Wedding stressing

27 September 2006     •     9 Comments
Family Stuff

Ok, I’ll admit it: I’m excited but (finally) stressing over my upcoming wedding. I got another “friendly reminder” from the darned wedding thing I signed up for, telling me that I only have TWO months to go before the “big” day. Marc has been bugging me to start organizing my side of the guest list so we can start sending out invitations (shouldn’t you be doing yours as well, honey???), which my sister and I are yet to finish! Yeah, we’ve finished hundreds of invites for our clients, but never got around to finishing mine. Ah, well. I WILL have to finish them, you know… But that’s just the tip of the stressing iceberg.

I have to finish our wedding site, for starters. A girl (sorry, I forgot your name) brought to my attention that she had seen the design on our wedding site already being used by other blogs. I don’t think she read the credits on the footer (hehe), but really, I appreciate her telling me privately that it’s weird I’m using “somebody else’s design” after what happened with the Sikreto thing. Ok… Note to self: never use a GPL WordPress theme even if I’m the one who designed and released it to the public 😀 I swear I already have a design in the works for it (it’s BLUE of course, I just love blue), I just never found the time to finish it. My clients are enjoying original designs, while people are beginning to think I ripped my wedding site’s design from MYSELF. Well, that’s enough motivation, don’t you think? I GOT TO finish that site 😛

We don’t have a wedding registry yet… As Noemi and Bimbo kindly reminded us… Yeah, we’ll sign up for that SOON, promise! 😀 I don’t want to end up with eight alarm clocks and gazillion wall clocks (ok, I’m exaggerating hehe) like my mom and dad did when they got married. But is there a way I can do that online? Call me whiney, but I’m HIGH-TECH you know (ok, I’m just lazy).

Since a marriage license is only valid for 120 days upon issuance, and our 120 days are already starting, Marc and I will have to start applying for that (next week, promise, next week!). We’ll probably just get the birth certificates online (told yah, I’m HIGH-TECH! hehe). Hmm… Is that P300 per copy? Ah, well. Kinda pricey, but I guess that’s what I need to pay for convenience. Not everything in the world can be bought (ahem *integrity* ahem), but this birth certificate, I can buy.

I know there are still a LOT of things we need to do that I can’t stand thinking about now (my dad or one of my aunts will probably remind me anyway). But when I even TRY to think about the invitations that we have to send out (omigod do we really have to give them out personally? Whatever happened to mailing??!!), I just can’t help but scratch my head and wonder how in the world we’re going to do that. This is definitely one of those instances when I wish that I can just wave a wand or something and make those invitations go to the guests’ homes by themselves. Too bad that can’t happen in real life 🙁

No, I will STILL not hire a wedding coordinator.

That’s one thing that Marc and I promised ourselves when planning this wedding: we’ll keep it within the budget. We’re not going to ask for financial help from our families unless absolutely necessary. Call it pride, but we really want to “deserve” this wedding, the wedding that we worked our asses for.

We initially planned to have 150 guests… But as I’m the first girl in our family (my mom’s side at least) to get married, and I think Marc’s the first from his side too, it’s unavoidable that our guest list would expand. And so it did. We’re now preparing for 200. But strangely enough, we’re still within our budget. We adjusted it a bit for the additional 50 heads for catering, but our total expenses are still basically affordable (well, at least in terms of today’s weddings).

Php155,000 for 200 guests to feed, 2-5 photographers, 1 videographer, airconditioned Church, live band, chocolate fountain, a Victorian-inspired wedding gown for me, gowns AND Barong Tagalogs for the entire entourage (etc. etc.)… Believe it or not, it’s possible 🙂

Noemi suggested during dinner at the BlogCon that I blog about how we fit all those fancy stuff within our strangely minute budget. Hmm… Maybe I will. But for now, I need to get back to work 🙂

The first Philippine BlogCon

26 September 2006     •     9 Comments
Tech Things

Well, so much for the diet! With all these freebie food and drinks, I’m never going to get that sexy figure in time for my wedding. If I don’t fit into my wedding gown, I swear it’s going to be Globe Innove‘s fault. Hehe.

Anyway, Marc and I weren’t able to stay long last night. We had to leave in the middle of Noemi‘s presentation or Marc will be late for his shift. I don’t know what happened after we left, but am I right to guess that there wasn’t the Globe Innove sales pitch that was made at the last blogger meet? 😛

Marc and I were only able to say hello to a few familiar faces such as Abe, Jayvee, Marc Macalua, and Markku. We shared a table in the corner with Noemi, Bimbo and Rico. If Bimbo was my seatmate in college, I think all of us would have been sent out within the first few minutes of class hehe. Yeah, chit chat during lecture!

