Monday, October 18, 2010

Manila Church List

I know we are already decided which church we want for our wedding but I also know a lot of overseas brides like me who wanted to have choices for their wedding church. Here is a list of the churches and contact information in Manila. Hope this helps!

• Basilica De San Sebastian -734-8908, 734-8931, Plaza del Carmen Quiapo Manila
• Holy Spirit Parish -711-1332, 1912 Rizal Ave.Sta. Cruz Manila
• Malate Catholic Church -523-2593, 1016 M.H. del Pilar Malate Manila
• Manila Cathedral -527-3889, 1016 M.H. del Pilar Malate Manila
• Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene -733-4945, Plaza Miranda Mall Quiapo Manila
• National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels -735-1611, J.P. Laurel St.San Miguel Manila
• Nuestra Senior de Guia -523-2754, M.H. del Pilar cor. A. Flores St.Ermita Manila
• Nuestra Señora De Salvacion Parish -714-7210, Anonas cor. Hipodromo Sts., NDC Compound Sta. Mesa Manila
• Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish --532-1770, Punta, Sta. Ana Manila
• Our Lady of Peñafrancia Parish -564-0638, 1343 Gomez St. Paco Manila
• Paco Park -525-7853, San Marcelino St.Paco Manila
• Pope Pius XII Catholic Center -536-1820, 1175 United Nations Ave. Manila
• San Agustin Church, Gen. Luna St.Intramuros Manila
• Santo Niño Parish -563-3211, Jesus St.Pandacan Manila
• St. Anthony of Padua Parish -536-7120, 2126 Singalong & San Andres Sts.Malate Manila
• St. Peter The Apostle Parish -563-2480, 1260 Pres. Quirino Ave.Paco Manila
• St. Pius X Parish -563-6487, Neptuno cor. 7th Sts., Onyx Ave.Paco Manila
• St. Vincent De Paul Parish -525-7853, 959 San Marcelino St.Ermita Manila

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Manila Reception Venues List

For the purpose of helping other brides to be like me in their wedding planning, here's a list I got from one of the wedding forums in manila. Hope this helps!

- Clamshell Tent
- Casa Manila
- Teatrillo
- Casa Marinero
- Plaza Moriones
- Manila Metropolitan Museum
•Le Pavillon
•Palacio de Maynila
•Ramon Magsaysay Center
•La Castellana

Looks like La Castellana was opened about 2 years ago so it's fairly new. =)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Reception Venue #3

My third choice of reception venue is really just a back-up if both my first two choices fail. The Pergola is a new events venue in Manila. If I am not mistaken, they just opened sometime last year. Since it is pretty new, I cannot find a lot of wedding event photos here. What I like about this place is that it is indoor so it is airconditioned plus it is fairly new so the facilities are still new. The venue has accredited caterers but as far as the information we got last month, they don't charge corkage fees. I guess it's because they are new in the business and would love to attract new customers. This venue is located by Roxas boulevard close to Mall of Asia which is fairly close to our preferred church.

If everything else fails, this is my backup plan.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Reception Venue #2

My second choice for reception venue is in Quezon City. It is a bit farther from the church but at least it is an airconditioned venue. The chandelier and skylight at Light of Love Events Place Atrium made me drool. Look at the photos here. I think the only catch in that place is that my preferred caterer is not accredited in the place so I have to pay a corkage fee which is not good since I'd rather spend that corkage money for more food for the guests or maybe put more budget on my wedding gown. Anyway, we'll see how it goes when we actually look at the place. Who knows... the chandelier might convince me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reception Venue #1

I am currently in a hunt for a wedding venue. I never thought that reception venues costs so much nowadays! My choice of reception venue is a place that looks like a hotel ballroom but at a cheaper price. We prefer an airconditioned venue since some of our guests will be coming from here and I know they wouldn't be able to stand Manila heat.

My first choice for the venue is La Castellana. More photos can be seen here.I totally died when I saw the photos. And then when I found out that it's a whopping 70K pesos for a 4-hour reception, I died again. =( I am not sure if we can afford it but I surely love, love it!

