It’s been ten months

Today, I remembered when Zack would travel with us. He’s been to so many places. I remember when Zack hung out outside Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal back in 2006. He was two years old. Come to think of it, he wasn’t even a year old the first time we brought him on a road trip to Baltimore, MD. But he was a real trouper. He sat on his car seat, looked out the window or napped.

Ten months later, we miss our little baby, our best little boy ever.

The Pre-Wedding Memories

2001-07-13 / 11:27 a.m.
let’s get loud

Lady in red.

That’s what I am today. Red top, red skirt, red sandals. Had a haircut yesterday, nothing drastic but so far I’m getting compliments today!

I’ll be going to a luncheon for me organized by my former officemates. They told me to wear something pastel-colored, something flowery and/or something bridal-looking. What was I supposed to wear? I thought of borrowing from my older sister’she has this long cream-colored flowery dress. Of course when I tried it on last night, it reached the floor! I was wearing heeled sandals already! Geez.

So I defy their command. I’m wearing RED! Nothing pastel-y, flowery or bridal about my outfit today.

On to another matter, the Last-Song Syndrome is definitely interesting. Before I left the apartment this morning, I saw Jennifer Lopez on the Today show singing ‘Let’s Get Loud’. Of course now, that song is playing on and on in my mind! It’s rather great to have that in my head, I feel perky and upbeat today! Everyone’s getting infected by my happy mood!

Come on, sing with me!

‘Let’s get loud, let’s get LOUD!’

*dance happily*

2001-07-29 / 11:19 p.m.
the flight that never was

Woke up at 8 a.m. to get ready for our 2 p.m. flight to Orlando via US Airways. My mom, who arrived only the day before, was up and about. We attended the 11 a.m. Mass. By 12:30, we were off to JFK for our 2 p.m. flight. When we got there, we parked the car in the long-term parking area, brought out our luggage and headed for the shuttle terminal that would take us to the US Airways terminal. The shuttle driver asked us which airline we were taking and told us we should go to terminal B2. In less than five minutes, a different driver took over the shuttle, asked us again which airline we were going to fly in and promptly told us, “US Airways doesn’t fly out of JFK, it flies out of LaGuardia.”

Upon hearing that, I didn’t really believe him yet so Eugene immediately took out our itinerary and yes, it DID say LaGuardia! Panic set in and we started running towards the car. Thankfully, we weren’t there long enough for us to pay any parking fees. He drove as fast as he could and managed to reach LaGuardia around 1:30p.m. Since we had two luggages to check in, we stood in line and were eventually told that check-in was closed and we couldn’t board the plane anymore. The check-in person told us to be on standby for the 5:00 flight, which we obeyed. By then, I was just annoyed. We must’ve been more tired than we thought for us to actually not know which airport we were flying out of.

5:00 p.m. came and went. The flight was overbooked. They had to bump off some passengers with a promise of free roundtrip tickets, accommodations, etc. Being on the standby list hardly mattered since actual passengers got bumped off. Again we were told to be on standby for the 7:30 flight. We were advised by the US Airways person to just rebook for next day’s 7 a.m. flight. When we went to the ticketing section to rebook, the woman there told us we need to pay $50 each as penalty fee, PLUS an additional $450 per person (that’s supposedly how much each ticket costs for that morning flight). By then, I was in tears. I wanted to just get our luggage and go home. It was useless waiting for the 7:30 p.m. flight as it was already overbooked as it is.

When we got to the Baggage Claim area, the lady in the counter told us that our luggage got boarded on the 5 p.m. flight and was on its way to Orlando. That was the final straw. I started crying buckets of tears! I was hiding behind Eugene, tearful. Marva, the lady in the counter, took pity on us and called someone from the counter upstairs where the boarding passes where given out. She instructed us to look for Martha. Both ladies turned out to be angels in disguise. Martha was able to give us actual boarding passes for next day’s 7 a.m. flight. Actually, I was a little sneaky. I asked Martha if she was married and she said no. She looked like she was the marrying type so I told her, “You know, I wouldn’t wish for something like this to happen to you if you were getting married.” She gave me boarding passes pronto!

