My (Expanding) Web Presence

My online life is expanding and will likely continue to do so. I now have several blogs, an online store, a facebook account and a friendster account. I get more excited everytime I discover something new. I am aware that I will have to look for a good webhosting service for the various different projects that I have in mind.That's why I'm so glad that there are now websites which feature ratings for the different webhosts available. They rate the different webhosts overall, and according to the best for blog hosting, forum hosting, ecommerce, budget hosting! I'm actually having a difficult time choosing because they all have their pros and cons!

Despite my current inability to decide on which webhosting to get given the mulltitude of choices, I would still recommend that you look through the site webhostinggeeks.com before plunging in, if you're looking for the best webhost for your needs. I realize that choosing a webhost is something of a commitment and it would be difficult to change hosts if you decide later that you're not satisfied with your choice. That's why it's best to choose wisely at the beginning rather than regret it later on and have to shift later on.

E's Costumes

My son is now starting to like dressing up, unlike when he was younger. He looks so cute when he does. On his first Halloween trick or treat, he dressed up in a shark costume but later changed into a basketball jersey because it was too hot in the costume. On his second trick-or-treat, instead of going for the usual store bought costumes, he wore an improvised one with overalls and some toy tools. When asked, we said that he was "Bob the Builder". :)

Costumes when he started toddler school include the following: Filipiniana costume for their "linggo ng wika" celebration -- we simply let him wear his Barong Tagalog (which he wore to my brother's wedding as the ring bearer). An Angel costume for their school trick-or-treat. He used that later at the village trick-or-treat and walked away with a special prize for one of the 10 cutest. He enjoyed being in costume by this time and actually insisted on wearing his halo and wings every chance he got! During his moving up day, he was the blue horse in their presentation. He was asked to wear blue polo and white pants. The school's artist designed headgears for the pupils, and his was, of course, a blue horse!

I wonder what costume we'll come up with this year. Whatever it is, I'm sure he'll have a blast with it!

A Hairy Survey

When I got married, I had long hair which my hairstylist converted into a work of art. But long hair does tend to be a lot more work for me. It was inconvenient with a small child who keeps pulling on it. Late last year, I decided to drastically alter my hair length. I now sport short hair. It suits me, making me look a lot younger and more elegant. It's also more suited to the now very hot temperatures that we're experiencing, especially since I'm pregnant and feeling the heat even more.

Now my bangs are starting to grow too long. I promised myself that I will have another haircut before I give birth, so that I do not really have to maintain it that much.

Carpets

Our old home used to have carpets in almost every room. However, the problem with carpets is that it's so hard to clean on a daily basis. In a tropical country like ours wherein all the windows and doors are kept open most of the time, there is always new dust falling everywhere, especially on the carpets. Unlike the cleaners at Austin Carpet Cleaning, not all cleaners here are well trained enough to remove all the dust from the carpets and, even if they did, there will always be new dust settling in. That's why we opted not to have wall to wall carpeting when we moved, and decided to just use area rugs that can be moved around and laundered. We had a well advertised vacuuming service demonstrate their machine with us, unfortunately, we found their machine too expensive! They did have cleaning services without having to buy the machine, but they're also too pricey for our comfort.

Now, if we had lived in more temperate countries though, carpets would be a better idea as they insulate against the cold floors. Here, cold floors are more of a blessing against the sizzling all-year-summer heat. We preferred to just maintain the wooden parquet floors that our current house originally has, and just bought area mats to put in strategic areas.

Happy Birthday...

...to my grandmother! More on it here.

On Vending Machines

I remember when I was about 7 years old and in grade I, there was this vending machine at the ground floor of our school. It was such a novelty then. My classmates and I would hoard our coins so that we can get a cup of soda (the only thing the things sold at that time). However, it was prone to breakdown, and while the sodas were quite cheap, nobody really had the exact combination of coins at all times. Also, it was a little cheaper in the canteen, and you can pay without having a requisite number and type of coins.

Later when I was already in residency training, I noticed some vending machines being installed in some of the floors in the hospital where I was training. It was a great idea! The canteen was not open 24 hours (but I think it should be) and people inevitable get hungry, or just want some refreshment. It helped too that the more modern vending machines no longer needed a specific number of coins and could even accept bills. They even give you change!

I've always thought that this would be a good business opportunity especially for busy people who want to earn something on the side, but I do not know where to source these machines until I chanced upon 1800Vending.

