Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Marikina Sports Center and Banapple

As part of my so-called wedding preps, I try to look fit and healthy. But more than the goal to be healthy, what's of great importance to me is to fit in my little gown. Hehe. And so a few weeks ago, I committed to jog/run/dance at least thrice a week. So far, I was only able to do it max of twice in a week because of so many reasons I'd rather not rant about. I do my early evening exercise at Marikina Sports Center. If you're someone who loves to dance but is not willing to pay much for a dance lesson enrollment, you might want to consider this venue.

my usual from-office-to-work-out get-up 

Last weekend, Ralph and I scheduled a jog/dance session with our fellowship group in church. Entrance is P10 per head, locker rental is also at P10 just make sure to bring your own padlock. Otherwise, you can always buy one from there, at P30 each.

(c) for more info about Marikina Sports Center, this blog is very helpful

To join the dance, the dance instructor's assistant (I guess there are 2 of them) will ask you to pay P40/head during weekdays while P50/head during weekends. Though FREE instructor, choreography, and music sound more enticing, I already consider this a good deal. The session, which lasts for 1hr-1.5hrs, covers a wide range of dance types (belly dance, zumba, aero, etc). There are 2 DIs that hold their dance lessons in the Sports Center separately and simultaneously but the group I have joined (because of the better music played) was the one in the Sepak Takraw area, near the covered basketball court entrance.

In our case, that particular weekend, the dance was halfway done when we arrived so we chose to run and walk around the oval instead. What I like most about working out is the excuse to savor on anything more refreshing (and delicious) than usual after burning significant amount of calories. This is how I reward myself. So after more than an hour of just playful yet energy-consuming loitering that we did on the oval, we decided to have dinner at Banapple in Katipunan.

Below is a rundown of what we had.

I got myself the bestseller Banapple House Salad

The Estacio's ordered this which they obviously shared

my friend Ghea got this really mouthwatering Baked Cream Cheesy Penne
which almost all of us shared

Another bestseller: Banofee Pie

which I brought home for the folks

It wasn't my first time to eat something Banapple but it was my first to actually dine-in. I'm glad I did because I loved the interior of the place :)

one contributor to their homey ambiance

How about you? How do you stay fit?

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Friday, February 22, 2013

An attempt to Photoshop

Ok so I just learned Photoshop yesterday. Oh please, some of you still don't even know how to ride a bicycle which I learned when I was barely 4, so yeah go ahead call me late bloomer. Lol.

Anyway, today is the launching of my PS-skills (if any). And I must say "not bad, Venus. Not bad at all." I used it as my cover photo on FB and people immediately started liking it. I'm just not sure though if they liked it because we have finally released our wedding date or because of my humble attempt to be artistic. Take a look  =====>

monogram. or not

You see, this is where I start. And with the kind of excitement that I have right now in exploring this software, I have a good feeling I'll become good at it in no time.

What do you think?


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Missed Girlfriends & Mood Boards

Nicky & Lyan made time for me yesternight. I appreciate it 'cause they were able to squeeze me in to their very hectic schedule. (If you know them and you're updated, you would laugh hard like I'm doing now).

photo (c) @siNikita
We met for dinner at Cafe Lidia -- my favorite hang-out place in town which actually offers good food and amazing chocolate cakes, too! It was their first while it was my nth time to visit this restaurant which is easily hidden along the stretch of the residential area that is Calderon St. in Calumpang, Marikina City. Anyway, below is a rundown of the food we ordered.

Friday, February 15, 2013

To my single friends out there..

(Operational definition of SINGLE = someone who is not married)

I just had to make this post because of a very random text message I got from a very close friend of mine. The message goes like this:

"..before mo pa makilala si Ralph single na ko. Ngayon ikakasal ka na.."
(before you met Ralph, I was single. Now you're already getting married [and I still am])

I don't know where this thought of her came from. Was it because yesterday was the infamous Single Awareness Day? Or because I'm getting married and most people didn't expect it to come this soon? Whatever the reason is, I think it's best for me to finally post my two cents on this matter.

