End of the Month Roundup - May 2014

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It seems that the end of May means the end of very hot weather. Storms occur almost daily. Rain is a welcome respite from deadly heat of sunny day but it bring soaked shoes and socks that I really hate.

Enough of gloomy June forecasts for now, let us reminisce the sunny May.

This May, me and My Beloved Wife Lei had a very important milestone in our married life. Two red lines confirmed that we now have a child. Our baby is already one month old during Lei's first check-up.

There's an idea in my head about a blog that chronicles my adventure a father and husband. That blog will serve as my journal and, hopefully, a reference for clueless fathers like me. The good news is that that blog just came alive, and Lei requested its inception. I named that blog “Fatherly Ish” and I do hope that you visit it and share your thoughts on being a father (and a mother for moms out there). You comments/advices will surely me in goal of being a good husband and father.

Fatherly Ish


Oh, by the way, My Beloved Wife has now a “name”. She is Leilani of House Ahab. So don't be surprised if you see more “Lei” instead of “My Beloved Wife”.

Lei is already pregnat but my travel – personal blog is months delayed because I'm still posting about our wedding preparation. In fact, I suspended my posts about Thailand which I left more than a year ago. I have a lot of travel stories that are yet to see the light of day like my travel to Olongapo City, Northern Samar, and Cagayan de Oro; return trips to Cebu; and our husband-and-wife adventure in Palawan.

Gaaah! So much posts, so little time.

For this month, I posted about our search for wedding rings. I mentioned about that matapobre jeweller in Binondo Chinatown. In the end, we got our wedding rings from Suarez in SM MoA, where we also bought the hosts and wine as offertory during our wedding.

Dangwa


Equally important is our adventure in Dangwa, where we were surprised by a fixer. Good thing that we were not tricked and got a good florist.

Prenup Photoshoot in UP Diliman


I also talked about our prenup photoshoot in UP Diliman. It was a very exhausting event but the result is very good and yeah, we looked like artistas.

Of course, food will never be gone in my blog. I posted about the yummy espasol that Lei brought home from Laguna.

Espasol


And, yeah, I posted about my attempts to cook adobong atay ng manok and tinolang bangus.

In Ahab Reviews and Tips, I posted about the cakes for Jollibee party, PUPCET, BPIExpress Online advisory for MERALCO subscribers, our Hanabishi induction cooker, and PRC license renewal in SM Business Center.

In Ampalaya News, I posted about the sad incident for a One Direction fan, the court case against ABS-CBN's Legal Wife, and Miriam Santiago the merman.

I want say "thank you" to super-regular-visitors-and-commenters Suitapui, Tin K, Foong, Rogie Ylagan, Jonathan, Milton, and Arianne the Bookworm. Your comments always makes me smile because at least 9 people regularly visit this humble blog. Also welcome to this month's new visitor: Olivr.
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My Eight Tips for Your Prenup Photoshoot

Tips for Prenup Photoshoot

Our prenup photoshoot in UP Diliman was a unique experience for me and My Beloved Wife Lei. We experienced being photographed by a professional photographer and posed like artistas. The last time I was photograph like that was in a studio for the college yearbook, but that experience is nothing compared to our prenup.

We learned a great deal that after our prenup photoshoot, which I wished we learned prior to that event. Since it’s too late for us, let me just share it to you, Dear Reader, so you’ll not commit the same mistakes as we did.

Here are my tips for your prenup photoshoots:

1. Be clear about your deal with the photographer. Our photographer promised infrared photography but he broke that promise. Remember that suppliers are quick to give promises but if it is not written in the contract then those are nothing but empty words.

2. Book make-up artist first before the prenup photoshoot so you can use their trial make-up during the photoshoot.

3. Get suggestions from the photographer but don't let him control everything. Inject your own ideas so your and your spouse-to-be's personality will take the center stage. You should do this because photographers have the tendency to repeat their style, their props, and their gimmicks.

4. Prepare your own props. This may save you a lot of money and add your personality in the prenup photoshoot.

5. Stock up lots of patience. Smiling and posing in front of the camera is exhausting.

6. And since you'll be smiling a lot, make sure your pearly whites are clean. A visit to the dentist would be good before your photoshoot.