With passes in tow, we headed home for a much-deserved rest for our early flight tomorrow.

2001-07-30 / 11:22 p.m.
off to the Mouse’s world!

4:00 a.m. On the dot. I was up and about, headed straight to the shower.

5:00 a.m. Driven to the airport by my sister, accompanied by my mom.

5:25 a.m. Checked-in our luggage already.

5:45 a.m. Ate breakfast in the airport’s cafeteria.

6:00 a.m. Sitting in the terminal, watching the sun in the horizon.

We arrived in Orlando at exactly 10 a.m. We headed straight to the Hertz rental place to get our rental car. After getting our car, we decided to go to the All Star Movies to check in. I called my youngest sister Lynn, who arrived the day before and was staying with our uncle Leo, to tell our uncle to pick up our eldest sister Lourdes & her family, plus our other sister Lani & our mom from the airport. After we checked in at ASM, Lynn arrived with our uncle who was supposed to pick up people in the airport. Panic time! What were they doing in ASM when they were supposed to be in the airport? Turns out Lynn misunderstood, for which she was appropriately remorseful. Uncle Leo left for the airport, we brought up our luggage in our respective rooms and then left for the courthouse. We went to the Orange County Courthouse. There were so many people wanting to get married! Must be something in the air’

After getting our marriage license, we went back to ASM. I was supposed to go with Eugene to the airport to pick up his family but with their luggage and all, I decided not to go with him anymore. I stayed in the resort with Lynn. We bought our mugs, checked out the other AS resorts, checked out the pools and all. For dinner, we ate in ASM’s food court. I was finally relieved that things seemed to be ok … but not for long!

11:30 p.m. My phone rang. Lynn was out cold asleep in her bed so it was up to me to answer the phone. Someone from the bridal party wanted to know how they would get to the Pavilion for the following day’s rehearsal at 9 a.m. What to do? What to do? They told us before that they were all renting cars, now it turns out some of them didn’t. Panic set in again, with me thinking, “when will things start to go right?” Eugene was out with his family so I can’t bother him with this little dilemma. Instead I called ASM’s front desk and guess what? They solved the problem for me! They looked for a van that would pick up our bridal party. They only asked me to call the van company just to give the pick-up place and time. Problem solved! Pick-up time: 8:30 a.m. Pick-up place: Toy Story Building No. 10 parking lot. Called everyone concerned with this information. Now I’m going to bed…

2001-07-31 / 11:25 p.m.
before we practice for the wedding: the rehearsal morning

Another day in Florida, looks like it’ll rain but what the heck, rehearsal’s today!!! I wonder what people will say when they see the Pavilion…

Phone call from Eugene. He’ll bring his family to the Pavilion and he’ll just pick me up afterwards. He plans to leave at 8:15 a.m. so there will be more than enough time for him to pick me up. Ok, sounds like a neat plan. Sure, no problem, I’ll just wait in my room until he arrives.

Hmmm…I think I’m going out to see if the van that will take them to the Pavilion’s outside already. Oh, look! It’s there! But wait, where’s everyone? It’s already 8:30. Something weird is going on…let me see. Oh no, no one from the bridal party’s in the parking lot, as in NO ONE! Where on earth could they be?

Good thing Van Driver had the common sense to suggest that they might be in the parking lot where the Disney transportation goes. I went for a free ride just to check and yes, Van Driver was right!!! They were all there! I was slightly furious because I distinctly remember telling them exactly where they will be picked up! Of course, one of them even told me, “well, you weren’t CLEAR! We don’t even know where the Toy Story Building parking lot is.” And I thought it was easy enough since they were all staying in the Toy Story Building.

Next time, ladies & gentlemen, make sure you have BILLBOARDS in case you have this type of person just to give them the transportation details! I was tearful after hearing that I wasn’t clear, since I thought I found a solution to the transportation problem to the Pavilion on such short notice, was it still my fault that they completely ignored what I told them, that they’ll be picked up in the Toy Story parking lot? My youngest sister, the one who bungled up the earlier airport pick-up information, was downright annoyed because she kept telling them, “We have to be in the Toy Story parking lot!” and nobody listened.