I am currently reading this article -- 1800Vending Article -- for more information about this machine. What do you think? Here's their sales website by the way: 1800Vending Org.

Memorial Day

I do not know if Araw ng Kagitingan is our version of Memorial Day. It's fitting to remember all people who were involved in fighting for our freedom, even the nameless ones who were not recorded in history for their deeds.

Personally, though, I'd rather NOT have war heroes if that means that we don't have any wars. War is evil. I hope people will simply remember that. So, please do not start any just to feed any narcissitic political and power ambitions.

Waiting Game...

My little girl is getting VERY restless inside my tummy. I keep telling her that it won't be long now before we finally meet face to face. I tell her that all of us -- Daddy, Mommy, Ahia, both her grandmas and her uncles and aunts are excited to meet her -- and we are! Less than a month to go, and we'll have our little princess. :)

Online Furniture Shopping

It's so difficult to find pieces of furniture that are both functional and decorative. In most cases, you have to sacrifice beauty for function, or vice versa. I've found a great selection from furniturefromhome.com. Check out these storage beds, this selection of home office furniture and these Dining furniture. Of course, it's also much easier to browse from home, and this site actually makes it possible for busy people to look for, check out and actually buy furniture online and have them delivered straight to your doorstep. If you're in the USA, they offer free nationwide delivery. I just wonder if they ship here to the Philippines, because there's a few items that I find interesting.

My Favorite Mags

I love reading magazines! But unlike most women, I don't really go for fashion or beauty glossies. I only buy them once in a while. My faves are Entrepreneur and Moneysense. I'd like to educate myself on money matters, like investments, personal finance, Small Business Loans, because nowadays it's getting more and more difficult to make ends meet, especially if you have a growing family. Sigh... I also buy Smart parenting and The Working Mom. I actually have a growing pile of mags here at home and I'm losing storage space! May have to get rid of some of them soon :(

Hot and Humid Once More!

Just when we thought that the rainy season has come early, the weather decides to change and now we're back to the heat of the Philippine summer. What adds to the discomfort is the very humid weather that we're having. We just had a new airconditioner installed in our room in the hope of increasing efficiency and cutting down on some energy costs, but of course we know that it really adds to the electric bill. I'm feeling the heat even more because of my pregnancy!

My mom is now contemplating on having ceiling fans installed. She asked my husband and I to canvass when we were out buying our A/C unit. We saw a simple ceiling fan which is less than a thousand pesos only. It was however, too simple for my mother's tastes, and I agree. She would like a more decorative one that would look good in her living room, like ellington fans, as she wants to utilize the fan fully, both as something useful and as an additional decoration.

As for me, I agree wholeheartedly. I'm for anything that would make me feel this oppressive heat less! I certainly hope that the weather will be much cooler after I give birth, because for sure I won't have the freedom I have right now of getting cold water showers like I'm getting used to having right now.

Viva Las Vegas!

The ultimate nightlife can be found in the desert city of Las Vegas. Unlike most other places, this city actually is more "awake" and alive during the night time rather than during the daytime. I wonder if this city ever sleeps at all! The only thing I've played in the casinos there are the slot machines and the video poker, but I've watched a couple of Las Vegas shows, both of which are glitzy, over-the top and very Las Vegas, but very different from each other. I've watched the illusionist David Copperfield live and I've watched a show in Bally's hotel featuring topless girls (sorry forgot the name of the show). Would you believe I got to watch the Bally show for free because I won a couple of tickets? They cost about 70 dollars each if we had to buy them! Well, I wish I could have been as lucky on the slot machines! :D

Trying To Organize Our Room

Our mission this week is to fix our room. I don't know about other people but we have VERY limited storage space and lots of stuff. It's sometimes amazing how much clutter we accumulated through the years. When I was single, my room seems pretty big, with a lot of room for my stuff. Now that we're a family, our room seems too small. In addition to my stuff, my husband already has his stuff, my son has his stuff and toys (which took over my bookshelf) and now we have another baby on the way. I know we should probably throw or sell some things away, but of course, you can't throw everything away. I'm thinking that there should be a better way of organizing things and I'm wondering if it would help if we put in some display shelving for our stuff. There's a lot of unused wall space and stuff like books, magazines and maybe some toys could be placed there. Maybe what works for stores in organizing and displaying their stuff will also work for us. And maybe we'll get more floor space that way. What do you think?

Sigh. It was so much easier when all the stuff were mine. I could simply decide on what stuff to keep and what stuff to discard. With a family, I have to also respect that their stuff are not mine to decide whether to keep or not.