I am honestly scared to see it in person because I might fall in love with it and then later realize we can't afford it. =( Keeping my fingers crossed!

Friday, September 24, 2010


I died when I saw these shoes while googling blue and green shoes...

Sea & Fog Flats by Anthropologie

So perfect for my wedding motif! Blue and green! I found out that these babies are not available anymore anywhere. Yes, not even ebay. I died again.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To Blue or Not to Blue

Did you know how difficult it is to find the perfect wedding shoes? Did you also know that it's double difficult to find blue wedding shoes?!? Argh!!!

I have been on a hunt for the perfect wedding shoes. I know the wedding is still more than a year from now. But at the rate I'm going in my search for the perfect blue shoes, I think a year is probably not enough. I want my perfect blue shoes!!!

If I could just afford these Louboutins...

Or perhaps the Carrie shoes (Manolos)...

But then again, high heels for my wedding? I don't think that's going to happen. LOL.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Free Fabric Swatches

Just wanted to share this forum where you can get free fabric swatches of wedding gowns and bridesmaid gowns:

I have been trying to get sample fabric swatches for my bridesmaid gowns and it's been difficult, if not impossible to get them for free. Thank God I stumbled upon this website while I was looking for gown designs. Once you get to the forum site, look for "webguy", one of the admins there and request for free swatches. You may need to sign-up to be able to send him a message.

I love, Dessy, After Six and Mori Lee bridesmaids' gowns! Check out their site and get your free swatches. =)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bargain Hunt

Yesterday was coupon compiling day. This means I have to go through all our mails and newspapers for 2 weeks to get coupons. LOL. Yes, this is what recession did to me. In our attempt to save a couple of bucks, we would use coupons. And there is such thing as coupon shopping day for me and my husband. This means we can only buy items that we have a coupon for. Hahaha. We'll that's just one day in a month and is also outside of our regular grocery shopping day. Come to think of it, I should have started doing this even when I was single. I was just lazy to do it back then... I am still lazy to do it now *that's why I only do it every 2 weeks* but having my husband reminding me every now and then to clean up the mail and newspaper that started to pile up on our dining table, I guess that's enough motivation to do it.

Talk about sale, there's an ongoing grand opening sale at Party City in Glendale, AZ. It's the store by 80th ave and Bell rd. I got buy 1 get 1 7x7 solid colored table napkins for our wedding. I know it's still more than a year before our wedding but this sale won't last long! I just thought I can start my wedding D-I-Ys soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Recessionista Bride

Yes, I am one of them. At this time of recession, I think $15,000 wedding in the Philippines is too much. So instead of gloating over not having a lot of fancy stuff for our Manila church wedding, I am trying to get myself busy doing D-I-Y projects for the wedding. Well, goodluck to my arts and crafts skills! LOL.

Oh, don't get me wrong... I am very much excited to start my DIY projects for the wedding since: 1) it takes my mind away from work, 2) my free time waiting for the husband to come home will be spent productively, 3) i can polish my artsy side.

To emboss or not to emboss??? I am currently obsessing about customizing our wedding napkin. I checked online if I can have it printed somewhere costs around $25 for 100 pieces which is unjustifiable! I cannot throw away that much money for something that I know will just be thrown away quickly at the wedding. So in my attempt to be a recessionista bride, I will attempt to make my own personalized wedding napkins. I'll try to make some sample napkins when my materials arrive. Wish me luck!

Boost Your Savings

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boost Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

My husband and I are among the thousands of people greatly affected by this bad economy. Although both of us are still employed, the comforts that we used to enjoy are not the same as before like for instance, regular vacations and travels. During this difficult times, we try our best to save and be frugal about so many things. I think Boost mobile is a great internet find for a frugalista like me. At $50/month, you can enjoy unlimited nationwide talk, texting, multi-media messaging, e-mail and web browsing, instant messaging and 411 directory assistance. This $50 unlimited everything plan also includes call waiting, call forwarding and voicemail. This is a pretty awesome deal compared to our current family plan with another mobile provider which costs almost thrice as much as Boost Mobile plan.

