“Kayraming gustong puntahan” by the Mister

After Church #FeelGoodSunday.

The mister suddenly remembers the song he composed when I decided to go for a 15 days solo backpacking trip in Japan years ago out of nowhere. 

I’m keeping it here so I’ll not forget the lyrics and will eventually teach it to our kids.  🤣 #Capanzanas

🎼 Gusto kong pumuntang Japan, pero ayaw kong tumira dyan.
Gusto ko din Paris, Italy, at makilala ang mga French.
Sa Brazil ako’y magsiswim pero ako ay uuwi rin. 

Pag pumunta ako ro’n mamimiss ko sila- Si mommy, si Daddy, lalo na si Cyra. 😍😍😍
Ang dancing lugar na gustong magpunta, pero Mas gusto ko sa piling nila. 🎼


#MartinCyraGiveThanks: The Rustic Garden Wedding

I’ve been receiving messages from friends and strangers asking about our wedding suppliers and some tips on how to pull off a rustic garden-themed wedding in the Philippines so I thought of writing about it.

As you know, we’re both based overseas but it was never difficult for us to plan for our wedding with all the information readily available online. Plus, Email or Facebook as the quickest and easiest way of communication with our suppliers. They’re angels! Our hearts are still full and we hope your hearts will be, too.

Church: Calaruega

If you’re eyeing this tranquil chapel to be the special place to manifest your long-life commitment and you think your family and friends will enjoy the long drive, listen to what everybody’s saying, book in advance, esp if you’re like us, which the dates are non-negotiable (our wedding date is in-between our birthdays). Advance means a year ahead if possible. 🙂

Reception Venue: The Forest Barn

This is the perfect venue for us- rustic with a huge dance floor. Our families love singing and dancing so we made sure that there’ll be a huge space for everybody to exploit. Haha. The venue has nice drapings and can fit 400pax. Their management and staff are the best- very friendly and considerate to us. Special thanks to Ms. Maricres, Ms. Dimple and Ms. Laden.  They are more than just an event place, they’re like angels who’ll make the moment extra special- they have helped us with our catering, florist, band, lights and sounds and they strongly believe and work hard in making their clients happy.

If you’re considering this venue, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Ms. Laden or Ms. Dimple at theforestbarn@gmail.com.

We thought our guests might need these (below screenshots) to keep them longer on the dance floor so we DIY them! Special thanks to the woman whom I trusted my entire wedding (haha), Dianne.

Catering & Styling: Passion Cooks Catering

The Passion Cooks Team has magical powers (shout out to Koni and Nariz!). They saved us from all sorts of stress and hassle. We reserved another caterer initially (had the payment forfeited also!) and we worried non-stop. After our “final food tasting” with the caterer we reserved, me and my husband decided to just change our caterer because of their bad service and bad food (my husband’s palate is hard to please).  So we rush to talk to Passion Cooks since they’re our first choice (we tried about 5 caterers!) and it was one of the best decisions we had. After talking to them, all worries went away and it was kinda of sad that I only needed to talk to them on the wedding day because they’ve prepared everything perfectly for us. Haha. We opted for basic styling and they delivered beyond our expectations.

The event managers are experts, respond promptly, very customer-oriented and I can attest that they know what they’re doing. Don’t settle for less. Food is one of the things that your guests will remember the most (Trust me, my foreign friends changed how they look at Filipino food after the wedding and kept talking about how everything was perfect).

Photo & Video: Ailette&Pierre Photography

Our brief was to never miss a beautiful moment and they captured everything perfectly. I felt like I’ve seen everyone’s emotions and they’re all perfectly stored on my hard drive. They were our first and only choice and there’s no doubt why. Even though the weather was quite bad that day, they still tried to take some aerial shots so that they won’t miss anything. Hands down to “AP boys,” really. Thanks to one of best friends, Ailette, who did our SDE though she just gave birth. Haha. Talk about dedication. 🙂

HMUA: Katchie Mejias

You might have seen her in fashion magazines. Oh, or you might have passed by her beauty supplies shop at Robinson’s or maybe you remember her in Mega Fashion Crew’s episode!

Katch is one of the most genuine and true talents that I’ve met in my life. She transforms everyone into a princess in an instant. Want an avant-garde look for your wedding? Just whisper it to her, everything’s possible with her makeup skills! 🙂

Oh, when she’s in the mood, she might even serenade you with her beautiful voice (ask her if she can bring Wolfy, her dog, along to sing something romantic on your wedding. Haha)

Flowers: By Joel Faller

Joel gave me a perfect rustic bouquet though I requested for his service last minute (because the florist that we reserved was not responding after giving the downpayment) and didn’t even meet him ’til now. Haha. I just sent him my brief for the flowers for the entire entourage, flowers in the church, car and my bouquet via Facebook and he delivered everything exactly how I envisioned them to be. Hope to meet you soon, Joel!

