raynald and emie are good friends of ours dating back to their days in samsung electro-mechanics. it’s been years since they’ve both left the company for greener pastures (much, much greener… ;-)) but when they decided to tie the knot, selle and i still got invited. woohooo!

raynald is a dependable reccom member when i was handling it back in ’05. we were just a handful back then hence, labored a lot… but we had fun while at it. he also was a member of my samsung cell group circa ’03-’06… (and so was emie. :-)) emie marie is a fellow iskolar ng bayan and a frequent office chatmate of mine – when she left… those chats turned to email exchanges.

emie asked a lot about wedding stuff during their preps. we even even met up one time at a bridal fair for a “double date” of sorts. 🙂 buti na lang may naitulong pala kami sa kanila as she was soooo thankful about our lanie acedillo recommendation. 😀

i had an unofficial assignment (given by emie, cno pa kaya? hehe) during the wedding day – to be the backup photographer. i still have a pathetic d40… with a kit lens and nothing else so it was indeed a challenge. so here are some of the images i captured… one thing’s for sure – raynald and emie were ALL smiles throughout the day. 🙂

congratulations, guys… at “double date” uli tayo after your honeymoon. 😉

the groom… happily strutting down the aisle

the bride preparing for her…

…grand entrance.

just love how the light gives her gown that “ethereal” glow. i wonder if the “official” photographer shooting across me was looking at the same light. hehe

like raynald before… emie was all smiles as she walked down the aisle. 🙂

shooting in san agustin is really hard because of the lack of lighting… but its architecture more than makes up for it.

mr and mrs herrera… 🙂

emie admitted that the gown was one of her priorities… and she had a KILLER gown! just look at the details…

while waiting for the reception to start… i managed to capture this scene. cute, huh? 🙂

the semphil contingent…

i have no idea what they’re looking at… 😀

i had to run from the back row to the front row just to capture this scene. now if i only had a zoom lens… 😉

wacky shot… up close. 😀

shiny, happy couple. 😀

love this one… even in black & white

i’ve done this kind of shot a number of times already… and, just recently, a friend of mine won a contest with a similar shot. cool, no? 🙂

the same girls i shot playing in the garden… this time, sitting still. cute pa din. 🙂

the semphil contingent… just before going home.

my always gorgeous wife… with a brand new dress just bought for the occassion. 😉


…but we didn’t miss out on meeting dear friends. 🙂

last week, along with regular weekend r&r-mates francis and kathleen (and the kids), we flew to singapore – our first out-of-the-country gimik together… and my birthday gift to my lovely wife. 😉 since this was our first time in the lion city (except for francis who’d been there a number of times already), we took time in planning our vacay. we both had excel spreadsheets for our itinerary detailing when to go… to where… with whom… and what to expect. but we all know what happens with detailed plans… hindi sya nasusunod. 😀

like what the blog title of this post reads, we didn’t get to go the zoo nor the science center… but in exchange, we got to spend a lot more time with friends. we’ll take that exchange in ANY vacation. 😉

so this post (our first in what seems like a gazillion years) is for our friends. friends who welcomed us… took time off their busy singapore-life just to tour us around (at nilibre pa kami… ka-bait naman talaga. :-D). this experience of warmth and kindness (and plenty of stories and laughter) is what makes us want to go back to singapore. for us, you guys are our tourist spots… 😉

tourist guide #1: anna
anna’s a close college and pisay friend (although naging close lang kami during our up eng’g days na) who’s been working in singapore for years already. muntik na kami d magkita ni anna kasi she had to fly to malaysia the night of our first day in sg. to complicate things further, she had a presentation to finish pa. but friends will always find a way and she did as she escaped from her office and met us at ikea during her lunch break. the food was great… the time together was even greater. too bad there wasn’t enough time (kahit na extended lunch break pa. hehe).