7. Make sure that you have the necessary permits for the venue of your prenup photoshoot. Inform the venue administrators about the photoshoot to avoid hassles and embarassment.

My last and, I think, important tip for you is:

8. Treat well the photographers, make-up artists and all the people doing your prenup photoshoot. It is just the right way to do. Of course, the side effect of this that these people will also treat you well and they will be motivated to give their best shots.

I guess that there are more tips and lessons that I forgot to mention in this blog post. I think that other married couples can share their ideas in the combox.

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Wedding Prep blog series chronicles our adventures as we prepared for the Big Day. I hope that these blog posts help those who are preparing for their wedding day.
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Our Prenup Photoshoot in UP Diliman

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My Beloved Wife Lei's photo in UP Diliman

Photography is another important element for weddings. Photographs capture those precious moments that the mind may forgot. Because of this, we made sure that we hire a good team of photographer for our wedding.

Prenuptial photoshoot is usually included in the package being offered by wedding photographers. Prenup photos are not vital to the wedding ceremony so couples can do away with it. But for us, prenup photos added fun to our wedding preparations.

Our wedding photographer suggested two places for our prenup photoshoot, namely, UP Diliman and Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife. We chose UP Diliman, not only because it is my alma mater but also because it has more interesting places than Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife.

Prenup Photoshoot Preparation


Since we got very little help from other people, me and Chielo conceptualized and prepared our props. I bought balloons and other props in 168 Mall of Divisoria. We did the shopping for outfits. My Beloved Wife Lei patiently Googled for ideas. She is the one who made almost all of our handmade props.

Permit for Prenup Photoshoot UP Diliman


I read an article that mentioned of permit requirements for those who want to do professional photography inside the UP Diliman campus. Some commenters to that article mentioned that photographers can shoot guerrilla style by avoiding the security guards.

I didn’t want any hassle during our prenup photoshoot. Also, I couldn’t imagine us running away from security guards during our prenup. So, I went to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA) to inquire about the permit. Their only requirement for the permit is a request letter that contains the following information: date and time of prenup photoshoot, specific locations of photoshoot in UP Diliman, number of person involved in the photoshoot, and the student number of at least person involved in the photoshoot. The request letter should be emailed to ovcca.upd@gmail.com.

Their approval came via email a day after I send my request. The good thing is it’s free. This is one of the perks of being a UP Diliman alumnus.

Our Prenup Photoshoot in UP Diliman


The Carillon Tower of UP Diliman
North side of UP Amphitheater with the Carillon Tower at the background.


We did our photoshoot in four places in UP Diliman: (1) Quezon Hall, (2) UP Lagoon, (3) the Academic Oval, and (4) the Carillon Tower.

The Oblation and Quezon Hall in UP Diliman



Quezon Hall is good for prenup photoshoot because of its columns. It made us feel that we were somewhere in Greece or Rome. The columns went well with the Vintage theme for our prenup. Of course we wore vintage outfits. I wore a Fedora hat (sorry no pictures).

Lei’s sister and her pamangkin (nephew) served as our helper during our photoshoot. The pamangkin carried our props while her mother helped Lei with the make-up and her outfit.

Pamangkin carrying our balloons in UP Diliman
The pamangkin carrying our balloons.

We went to UP Lagoon for nature photography because the place has plenty of trees.

Trees in the Lagoon of UP Diliman
Trees of UP Lagoon.

Another perfect place for prenup photoshoot is the Academic Oval because the trees looks like big archs.

Academic Oval of UP Diliman


Our photoshoot was done in the whole afternoon. We were tired at the end of it. Now I know how hard it is for actors and actresses to pose in front of the camera. Smile must be flashed even in the time of exhaustion.

UP Diliman is a good place for photoshoot. There are more places that you can try like the buildings of AS and College of Engineering. You may also try the Sunken Garden. So, practice that pose and that smile so you can have a good prenup photoshoot.
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Wedding Prep blog series chronicles our adventures as we prepared for the Big Day. I hope that these blog posts help those who are preparing for their wedding day.
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I Cooked Adobong Atay ng Manok

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Pregnant women, especially those in the early weeks of pregnancy, are demanding when it comes to food. Some men that their wives asked them to search for a specific kind of fruit that is very hard to find in the palengke (local market). My Beloved Wife Lei had the same quirk, though not of the exaggerated kind.