Re-Boost is a program of Boost mobile that allows their subscribers to pay online, pay in person or pay by phone. When you pay online, you can set-up automatic monthly payments or make a one time payment using a credit or a debit card. This auto-payment assures you of on time and worry-free transactions. Another great product of Boost Mobile is their Re-Boost card or receipt. This Re-Boost card or receipt allows you to gift a family member or a friend with Boost credits that they can use to pay for their Boost Mobile account. I think this is a very good Christmas/Birthday gift idea because for sure this is a very useful gift for them. Boost mobile gives you all these flexibilities in your payment options. You should also check out the activation of a new Boost Mobile phone. I think this is by far the easiest and fuss-free activation I've ever seen because you can do your activation online just by entering your phone information such as the SIM ID and IMEI of the phone.

For someone who checks her email more than 30 times a day, I think having an unlimited data plan will make my life easy because I can just use my mobile phone to check emails anytime and anywhere. I have always told my husband that I cannot live without internet on the go especially nowadays when a lot of my friends are more reachable via facebook and twitter. Now that we are planning a wedding in Manila and I am working with my sister who is in Manila, it is just easier and faster to send and get facebook updates from her when there are decisions that we have to make for our wedding, hence the need for an unlimited data plan on my mobile. Boost mobile only makes 24/7 internet connectivity cheaper and more accessible since I can use facebook and twitter using one of their sleek smart phones. I think I would like to have that Blackberry Curve 8330 smartphone because it has all the bells and whistles that I would need for my work and social life. It has email access, enhanced web browser, digital camera, MP3 music player and a full QWERTY keypad.

I know I can easily convince my husband to change our mobile provider knowing how much money we can save from Boost Mobile plans.

Visit my sponsor: Reboost

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hello GC

Hello shiny green plastic card from USCIS! I have waited for your arrival for so long that I literally could have camped right next to our mailbox. Hehe.

So what now? I actually have a list of things to do after receiving my permanent resident card aka. Green Card.

1. Report to Social Security Administration that I no longer have restrictions in my employment. Yeah boy!!! Which basically leads to #2.

2. Find a new job... less stressful, pays more and more free time to do other stuff. I wonder where I can find this kind of job in this economy.

3. Plan our church wedding in Manila. With the GC, I can travel to the Philippines all I want. Yehey!

4. Plan our honeymoon... well, all depends with #2 if we can afford a Paris trip.

Exactly 4 mos since we filed our AOS papers to receiving the GC! Happy days ahead!

Friday, July 02, 2010

AOS Update

I did my walk-in biometrics Tuesday last week. My original schedule for biometrics is on July 12 which I thought was too far wait so I gambled to go to the ASC here in Phoenix. Luckily there were barely any people in the ASC when my husband and I went last Tuesday at 9AM. The biometrics was quick. I was done in about 10mins from the time we arrived to the time we walked out of the building. There was actually no line. LOL.

Tip: Bring all of the 797 Notice of Action documents that USCIS sent you. You may need to refer to the A# on the notice of action for your I-485.

Both my I-485 and I-765 filing was touched on the same afternoon I went for biometrics. I got an email of "Card production ordered" for my I-765, 3 days after biometrics. This morning, I got another email notification of "card production ordered" for I-765. Weird huh? Just 7 days apart I got two notifications with the same content. So I guess I can continue working! Yehey!!!

Now, I need to wait for my EAD card and an update to my I-485 and I-130.

The Men Pen

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of The Men Pen. All opinions are 100% mine.

How many vain men do you know? I think they're more popularly called metrosexuals. No, they're not homosexuals! Although a lot of these metrosexuals are easily mistaken to be gays by those jock-type men but they're definitely heterosexuals and maybe they have some gay friends. Let's just say they dress in a more sophisticated look, well-groomed, stylish, fashionable and good-looking. I have a lot of these metrosexual friends back home in Manila. Unfortunately, my husband is not one of them. My husband still thinks that men who wear pink shirts are gay. Funny!