I was in tears after that. I ran straight to my room and called up Laura. I tearfully recounted to her what happened. She told me that Eugene was off to pick me up already. Finally, a knock on the door. It was Eugene. He hugged me when he saw me in tears and then asked me what was wrong. So I told him what happened since the night before and he hugged me tight. “I can’t take this anymore!” I wailed, “What else do they want from me? Our first-born?” I was totally in tears. I didn’t imagine our rehearsal morning to be this way. Maybe I was just being too emotional. That day, I was just TIRED.

2001-07-31 / 11:28 p.m.
finding out what is to be done: the rehearsal

Rehearsal started at 9:20 a.m. Laura hugged me immediately when she saw me, telling me over and over that everything will be ok. Even Rev. Jack welcomed me with a hug. Everybody who was a part of the wedding was there and they all were laughing and talking to one another. Immediately, I felt myself relaxing, “it will be ok.”

Rev. Jack instructed us where to stand, where to go, etc. He read through the ceremony we sent him, gave his suggestions where people should stand. Rehearsal was going smoothly when all of a sudden, our flower girl burst into tears. “I’m tired!”

Her mom and Laura immediately went to her. Laura told her she could sit in the steps in case she felt tired during the actual ceremony or just sit with her grandma. After that, my niece looked suitably mortified for causing such a ruckus.

2001-07-31 / 11:30 p.m.
hey mickey, mickey, mickey, mickey! – brunch at Chef Mickey’s

Finally, rehearsal is over and done with. Everyone knows where to stand, what to do during the ceremony, who reads what. What we kept a secret, even from the bridal party was the blessing of the hands, the rose presentation and the dove release. Eugene, me, Laura and Rev. Jack were the only ones privy to this information.

The character brunch at Chef Mickey’s was truly fun! Not only were the kids in the bridal party having their pictures taken with the mascots, even the adults were busy posing and snapping away! I hardly had the time to enjoy the food, as we were busy twirling our napkins and having fun. They even gave us a celebratory cupcake, since they noticed we were wearing the Mickey & Minnie bridal ears. There were some kids in the restaurant that had their pictures taken with us. They must’ve mistaken us to be part of the character brunch! After such an entertaining brunch, we all went our separate ways, as everybody wanted to go to different parks. I opted to just go back to the resort and take it easy. Gown steaming was also scheduled at 2:30 p.m. while Eugene & his brother had their tux fittings so we all headed to the resort. Eugene & I agreed that I would just stay in the resort for the rest of the afternoon, while he will go to the park with his family’a sort of bonding time for them.

Paul Allen was on time and he was sooo nice! I chatted him up, of course (being the talkative person that I am) and he was just friendly!

With everybody in the different parks, I had the time to be on my own. I watched television until my high school friend dropped by to chat. She stayed for two hours and then I was off again on my own. By dinnertime, I went to the food court, ate dinner by myself and then went back to my room. I visited my grandaunts & granduncles in their room and chatted with them for an hour. When I got back to my room, my voicemail was bombarded with messages! Everybody was looking for me! They called me in my room; no one answered the phone of course. My sister went to see where I was and saw my room was in total darkness. Turns out everybody, especially Eugene, were getting panicky! Missing bride on the eve before her wedding day! There were TONS of messages! It was hilarious! They thought I snapped from the stress and tension that happened in the few weeks before the wedding that I ran away!

As if I can run far enough’and why would I? The fairytale wedding we wanted was just HOURS away!

Lesson? Never, NEVER disappear the night before your wedding. If you will, you’ll be in for a lot of laughs!!!


Wedding day memories

No, it’s not our anniversary. If you just decided to check my blog for fun, you might be wondering why there are many old posts from way back when. I’m deleting an old online diary, but I don’t want to lose the other content, so I’m re-posting it here! Anyway, here were my posts during our wedding day back in 2001.