Invitation (Design): Sheila

She’s a part of me, probably that was why our wedding invitation was perfect. She’s not just a hot bridesmaid, she does websites too. Check out her portfolio by clicking her name above.

Bridal Gown and Groom’s Suit: Leslie’s Bridal

Leslie’s Bridal was heaven-sent to us. A friend of mine promised to do my wedding dress and I entrusted everything to her. 9 days before the wedding, and there was still no update from her. So I requested for a photo of my dress and it was not up to our expectations. 😦

Diane looked for a ready-made dress for me and suit for Martin the next day and Leslie’s Bridal team just came to rescue me, my husband and the rest of my entourage. In just a week, they realised my dream dress and I was really speechless. We’ll always be grateful that they saved our day!

Band (Ceremony & Reception): Appetite Music by Ryan Fortaleza

Whenever I think about our wedding party, Ryan and Appetite Music come to my mind. Martin was in charge of the band, and he said it was very convenient for him because Ryan just presented a long list of song choices for him to choose from. We opted for a violin for the wedding march in Church and it was so romantic. Martin couldn’t help but notice how meticulous they were to start singing at the right time as they look at my steps when I was walking down the aisle.

As you see from the video below, our wedding party was a blast because our family and friends couldn’t get their feet off the dance floor. Martin sang with them too!

Lights & Sounds: Stohnenky Pro Sounds and Lights (“bright lights, clear music”)

Didn’t have any problem with them and Sir Sonny was very prompt in his responses. They know Forest Barn well and that made everything so easy for us.

Cake: Entremet Boulangerie Patisserie + Cafe (Thanks Zha!)

It wasn’t just pretty, it tastes so good! They have nice bacon sticky bun that’s really awesome i their cafe in Oritgas, by the way!

Bridal Shoes: Vivian Westwood (Thanks Zha!)

Bridal Car: Pepay

Wedding Favours: Mom (if you want flowers as wedding favours, Amy’s Garden can help you, please feel free to reach us anytime)

Prep Venue: Discovery Suites Tagaytay

I love that all their rooms are suites and their team was very helpful. They have an additional fee of 5,000Php for wedding preps so don’t forget to factor that in your budget.

Overall styling & Coordination: Dianne Marie Combalicer (together with the best Maid of Honour in the world, Charmaine)

Everything was perfect because of Diane. 🙂 From my “foreign guests relations team” to all my props and coordination on the day.

I think the key to wedding planning and coordination is to assure the couple that everything will be alright so they can focus on what matters. Diane helped me in all the nitty-gritty DIY stuff that I wanted to do like the Kid’s table, signages, insect repellants, slippers, etc. She went to Divisoria when I was away and even stayed late at my house 2 days before my wedding just to do the checklist and assure me that I can sleep well.

On the day Coordination: Istudyo Juan

My college friends, Aiza & Juan, made sure that everything was perfect during our wedding and that we were well taken cared off.

Host/Emcee: Krist Atienza

For a perfect rustic wedding, hire an emcee as stylish as Kris. 🙂 Our friendship has come a very long way after that meeting at the airport on the way to Siem Reap, roughly 5 years ago. Kris is not just a hottie, without him, our guests might probably have fallen asleep. Thanks love!

More photos from our thanksgiving. 🙂



Happy wedding planning!


Mascute, Mascots.

My husband used to work as the “mascot guy”- basically, the guy behind the Jelly Belly mascot. I love mascots.

It was always Sunday when we talk about having our own businesses and dreaming how wonderful it would be if we can provide for our families the life they dream to have. Mhen was usually washing her clothes while I enjoy a cup of coffee at this “home” that we used to share here in Singapore.

As we all know, Singapore offers a lot of opportunities, being a hub in the region but it’s no secret that life here is very unpredictable for foreign talents like us because of work passes- one moment you have a stable job, the next moment, it’s gone. And that fact makes most of us very determined to grasp everything that we could learn to equip ourselves when this “surprising” moment happens.

Mhen is a gem, an authentic talent. I’m always fascinated on how she can turn creative ideas into masterpieces. Her deep thoughts, practical thinking and genuine and sincere point of views make her works exceptional.

I can still remember how she made my niece’s “little mermaid” birthday costume very beautiful, yet comfortable that my niece can run around and enjoy the games during her birthday. Mhen’s creativity doesn’t sacrifice comfort. (If you look closely in Rei’s photo below, you’ll see that under her beautiful tail, she’s wearing comfortably her slippers.) For mascots, Mhen always thinks about the comfort of the person wearing them.

