End of the Month Roundup – June 2014

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It is that day of the year again when we all have to say good bye to the first half of the year. Time is so fast that I didn’t notice that I’m already 5 months into our married life and I just saw the very first photo of my child. In just few winks we'll be celebrating our anniversary, the first birthday of our child, and many more happy moments.

My Beloved Wife Lei's pregnancy is both exhausting and exciting. Right now she's thinking if she will be a stay-at-home mom or a working mom. I hope that we can prepare well whatever her decision may be. Of course we're praying to Mama Mary and other saints for their intercession.

I continued posting about our wedding preparations thhis month. I featured the wedding invitation cards and wedding gowns in Divisoria. I also posted about our search for hotels and also the place where we stayed the night before our wedding day, which is Copacabana Apartment Hotel.

I posted also posted about some Filipino wedding traditions that we encountered in our wedding adventure.

Wedding documents are overlooked during wedding preparation, so I posted about the importance of church wedding documents and how we got our NSO birth certificates and CENOMAR.

I hope that these posts will be helpful for soon-to-be-wed couples out there.

I also posted about two Korean restaurants: BonChon and Mr. Kimbob, and the puto and kutsinta from Rocha's. I even talked about my failed dinengdeng.

Facepalm Moment of the Month

Coloma mastered the art of blaming other people. Haha. Facepalm.

Coloma fail
(Source: Showbiz Government)
Dear Coloma, we deserve to buy high quality rice because it is OUR MONEY! You try eating the bad quality rice so you'll know why we want good smelling rice. Kutusan kita d'yan eh.
 
June Funnies

Facebook is a great source of amusement. Here are my favourites:

The world in the eyes of a gamer

How gamers think when in church
(Source: 9Gag)


And why you might think twice in buying DIY crucifixes.

DIY Crucifixion
(Source: Catholic Link)

Things I Learned (TIL)

What I like with the research part of my work is that I encounter interesting readings in the Internet. Here are some of the things that I learned:

1. Did you know that the first bishop of the Catholic Church in Mongolia is a Filipino priest? (Source: Wikipedia)
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2.  Over in Eye in the Sky, I read about Vietnam refugees living in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. I didn’t know that a dwindling Vietnamese community exists in that part of the Philippines.

3. Also in Palawan, I discovered that a town in that Philippine province was named after Sir James Brooke, the first white rajah of Sarawak. The connection between Brooke and Palawan is obscure. (Source: Wikipedia)

4. A centennial tunnel is located in the town of Aringay (La Union). This tunnel, built during the Spanish period, was meant to be a tunnel of a railway system that didn’t materialize. This tunnel was used by the Japanese as a camp during the Second World War.

Historic Centennial Tunnel in Aringay, La Union
(Source: La Union Province website)


5. I learned recently that some samurais became Christians, others became pirates, and others were employed as mercenaries by the Spaniards in a plot to invade China. (Source: List Verse)

6. An Operational Plan estimated that the Japanese have 170,000 soldiers in the Philippine prior

Number of Japanese soldiers prior to the Allied Leyte Landings (World War 2)
(Source: iBiblio)


7. And the best TIL is that I should avoid kebab as much as possible:

Yummy kebab
(Source: Shasha)


Yummy! They even posed for the camera.

And before I end, let me share an advice from Brod Pete.

Brod Pete on bait-baitan

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Mr. Kimbob on a Rush

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Mr. Kimbob


We were looking for a good place to eat when we noticed a large crowd in front of a store at the food court. That store was Mr. Kim Bob, another Korean (or Korean inspired) restaurant.

Curious with the hoopla, we ordered two of their beef Bibimbob.

Bibimbob of Mr. Kimbob

What we got is a rice meal on a sizzling plate. For 99 pesos per plate, we got a cup of rice, sunny-side-up egg, fried beef meat, toge (bean sprouts), and other veggies. There is also kimchi since Mr. Kimbob is a Korean restaurant.

Lei wants gulaman, so, ordered palamig from Jose’s Goto.