Going to Mall of Asia Today

It seems like it's been a hectic week lately for our family, and weekends are no exception. In fact, it seems that this weekend is even busier than the weekday! So pardon me if I don't get to blog as often as I want to.

This morning, we'll be heading over to join the Vesak Day celebration in Mall of Asia. While there, I might have to check out some plumbing parts and maybe somebody to fix it. I can't find those parts in nearby Greenhills. The knobs in my mother's bathroom has some problem, and since it's pretty old, it's difficult to find replacements. The person who looked at it (he's no Lubbock Plumber, that's for sure...) can't do it so we have to find somebody else who can.

Anyway, if you have the time, do drop by the Mall of Asia. The Buddha Bathing ceremony is open to everybody. I'm not a Buddhist (my mom is, though), but the teachings of Buddhism do closely resemble my own faith. You could say I'm open minded about the topic of religion -- just don't attack mine and we'll live in harmony! If my kids would opt to be Buddhists I really won't object.

Entertainment On Twitter!

Face it, most of us are guilty of being "suckers" for celebrities and entertainment news. One way to get real news from celebs, straight from the horse's mouth, is via twitting. If you're into twitter, you'd know that a lot of celebs are in in it.

Here's a survey on it.

Rustic

I've seen some homes in Tagaytay decorated with mostly rustic furniture. I think it fits the cooler, dryer weather they have there (cooler and less humid than Manila, that is...) I love the simplicity and unpretentiousness of these furniture more than the overly decorated Victorian pieces that I sometimes see in a lot of homes and furniture shops. Somehow they do not seem as heavy and oppressive looking.

On Science Museums

It's like a "whoa" moment for me. I realize that we really do not have many science museums here in the Philippines. We do have a lot of history and art museums, but science museums? Maybe we should have something like that. I did learn a lot from the history and art museums that we have, and from the few science museums that I went to when I was younger, I learned more and faster than I did when I simply read the book. There's just something about "interacting" -- using the senses of touch, smell, sounds aside from sight -- that make the lessons stick better.

Anyway, museums are generally non-profit, and as such, even museums in the more developed (than ours) country are experiencing trouble making ends meet. Do answer this survey, all proceeds from this go to a certain museum -- you get to save at least 1 science museum which will benefit more children.

Better Than Cable TV?

Despite the fact that we don't get to watch a lot of TV lately due to a certain pint-sized boy who keeps turning it off whenever it's not on his favorite cartoon channel, we are still thinking of what the better option is: cable or directtv. We don't really like the options we're presented with on free TV. While admittedly, there are also channels we hardly watch on cable TV, there are also a lot of channels which are far more education and/or entertaining than the choices presented on free TV, with a lot less ads. Somebody mentioned that Direct TV may in fact be a better choice. They offer a lot more summer TV fare like the NASCAR which I'm sure my husband will love and my little boy will grow to love (he's more into CARS at this age :)), at a reasonable price.

Happy E

I don't know if it's just our imagination or is E becoming even more makulit (mischievous)? His favorite bedtime activity nowadays is trying to bury his dad in pillows and then jumping on him, all the while laughing out loud. He also asks questions that he already knows the answers to, then if you give him the wrong answer, he will correct you. He also throws toys down the stairs and under the refrigerator and asks me to get it for him. I do not want to encourage this, so I tell him that mommy can't bend over, you'll have to get it yourself.

The good thing is that he doesn't really have many tantrums at this stage. He's a generally happy child who seldom cries and laughs often -- although sometimes he laughs AT someone after he does some mischief. Well, we'll have to guide him as to what is right and wrong, but for now I'm glad that he's turned out to be be happy AND healthy.

Our Car Needs Some Repairs

Our cars are somewhat old and showing some signs of wear and tear, despite being well maintained. Really, you cannot stop age from showing, not in humans, animals or even machines. Since we still do not have the budget for a brand new car, we have to fix what we have. Fortunately, my husband has a little bit more than the rudimentary knowledge about cars (which I do not have) and also knows a mechanic who does home service repair work at a cheaper price. Now all he needs to find is an inexpensive but reliable source of car parts like a power steering rack so that the needed repairs may be done ASAP.

Twitter and YouTube Together...