WAITING IS NOT EASY. I myself made a vow that after the first immature ungodly high school relationship that I had back when I wasn't a Christian yet, the next relationship I'll have shall be with the man I'll marry someday. I was single for 6 years and if I'll be honest, it wasn't a piece of cake. I was tempted in every way. I even gave in to temptation of dating just for the sake of. There are so many things I regret which I just charged to experience. Though I don't remember Valentine's Days to be dreaded, I remember the feeling of wishing I have someone with me to get the groceries, watch movie, or even just to stroll in the park text "good morning, i love you" every day. 

PRAYING MAKES WAITING SHORTER. When I became a Christian, it didn't necessarily become easier for me 'cause I was just given another reason to be sad -- I don't have a boyfriend to attend Sunday services with while I see a lot of couple attendees surrounding me. The joy of worshiping the Lord with the person you love, ugh! Yes we have that tendency of noticing what others have that we don't. But one thing I learned in church is the cliche that God has a purpose for everyone and everything. Waiting wasn't less hard when I became a Christian but at least I learned and understood the value of prayer. When reading the bible became a habit, I became stronger in waiting. The bible speaks a lot about patience. Personally, waiting made me hopeful and the bible made me see every waiting period as an opportunity for my faith to level up. Not only did praying for the right person make me busy, it also helped me better myself as a Christian and a person in preparation to Mr. God-sent's arrival. Ladies, let's prep up so the right person will actually see us and won't just see through us when the time comes.

Psalm 33:20 "We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield."

WAITING IS WORTH IT. What makes waiting hard is the anticipation that what you're waiting for might not come. This is where the question of faith emerges. There were countless nights when I argued with the Lord and was tempted to just forget about this whole waiting thing and stop praying. But then I realized, I can't not pray because it's practically forgetting that there's a Lord above that loves to listen. And there was no assurance that Mr. Right will come sooner if I stop praying anyway. So I persevered. True enough, in God's time, Ralph showed up.

Romans 5:3-4 "..because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."

Proverbs 19:14 "Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD." 
(I believe this goes for husbands, too.)

GOD'S WILL IS BEST FOR US. Praying for our needs and wants is OK but I say praying for God's will is the best thing to do if we want to be secure. We might think we know what we want and like but trust me, God knows best. You might be praying for a certain type of guy, maybe someone with a car, a graduate of whatever university, must be good looking, a manager, with a certain height, et cetera but you'll never know he's perfect for you until God says so; and the only way for us to know what He has to say is by reading the bible. Bottom line is, just like praying for a promotion, higher salary, latest gadget, good grades, we pray specific prayers and always make sure that it's in accordance to God's will.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

To all my single friends out there, even Beyonce would agree with me when I say that if a guy loves you, he shoulda put an engagement ring and eventually a wedding ring on it. Let us be wise. Being alone does not always equate to loneliness. I can attest to the fact that most of the good things happened to me while I was single. Let's get busy while waiting-- excel at work, embrace more family time, join fellowship groups what will stand in prayer with us, and befriend more people who are of the same faith as ours (who knows one of them is The One?). Let's pray for the God's best to find you in God's time. Let's not rush into disposable relationships -- 'here and now' relationships. 

Lamentations 3:25 (KJV) "The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him."

God bless you, single person who's reading this.

Feb. 14, 2013

Last year, I got the biggest bear from Blue Magic as a surprise gift from Ralph for Valentine's. Surprise because he asked me if I would want to receive flowers and I said yes so all throughout the day in the office, I was imagining that he would have a bouquet in hand to offer me when he picks me up for dinner. Not only did he not pick me up (he actually asked that we just meet in Pasto in Eastwood where he reserved us a dinner), he also greeted me a Happy Valentine's Day empty handed. So you can imagine how that turned me into a monster, or more of a dragon, spitting fires of dismay over steak. Cold treatment and sarcasm party became our dessert. Only because I really thought he didn't bother to give me even a single bud of rose (although I actually got one from Pasto but hey that's not counted because it's practically part of their dinner package which we paid for) for this girls-should-be-treated-extra-special occasion.