Palamig from Jose's Goto


Mr. Kimbob’s Bibimbob is fine. Our only complaint with our meal is that the rice is not well-cooked. I think that Mr. Kimbob’s crew rushed the rice because of the large volume of orders. That is understandable but Mr. Kimbob should understand that some customers are unforgiving when it comes to their food.

I actually liked their Bibimbob. My hot plate is empty after a few spoonfuls.

Empty plate of Mr. Kimbob


I might eat again at Mr. Kimbob. I do hope, though, that their rice is perfect next time.

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You just finished reading a Foodie Sunday post. This is a blog 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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Our Wedding Invitation Card from Divisoria

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My Beloved Wife Lei wanted to do some do-it-yourself (DIY) projects to reduce our wedding expenses. So, we did DIY props for our pre-nuptial photoshoot. Lei also attempted to create her own bouquet from palay (rice) stalks, which didn’t become successful.

Another DIY project that we tried was making our own wedding invitations. We believed that we can do it because designs are readily available in the Internet. Paper and other materials can easily be bought from stores.

We were not successful in this DIY project. One reason is that we couldn’t replicate the beautiful wedding invitation cards that we saw in the Internet. We also computed that DIY wedding invitation cards are more expensive than those that can be ordered in Divisoria.

In short, we decided to order wedding invitation cards in Divisoria.

Shop of invitation cards in Yangco Market, Divisoria

Yangco Market and Tabora Street beside it is the wedding center of Divisoria. The market has shops that sell wedding gowns, wedding souvenirs, and wedding invitation cards. This made our search for invitation card supplier easy because their shop is located in the same area as our couturier.

There are plenty of suppliers to choose from but the styles of their invitation cards are almost the same. We’ve seen classic style invitation, booklet style, and even passport style.

Buyer of invitation card in Divisoria
Lei checking out the passport-style invitation card.

We booked MRD2 as our wedding invitation card supplier. We ordered 50 pieces of their invitation cards for 1,950 pesos.

Wedding invitation card from Divisoria


MRD2’s invitation card is fine and Lei didn’t have any complaint about it. They gave us liberty to place the wordings in our invitation. They are also easy to work with because they’re easy to talk with.

My only problem is that they released our invitation cards after two weeks. That was just a minor problem, however, since we were not rushing our invitation cards.

Couples who are looking for invitation cards should try to check out the suppliers in Yangco Market and Tabora Street in Divisoria.

You may also try booking MRD2. Their shop is located along Pasilio G of Yangco Market. Contact them at mobile numbers: 0919-9935321 and 0917-8612213 or telephone number: 243-1296.
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Wedding Gowns in Divisoria and the Bad Experience with Our Couturier

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My Beloved Wife Lei saw a wedding gown during a wedding expo in World Trade Center. She immediately liked that wedding gown and wanted to wear it on the wedding day. Unfortunately, the gown was designed by Edward Teng and his price is way above our budget.

Online wedding forums directed us to Divisoria for affordable wedding couturiers. According to the forumers, there are plenty of affordable couturiers in Yangco Market, located between Tabora and Ylaya Streets.

We visited three places when we searched for a couturier for Lei's wedding gown, namely; 168 Shopping Mall, 999 Shopping Mall, and Yangco Market.

168 Shopping Mall
Divisoria 168 Shopping Mall
168 Shopping Mall, known for cheap items from China, has a wedding section at the 4th floor. The place have gowns, suits, barongs and attire for the whole wedding entourage. The shops have couturiers and they accept made to order wedding gowns.

We didn't hire any of the couturier in 168 Shopping Mall because their prices are more expensive as compared to other places. Despite of this, we keep on going back to 168 Shopping Mall to shop for other items like Lei's wedding shoes, the dresses for the flower girls, and her accessories.



My Beloved Wife fitting shoes in Divisoria
168 Shopping Mall is very crowded due to the crowd and the habit of shop owners to place their goods on the already narrow corridor. When shopping for wedding supplies in this mall, you should bring patience, patience, and more patience. Of course you should also bring your expertise in haggling.