One morning, Lei asked me to cook adobong atay ng manok (chicken liver in soy sauce). I immediately ran to the palengke to buy one-half kilo of chicken liver and heart. Aside from the chicken, I prepared the following ingredients:

Bawang (garlic) – 5 teeth
Onion – 1 piece
7 spoons of soy sauce
3 spoons of vinegar
Laurel leaves
Paminta (pepper) – buo

Ingredients for adobong atay ng manok
Ingredients for adobong atay ng manok.

Here’s how I cooked adobong atay ng manok:

1. I prepared the ingredients by slicing the sibuyas and bawang

2. Sauté sibuyas and bawang until the latter become golden brown.

3. Place the atay and puso ng manok and sauté for 3 minutes.

4. Add the paminta and laurel leaves.

5. Pour 7 spoons of soy sauce and 3 spoons of vinegar. Let it simmer until the vinegar and soy sauce mixture is almost gone.

Cooking adobong atay ng manok is easy and I think that I did fairly well on this one.

Unfortunately, Lei didn’t like it. She said that she didn’t like the smell. So, I am the one who ate all of the atay and puso ng manok.
 
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You just finished reading a Foodie Sunday post. This a blog post series where I post about our foodie adventures. Expect to read about food; from homecook meals. to street food. to fine dining, to fast food, even the weird edible things.
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Wedding Prep: Florists in Dangwa

Searching for florists in Dangwa is easy since flower shops are everywhere. The good thing is that many of them are expert when it comes to weddings. One thing that you should not forget when you go to Dangwa is the presence of fixers. Avoid them like the plague. Read my first blog post about Dangwa to read how we dealt with a suspected fixer.

Manila Flower Center a.k.a. Dangwa

It was afternoon when we visited Dangwa. We rode a Blumentritt-bound jeep across Quiapo Church and paid the minimum fare. We got down when our jeep crossed Lacson Avenue and noticed the flower shops at the side streets.

My Beloved Wife and her friend searching for florist in Dangwa
My Beloved Wife and her friend searching for Dangwa florists.

We visited around 5 flower shops that day. Of the 5, we met only one florist who is masungit and didn't want to talk to us. That florist, who I will call Mrs. CMP, just handed out a flyer and shooed us away. I don't know if her style worked with other couples but it certainly didn't work on us.

We visited Ms. Nida Emy's shop after our escape from the fixer. Unlike Mrs. CMP, she talked to us nicely (and warned us of Dangwa fixers). This was her offer: bride's bouquet – 800 pesos (white and pink local roses), mini-bouquet for maid of honor and 3 bridesmaids – 1,600 pesos, corsage for 7 ninangs – 245 pesos, boutonniere for 7 ninongs – 175 pesos, baskets of flowers for 4 flower girls – 600 pesos, boutonniere for the best man and 3 grooms men – 100 pesos. We didn't avail of her package but since she treated us well, Ms. Nida Emy deserves a shout out. Contact her at mobile numbers 0928-399-0803 and 0915-921-5185.

Funeral flowers for sale in Dangwa
Flowers for sale by Ms. Nida. I think these flowers are for funerals.

The next flower shop that we visited is Myra's Flower Shop at Stall # 30 (mobile phone no. 0921-410-2187). She offered 5,000-peso package with 300 pesos delivery charge. Her offer includes the bride, groom, maid of honor, 3 bridesmaids, 5 ninongs, 5 ninangs, and 4 flower girls. She offered free petals, throw bouquet, and offertory basket.

The last flower shop that we visited is May Flower Shop at Stall # 12 (telephone nos. 475-6254 & 475-6253, and mobile phone no. 0921-767-5999). I was impressed when I entered their flower shop because of the sheer number of beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers in Dangwa

The shop owners, Raffy and May, treated us well and answered all our questions courteously. They gave My Beloved Wife time to look at their album. They also gave good suggestions after listening to our requirements.

Searching for Flowers in Dangwa

My Beloved Wife, at that time, wanted a pink and lavender motif for our wedding. So, the package that Raffy and May offered followed that motif. They offered 5,000-pesos package with 500 pesos delivery charge. Their package include the bride, groom, maid of honor, 3 bridesmaids, 4 flower girls, 5 ninongs, 5 ninangs, 2 fathers, 2 mothers, best man, and three groomsmen. Also included are centerpiece flowers for 10 tables for the wedding reception.

