Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Thousand Peso Dress!

If you haven't read my post about my Php1,700 wedding dress yet, read here. As practical as we want to be, we girls still want to be beautiful on our wedding day. Who doesn't? It's a once-in-a-lifetime moment! It's a dream come true for us, women.

As a simple yet hopeless romantic bride, small budget limited me when I was still planning our wedding. But no one can ever stop me of looking my best on my wedding day! Darn, no!

You might be surprised how we pulled off our wedding if you just knew how much our budget was at that time. I am just proud to share to you though that I have worn two dresses on my wedding day! One for the ceremony, second for the reception. Here it is!

Did you ever think this was just a thousand-peso dress? Nope?

Yes, girls. This dress only costs Php1,000!

And I have been waiting for a suitable event (not a wedding!) to wear this dress again! I might annoy a bride friend and I don't want to do that. I was also a bride before so I know!

To achieve your goal in events like a wedding on a tight budget, you'll need a balanced equation. Resourcefulness + creativity = success!

This is where your creativity and personal style come in. I designed my reception dress just like what I did with my wedding dress. Then, I scoured Divisoria for the most bargained piece of white, dreamy cloth to make out of it. I found this ethereal cloth at a Divisoria banketa for only 280 pesos! I think this was running 9 yards. Together with the tulle that I bought for my wedding dress, I ran off to my very good friend, Edel, who has a trusted dressmaker in Bulacan and laid out my designs. Edel is now a successful wedding and events coordinator, btw. I only paid Php700 for each dress for labor. Voila!

I don't feel unfortunate at all to have a tight budget in anything that I do. I learned a LOT of things through these experiences as I grow as a person, a wife, a daughter, a mother. I am very proud of my humble beginnings and I am so thankful to my parents that they raised me as an an excellent strategist in living this wonderful but challenging life.

I feel an awesome lot of self-satisfaction that I pulled off a very nice yet romantic wedding, a humble, happy first birthday for Freedom, an elegant DIY'd set of curtains and sheets and so on and on and on. I can't even wait to blog about how I came about my civil wedding dress that I hand sewn! Watch out for it!

I feel like a warrior, a goddess, a hero in my own right. I know I am doing well in my life as I see it going better each and every day. As my husband always wittingly say, "We make poverty look cool!" LOL

We are able to persevere only because God works within us, within our free wills. And because God is at work in us, we are certain to persevere. The decrees of God concerning election are immutable. They do not change, because He does not change. All whom He justifies He glorifies. None of the elect has ever been lost. - R.C Sproul

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My 17th Letter To Freedom

Dearest Son,

Mom just thought of writing you again to let you know all the best things you continue to give me and your Tatay.

In less than 4 months, you'll be 3! I can't believe you'll be a full grown kid by then. We can't wait to throw another birthday party for you. We can't wait to let you blow candles a hundred times again.

I'm starting to fear you're growing up so fast though. You now know how to say sorry, tell a joke, give the sweetest kisses and hugs, even trick us to things so you can go on doing mischief acts! LOL

The fun but hard part now though is that you are now very aware of things and time. Like how you cry when you wake up without Mom and Tatay in sight. Like how you say you want to go to Timezone or to the park. Like how you wait for us after our work's shifts. Like how you ask for your pasalubong every time we come home. Like how you say Mom can't go to the kitchen to cook. You'd always want both me and Tatay to be inside the room with you, how so adorable are you? You can now even remember events and places!

Nothing's changed, Anak. You are still the apple of our eyes. The best thing now is you are already a little person that interacts fully with us and we enjoy this so much! You give us laughs no one can. You are a funny, smart kid. I remember last weekend, you want Mommy to close her eyes so you can play cooking with your milk bottles which Mommy says you can't! You pretend you cook something in a bowl, you use your milk bottles as salt or pepper and you toss the bowl like a chef! Oh, the clever things you see in Tatay while he's cooking!

 Can you see how you lean your head on the table, attentively watching Tatay draw?

Or your cute attempt at drawing!

You are one happy kid!

I must say, you are such a character! You are cute, stubborn, even unyielding but a smart, sweet, loving little boy. I want more of these musings as you grow each day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Freedom's DIY Shirts

I'm a practical mom and I'm crazy about DIY. If only I have all the time in the world, I'll DIY almost all things we use at home. See my post about my DIY curtains and sheets. If I have a nailgun, I would've done a lot of tables and chairs already! LOL

In this post, I wanna share all the DIY shirts that I made for Freedom. Because my son is so active, I prefer putting him on cool shirts when we go out while he runs here and there. I usually make them in batches. I buy comfortable plain white and colored shirts and hand sew characters on them using old cloth I find at home.