999 Shopping Mall



Divisoria 999 Shopping Mall
999 Shopping Mall, located just beside 168 Shopping Mall, has a wedding section at the basement. We only talked to Stephen of Jazz's Bridal Boutique. His frank way of talking almost convinced us to hire him as our couturier. Lei, however, decided to look for a better deal in Yangco Market.



Bridal section in Divisoria 999 Shopping Mall
Tutuban Center once has a wedding section that got burned around two years ago. I think that shops from Tutuban transferred to 168 and 999 Shopping Malls.

Yangco Market

Our final destination is the Yangco Market, located between Tabora and Ylaya Streets. This place surprised me because I never expected that there is a whole street in Divisoria dedicated to suppliers for weddings, birthdays, and baptism. Tabora Street have souvenirs, invitation cards, and accessories. The  Yangco Market, beside of it, has rows upon rows of wedding gowns.



Rolls of cloth in Divisoria
Yangco Market is the bagsakan of various cloths. That's why mananahi from every part of Metro Manila visit this market. Those who want to make their own wedding gown can buy the cloths in this market. This market also has shops that sell lace.



Shopping for lace in Divisoria
Couturiers in Yangco Market are praised by many in online wedding forums because they can make quality wedding gown at affordable price. They can also sew based on the printed Internet image of the gown that the clients want.

We found our couturier in Yangco Market. Lei showed her Edward Teng's design and the couturier promised that she can make it. She offered 10,000 pesos for Lei's wedding gown. We also hired her to make bridesmaids' gowns, the dress of the flower girls, my suit, our fathers' barong, and our mothers' gown. She asked 5,000 down payment for the wedding gown.

The price is really cheap and so we expect that Lei's wedding gown will not be as grand as that of Edward Teng or other famous fashion designers. What we didn't expect, however, is that the quality of the gown and other dresses will be poorly made.



Lei's wedding gown.
After one month (and two fitting sessions) we picked-up Lei's wedding gown and my suit. I sensed that Lei didn't like her wedding gown. She had plenty of complaints about it. Even the gowns of the bridesmaids and mothers were poorly made. Unfortunately, the couturier avoided us and she suddenly stop answering my text messages.

We were wrong in making full payment when we still have complaints for the wedding gown. We lose the leverage to force the couturier to fix her sloppy job. Lei couldn't do anything but fix the gowns by herself.

May our experience be a warning for those who are looking for couturiers in Yangco Market. Be very careful and don't be tricked by the low price. Low price usually means low quality.

Also, don't give the full payment when you're still not satisifed with your gown. Couturiers will not hide from you as long as the money is still in your hands.

What happened to us really sucks but we managed to rise from it. Lei's quick fix saved us from more tensions and stress. We also learned our lessons, especially when dealing with suppliers of any kind.

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Do you have questions about Lei's wedding gown? Or do you want to know the name of this dubious wedding gown supplier? 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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A Failed Attempt in Cooking Dinengdeng

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Overstaying vegetables are one of our usual home problems. Some vegetables take more than a week in the fridge because we either don’t have the time to cook them or they’re just too many.

Upon opening the fridge one day, I noticed that we have ampalaya (bitter gourd), talong (eggplant), sitaw (string beans), and takway. Their freshness is gone and they will be sent to the trash can if they stayed longer in the fridge. Throwing these veggies means throwing away hard-earned money, so I decided to salvage them.

After a bit of Google search, I discovered this popular Ilocano dish: dinengdeng.

The original dinengdeng
Photo by :Thepacificconoisseur / en.wikipedia


Dinengdeng is just a mixture of veggies and bagoong. Cooking this dish is very easy. It is the perfect dish for our overstaying veggies.

Ingredients for Dinengdeng

Talong
Sitaw
Ampalaya
Takway
Tomatoes (3 pcs)
Onion (1 pc)
Salt
Magic Sarap
Bagoong Isda
Pork (bite-size and fried)

How I Cooked Dinengdeng

1. The first thing that I did is to cut the ampalaya, talong, sitaw, and takway to bite-sized slices. I then sliced the sibuyas into two and quartered the tomatoes.