Going back to my metrosexual friends, they do indulge in beautifying and maintaining their physical bodies. These friends would tell me that they do frequently go to the gym, spa and dermatologist's clinic because vanity is very important to them. I know they use a lot of facial products like eyecream, moisturizer, sunblock and sometimes make-up to hide zits and blemishes on their skin. They would be glad to know about this Men Pen which is basically a concealer stick. This mens makeup concealer is specifically developed for men's skin type to hide acne, moles, scars, dark circles and blemishes. The Men Pen is available in 17 different shades which I'm sure will suit any skin color. You don't have to be an actor or a moviestar to be self-conscious especially about how you look like. Common people like my metrosexual friends would attest to the confidence boost they get when they know they look good inside and out. Using mens cosmetics does not make you gay after all.

Visit my sponsor: The Men Pen - Men's cosmetic concealer stick

Thursday, July 01, 2010

P-p-p-oker Face

I've always been a Glee fan so I guess I'm quite partial on their song renditions. LOL. Anyway, last night I watched the rerun of episode 20: Theatricality on Hulu. I've never understood why my husband likes Lady Gaga a lot. And I mean A LOT until I watched Glee's Lea Michele and Idina Menzel perform their own rendition of Poker Face. Now I have a different appreciation for Lady Gaga. I want you guys to listen to this Glee cast version because it is really good. I wouldn't have imagined a Lady Gaga song can be this beautiful. I am not exaggerating! Listen to it and tell me what you think.

Download the full version on iTunes under Glee Cast. =) These Broadway stars really are the awesomest performers!

Skype Video Conference in HD

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of faceVsion Technology USA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Living here in the U.S. while my whole family is in the Philippines has been tough especially during those times when I miss them so much. The most cost-effective and reliable solution for me to communicate with them is through Skype. We usually chat, call, do phone conference or even video conference whenever we have time to spare. My family and I would talk for hours through Skype. What's great about Skype is that skype to skype calls are free! Several years back I did some comparative study on the monthly fees for VOIP calls and skype's monthly rates for unlimited US and Canada calls are by far the lowest.

Skype has been part of my professional and personal life for many years now. Since I got transferred here in the U.S. from our Makati office in Manila, Skype has been my most reliable tool to communicate with my Manila team. Currently, I am still doing support and interviews for new hires at our Manila office and Skype has never failed me to have great quality voice and video conferences. There was this one time when I had to wake up around 5AM to do a job interview for a prospective new hire. The challenging part in doing a technical interview over low quality video conference is the poor to intermittent quality of image and audio. Sometimes we have to repeat what we say over and over until the person we're talking to understands what we are talking about. I also noticed the choppy and pixelated images that sometimes slows down the internet connection in our remote office. I think poor quality video conferencing do not send a good impression to our prospective hires.


faceVsion's touchcam N1 is the first Internet streaming true HD webcam for Skype video calls. This N1 webcam is Skype certified. It produces high resolution 720p video and uses an H.263 codec chip for very good audio video experience. Real-time video conferencing can now be realized using FV touchcam N1. I know that this touchcam will definitely make my video conferences with our Manila office so much better. FV touchcam is available in faceVision on line store through and other value added partners. Make sure that you buy this Skype certified touchCam and not just any other products out there who claim that they can produce real hi-def audio and video outputs. Make sure that you check that Skype certified logo! Do check out the FV ExpressCombo for on-the-go people like me who cannot live without her laptop.

Visit my sponsor: faceVsion TouchCam N1 HD Video Streaming Webcam

Home Office Empire

I am such an OC when it comes to cables crossing the room. I simply hate seeing them and tripping on them. Whenever my husband connects his laptop directly to the router *because internet is faster that way* which is about 7 feet away, I would go ballistic. Our home office layout seems weird because we couldnt put the office desk right in front of the window since it's higher than the window. The wall jack for the router is on the opposite side of the room where the computer table and printer are so I had to get a very long (about a 50ft long) network cable and make it go around the room to connect the printer to the router. I'm looking for a solution to either hide the ugly cable or avoid this totally and here are my choices:

1. I thought of finding a white network cable to match the color of the wall and then use big staples to hook the long wire in place. Cheap, easy and ugly but it'll work.