May Flower Shop's offer is the best that we got that day. However, we did not avail of their services because we chose the florist recommended by a friend.

So, that's ends my blog post about our adventure in Dangwa. Some important lessons that I want to share to soon-to-be-wed couples are the following:

1. Never deal with Dangwa fixers. They may offer low prices but their service might be disappoint you, that is if they show up and deliver what they promised.

2. Leave the flower shop if you notice that the florist (or their minions) is not treating you courteously. It is an obvious sign that they will be a problem because they're already rude while you're still a prospective client. Think of how ruder will they get if they already have your money.

3. Never hesitate to ask questions. Squeeze as much details as you want. It is your wedding and prospective florists must prove that they can make your Big Day beautiful.

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Wedding Prep blog series chronicles our adventures as we prepared for the Big Day. I hope that these blog posts help those who are preparing for their wedding day.
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Wedding Prep: Fixer Surprise in Dangwa

It seems like weddings will never be beautiful without flowers. Some artistic chaps can make a flower-less weddings but that will take additional effort and (maybe) money. Nothing beats the simplicity and beauty of flowers.

With this in mind, My Beloved Wife and I went to Dangwa to search for a florist who will decorate the restaurant where we will have our wedding reception.

Dangwa

Dangwa is an area of flower shops located at the intersection of Laong Laan and Dimasalang Roads. The place was named Dangwa because of the terminal of Dangwa Bus Company located in the area. The bus company has buses coming from Benguet which are the area where flowers are grown. Thus, Dangwa became the “bagsakan” of flowers.

Dangwa is popular because flowers are sold here at low prices as compared to to flower shops located in other parts of Metro Manila. In fact, even the flower shops in other parts of the Metro get their flowers from Dangwa.

I thought that everything will go smooth during our trip to Dangwa. Unfortunately, the very first person that we talked to was very aggressive. He showed us his booklet of flower decorations and told us to choose what we want. He even started jotting flower packages and prices on a piece of paper.

A portion of Dangwa
Dangwa - beware of fixers that lurk here.
He offered 3,000-peso package for the groom's boutonniere; bride's bouquet (white roses with lavender and pink flowers); corsage for the maid of honor, 3 bridesmaids, 2 mothers, and 5 ninangs; and boutonniere for 5 ninongs and 2 fathers. He was very quick because he immediately told us to pay 50% down payment to avail his offer.

I was actually amazed by the very low price. Fortunately, My Beloved Wife was not overwhlemed by that man's shock-and-awe tactics. We refused his offer and we quickly walked away from him.

I was thankful that we refused the 3,000-peso offer because it is possible that that person was a fixer. Other florists in Dangwa alerted us of their presence in the area. As I remember correctly, that man dealed with us on the street. Legitimate florists deal with prospective clients inside their store.

So, to all soon-to-be-wed couples who will be going to Dangwa, I urge you to ignore these fixers. Deal with legitimate florists inside their shops.

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Information about Dangwa was obtained from Dangwa article in Wikipedia.

Wedding Prep blog series chronicles our adventures as we prepared for the Big Day. I hope that these blog posts help those who are preparing for their wedding day.
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The Beginning

The Announcement

Two red lines,
Left on the dining table.
A simple message:
“You are now a father.”


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And so that’s how My Beloved Wife directly told me of her pregnancy. My reaction was not like what was usually seen in teledramas but just a smile and a kiss. I am now a father.

I Cooked Tinolang Bangus

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This Sunday, My Beloved Wife asked me to cook for lunch. She requested that I cook a dish that is masabaw (soupy). I suggested sopas, nilagang baboy (boiled pork), sinigang, fish paksiw, but she didn’t want any of it. In the end, she said that she wanted tolang (or tinolang) bangus.

When I was in Davao for the first time, a friend said that we’ll be eating tinola for dinner. I expected that I’ll be eating chicken but what I got is fish. For the Tagalogs, tinola means tinolang manok. I didn’t expect that the Visayans also use fish for their tinola.