Vegetables for dinengdeng


2. I boiled the water in a pot and then placed the tomatoes and the onion. I then added the bagoong isda. I let the mixture simmer for a while. The scum forming at the sides of the pot were promptly removed.

3. I threw in the talong, sitaw, ampalaya, takway, and the fried pork. I let it simmer until the veggies are cooked.

4. I then added Magic Sarap and salt until it tastes OK.

5. I finally served it hot for dinner.

My Cookery Result

My version of dinengdeng


My dinengdeng tasted very bitter. Even Lei made the same remark. It’s so bitter that she didn’t eat it. The taste is not surprising because I placed 1 and a half amplaya in this dish.

I had no choice but to eat it all of it. I think I finished eating my dinengdeng after three meals. The sad part is that ampalaya is my most hated vegetable. I think eating this dinengdeng was my punishment for cooking so badly.

My consolation is that ampalaya is known to be good against diabetes.

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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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Filipino Wedding Traditions

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Wedding is a very important part of the Filipino culture. That’s why it’s not surprising that many traditions were attached to it. And since the Filipino culture is a sort of a hotpot, our wedding traditions are mixtures of Chinese, Spanish, American, and distinct regional influences.

During our wedding preparations, and even on the wedding itself, we encountered many Filipino wedding traditions. Many of these are logical but some made me scratch my head in wonder.

1. Marriage Proposal

Engagement Ring
(Source: Bridal Guide)

Our wedding preparations began when I asked Lei’s hand for marriage. After five years of boyfriend/girlfriend relationship and subtle hints from Lei, I decided to put our relationship to the next level. With a ring in hand, I proposed to Lei in Sonya's Garden.

I think that the concept of marriage proposal came from the Americans. Since time immemorial, the Filipinos concept of marriage proposal is the pamamanhikan.

2. Pamamanhikan

Pamamanhikan is a very important Filipino wedding tradition since it involves the couple's parents. Even before the Spaniards came to colonize the Philippines, Filipinos practice pamamanhikan. This is where the parents talk about the wedding and, also, of the dowry.

Our parents didn’t talk about the wedding during our pamamanhikan. It turned to be the first meeting between me and Lei’s parents. We brought food, including my father’s special laing. Our pamamanhikan is very important to my mother-in-law because it proved that I’m serious in marrying her daughter.
Since, pamamanhikan is a serious Filipino wedding tradition, couples should prepare for it. Bridal Book has good tips for pamamanhikan.

3. Groom and Bride Not Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding Day
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Lei’s mother was aghast when I entered their room in Copacabana Apartment Hotel just few hours before the wedding ceremony. She said that I am not allowed to see my bride because it will bring bad luck to our marriage.

I had no choice that time because I was the wedding coordinator and the groom at the same time. It was my duty to check if the bride and her family were doing fine.

I can’t get my head around this Filipino wedding tradition. Oh well, the deed was done so we'll just wait if “bad luck” will come our way.

This superstition is not unique since many Europeans and Americans follow this prohibition. The source of this wedding tradition is a mystery.

4. Pinning Bills
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Lei said that she want the guests to pin bills on our clothes during our first dance. I think that the person who invented this Filipino wedding tradition is very clever. This tradition pits the guests against each other in pinning the highest amount. In short, the newlywed couple wins.

5. Showering the Newlywed Couple with Rice
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Filipinos cannot live without rice. We eat it during breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even at merienda. Thus, rice became the symbol of prosperity. Rice is showered to the newlyweds to bring them good fortune.

Our wedding church prohibits this Filipino wedding tradition. A shower of rice, petals, and confetti means paying additional fee. What we did is to use bubbles instead of rice.

6. Veil and Cord Should not Fall to the Ground
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The wedding ceremony was interrupted when the matron of honor approached us to prevent the veil from falling off. Good thing that our priest was good-natured and let the interruption pass.

Lei's sister, who is the matron of honor, said that their two aunts never ceased in bugging her about the veil. They said that bad luck will happen if the veil falls. Thanks to my sister-in-law, another reason for bad luck was averted.