2001-08-01 / 11:33 p.m.
wedding day: morning preparations

Morning Preparations

Our wedding was scheduled at 10 a.m., Wednesday, 1 August 2001. I woke up at 4:30 since the hair & makeup people were due to arrive at 6 a.m. I had to wake up early since Lynn was also staying in my room. It’s hard to battle it out regarding bathroom use on the wedding day itself. I took my own sweet time taking a bath, soaking in the knowledge that it’s really going to happen…we’re getting married!!!!!

Finally, the makeup people arrived and off I was for my hair & makeup courtesy of Rex. The limo was scheduled to arrive before 9 a.m. so I had to be ready before that time. My sisters Lani and Lynn, plus candle sponsor Anna were all on hand to help me dress up, fix my train, etc. Very nice of them actually. They were the sentinels for the day—making sure Eugene was nowhere near where I was, so he won’t see me. I rode the limo with my family to the pavilion. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a nice day. Days before the wedding, it kept raining and raining so everybody was praying for it not to rain that day. It didn’t rain until everyone was in the reception site!

The limo ride went by pretty fast. I was sitting in the limo, surprisingly calm, believe it or not, at peace with all the decisions we made regarding the wedding and more importantly, at peace with my decision to marry Eugene. I just looked out the window, smiling at the sky and thankful that it wasn’t raining. Finally, we arrived at the pavilion.

Our coordinator Laura immediately brought me to the bride’s vestibule. I sat in the vanity and of course, photos & video were taken. I was just relaxing there until Laura summoned Mommy and me to get ready for the great walk down the aisle. I didn’t even know that the rest of the bridal party was off inside the pavilion already.

2001-08-01 / 11:36 p.m.
wedding day: the ceremony

The Ceremony

Finally, I was outside the door to the pavilion, heard the Chiming of the Hour then Laura opened the door! Mommy & I started walking down the aisle. I was just smiling and when I saw Eugene, the wider my smile became. He was there in front looking gorgeous in his tuxedo. The moment I saw him, I felt calm and knew in my heart that things are definitely going to be all right. “It can’t possibly get any better than this”, I thought.

My mom & I kissed each other’s cheeks, and then Eugene hugged her. He and I walked up to where Rev. Jack was standing and then the ceremony began. All throughout the ceremony, he and I were just smiling giddy smiles. It was finally happening!!! We heard the music we wanted and they were all beautiful!!!

Unbeknownst to us, the rest of the guests were all in tears. When we came to the blessing of the hands, everyone supposedly became very emotional and their tears were exacerbated by the rose presentation. Rev. Jack has always told us to look at each other when we say our vows, exchange rings, exchange the arras and especially the blessing of the hands. The more we looked at each other, the more we smiled.

When it was time to present the roses to the mothers (both our fathers couldn’t make it due to medical reasons), his mom was trying hard to stifle her tears. My mom was red-nosed and sniffling. I felt tears in my eyes for a few seconds because I thought of my dad. He missed our beautiful wedding.

Kissing time was just around the corner and when it came, we really pulled out all stops with our kiss! Everyone was cheering, clapping and snapping pictures like crazy! Someone even commented that we surely didn’t need any lessons in kissing. 🙂 Practice makes perfect, as they say. Six years of being a couple surely paid off—we had sooo much practice kissing! To future brides out there, pucker up and enjoy the kiss!

After the recessional, Eugene & I were brought back to the bride’s vestibule for some quality time together.

Once everybody was out of the pavilion, Laura led us out of the vestibule and told us to walk in the walkway once we’re ready. The doves were in place, ready to be released. My sister Lynn had a mike hooked on her dress so the guests can hear her while she reads the text for the dove release. We walked in the walkway and stopped midway. We saw bubbles already being blown. My sister started reading and when it was time for the doves to be released, we were told to kiss. People were in awe!!!

We walked on to our limo amidst a flurry of bubbles! Beautiful! Everybody was congratulating us, telling us how much he or she loved our wedding. We headed to the limo and had a short ride.

Of course, it was just a staged exit. We went back again to the Pavilion for more picture taking. We had some taken at Picture Point, where all my relatives were congregated. They were all congratulatory, complimenting us for our choice, etc. These are the same relatives—my relatives—who caused so much grief when they found out we were getting married in Disney! I remembered all the tears I cried, all the pain and finally, I smiled sweetly at them, thankful that we made the right decision. We knew what we wanted and we followed what was in our hearts. Fortune indeed favors the brave.