Now, let’s cook tinolang bangus. Here are the ingredients:

Ingredients for tinolang bangus


Kamatis (tomatoes)
Medium-sized bangus (milkfish)
Hugas bigas
Sibuyas (onion)
Luya (ginger)
Malunggay
Salt

How I “Cooked” Tinolang Bangus


1. Remove the malunggay leaves from the stalk. This is the most boring part of this cookery. I suggest that you watch the conyo teens (YouTube video below) while doing this.

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2. Slice the kamatis and sibuyas into four. 3. Slice bangus into 4 pieces. (Tip: you can ask the vendor to do this when you buy the bangus). 4. Pour the hugas bigas into the pot. Place the bangus, sibuyas, and kamatis. Bring the mixture to boil. 5. Place the luya when the mixture started to boil.
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Simmering tinolang bangus
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6. Let it simmer for a while. Add water if you notice if most of the hugas bigas had evaporated. 7. Place the salt according to your taste. 8. Place the malunggay leaves and leave it simmering for a minute. Voila! Now my tinolang bangus is done.
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Tinolang Bangus
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I admit that I didn’t cook this dish alone. My Beloved Wife assisted me. Well, she’s a better cook than me.

Come, let’s eat.

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You finished reading a Foodie Sunday post. This a blog post series where I post about our foodie adventures. Expect to read about food; from homecook meals. to street food. to fine dining, to fast food, even the weird edible things.
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Restore the Churches! Restore Bohol!

Philippine towns, more often than not, trace their beginning with the establishment of a church. That’s why the old churches are usually located just across the government building at the poblacion. Old churches are the silent witnesses of the comings and goings of time. They house the souls of the town and in their halls generations after generations of Filipinos were baptized, married and were given the final rites.

The destruction of old churches in many towns of Bohol due to last year’s earthquake is a painful blow to Boholanos. Losing their churches left a big hole in their hearts.

Loboc Church before and after the 2013 Earthquake
Loboc Church, before and after the earthquake. (Source: Bahay ng Diyos Foundation website)

Rebuilding ruined houses is not enough. Their spirit has to be rebuilt too and one way to do that is by restoring the old churches ruined by the earthquake. Bahay ng Diyos Foundation is doing just that and they are now in initial stages of restoring the heritage churches in the province of Bohol.

Bahay ng Diyos Foundation
(Source: Bahay ng Diyos FB page)

Bahay ng Diyos Foundation is a Catholic organization that focuses of rebuilding, renovation, and refurbishing of churches and religious facilities around the country.

The restoration of heritage churches in Bohol is one of the many projects of Bahay ng Diyos Foundation. Their project map shows that they have projects in Pangasinan, Palawan, Bicol Region, Zamboanga, and Davao.

Rebuilding churches requires money and other resources. That’s why Bahay ng Diyos Foundation is calling on those with generous hearts to help them in their endeavour. Please visit the Bahay ng Diyos Foundation website for details on how to support their projects.
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Wedding Prep: Mass Wine, Hosts, and other Offertory Things

Wedding is both social and spiritual affair. This is especially true for Catholic weddings that’s why wedding ceremonies or the Sacrament of Matrimony is celebrated within the Holy Mass. Because Catholic wedding ceremony is in a Holy Mass, we also bought items for the offertory: mass wine, candles, and the hosts.

Hosts and Mass wine from St. Paul's



After we got our wedding rings from Suarez Wedding Rings, we visited the SM MoA branch of St. Paul’s for the offertory items.

St. Paul’s is more known as a bookstore of Catholic books and reading materials but the shop also sells religious items, including the items used for mass like the Mass wine and the hosts.

Cardinal Mass Wine from St. Paul's


It was suggested that we buy the Mompo brand for the Mass wine. Unfortunately, St. Paul’s didn’t have that brand. What we bought is the Cardinal Mass Wine, which is still valid Mass wine as the Mompo brand. The wine cost [ins price here]

For the hosts, we bought the 500-piece made the nuns of the Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary or the Carmelites. It costs 135 pesos per pack.

We also bought rosary rings, which we wore during our wedding day.

Rosary Ring


We also bought a copy of the Holy Bible to be blessed by the priest on our wedding day. This Bible will serve as our family Bible.


The Mass wine, hosts and other spiritual things that are important for the wedding ceremony are usually eclipsed during wedding preparations. This should not be the case, especially if you’re a Christian. Christian Catholic weddings should be an encounter between God and the couple.