BuzzTrendz combines the latest tweets with like-subject matter YouTube videos to give you "what's hot now" ... as I'm writing this the most recent trends are Mewcastle, Miss California, Shuttle Atlantis ... wait a few minutes and there will be others ... and don't ignore the "random trends" ... everytime you refresh, a new set of the hottest keywords used on the internet show you both the tweets and the YouTube videos that are making the keyword hot. Oh yeah, go to buzzTrendz.com.



I'm curious...how do you actually keep track of the tweets that you follow? I'm having quite a hard time since I follow quite a lot of people and I don't stay on Twitter all the time.

Happy Mother's Day!

The Ring!

When planning a wedding, one of the most difficult choices to make is the wedding rings. That's the only detail in the wedding preps that you wear everyday of your life (unlike the wedding dress), so your choice better be good!

What should you consider?

  • Comfort - If you'll be wearing it everyday, of course it's a must that the ring should be comfortable enough!
  • Cost - Of course it's pretty impractical if you buy something beyond your means.
  • How it looks on you - Does your complexion look better with a yellow or a white metal? With diamonds or not?
  • Wearability - If you work in a place where thieves and snatchers abound, it's not wise to wear your expensive platinum wedding ring with all the diamonds -- it's too big a temptation for thieves. On the other hand, you can just keep your "true" wedding band and buy a less expensive one to wear and bring around!
I love the classic design of my wedding ring. I feel that it reflects my personality. I was not the one who chose the design -- my mother-in-law did (I just said that I wanted one in white gold rather than yellow gold because I felt that it suits me better) but I got what suits me, and is comfortable enough to wear almost everyday!

Dream Garden

I'd love a house with a garden. There's something about nature and green things that really relax a body. However, I do not seem to have a green thumb, and I'm just too busy (and awfully lazy!) to take care of growing things (except my baby!) I just want to enjoy the garden, but taking care of it is not really my cup of tea. If ever I get a house with a garden, I'd have to make sure that the plants chosen would be easy to care for, with minimal maintenance. I'd have to employ the services of a good landscaper (probably someone with the caliber of Washington Landscaper) who could work within my restrictions of an almost maintenance-free garden, but one which is pleasant to look at. There's another requirement -- It has to be within a low budget! Am I asking for too much here? LOL.

Or maybe we could just compromise. Anyway, with the high prices of real estate nowadays, we'd be lucky if we could get a townhouse or condo big enough for our growing family. With such a setup, we don't really need to have our own garden at all, just a common garden (and pool, and function areas...) which is open to all residents and which is taken cared of by a gardener hired by the management (we'll have to pay for it via the CUSA though). Maybe that's we'll end up with.

Business Communication

The reason why unlimited cellphone plans and portable landlines are so popular nowadays in the Philippines is that Filipinos are very keen about keeping in touch. That's why we now have cellphone companies which offer special deals on SMS and phone calls to and from other countries, especially where a large number of Filipinos work. It keeps families connected, through communication if not through physical closeness. And that's "just" for personal and family reasons. Imagine how important constant business communication is.

This is the reason why there is an emerging market for Busines VOIP. It is important to have constant communication with the people you do business with. It is through communication that things get clarified, misunderstandings are avoided and deals are set.

Leap of Faith

I'm always sad when I hear of marriages falling apart. I agree that it's inevitable in some circumstances, but I believe it's mainly because one or both parties have reneged on their vows to love each other.

A wedding is not just about the celebration itself. It's a commitment for life, and the most important decision one makes in his/her life. Imagine, you're actually choosing a next of kin who has the right to everything you are and everything you own. You'll be having children together and raising them in a new family (I know, you don't really need marriage to have children, but that's not my point). But most of all, it's a vow to love each other, support each other through good times and bad, and grow old together. That's why it's not a decision to make lightly. It is, literally, a leap of faith...and love. One that will affect both of you and your children for the rest of your lives.

I found this vow for a renewal of marriage and I believe that this is what marriage should be all about:

On our wedding day, I made a choice. It was the most important and significant choice of my life and I made it only after a great deal of consideration. On that day, I chose you to be my husband/wife. I thought then that such a decision, once made, as final and irrevocable. Now I know that the selection of a life partner is not a one-time decision but an on-going process. Many times in the years since then, I have chosen you again. Faced with changes and alternatives, I have become keenly aware that a marriage lasts only so long as both partners desire each other above all others. As our lives have been affected by the ebb and flow of other lives and events, there have been many times when I could have chosen to go in a different direction. I did not. The reason is simple: no other person has ever aroused in me the feelings of tenderness, joy and caring which you elicit. I elect to stay with you not because I feel obligated to meet your needs but because you continue to meet mine. I live with you not because a legal document says that I am your wife/husband but because, in my heart of hearts, I still want to be by your side more than I want to be anywhere else.

