First, The Wedding Part 1

Being in a long distance relationship that transitioned into a long distance engagement only meant one thing:  planning the wedding alone.  Up to this day, I still don’t know how the whole wedding happened, but I know I got a lot of help from people and online resources.  We had a budget and in this day and age when blogs are popping left and right with insane wedding pegs and styles you JUST MUST HAVE, it’s quite difficult to stick with that budget.  But we did.  And we did it because we worked hard.  Hahahaha.

Let me just give a rundown of our major suppliers and my review.  Please note that our wedding happened in the Philippines, where US$1=PHP45 at the time, so prices are adjusted accordingly.

Introducing, our monogram.  Thank you, Printsonalities (more on them later).

Church:  Iglesia Ni Cristo, Bel-Air Chapel
Rating:  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Cost:  NONE
Seriously, we didn’t spend anything on the church.  We just had to inform them ahead of time since our wedding date was right after New Year’s.  We requested for an English-speaking minister, and they gave us Bro. Felipe Naguit.  The church was clean, organized, and we had the best choir ever.  It was perfect.

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Hotel:  Fraser Place Manila, Bel-Air Makati
Rating:  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Cost:  💰💰💰💰
This cost us quite a lot, but it was absolutely worth it.  We booked two two-bedroom suites that were so huge, each room hosted over 8 adults and 4 kids.  It was spacious enough to have two hair and makeup stations in each, and the photo-video team even had enough space to gather their editing stuff.  Did I also mention it had a washer and dryer?  Perfect for those emergency wash and dry the night before (which happened).  The staff was amazing too.  Since I forgot to book a car for my husband (SORRY MAJOR SLIP), they had a car waiting for him to take him to the church.  They were soooo accommodating, from extending our check out hours, to entertaining our suppliers as they come.  It was the best buck spent.  Each facet of their service was personalized, the best way to start the year really.

To know more about Fraser, click here.

Venue:  The Blue Leaf Events Pavilion, Taguig City
Rating:  ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Cost:  💰💰💰💰
I have to admit, I wasn’t ready to spend this much on a venue.  But Le Mari saw Blue Leaf online, and he was enamored.  There was no changing his mind, and I’m now glad that I didn’t.  Our event coordinator Mikee Reyes assisted with everything:  caterer, hotel, car, styling.  She was the best.  The venue too was great, but I already knew that, having attended a couple of weddings and corporate events in the same place.  Blue Leaf is like a semi designed canvas — just add little touches and it’s already awesome.  Our hours were only supposed to be until 10, but because my friends decided to clean out the bar, we stayed till almost midnight.  They didn’t even turn off the air conditioning till 30 minutes before they closed.  No extra charge.  Amazing.

To know more about Blue Leaf, click here.

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Caterer:  Josiah’s Catering
Rating:  ❤️❤️❤️
Cost:  💰💰💰
I have a love-hate relationship with this caterer.  Love, because they have catered to almost all weddings in our family.  Hate, because their service flat out sucks.  We booked them as part of a package with Blue Leaf, and from the moment I tasted their food, I knew I was right.  They’ve also improved a lot on their styling, based on their portfolio, so in my head, I’m in good hands.  That is, until the final tasting day.  First, the account executive made us come at noon only to make us wait for over an hour before finally tasting the menu.  She wasn’t even the one who accommodated us, it was the head chef at the time.  When we did taste the menu, everything that I said shouldn’t be there was there.  From peanuts to appetizers and desserts I didn’t like during the initial tasting, it was all there.  I have made all the details of the menu clear on the day we finalized the styling details, but it was such an epic failure to not even try with the menu.  Plus, she wasn’t there 80% of the time!  It was the head chef explaining to us what we were tasting.  Le Mari was so infuriated that he called for the sales head and demanded that that person be replaced immediately.  Take note, we only had two weeks before the wedding.  Le Mari was so angry, he actually said if that AE is at the wedding, we will demand a full refund of the service charge.  He also included that if all the allergy triggers are on the food, Josiah’s will pay for the medical expenses.  I think it was such an unusual thing to happen, to be so disappointed with the service that the sales head just agreed to everything.

Anyway, fast forward to the wedding, with the new AE, everything was good and well.  The guests even told us the food was great.  It wasn’t until I looked at the wedding photos did I notice that a lot of the styling cues we decided wasn’t followed.  For one, I hate the mirrored runner.  I wanted the continuous and flowing floral runner.  But they used the mirror and there were barely any flowers.  Same goes with the guest tables.  So lesson learned:  HIRE A STYLIST if you are particular with how you want your event to look.  Thankfully, they performed well food-wise.

20161027-josiahs-catering-styling-1 20161027-josiahs-catering-styling-2 20161027-josiahs-catering-styling

We stocked the bar ourselves, so we just requested for a staff to pour the drinks.  He put out a small jar for tips.  I wish he asked us first if he can do that, because we really didn’t want our guests to shell out anything, but I guess it was just for the trouble.  We tipped all the waiters in the end, so he didn’t really need that jar.  Good thing is all the alcohol was consumed and nothing was brought home by the staff.

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Wedding Paper Divas Thank You Cards

I would love to post a review for our photographer and videographer but I’ll save that stuff for the next one.  With the work they did, they absolutely deserve a post of their own.

Please stay tuned!  More wedding details to come.

REVIEW: The Taste of SALT, Makati

It has been a while since I last posted a review here, so yesterday, when my friend Emma had a craving for something savory, I immediately thought of SALT.  (Actually, she immediately thought of it, but we’re eating together, so it could have easily been me too.)