Mhen doesn’t give up until she solves the puzzle. She’s persistent and delivers what she thinks is ought to be delivered to her clients. When she was working on the costumes for Singapore’s National Day Parade and several other events, I’ve seen her in the kitchen during the wee hours playing with her clays (she uses clays for mock-ups), figuring out how the mascots or costumes should be designed.

Enough of my reminiscing- she’s back in the Philippines and now realising her dream as an artist and entrepreneur which she says she feels “alive.” She’s producing and renting out mascots for parties and events. Sabi nga nya, “today’s special moments, are tomorrow’s memories so complete every moment with a mas kamukhang mascot.” 

Below are their very affordable packages for your reference. Feel free to reach me anytime if you want me to connect you with Mhen.





Save the date for our “Thanksgiving.”

Hello. You’re directed to this page cause you received our note!

We want you to know first- join us as we promise forever with each other at front of our beloved Creator. We are very lucky and we’re very sure that our thanksgiving and celebration will only be complete with you.

For now, we can only let you know the 4Ws. But we’re sure there’ll be lots of dancing, singing and good food. More details to follow in August!

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The ceremony is at 6pm and Cyra wants to wake up seeing this beautiful view cause she wants to get used to “good life” after the wedding.


The ceremony will be held in the beautiful and very solemn Calaruega Church where Cyra’s mom can’t stop staring at the gardens. It’s quite a drive to the hill so we hope you’ll watch out for the sunset on the way.

Photo from Google

Photo from Google

We’ll have good food, drinks, beautiful songs, awesome conversations/reunions and lots of dancing in Forest Barn. There won’t be horses, we promise (but we can’t promise there’s no Red Horse, samahan pa ng happy horse sa isang case. Haha).

forest barn

Hope you’ll save the date for us!

With so much love,

Martin & Cyra

Who know’s “the one?”

Growing up, my mom always nags about how I should behave properly especially when I get married ’cause she believes that it’s a woman’s achievement to be accepted and liked by the family of the person she’s marrying. At the end of the day, she’s right- you’re an addition to their family so you should give more and love more.

My dad was different. He will always tell me to be true to myself and never settle down unless I’m completely sure and have experienced all the singlehood can offer.

But both of them didn’t tell me how will I know if it’s time or if that person is “the one.”  I guess because no one can really explain how and why. 🙂

I asked my closest girlfriends on their bridal showers how did they know that they want to be with the person their marrying for the rest of their lives, but I can’t remember any logical answer. Haha.

2 years ago, I was so sure that I wanted to pursue studying masters, moving ahead in my career, seeing more of the world and experiencing the most out of “singlehood” like what dad said. Back then, I have no vision of wedding and marriage.

Back then, Raymond consistently jokes around marrying me and I’ll quickly say “Of course not!” in an irritated tone. He’s a complete gentleman, very kind and loving- but that was not the only thing I was looking for. I have a complete list of characteristic of a man I want to marry,and most of it was not him.

Days, weeks, months passed by and I felt so guilty knowing that I was not completely into him cause I was searching for my “perfect” man. So I thought of going away. I backpacked Japan for 15 days. First, to realize a goal- to party under a cherry blossom tree; second, to wander and think what’s next for me.

It was the trip that made me realize how good life is and how good and loving is our God knowing and giving exactly what we need in our lives. As soon as I got back in Singapore, Raymond joked again “Pakasal na kaya tayo sa Dec?!” and I replied, “maybe in 2 years time.” He was completely shocked. I was too.

What happened? I didn’t know.

I couldn’t explain.

I thought about what I said, assessed my feelings, write down my future goals… and they all include Raymond.

I once asked a Japanese friend why he married so early at the age of 23. He told me, “timing.” Well I guess it’s true. You know it when it’s the right time or the right person. You just know and you don’t need to explain why. 🙂

To my now husband, Rey Martin (I still don’t get it why your nickname is Raymond), with you I feel secure… I can be myself anytime without worrying that if I don’t achieve much, you’ll love me less. There’s no “grand” day to look forward to because everyday is as special as those grand days. You showed me how partnerships work and how showing affections does not make me less strong or reasonable. You’re my redbull, keeping me focused to finish the things that I’ve started. You’re my Nike pushing me to take risk and just do things because you know that failure shouldn’t stop a person from achieving his/her dreams. With you, I’m supergirl. With you, everything’s secure. :b (This is not going to be my vow on our Church wedding- masyadong obvious na I work in advertising).

Wedding is easy (Just look at how we prepared ours! Haha) but we’re sure that marriage is going to be difficult. But thank God, I’m damn confident about my partner and how lucky we are to have very loving and supportive family and friends. We love you!