Snap goodbye?

Leaving the country has been the issue since we received our petition papers from the US Embassy, and now, we're on to the last few chapters. I can't believe that we are leaving, probably for a good three years, and I have only four months OR LESS left.

This morning, we received our Visa, and yes, it has been approved.

Our Visa expires on November, and my sister is giving birth sometime on November, but my parents want to leave ASAP so they could come back just in time before my sister gives birth - which I find unfair on my part, at least. It's not only because I won't get to spend and make the most out of my time left with my friends who I won't see for years, but also because I won't see my my sister give birth and welcome and see and touch my very first niece/nephew. The issue with my friends is ok. I mean, I could live with that. But the fact that my sister and I will be left there while my parents are back in the Philippines spending time with their first grand child? That's unfair. Because I want to be there, too. But I understand that we have to make some sacrifices because we have been waiting for this for a long, long time. But I hope that before my parents even decide when we're leaving, I hope they consider our two cents on it as well. My father kinda wants to leave, but I don't. It may be selfish of me, but it's my life that gets affected anyway. My whole life will change the moment we step on that plane cause there won't be any turning back anymore. 

I'm having heaps of emotions right now, I can't even explain if I'm happy, or excited, or sad, or mad. I don't know. I hope we fix this issue soon. And I hope we ALL decide, not just my father. Sigh.


See, I've started paddling for my school's dragon boat team since 2009, and it's just recently that I quit - mainly because I graduated already. And even though I've continued paddling for a year and a half more since I graduated, eventually, the spark just wasn't there anymore. Things changed, and it was inevitable.

 I came across this video on Youtube which my friend has shared on our Facebook group page, and as soon as it played, I couldn't help but feel nostalgic... Dragon boat was one of my first loves. I've become a better person because of dragon boat, because of the people I've met, and simply because I became a part of something bigger than my own. It changed my life.

I couldn't express through words how much it means to me, but I hope watching this video would make you know me a little bit better.

Out there, we get tired. Out there, we make mistakes. Out there, we lose. Out there, we win. Out there, we get better - together.

This is probably the best dragon boat video I've ever seen, and it makes me want to go out there and row again. I know I still have the heart, but it's easier said than done. There are a lot to consider now, and it's not the same as before. Sigh. I miss dragon boat so bad... The boat. The bay. The team. The adrnaline rush. The teamwork. The pain. The success. The passion. EVERYTHING. :(

I know we all have to learn to move on, but I really hope I can paddle again soon... :(

PS. This is not our team's video.

Push your luck, join a contest, win a camera!

I've been a Canon fan ever since I started eyeing on photography as one of my interests. I've been freelancing as an amateur photographer with my late Canon 1000D and covering events before it died on me last year before my birthday. Since then, I've settled for just documenting with my film SLR (because I have no enough funds to buy myself a new digital SLR), and thanks to technology, I've abused the capacity of smart phones.

But see, although smart phones take good photos, they aren't that great unlike shooting with DSLRs. It's about perspective, yes, but looking through that viewfinder is different -  you create a world, a story between you and your subject that only you can tell, that no matter what  the outcome of the shot is, you are the only one who can tell what feeling you have captured that very moment. It's priceless, and I'd give anything to be in that position again - behind the lens of a camera, and capturing moments no one can ever go back to.

It's such a thrill joining contests that will make you win something you really want, and in this case, the Canon 5D Mark III. I joined even if I know that there's a fat, fat chance of me winning. But I guess it's the same with all the other ones who joined this contest. We're at a fair game with chance. Well, I'm still hopeful, and I am pushing my luck on this, so big thanks to SnapKnow wedding photography directory for offering this great camera giveaway!

Now, winning this would make my job easier as well. As you all know, I'm also working as a wedding coordinator. If I win this? Ha! Hitting two birds with one stone - I get to be a wedding photographer as well, and that's one of my dreams! I'm going to storm the heavens with prayers that I win this! Woohoo! Please make my dreams come true, SnapKnot! :)

Now, if you want to join this contest as well, just click this LINK and try your luck! Good luck to us! :)


"Let them miss you. Sometimes when you're always available, they take you for granted because they think you'll always stay."