7. Plenty and Delicious Food
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The Filipino wedding is expected to be a feast. Our pre-Hispanic ancestors celebrated weddings for many days. It is still the same in these modern times. Filipino wedding is the event where the best dishes, especially the secret recipes of the clan, are prepared.

Guests will forget what happened during the wedding ceremony but they will never forget the dishes served during the wedding reception. This is the reason why many couples are more worried about their wedding reception than the more important wedding ceremony. The food must please the VIPs, the relatives, friends and all the guests lest you hear the hushed criticisms.

The issue of food is where Lei and I had a major confrontation. Lei want to save as much money as possible but I want to serve the best dish that we could have. It was balancing act that ended successfully. I'm very glad that the marketing staff of the Chinese restaurant were we held our wedding reception was very understanding. We managed to set a menu that is excellent although we spent a little over the budget.

There are more Filipino wedding traditions that I didn’t include in this post. There’s the breaking of plates (which we never did) to avert bad luck and other superstitions that would either bring good luck or bad luck. Since the space is not enough, I hope you, Dear Reader,  will share the Filipino wedding traditions that you know in the comment box below.
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How We Got Our NSO Birth Certificate and CENOMAR

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Aside from the church documents, our wedding church required us to submit some documents issued by the government. These documents are our birth certificates and certificate of no marriage (CENOMAR) from the National Statistics Office (NSO).

NSO birth certificate


The NSO birth certificate serves as the proof of our birth. Important details from the birth certificate include the name of our parents and our birth date. The CENOMAR, on the other hand, serves as a proof that the NSO has no record of our previous marriage, if there was any. CENOMAR is used as a proof that the person is unmarried, according to the records of NSO.

The common way of getting the NSO birth certificate and the CENOMAR is by going to the NSO main office and then queue for a day. It’s a big hassle.

We didn’t want to waste our time in NSO main office so we just ordered our NSO birth certificate and CENOMAR through e-Census. Our NSO birth certificate and CENOMAR were delivered to us after 5 working. Ordering these certificates online is truly hassle free!

For a step-by-step guide in ordering your NSO birth certificate and CENOMAR, I suggest that you read this article: NSO Birth Certificate Delivery.

We paid 315 pesos per copy of our NSO birth certificate and 415 pesos for the CENOMAR.

These online ordering services are truly helpful for soon-to-be-married couples because the time that might be used in going to the NSO main office can now be spent in other aspects of the wedding preparations.
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A Father's Day Post

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Ishamael Ahab's father
(Source: Capsule Computers)

Meet my father.

Like most dad, he did plenty of mistakes in the past. And he also had many misunderstandings with us, his children. There are some habits of his that we don’t approve.

Despite all of the negative things that he posses, he is still a great dad. He never failed in being a provider. He did all the odd jobs that he encountered just to make sure that we have food to eat and clothes to wear and some little luxuries. I didn’t know the details but I’m sure that he had many sacrifices for the sake of our family.

Since it is a special day for all the daddies, I just want to say “Happy Father’s Day” DAD. Thank you very much for everything.
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Purposes of Documents for Church Wedding (Part 2)

A painting of Catholic Wedding
(Source: From the Eastern Front)

 In the first part of this article I talked about the importance of baptism and confirmation (kumpil) and why these are required for a church wedding. Now, I’ll be talking about the importance of other documents, namely, wedding banns certificates, parish priest’s permission for the bride, and certificate for attending a pre-Cana seminar.

Wedding Bann Certificates

Being true to marriage vows is the great desire of the Church when it comes to Catholic marriages. Thus, the Church requires that the upcoming marriage is announced in the parish church of the bride and the groom. Through the wedding bann, people who have knowledge of impediment to the upcoming wedding may inform the Church and stop the wedding from happening.

I paid 500 pesos for my wedding bann while Lei paid 300 pesos that includes the parish priest’s permission.

Parish Priest’s Permission for the Bride

Based on what I read from the University of Notre Dame Campus Ministry website, weddings traditionally takes place in the parish church of the bride. As courtesy, our church required us to submit a permission letter from the priest in the parish where Lei reside.