Mustache shirt. Funny and cool.

The necktie shirt. Simply awesome.

Rocking and rolling on this guitar shirt.

He loves everything about robots and so I made this robot shirt.

My son dances to all Hi5 songs. Here chilling and relaxing on his Hi5 shirt.

I get my inspiration from the things he loves -- robots, ball, Hi5, etc. As a practical mom, making these DIY shirts is cheap without suffering comfort and style.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Father - A Son's First Hero

Have you heard of the song, Cat's In The Cradle? I love that song! It's a song about a father too busy with work and later regrets not spending more time with his son. I am sorry I am so melodramatic! LOL

I asked my husband about how he feels being a father and he said, "fatherhood is making sure that you're equipping your child at the full extent of your own knowledge so that they can stand tall on their own."

We spend our recent days watching movies with Freedom and the one thing that struck me was why almost all these kiddie movies involve mostly father-and-son or father-and-daughter stories on it. And why almost all stepmothers are evil? Did you also notice?

This list goes on -- Lion King, The Croods, Finding Nemo, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Despicable Me, Mulan and so on.

I read an article before that Walt Disney strongly avoided stories about mothers because he lost his beloved mother when their furnace at home broke while repair. That was the first home he gave his mom and dad through his success. It was sad.

For me, stories about fathers are special simply because being a father, the bond they have with their kid is developed, more of unnatural process. I also have a very special bond with my father whom I look up to and definitely is my first hero. It is with the father's effort from pregnancy to birth and child care that paternal bond is established. Mother-and-child is almost easy, natural because of the wonders of pregnancy and birth but fathers? It is a different story.

My husband is an involved father. And I am very proud of him.

Music class with Tatay!

Gone are the days when they say that fathers are always at work to provide for the family. Gone are the days when fathers are isolated in their mancaves, not to be disturbed. Gone are the days when kids are scared of their fathers.

 Baby steps with Tatay!

Playtime with Tatay!

Touring with Tatay!

In this post, I want to honor all fathers out there who take time to play with their kids, read to their kids, feed their kids, put them to sleep, change nappies.

 Playing ball with Tatay!

Goofing with Tatay!

Always with Tatay!

One-on-one with Tatay.

There are a lot of things that only fathers can teach our kids. We, moms, cannot do it all.

The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature. ~Antoine-François, Abbé Prévost d’Exiles

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mommy Friends

Okay. IlonggaMommy is back and bursting with more stories to tell! I don't want to stay long giving reasons what took me awhile to write again. I just want to give you more glimpses on how IlonggaMommy is coping with this wonderful journey of motherhood, oh yeah! (Vector of Despicable Me tone!)

I am just so glad I have my closest friends who are also mommies. If I'm counting them correctly, I have 11 closest friends who are mommies too! Take note, we have kids who are almost of the same age (under 3). Let me introduce them one by one. I'm sure photos will do.

 Tin Dar, Pym, Me

These two are my college friends. I spent more time with them during college years than my family, so I also consider them like family. We got pregnant almost the same year, gave birth the same year. We spent nights talking about boys while watching movies, eating crackers and pancit canton. When we see each other, we talk about child milestones, schools, milk and toys!

Camille, Shalom, Meco, Me

These three hot mommas are my friends from UOS family. (Mei & Leslie are MIA!) UOS (Union of Sound) is a brotherhood of musicians who are organizing and promoting gigs around the metro. My husband is a member and so their husbands are members. Before dealing with diapers and milk bottles, we loved hanging out with boys with long hair, tattoos, sex-appealing vocal chords, guitars, drums and bass in gigs. I just can't figure out until now why they got us pregnant all at once! LOL!

Mitch, Claire, Me, Natania

These beautiful and brainy girls are my college blockmates. Joy is just missing in action here but she's also had her own bundle of joy just this year. Before playtime, tantrums and kisses, we spent many nights on field studies, researches, exams and OJTs.