a cultural lesson from anna – the lo hei ritual. 🙂

tourist guide #2: ems
ems, a former samsung colleague (and a regular co-host of mine during our emcee-ing days :-D), was our designated sentosa tour guide. take note: they were about to move house the day after we went to sentosa… and yet she still toured us around and stayed with us until late, late into the night. o dba? how can one not appreciate that? 🙂

just about to board the sentosa express from vivo city

goofing under a trellis in sentosa. 😀

tourist guide #3: the severa’s (arthur and tita)
ahhh… our dear church brother and sister. the guys who whole-heartedly volunteered na ampunin kami during our whole stay in singapore. stayed up way, way past midnight just to wait for our arrival… and stayed up even more para mag-kwentuhan (kahit na may pasok pa sila in a few hours time). took us for an authentic singaporean breakfast experience, joined us on our hunt for that netbook (my other gift for my wife ;-)) and prepared a home-cooked dinner before we flew back to pinas. while they were at work, nanay (and fonsy :-D) entertained us. 😀 we love, love these guys… and next time we go back, we’ll be spending even more time with them. 🙂

awaiting the train going to city hall (on our way to funan). had to sneak in a photo with me in it just to prove na kasama ako sa trip. 😀

inside the not-crowded mrt.

tourist guide #4: chel
our wedding-on-the-day coordinator. one of my most loyal cell group member. my reccom secretary. definitely, one of our dearest friends. 🙂 if she was the only one we knew in singapore, we’d still go. 🙂 she was at the airport… awaiting our arrival. then she (and her roommate) was the one who helped us locate the severa’s residence. 😀 then on our second day, chel gave us a taste of the various ethnicities of singapore… from little india to bugis street to mustafa… and lest we forget, the warehouse sale experience – where all pinoys seem to converge. 😀 always a wonderful time w/ her… be it in singapore or here sa pinas.

it’s past midnight and there was chel waiting for us at the airport.

authentic arabian food. lamb never tasted better. yum!

sabi nga ni chel, “pang-facebook.” 😉

tourist guide #5: johnjay, dred, jeng and kenneth
johnjay and dred are selle’s former long-time samsung colleagues. they were excited to know that my wife (sabit na din ako. hehe) was coming to singapore so we made sure we meet them. jeng and kenneth, another singapore-based couple, is a former reccom colleague of mine (jeng) and department-mate of selle (kenneth). they were the ones who managed to scoop up casper, another samsung alumnus and fellow-tourist, to join us for dinner. it was a big group so we met up in clark quay – the ultimate dining/gimik place. plenty of catching up – what’s-new-in-samsung and how’s-singapore-life questions – throughout the night… and if only starbucks singapore does not close so early… we could’ve continued on ’til who knows. maybe on our next visit… and maybe that time eh magpa-reserve na in advance sa jumbo seafood. 😉

with the galanteng-galanteng johnjay and dred… plus on-his-way-to-the-airport fellow tourist, casper.

casper with two singapore-based couples. so kelan ang mga kasal? 😉

sa labas ng napaka-agang magsara na starbucks. bummer.

tourist guide #6: tere and michelle
last day was shopping day… so syempre reserved for the uber-rich, tere. 😉 michelle was supposed to be with us the night before (clark quay) but something came up so she joined forces with tere for the singapore shopping experience. went mall-hopping… from high-end ones to the farmer’s/divisoria-like ones… wala kami pinatawad. hehe. then we went to the famed-merlion and esplanade to wrap up the afternoon (turistang-turista lang. :-D). for dinner (w/c michelle had to skip na kasi she had to go to church)… tere brought us to newton hawker for a taste of chili crab and sting ray. YUMMY! it was shopping-day but we weren’t able to buy much. sabi nga ni tere, next time… more time for shopping. surely. 😉

on the way to orchard

just about to start mall-hopping

group shot at the merlion

digital gifts

there’s a group of people that say that the best gifts to give (and receive) are those that can’t be bought. i am one of them.

lately, selle and i had the opportunity to exercise this school of thought and put it into action. a couple of our friends were having their birthdays and we decided to give them something they can’t buy at the mall. 🙂

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fun facts about neriz’s avp:

  • during one of our chats in one of our get-together’s, neriz mentioned she loved this jingle that she heard from a quick-and-easy commercial. she didn’t know then that that jingle was a rip-off of an actual song. 🙂
  • the gift was supposedly a simple mp3 but when we later learned that we’ll have time to make an avp (kasi biglang nagka-party) then the mp3 turned into an avp. 🙂
  • the avp was made overnight using photos i have on our pc… and video footages from their wedding onsite avp.
  • the dvd design was inspired by their honda jazz vanity plate. 😉