2. Get a cable cover or a wiremold to cover the running wires. I checked ebay, home depot, lowes, ace hardware but the cheapest I found is about $7 for 6feet. I probably would need 40ft of cover. If I get the cheapest one, I might have to paint it to match the color of the wall. Expensive solution so I'm trying to stay away from this.

And for the final solution...

3. Rearrange the electronics are closer to the socket while the big furnitures cover the wires.

Ultimately, I chose #3. Not a really ergonomic floorplan in our home office but what the h*ck... it works! No more tripping on wires. No more ugly, visible crisscrossing wires. Happy wife and husband. =)

Monday, June 21, 2010


Sorry for ranting about USCIS but their processing time really SUCKSSS!!! Big time! There I said it. Whew!

It's like waiting for eternity to get any update for my case. =(

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Arizona Good Eats

I am a sucker for good Chinese food. When I say Chinese food, I'm talking about the real, authentic Chinese cuisine and not the Americanized orange chicken, lemon chicken, or anything chicken. I used to tease my husband because he'll always order either orange chicken, lemon chicken or sweet and sour chicken whenever we go to Chinese restaurants. I told him that it is not exactly Chinese cuisine. LOL. What can I do? He grew up in a place where Chinese food is just greasy, commercialized food in a take out box.

About a month after I moved here in Arizona, an officemate friend of mine took me to the Chinese Cultural Center near downtown. We went to Golden Buddha, located inside the COFCO complex in downtown where real chinese food can be found! To my delight, they were serving dimsum in carts. Several carts would pass by our table with different set of menus. My favorite cart was the steamed dimsum cart. I love pork and shrimp siomai with chili sauce and soy sauce over hot white rice. OMG! I'm drooling now just thinking about it. Give me siomai and rice any day and it'll surely make the pinoy happy in me. Other dimsum items i like are the shrimp ball over tofu, shark's fin dumpling, fried taro ball and sesame ball with red bean. Me and my husband attended a lunch party there last weekend and he loved the steamed barbecue pork bun. Finally he appreciated something real chinese! I like the baked barbecue pork bun over the steamed one. Dimsum is served only during lunch time everyday. If only I live close to this place you would definitely see me there everyday. Hahaha.

Earn a Teaching Degree

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of USC. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I was a kid, I have always thought I will become a teacher. I remember how I tutored my younger sisters in their homework everyday. Though I did not pursue a career in teaching when I was in college, that old dream of belonging in the academe has never disappeared until now. I noticed that in my current job, I enjoyed doing presentations, talking to clients, providing lectures and trainings for my software projects.

To my delight, I found out that the USC Rossier School of Education is offering an online Master of Arts in Teaching degree. In the comforts of your home, you can receive interactive online learning and field-based experiences. They also offer a tuition reimbursement program and possibly a scholarship that will ease the burden of paying for education. In as short as 12 months, you can complete the accelerated program and become part of the elite USC Trojan Family. This prestigious school of education has been ranked #22 in the United States and has been ranked #9 among all private universities by the US News and World Report. What is great about this program is that it leverages the internet technology and fully supports the distance learning. This is a very exciting opportunity for busy people like me who would like to pursue a career in the academe. You can get their program information and learn how to earn your Masters degree in teaching or how you can advance and elevate your current career in teaching by visiting their website below.
Visit my sponsor: Master of Arts in Teaching degree online from USC

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rant About Overpriced Passport Photos

Do you know how much two (2) pieces of passport photos cost? Me and my husband had our passport photos taken at Walgreens about 3 weeks ago for my USCIS documents. I was surprised to find out that two pieces of photos cost $8.99!!! Did you also know that a 5"x6" photo print only costs 8cents to 15cents? So how can 2 pieces of 2"x2" photos which can absolutely fit in a 5"x6" photo print cost 60 times a regular photo??? Argh!!!