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Wedding Prep blog series chronicles our adventures as we prepared for the Big Day. I hope that these blog posts help those who are preparing for their wedding day.

Supplier Review: Suarez Wedding Rings

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We went to various places in our search for wedding rings. We went to shopping malls. We roamed Ongpin Street and even got insulted by a matapobre jeweler there. But our search ended in SM Mall of Asia (MoA).

We previously visited SM MoA to search for a wedding reception venue. We checked out SM MoA’s The Venue but didn’t book the place because of its steep price.

Like SM Megamall, SM MoA has plenty of jewelry shops. My Beloved Wife and I went to this mall to particularly check out Suarez Wedding Rings.

Suarez Wedding Rings in SM MoA

Unlike that store in Binondo Chinatown, the staff of Suarez Wedding Rings is courteous. They were even game with my jests. The saleslady patiently listened to what we wanted for our wedding rings. Then she suggested rings that fitted our requirements.

What we wanted was a simple band that will not exceed 15 thousand pesos. The saleslady showed us a ring that looked like this:

Wedding ring of Suarez Wedding Rings
(Source: Suarez Wedding Rings website)


In the end, we decided to buy this style of wedding ring. Both of our rings have very small (point-size) diamond stone. Less the discount, our wedding rings cost 14,000 pesos. The freebies that they gave us are a cake slicer and wedding arrhae.

Free arrhae from Suarez Wedding Rings


In Suarez Wedding Rings, rings should be requested at least one week before the pick-up date. The reason for this is that they will make new rings based on the design and size. They also needed the time to engrave the names on the inside part of the wedding rings.

My Beloved Wife worried that the ring may not be finished on time because we ordered our rings around two weeks before our Big Day. Good thing that Suarez is prompt because their saleslady informed me, through text message, that our wedding rings are ready for pick up.

All in all, we're satisfied with our wedding rings from Suarez Wedding Rings. We were also satisfied with their service. And yeah, I recommend this jewelry shop to all soon-to-be-wed out there.

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Disclaimer: This blog post contains my personal views about our wedding rings. I was not commissioned by Suarez Wedding Rings or received any money or freebies for this blog post.

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Wedding Prep blog series chronicles our adventures as we prepared for the Big Day. I hope that these blog posts help those who are preparing for their wedding day.
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What My Beloved Wife Brought Home

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My Beloved Wife just came back from their one-day company outing in Laiya Aplaya (Batangas). Unfortunately, their company didn't allow My Beloved Wife and her office mate to bring their families. So, I was left alone in the house for the first time.

To soothe my “sadness” for being left behind, My Beloved Wife brought home not one but two pasalubong.

Pasalubong from Melgian's Sweets

She brought home two boxes from Melgian's Sweets.

My Beloved Wife said that they bought the pasalubong in Calamba.

The small box contains espasol.

Espasol of Melgian's Sweets

Espasol is a kakanin made from rice flour and grated coconut. What's notable is the white powder at its top.

My Beloved Wife instantly liked Melgian's espasol. It has plenty of grated coconuts, quite different from the espasol being sold by hawkers at the bus stops. At the price of 75 pesos, it is should be expected that Melgian's espasol should be better than the common espasol. Well, we are not disappointed.

Eating the espasol of Melgian's Sweets
A knife after knife of yummy espasol.

The big box contains the common pasalubong in the area of Batangas and Laguna. The always special buko pie!

Buko Pie from Melgian's Sweets

This buko pie costs 150 pesos.

No. I haven't tasted it yet. I am not allowed to eat this because My Beloved Wife said that we will bring this box today to My Mom as her pasalubong for Mother's Day.

I do hope that this buko pie does not disappoint. I will give you the update once we go back home.

Melgian's Sweets can be found in Halang, Calamba, Laguna.
Contact them at telephone nos. (049) 834-6641 and (049) 834-0696.

Oh by the way, before end this post, let me say HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all mothers who are reading this blog. You are all awesome. Keep up the good work. The fate of humankind depends on all of you.

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You finished reading a Foodie Sunday post. This a blog post series where I post about our foodie adventures. Expect to read about food; from homecook meals. to street food. to fine dining, to fast food, even the weird edible things.
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Searching for Wedding Rings and a Bad Day in Binondo Chinatown

My Beloved Wife and I roamed Binondo Chinatown few weeks before our wedding day to search for essential items: our wedding rings.