I think I might have said this already before, I’m not sure. But this strategy of Globe Innove really is something else. I haven’t seen any billboards or any of those full-blown advertising stuff (well, maybe except for this one vehicle in Eastwood City with the Globelines ad plastered all over it), but I have been seeing them often on local blogs (heck, even on my own). Marc even commented to me after the first blogger meet that this strategy of Globe is very smart (pun intended). I mean, come on. All they did was gather a bunch of high-traffic bloggers, talk to them, feed them and give them some freebies (oh, and don’t forget the sales pitch!)… Then there you have it: bloggers now know they exist.

Globe Innove is now doing what some of us bloggers do: niching. We’re their new niche. But I’m not complaining. Heck, I’m a blogger, and they can rain us with BlogCons as much as they want hehe. Seriously though, you got to commend them for such a “smart” strategy. I mean, who would better appreciate fast broadband connections than us bloggers?

I heard that they might make this BlogCon a regular thing. Well…. As I have said, Globe Innove sure knows how to make bloggers happy! 😛

Now, is their service available in Blue Ridge, Quezon City? Hehe.

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Fighting with the big C

22 September 2006     •     Comments Off on Fighting with the big C
Daily Dose

This had been a very eventful week. “Emotionally challenging” is probably the best way to describe it.

No, I’m not fighting cancer. But I have read from Now What, Cat? through Abe’s post that a cute little boy named Pyro is stricken with the disease and would like to meet his wrestling idol.

Simple things such as this is a huge boost to a kid’s morale. I have lost distant cousins and a friend to cancer, but I have also seen miracles happen. Our family doctor (who also happens to be my mom’s family friend) has a daughter who was stricken with cancer at an early age. But miraculously, she fought it and was able to recover. As a way of thanking God for this miracle, our doctor and her husband put up the very first hospice organization in the country as part of their devotion and their way of helping other families cope through the hardship they themselves have experienced.

It was such a great coincidence that I have heard about Pyro’s case just now.

Yesterday was my mom’s 50th birthday, and we celebrated it with the help of close relatives and friends. My Uncle Jake, took this opportunity to get to know our present baranggay captain, who happened to be my late ex-boyfriend’s father. When I say late, yeah, he passed away. He had leukemia.

We were no longer girlfriend-boyfriend when he passed away though, but we remained good friends.

It was really weird introducing Marc, my fiance, to them… For the simple reason that they shared the same name. Hehe. Not only that, but they were even classmates during their elementary school days. Of course, my ex’s parents asked me how Marc and I met—and now, that was even more uncomfortable to me.

I have always felt that Marc was my angel, for the simple reason that I met him exactly a day after my friend passed away. It’s just really weird coincidence: they shared the same name, and the time of our meeting coincided exactly with my friend’s time of death the day before. That was the story behind it, so I just told my friend’s parents the truth: Your son brought Marc to me to be my angel.

I didn’t know what their reaction would be, but I did notice my friend’s dad getting a bit teary-eyed. They told me that they were really happy to hear that even in death, their son still wanted the best for his friends and family.

After being a friend to somebody who had cancer, I can attest to the fact that people stricken with the big C are some of the bravest people I will ever meet. I remember an instance when my friend confided to me that sometimes he couldn’t help but feel scared what might happen to him the next day he woke up—he knew then that any day he could be dead. He was on remission on and off, and the pain of chemotheraphy was really incredible. But then, he told me that no matter how much he thought that there might not be any hope for a longer life, he would continue fighting the cancer and live his life in the fullest for the simple reason that his family and friends have made life worth living AND fighting for.

I’ll pray that Pyro will have the same strength (I hope you guys will too) and continue his fight against cancer. If you think you can help make his little wish come true, just drop Cat a message on her blog.

The client/project/boss wears Prada

19 September 2006     •     3 Comments
Daily Dose

Yes, they do exist.

Marc and I saw The Devil wears Prada (starring Anne Hathaway) yesterday at the Gateway. With all the things that have been happening the past few weeks, we needed a break—watching movies have always been the way for me and Marc to relax. I don’t normally do this, but hey, that movie is worth watching… Especially by the typical twenty-something workaholic.

Unless you’re total bum (you know, with that fattening schedule of “wake up, eat, sleep, wake up”), it’s not unavoidable for us to be totally immersed in our work that we have forgotten already to live our lives. Besides, we all aim to succeed. But sometimes, that focus on a certain success can already take over even our social lives.

I have seen this in many of my college friends—yeah, we’re a career-driven batch. I’m guilty of this too, but just in a different form (sometimes I do get very immersed in a project that I rarely go out of the house). But then again, I have the liberty of being able to control my schedule… So when that happens, it would be totally my fault.