How blessed am I? Very. There are days when I just want to dip my head to a drum full of water but one of them saves my sanity! Perks are endless! You get to share every experience you have and feel you're not alone! You ask each other what to do when kids are sick, you support each other's success and failures as a mom. You even share marriage stuff. Another good thing is, since you've been friends before becoming mommies, the bond and stories you tell each other are all relatable!

I'm just so happy to have them. They're all just a message away, thanks to Facebook! I hope our kids will grow up as close friends too.

 Did I say I am very, very blessed? Because I wanna highlight these two women who are just a big part of ME! My mom and my bestfriend.

 Freedom spoilt by Mamita! Thanks, Ma, for always being there while I'm in this wonderful, tasking motherhood journey.

My long-legged, sexy, beautiful bestfriend. She showers my son with so much love and so I am just simply thankful for that. I value the friendship we have -- that even extends way beyond I imagined. I love you, gang.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Manila Fever

Freedom Fashion Week 3!

Freedom is so at ease at photo sessions. He knows what to do and how to rock this outfit. He's still game at third week!

Here posing in the front of a Manila Jeepney which is always parked in front of our gate.

Boys Got Style polo shirt, Landmark Kids jeans, Toes shoes, Fashion Market cool shades

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Most Fascinating People of the Year - Work Category

I have been MIA from my blog for almost 6 full months!!!! Soooo many things happened but I am so grateful that I had gone into sabbatical because I have so much to share with you all.

I'd like to start this new segment of my blog featuring the fascinating people making my life more delightful. I'd like to start with the people I work with.

First and foremost, since I lost my 7-year job to a ridiculous, unfair labor practice (which I won the case BTW), I am so loving my new company now especially the peeps! But the things that happened next are so unexpectedly good -- and I am a strong believer of fate.

Our good God closed a small window but opened a HUGE door for me. I am so blessed! I wanted you to meet these cool folks I am currently working with.

Let's start with my top favorite. Meet Sam aka Ms Giggles. She is our hardworking, smart, smiley Program Lead/SME from our Sydney, Australia branch. She always has a smile on her face and giggles a lot hence the nickname. She is not just my boss but also a friend and I love her forever! We've only been together for four months but we've shared a lot of priceless moments that I consider one of my life's pleasant surprises. She adores Freedom so much she wanted to steal him! She is beautiful in and out, and has a very good heart. Btw, she is such a fast learner she already knows a lot of Tagalog words! Her fave words include charing, ayaw, and tawad which she pronounces tuwad hahaha!. Till we meet again, love! xx

Meet Robert aka Beefy Bobby. This hunk is one of our SMEs and is the ultimate heart throb of all GSSC (sorry Bobby!). He remains cool one hundred percent of the time! His favorite word is "Biyernes" and we went out a lot together with Sam and the rest of the gang on numerous Friday nights eating his fave "pulutan" Sisig! But he is not just a pretty face. Behind those pretty boy looks is a family-oriented and hopeless romantic English Bobby who easily remains humble despite his stardom status here in Manila. I'm sure Jo (the gorgeous GF) is pretty pleased with this news!

 I'm excited for this next item (LOL) in this entry. Meet my funny friend, Gio! We call him Giome. He is a self-made man, working while studying and has an International Relations degree. He jokingly claims he graduated from Massachussets State University (it really was Mindanao btw) even though he stil doesn't own a passport yet haha!. He is an extremely talented comedian and is one of the reasons why I enjoy work so much. He never fails to throw funny jokes at anyone and people in the room would just laugh their asses off and for that, I can't imagine to have been enjoying work as much as I do now.

Next! OM Erly as we fondly call her due to her dress-to-kill outfits that entitled her looking like a diva, Madame Operations Manager in the office. She is our bunso (youngest in the team) and loves travelling (so Madame like!). We enjoy going out with her simply because she is always on the go! She is full of life and I so love that about her. She is always there to assist anyone with anything -- she is our go-to girl (no pun intended!). She never gets angry even though the boys in the team always enjoy throwing jokes at her. She is just one confident, awesome girl who's always happy you can ever ruin her day.

And presenting ---- our beauty queen, Yami! She is the sexiest, yummiest and the most gorgeous claims officer GSSC has! She dresses and carries herself perfectly that Gio would sometimes joke about how he would love to push her in the middle of the street with cars and busses running! Haha! She is our inspiration when it comes to being beautiful and sexy! She has the hard-core discipline when it comes to wellness and eating right. There are days though that she so wanted to unfriend us already 'cause the gang just loves to eat all the time. She is the most pleasant person you'll ever meet, never gets angry as well and teaches me a lot of funny lingos I've never heard of before. She tells funny stories all the time. One thing I love about her is her love for her family. She has a very funny relationship with her father who usually cooks and prepares baon for her every day. They always bicker every time his father has a broken heart and acts like a highschool boy! So cute!