Certificate of Attendance for Pre-Cana Seminar

It is the duty of the Church to teach her flock of the truth. It is also her duty to teach soon-to-be-married couples about the will of God when it comes to marriage. We spent a whole afternoon attending the pre-Cana seminar. There are lectures that are enlightening but it was disappointing because most of the lecturers didn’t go deep and just talked about their experiences in their marriages.

We didn’t pay anything for the pre-Cana seminar because it is an initiative of the Couple for Christ (CFC) group of the parish church where we had our wedding.

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It is very easy to get lost during wedding preparations but there are requirements that are more important than others. For soon-to-be-wed couples, I suggest that you allot time for acquiring these church requirements. Ignoring these requirements might prevent your dream wedding from happening.
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Purposes of Documents for Church Wedding (Part 1)

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One thing that many couples complain about is the sheer number of documents required for a church wedding. Aside from the documents required by the government for marriage registration, the Church required us to submit our baptismal certificates, confirmation certificates, wedding banns certificates, parish priest’s permission for the bride, and certificate for attending a pre-Cana seminar. Obtaining these documents took more than a day in our wedding preparation schedules.

I read somewhere in the Internet someone claiming that these documents “are means for the Church to earn money”. I don’t know if that person has an axe to grind against the Church or just ignorant.

So, to set things straight, I’m posting what I know about these church documents and why they are important.

Baptismal Certificate

(Source: Tom Mahony website)

Marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic Church and it requires that at least one one-half of the couple marrying in the Church is a baptized Catholic. The Baptismal Certificate serves as a proof of that baptism. Baptismal certificate may be obtained from the parish church where you were baptized.

Our church required us to obtain copies of our baptismal certificate containing the remarks: “For Marriage Purpose”. This meant that the baptismal certificate hidden by Mother in the baul will not be accepted by the church. We had to get recent copies.

There is no standard price for baptismal certificate. It really depends on the parish church. I paid 50 pesos for my baptismal certificate in our previous parish church in Quezon City. My Beloved Wife Lei paid 100 pesos for her baptismal certificate from their church in the province down south.

Confirmation Certificate

Receiving kumpil in the old times
(Source: Wikipedia)


According to the Catechism, the Sacrament of Confirmation perfects baptismal grace. Through it, the Holy Spirit root us more in the divine filiation, incorporates us more firmly into Christ, and strengthen our bond with the Church. In short, Confirmation or Kumpil gives us the opportunity to receive more grace that will make us better Christians.

Married life is never easy. It demands strength and dedication for us to be always true to our wedding vows. In light of our Catholic Christian faith, marriage demands more grace and firmer faith in God. This is the reason why the Church requires couples to receive Kumpil first before getting married in the church.

Lei is fortunate because she was able to receive Kumpil during her teen years. I was not able to do that, so I have to receive Kumpil in Quiapo Church. Lei paid 100 pesos for her Confirmation Certificate. I, on the other hand, paid 430 pesos for the whole process of receiving this sacrament.

Receiving baptism and confirmation are important for Catholics. These two sacraments prepare would-be-couples spiritually so that (hopefully) they’ll be more open to the grace from our God. The certificates are just documentary proofs that these sacraments were received.

“But Ish, but Ish,” some of you might say, “but these certificates came from the church. They should be free!”

I agree, these certificates should be free IF the paper used was obtained by the church without paying for it, that the parish priest don’t need to eat, that the parish church are exempted from paying electric and water bills. Keep in mind that our churches run because of donations and payments received from all of those requesting for these documents.

Hopefully, I enlightened you a little regarding these certificates. In the second part of this article I will tell you the importance of wedding banns, parish priest’s permission for the bride, and certificate for attending a pre-Cana seminar.
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Rocha's Puto & Kutsinta

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Puto and kutsinta are two of the popular type of rice cakes in the Philippines. Puto is the spongy type of rice cake while kutsinta is sticky and usually partnered with grated coconut meat. Puto comes in differrent colors, shapes, and sizes while kutsinta are usually shaped circular and red in color.