- Unknown

That awful, awful feeling...

When no one appreciates what you do.

When people don't realize how much they are hurting you, but instead of making a fuss out of it, you keep it all in.

When people who you love dearly take you for granted.

When one of your closest friends choose to be dishonest with you and talk you out of something thinking it was concern but rather an ulterior motive.

When people choose to ignore you because to them you seem irrelevant now.

When people ask for your help but never get a 'thank you' in return.

When you realize that you are fighting the wrong battle.

When you should've said no a long time ago, but kept on saying yes.

When you are forced to be indifferent when everything is eating you up inside.

When running away becomes one of your choices as a solution.

When you feel a connivance forming against you - with your so-called friends in it.

When you realize that a close friend has turned out to be someone you just used to know.

When bridges built and tested for years are burnt in a snap of a finger.

When you are starting to be replaced by someone else because you were never good enough.

When people who you thought cared about you, actually didn't.

When no one understands, and no one tries to understand you.

When trust doesn't seem exist anymore.

When you start to doubt yourself.

When you're just emotinally tired of all the crap around you.

When your happy, optimistic bubble bursts and you just feel like giving up.

When you just feel alone.

When you realize that all the while, the cause of their actions has always been your fault, and never theirs.

Perks of being a wedding coordinator

Do you still remember that time when you were still a kid and dreamed of getting married to that one guy in his shining armor, who sweeps you off your feet and catches you as you fall? Well, we all still do that until now, I don't blame you. Day dreaming about what you want to happen in your future gives you that giddy, butterlies-in-my-stomach kind of feeling and watching others' dream weddings come to life just gives you that littlest amount of hope that, yes, it can still happen.

I work part-time in an events organizing company that specializes in weddings. How I got there was probably just mere luck or fate cause there, I work with my teammates-slash-closest friends-slash-best girl friends from dragon boat, and aside from that awesome fact, we love what we do. I love what I do. I've always been inclined to events since God knows when, and I don't think I could be any luckier.

Wedding, after wedding, after wedding... Watching and hearing the couple say their vows and that life changing exchange of 'I do,' and making their special day unfold before their very eyes is basically the life of a wedding coordinator. I'm still relatively new to this whole wedding industry, and what I say is probably just the gist of really happens, but trust me when I say that the feeling of actually being there, seeing it for yourself and sharing the feeling of everyone's happiness through their tears is just priceless. Dream, after dream, after dream... And then it got me thinking, when will mine happen?

I am 21 years young, turning 22 in just over two months, and I am a unicorn. Yep, that girl who's never had a boyfriend, clinging on to those fairytales and saving her firsts for that one guy she's been waiting for all her life. And working as an events coordinator, I'm telling you, although it is very fulfilling, it's emotionally hard cause I get jealous all the time. I want a wedding like this, I want a wedding like that... Oh, snap! I'm planning something so far ahead, and I forgot, where's my husband to be? And if there's an answer to this question, I am hoping and just praying to God that mine didn't get hit by a truck.

I confirmed to be in the line up for a wedding on January 3, weeks before the actual event. I didn't know why I wanted to work that early (cause I'm pretty lax), but I did. Normally, our weddings happen in the hustle and bustle of the Metro, and it's just one of those rare ones that happen in the South. The wedding yesterday took place in Alabang - how convenient for someone who just lives in Sucat! Since I am just a coordinator and I don't plan and organize, I just learn everything about the wedding on the day itself.

Arriving at the hotel reception early with Gie, we had the time to fix ourselves with no rush at all. The hotel was relatively small for a five-star one, having only 15 floors and a reeky parking lot at basement three, but it was all good. We stayed at the lobby with stylish victorian inspired interiors, which reminded me of my first debut in the company, and had the first few tasks delegated by Kuya Gelo, the account manager. Minutes later, we headed to the bride's room and just as we were walking towards the elevator, we were given a heads up that the couple is extremely OC... And that was the cue. Nothing can and should absolutely go wrong on their special day, and we were advised to be extra bibbo the whole day. I got nervous cause I got a bit of hangover from a session I had with my friends the night before and I only had three hours of sleep, but that all changed when the bride opened the door. She was all bubbly and cute and just plain adorable that her contagious positive energy instantaneously filled the room. I absorbed it like a sponge.

