Pope fever

The Pope Francis fever gripped the Philippines during the last weekend. The minute the smiling, energetic and charismatic leader of the Roman Catholic Church decided to come to typhoon-ravaged Philippines, the government and the Church mounted massive preparations for his “apostolic” journey to the country. All came into fruition when millions of Filipino devotees flocked to the streets of Metro Manila to catch a glimpse of him, in the process catching the blessings of the vicar of Jesus Christ.

I was not as fortunate as I was twenty years, when, as a fifteen year old, I was sent as a delegate of the World Youth Day in the presence of then Pope John Paul II. Young as I was, but raised as a practicing Catholic both at home and in school, I was mesmerized by the presence of this father figure. That less than 5-second, 1-meter encounter as his popemobile passed by my spot in front of Baclaran Church gave me an indescribable feeling that I could only assume as awe. Too bad I wasn’t able to capture that moment for smartphones were yet to make their appearance in every hand and pocket. Looking back though, I could say that I am glad because I got to see him in person, not just on the screen on a phone, which was what happened during Pope Francis’ visit over the weekend.

IMG_1570

Now, twenty years after that papal visit, I am older and hopefully wiser. Despite the desire to see him, the husband and I chose to stay with the kids at home and follow his visit on TV for four days. I still got that feeling of excitement and enchantment despite looking at the Pope on an LCD screen instead of in person. Both popes exude that aura of holiness, like it was Christ himself you are looking at, and it was like a personal encounter. It gives you renewed hope, and his words provide you fuel and strength. I, along with millions of believers, am beyond elated that His Holiness chose to visit and be with Filipinos. His words are simple yet profound and powerful. He was not at all preachy, which made it easy to listen to him with your heart open.

Maybe I’ll see him in person next time. In Manila or if God permits, at the Vatican. I had crossed off the Holy Land from my bucket list, maybe I’ll get lucky again.

Happy 3rd, my chubby cheeks

IMG_1555

You’re getting bigger by the day, literally. If it were legal to bite those yummy cheeks, I would. Gigil na gigil na si Mommy sa yo, anak! You are such a lovable creature, not only because you are so good to look at, but because you have such a wonderful personality. You smile very easily, and you respond as though you understand the littlest things we talk to you about. Yes, before you hit your third month, you have already captured the hearts of everyone around you with your bright and cheerful disposition. I love it that your smile is genuinely reflected in your beautiful eyes! As your mother, I knew that you will be a source of good vibes even when you were still in the womb. Even then, you make your presence felt with the slightest nudge from Mommy.

You are also such a babbler and you’re still our little crybaby though. But I am happy that most days now, you laugh more than you cry (which was what you did in your first two months of life). You have also began sleeping through the night, waking up only to drink your milk around 3 or 4 in the morning. Yay, more sleeping hours for Mommy!

I know I have said this a million times, but I will never tire of saying that I love you and your sister so much. My love for you girls are bigger than anything Mommy has ever known her whole life. I never really knew what my life was for until you came along. I will love you forever, my darlings.

Rooftop Rendezvous

This is what our host, Rino, called our little party.

pprd3

Our group (alumni of one of the divisions of CFO) is slowly making a habit of getting together every Christmas season. Our first was last year, and I am glad for a repeat this time. We all came from different “generations”, thus, it was a meeting of “originals” (we don’t like to use the word oldies) and new blood. The hubby is also now officially part of this family, instead of being my “plus 1”.

pprd1

pprd6

pprd5

pprd4

The hubby and I were the first ones to say adieu at 12 midnight. Party days are really gone as we have two little ones waiting at home.

Belated greetings from these Minnies

These cutie patooties are sending belated greetings of peace and joy as we welcomed the new year!

image

They were lucky to spend that turn of the year with both sides of their families–the best of both worlds. New Year’s Eve dinner was with Ninong Mico, Mama and Lolo, while a rainy lunch was spent with Mama Old, Tita Vivien, and a handful of cousins from daddy’s side.

image

image

Our families are awesome!

Ending the year right

Hello 2015! 2014 was a rollercoaster of emotions for me. I had so much difficulties with my pregnancy and at work. But it was also the year I received a beautiful gift wrapped in a 5 lb. package. So in all, the year was quite good to me.

And we chose to end the year right by offering our baby girl to a lifetime of service to our Lord.

Another soldier joins His flock.

image

It was a simple, happy celebration of love and faith. We are grateful to our family and friends who spent Maxine’s special day with us.

Happy also with our suppliers.

I super love the baptistry of the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Baptism fee was a little more expensive than in other churches, and they strict about letting only the immediate family and godparents inside the baptistry. But it made the rites more meaningful and solemn unlike in mass baptisms.

image

The reception venue was a repeat of my dad’s 70th birthday celebration last year. Alba’s spanish restaurant was not our first choice but we could not find another that fits our liking, and more importantly, our budget. Still, one couldn’t go wrong with Alba’s. Food was great (and overflowing), set up was nice that we didn’t need to dress up the place and service was excellent. I like dealing with them all the time, very hassle-free.

The invitation, as mentioned in a previous post was designed by someone on Etsy.com. Then we had them printed and given to the godparents and some of our relatives. Majority of our guests were invited via Facebook.

image

Souvenirs were cakes in jars ordered from Bake my Day by Mariane, an online baker found on Instagram. Finding suppliers nowadays is easy as a pie given the advent of small entrepreneurs who makes use of social media to sell their wares. No more going to actual business areas, everything done in a click. Of course, one has to be very careful about dealing with scammers and those who want to make easy money by duping innocent people. Thank God, so far, I haven’t fallen prey to any of them. Anyway, back to the giveaways, these cakes, in chocolate and red velvet, were really yummy. I wanted to keep some of the jars as keepsake, however, after washing them, the prints faded so to the trash they went.

image

Photobooth services were taken cared of by Ninong Mico, who by the way, had an out of the country trip planned so he couldn’t make it to Maxine’s baptism. But I only had to deal with The Faceplays Photobooth when I had to provide them the concept, approve the layout then send Maxine’s photo. The turnout was perfect!

image

Tarpaulin design was done by Mischa’s Ninong Troy.

image

Outfits bought from a major mall chain.

image

image

Thank you again for being part of our second princess’ special moment.

image

image