Anyway, long story short, when he noticed that I already reached my boiling point (and you know it's the case when a girl starts saying she's tired, sleepy, and just wants to call it a night), he then presented me that biggest stuffed toy we usually see sitting at the gate of Blue Magic stores. Jun-jun (though he's pink, that's the name we gave him) has turned 1 year old yesterday. Yey! (Will post Jun-jun's photos later)

So last night was different. Since we have a wedding coming up, and we're trying to be wise in exploiting our financial resources (ugh, when was the last time I shopped? so long ago I can barely remember), I did not expect him to get me something grand, I mean I'd rather him spending thousands for my wedding hair and make-up dues than in some bouquet or another fancy dinner. I'd actually perfectly understand if he didn't give me anything at all. But being the coolest best friend that he is, of course he got me something!

I don't know about you but I would pick shoes over flowers any day of the week. And I just loooove these.
In case you're wondering, he gave me a pair of running shoes 'cause I've been whining about wanting to jog and becoming fit again. Yes, the underweight in me is trying to lose some more for the wedding. I decided, the heck with the weight, I wanna look good and I can only do that if I lose my flabs.

Notice how Ralph has been very subtle in forcing me to like pink? Last year was pink bear, now pink shoes. Lol. Anyway, after getting these pair, we headed to Stackers Burger in Eastwood for a quick dinner. I initially suggested Jollibee but acidity attacked and so I had to eat real food. Funny how, of all days, I chose this occasion to be OK with eating fast food. Good thing my stomach was wise enough to object ahead of time.

Burger Oriental Bowl you should definitely try

I had my ultimate favorite in Stackers which was their Burger Oriental Bowl while Ralph had a chicken meal. After dinner, we headed to McDo for dessert. He loves their sundae. And then I retired because he has to head to the office while it's already sleeping time for me.

1 John 4:19  We love because he first loved us.

When I got home last night and still had very little strength left to reflect on how the day was, I realized there's so many things I don't understand. I don't even know who Mr. Valentine is and why we celebrate a certain day for him. As far as I'm concerned, it's love that we're celebrating. And though everyday is a love day for me, I also appreciate the fact that we have 1 special day to really go out of our way to show it. Another thought that occurred to me was the impossibility of sharing a love that a person does not have himself. I hope we do remember that we are only capable of expressing real love because we experienced it first, from our God above. I'm just so glad that I have a godly boyfriend/fiance who knows love and generosity because he's got the best source of it. Thank you Lord for inventing love.

How was your Valentine's? Hope you had a great time too. xoxo

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Camayan Beach Resort & Ocean Adventure

Cool reception area is cool.

I was invited by Camayan Beach Resort for a 3D2N stay in one of their Beach View Superior Room. God really works in mysterious ways because the invitation arrived in preparation for a very stressful period of my life (AKA the wedding preparation). Since the room with 2 queen-size beds would fit 4 pax, and Ralph & I are not married yet to be doing sleepovers alone, we went there last weekend with his eldest brother Kuya Ryan, his wife Ate Len and 4-year old daughter Sophia. Bummer, I just realized we have not a single photo together.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Entourage: First Meet

Aside from that my folks and Ralph's folks finally met last weekend, another big event that took place was the first ever meeting of our entire entourage (which I'll definitely feature in the future wedsite that is persistently in my head). We all gathered for our couturier to get our measurements last Saturday at my beloved fiance's home.

TL: Groom's waistline is *toot*
ML:  me!
BL: Owel & Duchess
R: Bride, 1/2Candle, and 1/2MOH
photo (c): Owel

Monday, February 04, 2013

A dinner with the parents: The First

My parents finally met Ralph's parents last night, Sunday. We met at Luyong Restaurant over dinner. In a traditional Filipino engaged couple, this is what's normally called pamamanhikan. It was taught in a subject called Sibika at Kultura back in grade school that this event usually takes place in the girl's house. Back in the days, the guy, together with his parents would go to the fiancee's house and bring goodies (goodies talaga haha). Based on what I have heard, this supposedly is when the guy would ask for the girl's parents' to allow him to marry their daughter. Only in our case, this event wasn't really to ask my parents' approval anymore. They have approved of Ralph from Day 1 :) This was more of a formal introduction since both parties have not been in any get together before.

L-R Yours truly, Ma, Pa, Ralph, Tito Rudy, Tita Luz, Cham (Ralph's sister)


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