I’ve seen the rounds in the blogs for this little hole in the wall.  Located at the corner of Fermina and Enriquez, it wasn’t that hard to find.  From our office along Makati Avenue, we walked to the tricycle station by Polaris St. and simply said Fermina.  The sign is right there, it’s impossible to miss.

(For those who are driving, turn at the corner of Howzat Gym and Bar along Kalayaan Avenue.  The resto is on the third street to your left.)

This being a spontaneous run, please excuse the quality of photos.  Not only were we rushing to finish a sumptuous lunch and squeezing in 15 minutes of quiet time, I only had my phone with me.  All photos are watermarked (poorly, if I may add) in Fotor.

Simple exteriors and interiors, the place is quite inviting.  I had to confirm to a friend if they’re open for lunch, and the only thing he replied is the place is his go-to for “value for money” food.

Salt Facade

Salt In

Salt In 2

Forgot to take a photo of the exterior, but you get the gist.  That small pocket room at the side looks like it can be reserved for big groups.  But then, SALT looks like it was just put up at the back of a big house, so maybe you just come in early with a big group and occupy that space…??  I didn’t get to ask, I was starving.

Emma

Emma is not used to my blogging persona so she felt compelled to take photos too.  Given the shakiness of my pictures, I desperately needed meat.

The T-Bone Steak (P190)

The T-Bone Steak (P190)

Naturally, I had the T-Bone Steak (P190).  I read somewhere that they can’t get the doneness of this steak right.  I asked for medium rare, being the proper carnivore that I am, but because the cut is not as thick, it was cooked closer to medium.

T-Bone 2

Don’t get me wrong though.  The steak is ABSOLUTELY flavorful.  I really took my time eating it, I loved every bite.  They matched it with this barbecue sauce and a taste of potato salad.  It was so good.  Now I get what they say about value for money.

Beef Salpicao (P220)

Beef Salpicao (P220)

Emma had the Beef Salpicao (P220) and it looked like sex on a plate.  Hahaha.  Truly!  I immediately asked if they serve beer but unfortunately they don’t.  (So I sometimes drink for lunch, why judge?)

Beef Salpicao 2

How sexy is that oil touching the rice?  DROOL ALL OVER.  The beef was tender and well cooked, the garlic was tasteful but not overpowering.  All it really needed was beer really.

I read somewhere that the resto only uses Batangas beef, and I approve of that.  The first time I tasted that kind of meat was at a buffet.  Cheers for homegrown food!

Our meals were so savory, there was only one way to end it.

Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (P110)

Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (P110)

The Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (P110) can be shared by two.  It has the right amount of sweetness and the cold dessert makes for a perfect match for the hot lunch sun.  It also washes away the yummy oil taste from the meals.  It truly is the perfect ending.

All in all, it was a great experience for us both.  We walked out of SALT satisfied and satiated, and feeling the need to run 10km because we almost licked our plates clean.  Too bad though for the other table; their orders were not available in the kitchen.  But I have a feeling their best sellers are always in stock.

If you’re planning to drop by, here’s the menu of the place:

Menu

Drop a line if you’re dropping by soon!  It’s so close to my office, I just might join you.

 

SALT
5887 Fermina St. corner Enriquez St., Poblacion, Makati
Hours:  Tuesday to Saturday 5:00 pm – 1:00 am, Sundays from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, and 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

One Roxas Triangle

I’ve always been so intrigued by this building.  According to Wikipedia, it is the 15th tallest building in the Philippines.  Each time I see it at night, it stands there with its classic elegance, quietly boasting, never humble, as if rubbing in my face what I’ve been missing all this time.

And I often wonder what it’s like to live in a place as posh and luxurious as this one.  Maybe I’m just blowing it all off in massive disproportion in my head, maybe it’s not as good as I think it is.  But still it would be nice to find out for myself.

Oh and did I mention that One Roxas Triangle is right across my workplace?  I’d love to wake up at 7 in the morning, only to find out that even if I move at a snail’s pace, I’d still be early for work.

Ah, to dream big.

Capping the longest work week ever.

Like I ranted in my previous post, I’ve been overstaying in the office for quite some time.  I honestly don’t like it, but because it was getting things done, I’m okay to do it.  But as things get done, things pile on again.  UGH.  It’s a never ending process.

So I called Adah and told her to drink with me.  I believe we both deserved it.  I missed my oldest friend.  And by oldest, I mean she’s been my friend the longest.  Just so we’re clear.  Hahahaha.

So yeah.  Hahaha.  I made her happy.  She deserves it. <3

In the middle of it all, I decided to bury the hatchet and just call Mike.  He came almost immediately.

It’s been a while since I last saw the guy, and he packed on a lot of weight.  But it’s all good weight.  He has a fight coming up on the 27th.  I wonder if I’ll be able to go.

Top Grill in Jupiter Street might not be the most ideal place to hangout on a Friday night, given its conditions and reviews that service can be crappy, but I soooo love the Beckys there!  Absolutely adore.  :)  I think they know me well now, so the ice bucket is always filled and the drinks just keep coming.

I think we had about three buckets of beer, two servings of pulutan and two rice meals for my two friends.  Hahahaha.

All in all, it was a good good good night.  It deserves a repeat.

Last Friday Night

I normally don’t go out.  For some that may seem surprising, considering how loud I am, but really I am more of a sisig and beer kind of person.  Relaxing and just talking in a pub/bar/bistro.  I’m good with a buffet dinner, some drinks, in a good table with couches, ambient lighting and soothing music.

So imagine my surprise when I let my St. Scho ladies drag me to Izakaya last night!  It was a completely different scene for me.  I now I’m old, but yeah.  Hahahahaha.  This was something I don’t usually do.  :)

It all started at Baja Mexican Cafe (?) in Greenbelt 3.

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