When everything was all settled in her room, I headed to see the ballroom. It was probably nearly halfway done when I went in, but I was stunned and literally left speechless that beautiful is an understatement. I've been to a couple of hotel receptions and yesterday was probably the first time that typical huge chandeliers weren't used for the room's lighting, but twigs instead. It was simple yet elegant and just pleasing to the eyes. I fell in love with it.

We left for the church a little later after our meeting and just as soon as I got in... 'This is the church I want to get married in, if I'm not doing it on a beach,' I said to myself. I have seen and been to the outside of that church, but it was just yesterday that I got the chance to go in. It was amazing, stunning and just so beautiful. The fact that it was in Alabang and the thought of convenience elevated my want in so many levels.

There were two probable highlights of the wedding. One was when the doors opened and the the bride stood there against the blinding light with her silhouette and long trail. Everyone, including me, was so emotional as she walked slowly down that aisle. As I assisted the father of the bride to take her daughter's hand, my eyes were already flooding and I was fighting gravity on the urge of my tears to fall. The second one was the exchange of vows by the couple, which made a lot more impact. To share the most striking words of the bride to her groom, not verbatim:

"Totoo nga na sabi nila, God's timing is always perfect, never too late and never too early. We've been friends for 14 years, and a couple for 9 years. Hindi ko inakala noong una na ikaw, na best friend ko, ang makakaharap ko sa simbahang ito at makakasama ko sa habang buhay. Everything was made according to His plan and in His time."

I cried. Not only because did her words had so much meaning to it, but also because it spoke to me as if I were her future self.

It was perfect... Even the weather was. It drizzled while we were inside church and even gloomy, but just as soon as the couple stepped outside, the sun was out and the almost sunset view was glorious.

The reception went so suave - the guests, program, gifts, food, performances, surprises, venue, suppliers and all other tasks we needed to accomplish throughout the entire duration. There were minimal, if not none, complications but they were easily resolved. The photo and video on-site were truly just so beautiful and breathtaking, and by far the best ones I've seen since I started working. It was so great that I myself enjoyed it so much I cried again. That's not new, but know what? Turned out almost everyone cried. Guests, even the suppliers, were drying up the tears on their eyes as the lights went on again. The room was filled with emotion and you can literally feel it just seeing everyone's faces. It was legitimately amazing.

But see, my reason for crying wasn't only that the AVPs were touching, but rather, I was moved from the start to the finish because I saw myself in her, in their story.

After the reception, we had the chance to get a bit up close and personal with the bride, which rarely happens during events cause on normal occasions, it's just the account manager who gets to do that. Gie, Hannah and I were at the crew lounge having our dinner when the bride walked in and thanked us for our efforts for her wedding. Her arrival was in such good timing cause everyone already left and it was just the three of us who were there. I don't know if it's just her aura or us being plain happy (for a thousand of reasons, one is that we three were together in the event) that we were so comfortable with her. We got to ask her questions and she shared her love story, not verbatim:

"Siya yung first ko: first boyfriend, first kiss, first lahat. Nagmeet kami nung high school tapos friends na kami since then. Naging mag best friends kami tapos nung una, inaasar asar lang kami ng mga friends namin. Pero crush ko siya talaga, tapos nauwi sa asar asar. One day, tinanong niya ako kung love ko siya, sinabi ko, oo. The next thing I know, kami na... holding hands na may pasway sway pa, tapos eto na kami ngayon, kasal na. Kaya advice ko sa inyo girls, pag tinanong kayo kung mahal niyo ba, sabihin niyo yung totoo kasi malay niyo di ba? Sino magaakala na magiging kami pala? Alam niyo ba sobrang funny nga kasi sa farthern QC kami nakatira, wala talaga samin from South, at hindi ko din alam kung bakit sa sobrang daming pwedeng pagkasalan, dito pa talaga. Ang dami namin chineck out na venue, pero yung twigs sa ceiling ng hotel, that's what got me. Favorite ko din kasi yung color green kaya yun motif namin. Basta, wag kayong magmamadali, kasi dadating din yan. In God's time."