“The corporate slave,” that’s what my friends and I used to call them. My closest college buddies and I have had dreams of being our own boss, working at our own time. But when reality sank in, only two of us ended up with that dream.

I remember meeting up with my friends after a long time for a brithday celebration. That was one of the rare instances when our group was nearly complete (one had already migrated to the States). There I saw the changes in my friends who were in the “corporate world”—they were drained, they weren’t really happy. I won’t exactly say that my job is a walk in the park (I get “chained” to a project until it’s complete), but at least I could sleep, take breaks, and play with my dogs whenever I wanted to.

In this line of work, I have encountered some clients who were very much like Meryl Streep’s Miranda character in The Devil wears Prada. They ask the most ridiculous things, out-of-scope stuff. If it’s not taking much of my time, I usually just let it go. But if the client is becoming too demanding already, I would suggest to just let that client go (there are some good articles on this issue, I just forgot the link). I have experienced this myself, and having that out of my hair was like getting a huge torn out of my back.

Some will probably argue, “but money is hard to come by these days.” True. But is losing your integrity and bringing yourself uneccessary psychological drain worth it? Can those be paid in an X amount of dollars/pesos?

I think it would really just depend on you if some client is worth your sanity. But really, is there a job/client/boss important enough to cost you your mental and physical health? I would think not. Well, that’s what I think at least.

My family and I have gone through a lot the past few years that really made me realize there are more important things in life than money. We aren’t rich (and we might never be), but we still have each other and we’re happy.

I really pity those people who think everything in life can be bought, especially those who would settle for a wad of cash in exchange for giving up integrity.

The reality of suicide

13 September 2006     •     4 Comments
Daily Dose

I saw a Psychic Witness episode a few weeks ago on the Discovery Channel about this runaway kid who was uberly depressed but his parents had no idea. The psychic lady sensed the kid’s pain and worried about what he might do. Lo and behold, some hikers found his body: he had hung himself.

Stories like this have always been just tv and movie plots (or documentaries) for me. The thought of suicide had never entered my mind (believe it or not, I have never considered it even during the angsty “rebel” teenage years). I have always felt my family and friends’ love and support for me, regardless of the hardships we have gone through (I guess that was also the same reason why we were able to pull through those difficult times). It had never occurred to me to want to take my own life, for the simple reason that I had a lot to live for. Call me vain, but I love this life, no matter how shity it sometimes gets. So I don’t think it should surprise you that I am one of those people who consider suicide as surreal—a thing for tv, books, and movies.

But suicide IS a reality.

A few nights ago, I received a startling text message from one of my close college buddies: our *kabarkada‘s younger brother passed away. He died by suicide.

It took me quite a while to really register what he just said. I knew that kid, I had met him more than twice already and have talked to him whenever he answered the phone. The idea alone of him dying was crazy; the cause of his death was totally unimaginable. It was still surreal, but this time, very close to home.

What drives people to want to take their own life? I am honestly lost in the dark. I know not everyone is as lucky as we are (yes, you too… The fact that you can read this post means that you can afford to get internet access—there are people who don’t even have enough for them to eat), but really, how do these things happen?

Marc and I will be getting married soon, and it won’t be long when we’ll have children of our own. I can’t even imagine losing a child to suicide. How can this be prevented? How can a parent recognize the symptoms of a possible suicidal?

I’m not trying to play the fool here. Really, this wasn’t something discussed in detail when I took up the required subject of Psychology 101 in college. Call me sheltered or whatever, but this really is something that I used to consider surreal.

*kabarkada – a person belonging to a close circle of friends. Sorry I had to use a colloquial term, but I can’t find a better way to describe her and how close she is to me.

Missed opportunity

9 September 2006     •     3 Comments
Tech Things

Sorry to “borrow” your post title, J, but I really can’t think of any. I credited you and gave you link love on that, so don’t sue me! Hehehe.

Anyway, the “missed opportunity” I was referring to is Anton’s Pampanga Culinary Tour this weekend. I have got quite a lot of work on the pipeline (ugh, I hate working during the weekend!), and I also need to help my dad prepare for my entourage’s gown fitting on Sunday. Since it’s not every day relatives and friends get together like that, my dad and I thought that we should have at least prepare food. Kind of like a mini party. Since my mom had a major stroke, it’s been my dad (sometimes me, but really, I’m not much of a cook) who’s been manning the kitchens. I know I gotta start learning cooking on my own (and as Connie said, I have to start practicing that before I get married this November)… I swear, I’m trying hehehe (I’m going to get me that cookbook of hers when it comes out, else I’m going to run out of ink printing her entire blog).