2001-08-01 / 11:43 p.m.
wedding day: the pre-reception

The Pre-Reception

After all the pictures were taken, Laura told us that we have time to join the guests for the pre-reception. She asked us whether we wanted to join them or have quality time together. We opted for the latter and requested for some wine too! They whisked us off to a room in the Grand Floridian Convention Center for some quality time. Sipping our wine and basking in the joy of the just-finished ceremony, we were all set to party!

Laura & two other assistants were close at hand to bustle my gown. Mysterious bustle that it was, they spent about 45 minutes just figuring out how to work it! When they finally figured it out, we were off to the Augustine Hall!


2001-08-01 / 11:46 p.m.
wedding day: the reception

The Reception

The wine must’ve made me slightly tipsy because I was giggly when we entered the hall. I didn’t eat any breakfast except for a small slice of cantaloupe. Steve, our DJ, introduced us as husband and wife. Our first dance was “Truly, Madly, Deeply” by Savage Garden. The younger ones in the crowd knew the song, but most of them didn’t. We kept kissing and kissing the entire time we were dancing.

Next was the father-daughter dance. Since my dad wasn’t there, my uncle who was also a primary sponsor, danced with me to the tune of “You’ll Be In My Heart” from Tarzan. For the mother-son dance, they had “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion. Then Laura led us to our sweetheart table set on a riser so we can eat!

The food was just delicious! I am sooo glad that we actually had the time to eat. Everything was yummy! Unfortunately (or fortunately), the guests kept clinking their glasses so we’d kiss! Of course we’re a very accommodating couple. We’d kiss and kiss, only to realize that, “hey, we need to eat too!” Steve, wonderful man that he is, thought of telling the guests that Eugene & I will kiss only if they sing songs with the word “love”. I heaved a sigh of relief, finally a chance to eat. Suddenly, the different people in the different tables started singing! One group sang the infamous “I love you, you love me” ditty from Barney! Mind you, it wasn’t from the kids’ table! Even Eugene sang “Love of a Lifetime” by Firehouse! It totally rocked the house down! They wanted me to sing too, but hey, I’m no singer.

After the meal, Steve started playing some really happening dance music. What totally captured our guests’ hearts were the swing and cha-cha music! Talk about non-stop dancing! Eugene & I missed some of the dancing because we were frequently out having our photos taken. Not that I mind, I’m a big fan of photos.

Instead of having the bouquet and garter tosses, we had the anniversary dance. Funny, it was down to two couples—both grandaunts & granduncles of mine. Had my dad been present, he and my mom would’ve won the anniversary dance hands down.

Then it was time for the cake cutting. Our cake was nothing fluffy or big. We opted for the Baroque style with a Mickey & Minnie cake topper. We agreed that we’d give each other a small slice. Nothing too big that might fall off the fork, or might accidentally slip on what we’re wearing.

Eugene’s sister, attired in a goofy hat and ruffled sleeves, led a conga line that really succeeded in getting everyone on their feet. Eventually, the conga line was transformed into a limbo rock of sorts.

From then on, it was just dancing, dancing, dancing! Eugene & I also slow danced to “I’ll Cover You” and “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway show RENT. Our last dance was “When You Wish Upon A Star” by Billy Joel. Steve invited everyone to form a circle around us, a “circle of love” if you may, while we were slow dancing. Everybody was there in that circle surrounding us, interchangeably moving close to us and away from us in a show of affection, holding hands. It”s pretty difficult to explain what everyone did in that circle.

Then it was finally time to go. Everybody surrounded us in our sweetheart table for some major group shots. It did take a while but hey, everybody was happy and in a definite jolly mood. Turns out someone had the brilliant idea of going for a monorail ride! Everybody left the hall and crowded the poor monorail.

It was just Eugene and I left in the hall, watching Steve pack up his music stuff, surveying the scene, and trying to remember everything that happened.