Thursday, February 08, 2007

Just checking in...

Photo from
Hello, my dear readers! I have been away for a while and that's because I am attending to so many things.

First, the wedding. Second, the magazine. Third, our new home!!!

Funny, of the three we're most excited about the house (then our magazines, then the wedding last). I guess that's because the wedding's just a silly little party while the condo unit is our future home. We are so thrilled! We want to move in ASAP!!!


Not that I don't care about the wedding.

I am so glad I work in a magazine. Fixing a wedding in less than three months is actually quite a breeze! I have no idea why there are stories about bridezillas, and brides and grooms and mothers fighting, or brides needing a year or two to plan a wedding. Really, it's just like one big photo shoot.

Well, it does help that I know a lot of people in the photography, beauty and fashion industries. And my experience as an editor makes it very easy for me to review locations and services, ask the right questions, and book vendors. I did all of that in a week! It also helps I have the most amazing future sisters-in-law, Lizelle, Anj and Reza. My goodness. I do not know what I'd do without them! If I can only make them all my maids of honor, I would. They have helped me A LOT.

So I have the loveliest little garden chapel to get married in (Archbishop's Palace), the most elegant restaurant to hold our reception (Le Soufflé at The Rockwell Club), Manila's darling designer to make the gowns for me and my ladies (Kate Torralba), a talented makeup artist and hairstylist to do my hair and face (Jigs Mayuga and Nhey Guese of L'Oreal), and my own brother to provide the music with his string quartet (Theodore Amper, cellist for The Manila String Machine). Now, all I need are the rings, the cake, the flowers, and... well, I need a lot of other things. But so far, so perfect!

Weddings are a piece of cake.


Now the house is an altogether different story.

What a complicated business buying your own home is! So many papers, so many taxes, so many fees, so much... government! Grabe. The condominium unit we purchased is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom affair with a breathtaking 90-degree view of the city. It is an amazing place. I kid you not. Great way to start a new life together!

And then the government stepped in. The fees and taxes just kept coming and coming and coming. We paid for so much more on top of what the house cost. It is not right.


Speaking of that, let me go back to the wedding. When we went to our city hall to apply for a marriage license, Vince and I could not believe what was happening. Every question we asked cost us P10. Unbelievable but true. And I was naive enough to ask for a receipt! I am so stupid. Faced with corruption, I did not know what to do except to ask for the right thing. And when it was refused me, I was lost. Buti na lang marami akong barya! Finally, Vince told me to stop asking questions.

When we were also getting Vince's baptismal and confirmation certificates, we found corruption yet again. At the Dela Strada Parish Church along Katipunan Ave., the parish workers gave us Vince's confirmation certificate without a hitch or money exchanged. In the Parish of the Sacred Heart Church in Sta. Mesa, I observed that this time we had to pay for the baptismal certificate. It was okay since the church looked like it needed it and it was just P45 (I heard the woman behind the window charge the lady ahead of me). But when it was my turn, I got charged P55 for the same thing! Was it because I was dressed well and the lady before me wasn't?

It's not right. Dela Strada did not charge us anything and it was a church in a wealthy neighborhood. Sacred Heart was in the middle of an impoverished place—their parish people shouldn't be shelling out money anymore! Well, it does make sense that Dela Strada won't charge; perhaps their offerings every Sunday are more than enough. Still...


I am learning a lot these past few days. I am learning a lot about how churches work, how the government works. I am learning about how families work, mine, Vince's, and combined. I am meeting so many different kinds of people. I am seeing so many new places. Some bad, most good. If there's anything I'm grateful for because of this wedding (aside from getting me a mighty fine hubby!), it's the experiences.

They are amazing.

Now, I don't know when I'll be back but do drop me a line now and then!

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