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My entry to Wifespeaks: Speak Friday. This week's topic is commitment. Do join us!

Locked Out!

My husband carries around a spare key for his car. He learned his lesson after being locked out of his own car. The worse thing is that the engine was running, the A/C was on, thus consuming both gasoline and battery power. Fortunately, it's not too far from our house, where he keeps a spare, therefore we didn't need the services of locksmith. He just needed to take a jeepney home to get the key. That's good because we don't know if we can get one with the skill and track record of Portland Locksmith or otherwise. Also, locksmiths take time to arrive AND they cost a lot here in Manila if they find you in that situation. Which means a lot of money lost, both for their services, the extra key and the waste of gasoline and battery.

Anyway, after that incident, hubby made sure that he carries around his spare key, which he keeps in his pocket. After all, he may not be as lucky to encounter the same situation near the house. Imagine if that happened while we're out of town! Or even in the extreme side of the metropolis with all the traffic! That would certainly be a big hassle!

Honeymoon!

I wonder whether we'll ever be able to experience having exotic Jamaica vacations when we haven't even been to Palawan and its wondrous natural beauty and beautiful beaches. We initially considered going to Palawan for a honeymoon but we couldn't get a good deal on all-inclusive vacations (unlike inclusive Jamaica). We did calculations and we concluded that it's so much cheaper if we just go to Hong Kong! We also wanted Bohol but we couldn't book a hotel, just the flight! And so we off to Hong Kong we went! We only had a 3 day honeymoon, but it was an enjoyable 3 days. I hope that I would be able to take my kids back to see Mickey at Disneyland :). We still hope that we could go and enjoy Palawan and Bohol someday.

Now, if my husband and I can get away from our kids and enjoy our second honeymoon, I'd like it to be somewhere that mixes natural beauty and modern conveniences (I'm not really a rough-it-up sort of person like the Ocho Rios hotels in Jamaica. Someday, we'll be able to travel more and further!

To Do....

Time sure flies! My date with the stork is next month already! Sometimes I really feel that this pregnancy seems to be quicker than my first one -- maybe because I'm busier this time around? I just realized that there are so many things I have to do that have to be done before my little one makes her appearance. I've decided to make lists to remind and prompt me...

Things to look for and clean:

  • newborn clothes -- tiesides and frogsuits - ok
  • stroller - ok
  • crib - ok
  • receiving blankets -ok
  • socks - ok
  • mittens - ok
  • feeding bottles
  • breast pump
  • sterilizer
  • nursing clothes
  • breastfeeding pillow
  • extra baby book
  • gauze lampins
  • bath tub - ok
  • Launder / clean all clothes and baby stuff!!!

Things to do:
  • organize Philhealth papers
  • check benefits with SSS
  • inform patients about my leave
  • look for another yaya for new baby
  • decide on maternity leave length
  • decide on date for Cesarean
  • look for Pedia to catch the baby (my pedia is on leave)
  • put away Ethan's old clothes
  • organize room

Things to buy:
  • newborn diapers
  • baby toiletries -- baby wash, baby oil, petroleum jelly
  • BPA free feeding bottles - bought a few already
  • another mattress?
  • girl clothes for going out - bought a few already
Whew! There's still so much to do! Better start soon! Well, at least some of the stuff I already have--especially the big ticket items like the stroller and crib and sterilizer -- so I get to save some money :).

Falling Apart

Sometimes it's so disillusioning -- marriages falling apart, whether they're just a few HOURS old or thirty years old. You see them with high profile couples, but they are present even with ordinary people we meet everyday.

Why does it seem that long, happy and forever-type of marriages seem to be more of an exception than the rule? It's a pity when the husband and wife no longer feel that they could stay together, but sometimes there is really no other way. The more tragic thing is that the separation is usually painful for both parties. You have children to consider. And how about the separation of properties and fortune? Unfortunately, you need lawyers who specialize in family law, like the San Antonio Family-Law-Attorneys, who know more about such family cases.

While there is no way to get around the pain and the mess of a broken family, an amicable settlement would go a long way in lessening the hurt and devastation.

But, personally, I wish people would still take their wedding vows of "for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till DEATH do us part" seriously. I do admit that sometimes it's no longer feasible, but marriage is something both the husband and the wife should work on everyday of their lives.