Binondo Chinatown is known as the center of Chinese culture in the country. Chinese restaurants, lucky charms, and Buddhist temples are few of the things that draw tourists to this place. And since the Chinese are known traders of gold and precious stones way back in the time when ships are wooden and sailed by the wind, it’s no wonder that Binondo Chinatown also has plenty of jewelry shops.

We started our search at the stores located at the east end of Ongpin Street, where plenty of jewelry store booths are located.

Chinatown Gold Center in Binondo Chinatown

We inquired at these booth stores to gauge the prices of wedding rings but we were wary. We’re not sure if what they’re selling is genuine or not. We continued walking through Ongpin Street but we didn’t know where to go. That is until we saw Eng Bee.

Eng Bee in Ongpin Street, Binondo Chinatown
It's closed because I took the photo weeks later.

My Beloved Wife saw a pair of wedding rings that she liked. The ring for the bride is a simple gold band with very small (point size) diamond for 10,000 pesos. The ring for the groom is also a simple gold band but without any stone. It costs 8,000 pesos.

The ring from Eng Bee was our best choice. But our search didn’t end there. We went to another shop that is highly recommended in wedding forums.

Entering that shop was my biggest mistake that day. I immediately noticed the stares, the sort that made me feel that I was being looked down upon. I asked about their wedding rings and their only answer is that they only offer “made to order rings”. We couldn’t take the atmosphere so we left the shop immediately.

My day was ruined after visiting that shop. I know that I don’t have plenty of money in my bank account. I don’t have my own car. And I know that I can never afford their made-to-order rings. But it is wrong that they look down upon me because of that. There are many courteous ways to treat poor customers like me.

We spent almost a whole day in Binondo Chinatown but in the end bought our rings in other place, which I will talk about in the next blog post.

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Wedding Prep blog series chronicles our adventures as we prepared for the Big Day. I hope that these blog posts help those who are preparing for their wedding day.

Do you have questions about our wedding preparation? Or do you want to know the name of the wedding ring supplier that ruined our day? Place your questions and comments at the comment section below or you may send a private message to my Facebook page.
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Wedding Prep: Where We Searched for Wedding Rings

Rings are precious. You have to pass through hordes of orcs, face the evil wraiths, and even suffer the indignity of being roped by hobbits. 

Gollum finally got the One Ring
(Source: Alchemy)

We didn’t suffer like Gollum (Smeagol) when we searched for our wedding rings but like him, we considered our rings precioooous. The reason is that it symbolizes our vow to love each other until death. Thus, our wedding rings should last a lifetime.

There are many places where we searched for our wedding rings. But wherever we went, we always keep in mind our requirements: (1) wedding rings that fit our little budget, and (2) wedding rings from a trustworthy jeweller.

Here are the places where we hunted for our precious:

The Internet

We always go to the Internet whenever we need something for our wedding. We did our research virtually ands contacted suppliers via e-mail.

One supplier who we contacted is Roselle Asuncion-Mendez who offers beautiful wedding rings (which you can check at her website). Another supplier is Sun Jewel. Both suppliers answered our queries promptly.

SM Megamall

There are plenty of jewelry stores in SM Megamall, most of them are located at the third to fourth floors and at the Atrium. I think that these jewelry stores almost have the same offerings of promos. Many of them have lay-away plans and offer discount.

It is not only SM Megamall that have jewelry stores. I think that almost all malls in Metro Manila have them. So, it would be a good thing to check the jewelry stores when you're doing you're shopping chores.

Binondo Chinatown

Aside from being a mecca of Chinese delicacies, Binondo Chinatown is also known for its jewelry shops. Most of the shops are located at the W end of Ongpin Street.

Gold Center in Binondoo Chinatown

Most of the jewelry shops in Binondo Chinatown is different from the ones in the malls. They look run down and cannot be trusted. But since it's Binondo Chinatown, you should not judge the shops by their looks. However, make sure that you know how to discern true gold from fake ones to avoid being tricked.

The search for our wedding rings in Binondo Chinatown is another adventure that I'll talk about in the next blog post.

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Wedding Prep blog series chronicles our adventures as we prepared for the Big Day. I hope that these blog posts help those who are preparing for their wedding day.
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