This was a collated speech of her answers, and you'd probably get what kind of questions we were asking. Point blank, we three went gaga in kilig. She was the living proof for us three unicorns that yes, it can still happen. It was a fairytale. If you know me very well, and by that I mean my the whole of my so-called love story, you'd also see myself in her shoes, the way I did. Future self? Probably saying the same exact words to three other unicorns in a couple of years time. Green, dragon boat, yes? Oh, and a trivia: they had their first date in a parking lot! I shared a little bit of my story to her: how very much alike how we are now to how they were before, and I said to her that IF the same happens for us, I'll ask them to be one of my principal sponsors and she happily said sure. It was an intimate, heartwarming, and inspiring fifteen minutes of my life that made my day. At least I think I got answers to questions I've been wanting to ask, so that's a bit of relief, too!

The bride asked us (a bit of forcing, actually) to help ourselves with the drinks in the bar cause there were only a couple of guests and there were still a lot of drinks. With sin tax and seize the opportunity realization, we gave in. However, I actually didn't plan on drinking. I just wanted to accompany my girls cause they have been itching to drink. When we got to the bar, we were asking the bartenders on what's the best drink on the table but we were all just drinking water then, still contemplating on what to drink. A few seconds later, the intoxicated groom shouts 'shot!' at us three and I declined. I tried to hide and even run, but he runs after me and said 'Malas tumanggi sa bagong kasal. Sige na, shot tayo, sayo yung mas mahina tama akin na lang yung malakas.' How could I say no? All four of us took a shot and right then and there, he reminded me of him. His guy cousins made him a surprise video during the program and they were all there drinking and being merry after the party. They were all so close... Very much like him and his family. He called on first the shot, too. Why does that sound so... Hmm. And the running I did? Real life metaphor slapped on my face. I always run when it's about him, but it was a good thing I took the shot and for once, did not deny. With the words of the bride at the back of my head, maybe I have been denying. I know, but it's just because I'm scared and a no would kill me. But I am in no rush. They've been friends for 14 years, and we're not even halfway that. Our story is probably still in the making, so yes, this gave me hope... A whole lot of it. What happened after that was just a bunch of crazy blabbing and of course, we did have a lot of fun. Oh, the ones who were at the after party were very much like us... How we have fun, how we speak, and how we see ourselves. Felt like we are all from the same generation! Just how cool is that?

I must say, it was the perfect wedding. For me, it was more ideal than all those grandiose weddings I've attended and the cute and genuinely happy couple definitely raised the bar. Did I mention they loved dancing as well? They weren't really good but they definitely jammed to the beats; they were having so much fun! Ha! The littlest of resemblance...

My realizations were so much to take in in one night, but it's definitely moving. Who would have thought that from a friend encouraging me to join their company, my confirmation in the line up, to the fact that we got to bond with the bride and groom whom we met just about 12 hours earlier could have made so much impact on how I see my future? Too metaphoric. The talk with the bride with us unicorns? Too ironic. I can't move on.

Yes, I just had to write about it. I will look back at this post someday. I am so happy I got to be part of their wedding... Or maybe I was meant to be there. We were meant to hear their story and see our dream become a reality, at least for them. Yes, God's perfect timing. And if this is the sign I've been asking for, well, thank You. Seen and heard it loud and clear, God. You and Your ways never fail me. I really didn't see this one coming, but I couldn't be more thankful for this, for everything. :)

New Year

Just kind of excited of what the future holds for me, you know? I may not have everything settled out for me - I don't have plans yet and I am not exactly sure of what I want to do with it just yet, but I hope everything works out for me. Just going to leave every piece of negativity behind and welcome all the good things and opportunities like a sponge! Forgive and forget? Maybe. Yes. Start anew! I do seem like I got everything figured out but I actually don't. I'm a great actress. :)

Anyway, above everything, I am thinking of doing a photo project - a clouds 365. But I'm not sure yet. If I'm successful this week, then I'm going to pursue it. So I hope I manage to! :)

Cheers to a new year!

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