Based on the “itenerary,” the Culinary Tour sounds like fun. I really regret having to text Anton this evening that I couldn’t come (any chance of a third one?). I got to admit that the tour will probably do more damage to my increasing waistline (my wedding’s near, I NEED to diet!), I’d probably get fat enough that I won’t need breast augmentation to make my boobies look fuller hehe (it’s not like I have the money for it too, you know). But the food is not the thing that I’m going to miss the most out—it’s the chit chat part.

I’m not really the type who frequently attends “real life” gatherings of internet people unless it’s an educational-type thing (ie. iBlog Summit), but I’ve noticed lately I’ve been a bit “more active” than usual. Marc and I have actually met up with Abe and Jayvee the past few months more often than we did with our college friends.

Is it really just me or the Philippine blogosphere really is getting more social? Well, I hope it is. And I also hope more bloggers will join in the fun.

So, Jayvee, when’s the next meetup? 😛

A night with bloggers

1 September 2006     •     11 Comments
Tech Things

Last night was the Globe Innove-sponsored dinner. And as usual, I was late. If I was rude, Markku was ruder hehe. He got there later than me!

Marc was shy, so he opted to stay at an internet cafe instead of joining us. Seriously though, I think he just didn’t want to get bored. I think blogger talks on Google Adsense and broadband connection bore him.

Anyway, I met quite a lot of fellow nerds there that I’ve been meaning to meet: Connie, Anton, Marc Macalua, Rico, and Jangelo. I wasn’t able to talk to Noemi, but I did smile for her camera hehehe. The Globe guys separated the bloggers into two groups, and since I was late, I joined group 2 (besides, Abe and Jayvee were there, and these two were the only ones I knew before the meet). So I really wasn’t able to meet everyone. Anyway, next time (if there is a next time) hopefully I’ll be able to talk to Kiven, Clair, and Vespinoy.

I really enjoyed talking to Connie (she’s so funny hehehe). Marc looks very much the same as the picture on his blog. Anton kept taking pictures of all of us that I begun to think I was a celebrity (email us a copy of your pics dude!).

It was basically some kind of a focus group discussion with chit-chats and food on the side (I drank a lot of that good mango shake! harharhar). From what I understand, Globe Innove (I just found out last night that it’s pronounced as “eeh-noh-veh”) wanted to get a feel of the blogging community. Research, basically. Then before the bar started to get really noisy with music, the Globe guys presented their services to us.

Their dialup service is actually a bit steep (there are cheaper dialup providers out there), but I think that’s because they seemed to be focusing their efforts on broadband more. Which, I would say, is quite a good deal. I pay around P999 for my ZpDee cable connection of 384kbps, but Globe offers their 512kbps at basically the same price (P995 I think, I can’t remember exactly). Although switching providers is far from my mind right now (I’m very satisfied with my provider’s service), I think Globe might be a good try for others. We made it quite clear to them that sucky customer service could be their downfall, and availability in a lot of areas could help them a lot. The Globe guys seem more than willing to listen and take our suggestions into consideration (heck, they were even taking down notes), so I think it might be safe to say that their service has a promising future 😛

And this isn’t just a well-fed Gail (not to mention “happy with the KEWL reversible Globelines jacket” Gail) talking. The fact remains that Globe is taking the time to understand the techno-savvy blogging community. They’re actively making the effort to go beyond the “that’s so 80’s” notion of the internet where spinning logos are cool and uber-metallic buttons are the bomb.

I brought along one of my dad’s backup cameras, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any pics. The seafood pasta was distracting 😛 Seriously though, I’m really not into the habit of taking pics while in a group thing or party like that. So again, you’ll just have to see the photos from the sites of other bloggers who did take pics:

Noemi | More pics from Noemi | Anton

Everyone seems to have this list of the other bloggers’ views on the meet, no harm in joining in! I am so late at doing this—I’ll whole-heartedly admit that I have shamelessly copied it from Noemi’s blog:

  • Noemi : The Globe-Innove Sponsored Blogger’s Meet at Temple Bar
  • Kiven : Globe-Innove Blogger Meet at Greenbelt 2
  • Bimbo : Globe Innove Blogger Meet
  • Anton : Power Blogger’s Meet and Unfulfilled Expectation
  • Abe : Link Building Strategy (Globe Innove Blogger Meetup)
  • Connie : The Globe Innove meet-up
  • Jangelo : A Missed Opportunity (My Thoughts on the Globe Innove Sponsored Bloggers’ Meetup)
  • Jayvee : Globe Innove Aftermath
  • Marc : Globe’s Blogging Adventure
  • Rico : What Happened at the Innove Blogger Meet?
  • Globe/Innove Bloggers Meetup: A Wasted Opportunity?

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