I'm posting about these two Pinoy delicacies because of My Beloved Wife Lei's pasalubong: a box of Rocha's Puto and Kutsinta.

A box of Rocha's puto and kutsinta


Lei told me that she bought Rocha's Puto and Kutsinta from an office mate who sells these goodies for extra income. She bought it for 140 pesos but it's actual price is lower.

If I remembered it right, a box contains 25 pieces of puto and 25 pieces of kutsinta.

Puto and Kutsinta

There's no grated coconut but that's OK since Rocha's kutsinta tastes good even without it.

I like the puto more than the kutsinta. The puto has cheese on top, which made it special.

I couldn't stop myself from popping these puto and kutsinta into my mouth. Lei even have to warn me from eating all of these.

These puto and kutsinta are good, especially during breakfast.

If you want to taste Rocha's puto and kutsinta, I suggest that you drop by their shops Barangay Sto. NiƱo and Barangay Sta. Elena in Marikina City or in Laguna Bel Air, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Call 941-1519 for inquiries.

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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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A Night in Copacabana Apartment Hotel

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Copacabana Hotel Apartment is one landmark that I usually look at whenever I pass along south EDSA. I never knew back then that it will have a connection to our wedding. Copacabana Apartment Hotel is the place where we stayed in the night before our wedding day.

Weeks before our wedding day, Lei and I searched for hotels where we can do our pre-wedding preparatiosn. We visited Herald Suites, Avitel Hotel, and Copacabana Apartment Hotel. It is Copacabana that impressed us the most that’s why we booked it.

Copacabana Apartment Hotel
Copacabana Apartment Hotel. (Source: PCG Auxiliary)


We were allowed to check the rooms during our visit and I was impressed. What I liked with Copacabana Apartment Hotel is the space. Since it’s an apartment hotel, Copacabana’s rooms are spacious. The rooms have dining area, kitchen, living area, and, (of course) bedrooms.


For me and my family, we booked the 1 Bedroom Suite while we booked the 2 Bedroom Suite Deluxe for Lei and her family.

We got the promo rate of 2,975 pesos for the 1 Bedroom Suite. However, Copacabana allows only 2 persons for that room so I had to pay 650 pesos for the extra person. Mother and Little Sister accompanied me in my overnight in this room.

Our bedroom in Copacabana Apartment Hotel
Our bedroom in Copacabana Apartment Hotel.


Our room have a small table, where we ate our very late dinner, and the sofa is just close to it.

Living and dining areas in Copacabana Apartment Hotel


I will never forget that night I spent doing the last-minute preparations (seating arrangement for the reception, guest cards, and the program for our wedding reception). I sleept around 3 AM and woke up around 5 AM.

The kitchen is on the other side our room. It has a stove, water heater, and refrigerator that contains the money trap of canned soft drinks, bottled water, etc.

Our Kitchen in Copacabana Apartment Hotel
See my bed?


Lei, the Biyenans and, our make-up artist stayed in the bigger 2 Bedroom Suite Deluxe room. We paid the 6,800 pesos promo rate for this room. Their room also has kitchen, living area and dining area.

Lei brought three of her pamangkins because Copacabana don’t charge extra payment for kids.

Lei's room in Copacabana Apartment Hotel
Lei's bedroom. Look at her wedding gown.


Lei’s room is bigger because this is where they did the make-up and photography.

Some Criticisms about Copacabana Apartment Hotel


I have few negative comments to this hotel, and the first of it is about the receptionists. It seems like the receptionists don’t know how to smile. They are not outright rude but I can see in their body language that they’re not “customer friendly”.

The next worst negative comment is about their “promise” about photo-shoot inside the hotel. During our first visit, we asked the receptionists if photoshoot is allowed inside the hotel, particularly at the lobby. They just answered “yes”. I asked them again about it on our wedding day and their answer is “no”, specifically at the places outside of our room.

I get mad at this sudden prohibition. Good thing that our photographers were not daunted by this turn of events and took our photos and videos at the corridors and stairs of the hotel. They even took photos and videos of Lei at the lobby and the hotel people were not able to stop them.