Last item on the list but never the least is my ever-coolest TL, Dimples! This small but terrible woman has the cutest and sexiest skirts ramping the GSSC runway! She is our team mother, financier, confidante, friend and driver -- who would not like that? She would come as very strict at first but she is all naughty and nice! She is very kind and you will see the beauty in her once you know her. By the way, her cellphone number is ---- LOL!

I'd like you to also meet these peeps that complete that the team.

 QA peeps, Gelo and Thea! Thea is a mother of two beautiful girls. Gelo is our most awesome QA who's always been kind even though the team keeps on jokingly bashing him whenever he gives QA feedbacks.

 Arni is our SME from Victoria, Australia. The team is always eager to listen to his interesting stories. He adores his 4-year-old daughter and I also adore him for that.

And to complete the team  --

The Krukuto boys!!! They are the hotties of our team. Remember when pigeons make "krukuto sounds" every time you feed them? These hunks are mimicking that sound every time they hear crumpling plastic wrap of food (junk food) ready to be opened. They're also the ones who always provide food for the team in our sleepy, after-lunch witching hour.

The Melmo tandem! Mel and Lae Telmo. Kurukuto boys gave this tandem name. You cannot separate these two. They sit together, they lunch together, they almost do things together at work.

 The beautiful girls of the team! Tin, Lae, Thea, Berna, Mel and Katz

Beautiful faces.

When our GM, David Hampton, visited us in Manila! He is such a joy to be around. He is so funny and very down to earth. We miss Simon though!

I'd like to make a special mention here of Simon. He's the one with a golf club in the caricature photo. Simon is our National Claims Manager who trained us for the first two weeks. If David is our team grandpa, Simon is our team father! He's so cool and has a very calm demeanor and he also adores his 3-year-old daughter.

And since we've been spending a great deal of time when Bobby and Sam are still here in Manila, here are some of the photos showing how fun we had and would still have in the future.

  I've been searching high and low for a picture when we met Sam's love, Matt, but failed. This one was when Matt visited Sam here in Manila and they went on a holiday to Boracay! Matt is so fun to be with, smart talking guy, and tells a lot of interesting stories. The Mister wished he stayed a little longer in Manila though :(

 Bobby, Jo, Moi, The Mister
When Jo visited Bobby! They are a power couple! Jo is a Venezuelan-Colombian gorgeous fashion designer from UK. She used to design baby clothes and I was so thrilled to know this since I was itching to start Freedom Fashion since the start of the year. Jo is a very nice girl and I truly enjoyed the short time we spent talking to each other when she was still here.

 Showing Bobby and Sam how to eat "balut."

Look at Bobby's face! Haha

Lunching at Le-Ching when we brought Bobby and Sam to Greenhills for some Christmas shopping.

The gang went to Intramuros!

Freedom was wondering why Sam has green eyes and blonde hair!

Far left is Veen (our smartest transition specialist) with his pretty daughters, Ivy and Iris, far right is TL Ana

Yami, Erly, Bobby (jokingly posing around)

Brunching at Ilustrado (their New York Cheesecake and Beef Mami are a must-try!)

For Santiago, Intramuros

Off we went to China Town!

Afternoon coffee at Bayleaf.

With Veen's daughter, Ivy.
Checking out the nice view .

The team lounging at F1 Hotel (Sam's farewell party)

Giome goofing around.

Sammie in the house!

The fabulous people I get to work with every day.

Ken, Erly, Mel, Yami, Troy, Tin

With Sarah and Heath (Sam's fellow SMEs)

After pool swimming.

With Yami, Bobby and Erly

Yami, Dimples, Gio

The past few months have really been awesome because of these fascinating people that I've been with. Old friends are forever precious in my heart but meeting new friends are always a delight.  I'm glad that I got the opportunity to know them. I thought losing my job was one of the lowlights but I was so wrong. This detour was one hell of an adventure!

Next on my list -- My Most Fascinating People of the Year - Fellow Mommies Category!
                           My Most Fascinating People of the Year - Personal Life Category!