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fun facts about francis’ avp:

  • this was actually kathleen’s idea – who approached us through text with the lines, “kelan ka matatapos sa bc?” i immediately knew then that a favor was coming. 😀
  • while francis was in gen san jump-starting a multi-million business, we went to their house to get photos for the avp – this included “stealing” his 2 dvd’s-worth of overseas trips photos – which he was looking for later on the week. 😀
  • most video footages were taken using a cellphone.
  • other video footages came in real slow and i started editing even without the other expected video messages. some eventually came in and i had to redo some parts of the avp to squeeze them in.
  • the choice of song was intentional, knowing that francis was a beatles fanatic. 🙂

house parties

for the past 3 months, we’ve been invited to 3 house birthday parties. i’ve always believed that house parties are much, much better (and meaningful) than those held at establishments. siguro dahil it’s more intimate… and less structured. plus guests tend to mingle and talk to each other more. 🙂

we’re honored that we were invited to these parties. next year uli ha. 😉

july 17, 2009
neriz’s birthday

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august 5, 2009
charles’ birthday

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september 12, 2009
francis’ birthday

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exploring subic


finally, the road trip materialized. akala namin hindi na mangyayari eh. it was supposed to be 3 new cars plying the roads of luzon but we just can’t seem to get everybody on the same page so instead of 3 cars, we settled for 2 new white cars. 🙂

we left calamba at half past 3 in the morning of august 23. we had to go to cavite pa to fetch selle’s family. we then met up with francis, kathleen and the kids at petron in alabang at around 5 am. then off we went to subic… with a planned breakfast stop at shell nlex. after being surprised by the an extremely long qeue at kfc (as in soooobrang haba), we settled for the almost empty kenny roger’s. hehe. after having a hearty breakfast, off we went… straight to subic – with francis leading the way. now, we weren’t sure if having francis as the lead car (and trying to stay with him) was a good idea 😀 but we had no choice cause he’s the better navigator. and i was able to stay with him naman along the way (ibang usapan yung pauwi na kami ha. hehe)… achieving a top speed of 180 kph at sctex along the way. heck, we even have this subaru impreza story which is better told in person. 😉

we had an itinerary planned – with the planning done at francis and kathleen’s house a week before the trip – and first stop was, ocean adventure. and the good thing with francis leading the way, you won’t be late. 😉 we were early for the shows so we explored the aquariums first.

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then it was time for the sea lion show.

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entertaining and educational. it was kinda humid though kaya lagkit na lagkit kami after the show.

we had lunch immediately after. buti na rin lang at dumiretso na kami sa resto dahil after namin mag-order tsaka nagdatingan ang mga tao. even the mascots dropped by. 🙂

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while waiting for the dolphin show, we went to the souvenir shop to pass the time. selle and her family shopped for some pasalubong. while i decided to give sarah, my inaanak, a small stuffed toy. 🙂 then it was there when i noticed that i didn’t have my steering wheel lock keys with me. then panic started to creep in. ngek, pag nawala yun eh pano ko pa mapapa-andar car ko? yes, i have my car keys pero nakahiwalay kasi yung steering wheel lock keys eh. nasa calamba pa yung duplicate nun. so i did a quick rewind on the things i did and kinda realized that i don’t remember having my keys in my pocket. so naiwan ko sa car? i rushed to the parking lot and opened our focus… whew! naiwan ko nga sa loob. 🙂 note to self: when going on a long trip, bring your duplicates with you. 🙂

relieved, we went to the dolphin show area and got a well-ventilated spot. 🙂

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then the dolphins started doing their thing. sayang kasi sam was asked by the organizers if she wanted to be part of the show. to be up-close and personal with the sea mammals. kaso sam declined (despite our pangungulit). anyway, she still had fun watching the show – and so did we. 🙂

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next up on our tight itinerary was zoobic safari.

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a multi-activity area, we started off with a walk around the zoo. yun nga lang the heat and humidity was getting to us kaya when it was time for some animal shows, we were kinda spent and didn’t watch it that much anymore. we just had ice cream, cold drinks and some rest instead.

