw-ups and the poops)

Before I work on my catch up posts about Japan (yesss, the one from last year), the holidays, Cassie’s Baptism and Cassie’s first plane ride let me just share that after a year and a half, our wedding just got featured in a local magazine. I would have never found out if Ann Marie’s (my sister) friend didn’t send a snap of the page where we were featured, thanks Sammy! I checked my email recently and I realized that they sent me a message regarding my wedding but I guess I was too concentrated on giving birth that I missed out on that but still thanks Fort Bend Focus for featuring us. It was definitely a nice surprise, a nice start to this new year.

To my family in the Philippines who want access to the feature, just click on ‘Fort Bend Focus’ to link you to the online version of this month’s magazine. To my friends who are in the area, feel free to grab a copy of this month’s Fort Bend Focus at any grocery (or maybe your doctor’s office) here in Fort Bend County. And just to give you a heads up you will be seeing ‘Macys’ as the supplier of my bridesmaid dresses. I would rather give credit to Macy’s than acknowledge the unprofessional supplier who messed up BIG time on my brother’s ring bearer suit, you know who you are. (I know its a new year and all but it takes time to forget someone who messes with my family) Shout out again to Mark Cantalejo for our beautiful pictures, I think we got featured because of the wonderful photos you took of our wedding, we just wanted to let you know that your work made it to Houston.

The cover of this month’s Fort Bend Focus magazine.

Belated Happy New Year, everyone. Hope y’all are having a wonderful start to your new year!

~Rhea

Mik ❤ Poi

While typing the title of this blog entry I almost put “Solon” instead of “Mik”, we should really stop calling him that. All throughout college we were so used to calling him by his last name so naturally we were doing just that during the entire wedding reception, I was actually surprised that we weren’t turning a lot of heads considering that half of Mik’s guests were related to him and they probably had Mik’s last name too. Haha.

Amidst the crazy circumstances and the time constraints, I’m glad we got to witness one of our closest guy friend get hitched to the long time love of his life. I think the last time I saw Solon was right before I migrated to Houston, he moved to Chicago too but in those years that we spent in the US we never found the time to meet up. I’d like to think it was perfect timing for us to still be here, imagine if we moved back to Houston a few months earlier then we would have completely missed this celebration of love.

Like every one else I knew these two were going to end up with each other, it was clearly just a matter of time. Solon and Poi got hitched in the US before coming home to the Philippines so they had a simple renewal of vows by the ocean, in front of closest family and friends. It was a wonderful and intimate celebration and I do have to agree with Missy, the place looked like “Pinterest ideas that came to life”. I loved how everything was charming and rustic. Hats off to Poi…I know how hard it is to plan a wedding fro across the miles but you pulled it off and the details were just gorgeous.

Sharing some photos of this wonderful wedding…

Btw, thanks Ninang Ito for the wonderful Kate Torralba dress, you are a life saver!

LaVista ladies made it to Moalboal

Mrs. and Mr. Marco Mendezona with our little one on the way

Jau and Gelala

When cousins think alike, Kuya JV in yellow too!

This way to the reception. 🙂

Gela, Missy and I waiting for the rain to stop pouring

Little Diego

The set up

Everyone settling down for the night

Classic appetizers

The happy groom and bride

Slicing of the cake

Sandbox—the Kid’s Area

Diego and Mateo having a grand time at the sand box

Tonight’s Menu…Yumm

Tito Marco and Mateo

There were TWO goofballs…

…then THREE

….then FOUR

…and then there were FIVE. Hay nako boys…

I caught my godson coloring the night away

And he’s at it again..

Nacho recruiting the boys to the KLG (Kagat Labi Gang)

Pauline and Nacho

Missy and Andoni

Gela and Jau

Our little family and the Santos(es), the photo bombers

Solon and Poi, thanks so much for having us, it was a fun and relaxed wedding and I’d have to say we enjoyed it immensely. We love you both and we’ll see you in the States.

Congratulations and Best Wishes!

~Rhea

Mami & Papi’s 30th Anniversary

It was quite a wonderful surprise that Papi could come home to the Philippines even just for awhile, especially since he and Mami were celebrating their 30th Anniversary. Instead of some lavish party and renewal of vows to celebrate this milestone, my in-laws decided to dedicate their time and commitment  to serve in BLD’s (Bukas Loob sa Diyos) Family Encounter. We thought this was going to be one of those times where  poor Javi, who’s all the way in LA, would miss out on all the family activities (like Mom’s 50th Birthday) but mom surprised everyone by sending him home. No one knew (not even Papi) except Yok2x who picked him up and Yaya Diday who arranged the pick-up from the airport. It was a wonderful and emotional reunion of all sorts and we have the big guy from up above to thank for giving us a chance to celebrate this wonderful occasion as a complete family, even for just a short while.

Marco and I were blessed to have been present at his parents 30th Wedding Anniversary with every single one of us there. Those few days I spent with all of my in-laws made me realize how blessed I am to have married into a big family just like my own with their own set of squabbles, their own quirks, their own issues—everything that I love about my own family. Let’s face it, I know a lot of people who complain about their in-laws, monster-in-laws and what not; not everyone who marries into a family gets along with their in-laws but I’d have to say mine have treated me like their own and accepted me and my maarte drama queen self even before Marco and I got married. I in turn have learned to love them as much as I love my own family, my sister Ann Marie even teases me that I might be enjoying too much with my “other family”, but seriously they are the easiest bunch to love.