Choosing the Right Web Host for your Needs

If you're decided to have your own website, whether for your personal use or for your business, it's important to research for the best web hosting plan for your needs. You should consider things like budget, support, up times and down times and disk space. It's quite a big decision to make because you would not want to change hosts all the time and possibly lose valuable data. If you have friends who have their own sites, it's best to ask them for feedbacks, good and bad, about their webhost. Try to see what type of website they have. Would your website be similar to theirs, and would their webhosts be suitable for your needs?

Deciding on Our Family Car

Our cars are already old. At the back of our mind, we are thinking that one of these days, we might have to buy another car, especially that we're soon going to be a family of four and our current cars are getting to be a tight squeeze. But buying a car is a big investment, so leaping into it is foolish. We've been browsing Car Reviews so that we can determine which one would best suit our needs.

We're thinking that a minivan would probably suit our needs best. It has a lot of space for people to ride in. Which is what we need when the whole family needs to go out. You see, with 2 kids (with carseats) and their nannies plus the two of us, a regular car just won't fit us. Add the baby stuff that we have to lug along. We really need the space. So we're mainly looking at a minivan. Hopefully one that's fuel efficient too.

I've come across a Cars Blog which could also help us in arriving at our decision. While we're at it, we're also enjoying looking at the Sports Car Gallery. Well, sports cars are the last thing on our minds right now since they are not really good family cars, but they sure look good! And it never hurts to dream of having that wildly impractical purchase!

Celebs on Twitter!

Twitter is all the rage these days. Do you have a twitter profile? I do — you can follow me at http://twitter.com/ethanmama — if you’re interested in what I have to say, although I express myself more in my blogs like this one, Joey M.D., Tsinay and Practical Tips and More.

What is Twitter? Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? Some call it microblogging. What’s interesting about twitter is that there are celebs and big time people there.

WhoCelebsTweet.com allows you to see what celebs are saying and who they’re saying it about.

Missed a Call...

A few days ago, I got a call on my cellular phone which I failed to answer because I was otherwise occupied. Unfortunately, I do not know the number, as my caller ID failed to identify the caller. I THINK it may have been a patient, but I'm really not sure. I really do not like to call numbers I don't recognize. I wish we had a unknown phone number trace service so that I will know the caller's identity before I call him up. I also wish that patients do understand that we cannot reply to phone calls immediately, so if we don't reply, please do try to leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

House Maintenance

Before my parents finally bought our own house, we never knew how much effort and expense was needed to maintain a house. We used to live in an apartment, and things like pest control were never an issue with our old dwellings. After we moved, we realized how important it is to get a good company like Fort Worth Pest Control to do a periodic check for termites. It's important to get rid of termites before they start to destroy your home, otherwise you would spend a lot, lot more of home repairs later on. Pest control is also important to keep unwanted "guests" like rats and mice from invading your home, stealing your food and spreading undesirable diseases to your family.

For your own safety, you should also check that the electrical wiring in your home is correctly done. Of course, you need to hire experts to do this. Also check that the plumbing is sound so you do not lose precious water. The structure of the house itself also needs to be checked periodically and necessary repairs done.

Whew! It seems like a lot of work to maintain a house, but I'm sure it's all worth it. At least when we buy our own later on, we'll know what to expect and what to do.

"Runaway" Wedding!

The big showbiz news the past few days is the surprise pulled by Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo, who got married in a now-showbizzy way. How they were able to pull off such a hush hush wedding (and tell the world at large about it when they were already hitched) was one for the books. They chose to tie the know in a church outside Metro Manila (in Batangas, to be exact), and limited their guests to 80 close family members and friends. They later had a reception at the beach where more people joined them (200 people) but still small for a showbiz wedding. Well done! Congratulations, Juday and Ryan! I loved the fact that they used "Runaway" as the wedding march. "I will runaway with you..."....so appropriate!

While such destination weddings like what Juday and Ryan had is something that most folks dream of, it's not something most people actually do. Apart from some Hollywood personalities, how may caribbean weddings have you actually heard of? (I'm not even talking about getting invited to!) That's because they are difficult to prepare and expensive! But do you know that there are actually all inclusive travel deals for couples wanting to get married in such exotic locations like Jamaica? All-inclusive means that the wedding is included! All you have to do is show up! With such discount vacation packages, a simple getaway for the wedding (then straight to the honeymoon!) is possible even if you have a shoestring budget!

Hmmmm....maybe hubby would agree to a renewal of vows in Jamaica someday....