Fyi, I needed about 5 passport photos so I spent over $20 for passport photos at Walgreens. Few days ago I needed passport photos again for my Philippine embassy document. I was already fed up with the overpriced photos at Walgreens so I decided to take action. I googled diy passport photos and I found a site that allows you to create your own passport photos. Armed with my own point and shoot camera, we set-up our own passport photo studio... white table cloth, heavy duty tapes and a tripod. We just had to make sure that we have enough lighting to avoid shadows. Upload your photo at after selecting the desired country for your passport photo (NOTE: each country have specific sizes for passport photos). Move the box to the desired cropping area of your photo then download cropped photo and save it on a mobile drive (eg. thumbdrive, memory card, etc). We took this softcopy photos and printed them at Target/Walmart which costs around 15cents to 22cents each 5"x6" photo print which contained 5 US passport sized photos or 7 Philippine passport sized photos. Yehey! The print looked professional!!!

I don't think I'll ever pay more than a dollar of passport photos ever again. I personally recommend this for all techie but frugal people out there just like me.

Nexx Web Hosting Promo

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Nexx Online. All opinions are 100% mine.

Few hours ago, I got an email from my domain provider that my domain name is about to expire in July. Although I never had problems with them for the past 2 years, they recently informed me about the 7% price increase in my current subscription. I immediately asked why I would have to be burdened by a higher price when the services that I will be receiving won't get upgraded. And then I saw this ad on At a cheaper price, I can keep my domain name and get better service.


Nexx web hosting is currently offering a new irresistible promotion. For only $10 for the first year, you can get one full year of unlimited web hosting and one free .com domain name. This is a very good deal especially if you are starting your website. You can get unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, free .com domain name, 24/7 customer support, $50 credits from Google Adwords, $50 credits from Facebook Ads and one-click Wordpress and blog installations. If you wish to create a very professional-looking website, the SiteBuilder tool can give you hundreds of templates you can use in your website. If you are trying to build an e-commerce website, Nexx web hosting will provide you with an easy to install Zen cart. This tool will let you manage your inventory, track your sales and list your items without the hassle of having to code your own e-commerce site. If you are a resident blogger like me, Nexx easily integrates with Wordpress with a press of a button. Get Unlimited Web Hosting starting at $10 for the first year. Avail of this promo by entering the promotional code SPARK10.
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Filipino Food Craving

I was craving Filipino food last week and decided to make Goto (Beef tripe congee) and Tokwa't Baboy (marinated pork and tofu) last weekend. I think I got too excited about eating it that i cooked too much, enough to feed 15 people. LOL. My not-so-Filipino husband had a hard time swallowing the food. I just found out he didn't like beef tripe, much more the pig's ear. =( Failure for me for trying to introduce Filipino food to my American husband. ARGH!!! I was trying to convince him that he should practice eating Filipino delicacies because it'll be the same food he'll be eating when we go home to the Philippines next year. He said he was like in Fear Factor trying to not breathe and swallow without chewing the food I served him. =(

Note to self, never attempt to serve the husband unfamiliar meat especially innards. Lol. At least I was able to feed my cravings and have 3-weeks worth of Goto to finish!

Home Theater System

Moving to a bigger home and furnishing it has been a great and wonderful experience for me and my husband. It is my first time to furnish a home because I have been living in either hotels or fully furnished homes for the last how many years. I guess every family dreams of owning a home theater system someday with all the bells and whistles. Me and my husband are techie geeks so we love to plan our home theater system very carefully. One of the major components of a home theater system is the av receiver. Through an AV receiver, you are able to control the input and output of both audio and video of your system. It is the device where you can amplify the sound of your system through various audio sources such as AM/FM radio, iPod, HD radio and many others. Through this device you can also route video signals to your television from various sources like DVD, Blu-ray, VCRs and many others. If you want to start planning your home theater system, AV Receiver is a good site to get the best of breed AV receivers at super low prices. What’s great about this site is that you can read the reviews from Amazon and do your comparison in both functionality and price. Based on my experience, I get more discounts and more competitive prices online so better check out this site.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

3 days to forever never sleeping alone in bed again. never eating dinner alone again. never doing long drives alone again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Four days to go...

Wedding jitters??? Tic, toc, tic, toc.

Woooozzzaaaahhh Lisa. You can do this!