Our move to Houston will be in a few months and it’s another blessing that Marco and I will be present for my own parents’ 30th Anniversary. I pray that my family too will be complete when the time comes, with the addition of our own “little one”. Who knows, Marco’s family of 9 and my family of 9 might just “inspire” us to make our own family of 9, hahaha. (Uhhh, in the US? maybe not.) We’ll see where God takes us.

So in the light of this very rare occasion, I’m sharing a few of our family photos. Nacho and Pauline surprised Mami and Papi with this family photoshoot session for their anniversary so it was a good thing everyone was present. These photos were actually taken a few days after their actual anniversary.

Meet my family. 🙂

Happy 30th Anniversary Papi and Mami!

With Marco and our “little one” inside me. We’re having our own little family too. 🙂

Nacho and Pauline

The Cuenca-Mendezonas: Nacho, Pauline, Diego and Mateo

Anya and Pilica—looking more like twins by the day.

The boys. I love how my godson is sticking his tongue out.

Our little gwapitos, Diego and Mateo.

Wacky Boys

This little rascal!!! love him to pieces.

And he loves his “nomnom” too.

The girls.

Peace out.

The Mendezona siblings

Love the faces guys, pang theater arts. Hahaha.

And where would we be without our ever-reliable manangs? (incomplete photo since the rest were too shy to be photographed)

~Rhea

Albi ❤ Jem

I met this wonderful set of people during college…3rd year college to be exact and boy were we inseparable from beer nights to wine nights to magic sing nights to pambahay day to ukay2x day to salsa nights to themed Christmas parties to the beach—we’ve done it all. I thought migrating to the states would change everything but fast forward to 7 years, here we all are at Jem and Albi’s wedding, all the way in Bukidnon and yes, these same people made it to my wedding a few months back so I guess you can say this friendship stood the test of time and will continue to do so. Thank God for friendships like these.

Flashback to those nights in college, those heart to heart talks about relationships and finding the right one, it’s comforting to know that God kept his promise to us and indeed his timing is perfect. I am still completely amazed at the fact that God found your perfect match in Germany and sent him all the way to the Philippines (in contrary to popular belief, Jem and Albi met in person and not online…just thought I’d put that out there) just so he could be with you.

September 20, 2014—it was a beautiful day to do a farm wedding considering the fact that we were currently in the middle of a typhoon. A few days prior to the wedding must have been very hectic for everyone involved, flights were cancelled and rescheduled and everyone had to adjust from the shuttle going to Bukidnon to all other wedding suppliers but our bride was faithful and hopeful. She still checked up on us and made sure that everything was okay, as if she didn’t have one million and one things on her mind—that’s Jem, she’s very hands-on. On the day of the wedding, the sun came out to celebrate with us and we were able to spend the entire day outdoors.

The wedding celebration was a wonderful combination of a Filipino and German wedding that lasted the whole day. They held the ceremony at the beautiful Perrine Farm in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon with close family and friends. I felt like they had 3 receptions coz we had lunch, merienda and dinner. Haha. Part of the wedding itinerary was to tour the farm, they showed us how they make the famous Hineleban coffee and taught us the importance of giving back to mother nature. After the farm tour, they served us Hineleban coffee while we lazed around on our banigs until night fall came and we picked up where we left off—eating and dancing. Of course, we partied the night away.

Congratulations and Best Wishes Jem and Albi!!!

Here are some of the photos we took from the wedding. Enjoy!

The bridesmaids and their make-up

Gela, Pauline and I— about to head out to the Perrine Farm for the wedding

Friends in college now we’re one Big Family..haha

Spot the Godfather!

Jau. Andy. Kaya JV. Nacho. Pauline

Awww….look at you two.

Bridesmaid duties

…And here she is!

The Beautiful Bride and her parents

First Kiss as Mr. and Mrs. Albrecht Birkner

The Ferrers

The Birkners

Ferrer-Birkners

The newly-wed couple with their entourage

The kind of tree where you “take it all in” per Pauline and Nacho.haha

Want a drink? Take your pick.

The guys’ favorite hang out place…hmmm… I wonder why. Haha

The Pervs who made it to the wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Albrecht Birkner with Mr. and Mrs. Marco Mendezona.

Eeeeppp…we’re married love!

Joji’s Peanut Butter!!!! YUM!

…and the woman behind the yummy peanut butter, Jem’s mom, Tita Joji Ferrer

Jai, Jem’s brother showing us before and after photos of the farm to start the farm tour

Hineleban Coffee Beans—getting there

Enjoying Hineleban Coffee after the tour.

Ummm…is that snake skin I see?

Lazing around on our bang with the bride

Bonfire

Brotherly love—Nacho and Marco

This was the cutest, you should’ve seen this.

Baby Jemalbi. Haha

Pervs unite after some crazy dancing

Last photo of the night with the new Mr. and Mrs.

~Rhea

The South Reclamation Project Engagement Shoot

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.

#marcoandrhea

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!

~Rhea