My last negative comment is the noise in our room. I know that many people book Copacabana Apartment Hotel because of its convenient location. The hotel is just beside EDSA and few minutes away from SM Mall of Asia (SM MoA) and the airport.

A view of EDSA from Copacabana Apartment Hotel
A view of EDSA from our room in Copacabana Apartment Hotel.


The consequence of this convenience is the noise from vehicles, particularly the buses, running in front of the hotel. Loud hoots from buses outside will be enough to wake you up. Guests are warned that Filipino bus drivers are very inconsiderate with their horns.

All in all, our stay in Copacabana Apartment Hotel was OK despite of the negative comments that I had. I recommend this hotel for soon-to-be-wed couples who are looking for a place to stay before their big day. The good thing about Copacabana Apartment Hotel is the big rooms. The bellboys are helpful and courteous too. Copacabana Apartment Hotel allowed our photographers to come in but the problem is they tried to prevent our photoshoot from happening.

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Visit the Copacabana Apartment Hotel website for more info about this hotel.
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Wedding Prep: Finding a Hotel

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Our house in the province is very far away from the church where we will hold our wedding. It is impractical for us to prepare ourselves (outfit, flowers, and make-up for the bride) and then travel for so many hours to our wedding. We were, then, forced to find a hotel where we can do our pre-wedding preparations.

The hotel that we were looking for should be within our budget and have rooms that are spacious enough for my bride, her bridesmaids, our mothers, our make-up artists, and all the photographers who will cover our special event. Of course, the main factor is that the hotel is just few minutes away from the church, including the journey through the possible congested traffic.

Three hotels fit in our criteria and these are Herald Suites, Avitel Hotel, and Copacabana Apartment Hotel.

Herald Suites


The first hotel that we visited is located along Don Chino Roces Avenue, near Don Bosco Church in Makati. Herald Suites, as the receptionist told us, is catered more for businessmen because of its proximity to Makati Central Business District. But they assured us that they can allow make-up artists and photographers. They also allow photoshoot and video-taking in the rooms and the hotel lobby.

Herald Suites


Lei liked the hotel lobby. Unfortunately, we were not able to check their rooms so I cannot comment about that.

Visit the Herald Suite website for more info.

Avitel Hotel

The next hotel that we visited has a very crowded lobby. This is understandable, however, because Avitel Hotel is a budget hotel. The receptionist that entertained us was not sure if the make-up artists, photographers and our many visitors will be allowed in Avitel Hotel. I think she’s hesitating maybe because it was the first time someone asked wedding-related use for their rooms. Also, the Avitel Hotel is so crowded that our crowd will make the hotel more crowded.

So, in the end, we didn’t consider Avitel Hotel as a place for our pre-wedding preparations.

Copacabana Apartment Hotel

The last hotel that we visited is Copacabana Apartment Hotel, located along EDSA beside Heritage Hotel. This is the hotel that we selected because it fulfilled all of our criteria. I will talk about this hotel in the next blog post.
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The Best #STOPTHE1DISSUE Tweets

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(Source: Inquirer.net)

Different reactions appeared when Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction were shown smoking marijuana during the South American leg of their world tour. Directioners were angered with the alleged ban against the boy band.
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The Bureau of Immigration said that One Direction is not banned from entering the country but many are still enraged against the government.
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At least one went one level higher by hating his country.



Some Directioners are devastated with the “ban”.



Some even explained that the boys will not give free drugs in their concert.

Not cocaine but maybe weed?
Yes, Zain and Louis are humans too.


PNoy’s government is even threatened...

Maybe Noynoy should surround Malakanyang with tanks, machine gunners, snipers and the Marines.

...and he will not get the help of USA and United Kingdom.


And because of the alleged ban, Pinoys are a bunch of ingrates.




And one man is in the middle of this twitter war








So what will happen to the Twitter war against Bureau of Immigration and PDEA? Will the Directioners destroy the powerful Yellow Army of Noynoy?

Abangan sa #STOPTHE1DISSUE.
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