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afterwards we went to the viewing of the tigers – both those in captivity… and those in the “wild.”

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then a couple more stops: a museum and a crocodile park – nothing compared to the one in thailand though. hehe.

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zoobic safari has promise but it needs to be managed better and have a couple of improvements here and there. pero it really has some promise.

tired, we then went to forrest hills to check-in our overnight residence. located inside a residential area, this was a budget find by kathleen. we unpacked and then rested a bit.

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actually, we rested too much and had to re-arrange our itinerary. instead of go-karting, we settled for a quick shopping spree – can you believe there’s a powdered gatorade? – and dinner instead. for dinner, we took the recommendation of rex, a zambales native, and dined at meat plus. if you love meat, this is the place for you. 🙂

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with still a couple of activities lined up the following day, we called it a night and rested. but not before a short pictorial session with our roommates. 😉

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we started day 2 of our vacation with a stop at tree top adventure. a relatively new attraction in subic, tree top adventure boasts the longest motorized canopy ride in the country – something we really wanted to try. but before we jumped in, there was a short briefing and then we had to be harnessed for safety. 🙂

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then off we went to the canopy rides. 🙂

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the canopy ride was a relaxing and enjoyable ride from tree top to tree top – with heights going as high as a hundred feet above the ground. the speed ain’t fast but is at a deliberately slow speed – enough for the guests to enjoy nature… and we did enjoy it. 🙂

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after an hour or so of going from tree to tree, we had a quick snack (nakakauhaw din kasi) then decided to go the the superman ride. as the name implies, guests are hanged horizontally ala superman and zipped – this time at a considerably fast speed – for a distance we forgot to ask. hehe. if the canopy ride was a relaxing ride, this one was a thrill ride.


the tree top activites do not end there. there’s the tree drop, a 60 feet free fall – this one we had to pass on. but not francis and kathleen. tough dudes. 🙂


after all the thrill brought about by the tree top adventure, we went back to forrest hills to pack. we then had lunch right across le mans go kart – our last activity in subic.


masaya yung go kart, though we wanted our karts to go faster. heck, d nga namin maabutan ni francis si selle eh. later on we were told that selle had one of the fastest karts in lot. kaya naman pala. 🙂

disaster almost struck us while francis, selle and i were talking at the pit stop when this kid decided to not step on the brakes and just ram his kart unto selle’s kart. buti na lang wala na si selle sa kart.


to end the subic stay, we had a quick shopping stop (again). 🙂

it was getting late so uwi na kami. again, francis took the lead pero this time i couldn’t quite stay with him. hehe. iwan sa sctex… iwan sa nlex… iwan kahit sa manila. hehehe.

it was a tiring ride home but the trip was well worth it. ’til our next road trip, guys. we definitely had fun. 🙂



may 30, 2009

covering weddings, not merely attending them, has become a habit of mine. so when it was time for emma and paul’s wedding, i was determined to get that one shot worthy of being framed and hanged on their house wall. here’s some of them… hopefully, i managed to get that one shot. 😉

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selle with “mommy” and “daddy.”

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the bridal march, taken from different angles.

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a couple of photo-journalistic shots. key to photojournalism is having an alert eye… cause these moments don’t last that long.

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emma was all laughs during the ceremony. fun, fun, fun… 🙂

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yes, it’s a BIG clan. 🙂

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august 9, 2009

just a day after miggy’s swimming party, we’re off to another kiddie party – this time just within calamba. ruby (or mama ruby) and jun are former colleagues of selle and their 2nd child just turned one! and where else to celebrate? at every pinoy kid’s favorite fastfood – jollibee!

more than just a kiddie party, it was a sort of like a reunion for selle and her former tantal officemates. she spent most of her time with mariel (or manang), a neighbor but somehow we don’t get to spend much time with. sadly, mommy rose was not able to attend but kate, selle’s inaanak, was there and we “baby-sitted” her during the party. 🙂

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sometimes, you got to be creative in choosing your subjects – shying away from the obvious ones. 🙂

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in this shot, i used the other guests who were taking photos to frame the subjects. worked out well, in my opinion. 🙂

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happy, happy birthday, jubilyn. 😀

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