A Year’s Worth of Togetherness

Last July 2014 marked the homecoming of my husband from Dubai. It has been more than a year now that we are physically together here in the Philippines. We’ve gone back to doing simple pleasures together like dining out and doing the weekly grocery. He has fixed things in the house being the handyman that he is. His presence added the joy and laughter brought about by his funny, amusing ways.

But all these and more will come to a halt momentarily. Unforeseen circumstances in his current job brought about a change in plans that he has come home for good. Reality bites! Though he intended to find new employment locally, the opportunities can be found where else but in the overseas.

So the decision has been made. For our family’s future’s sake, the sacrifice has to be faced courageously but prayerfully to be apart all over again. Perhaps, this time around, things will be a bit easier for us. If there’s any consolation, his unlimited contract allows him to come home every year. That’s something to look forward to.

May the goodness and mercy of the Lord be upon us as we embark on another challenge in our family life…God bless everyone!



Remembering my Wedding Vows

Yes, it’s been 3 years already since I proclaimed my wedding vows to my now-husband Randy. Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. We may celebrate it apart from each other physically, but we’re still together in our heart and soul.

This is the best time to remember my vows and reminisce how happy that wedding day was.

Here’s  my vow. This is for you, hon. 🙂 And for those of you who wish to be inspired by a love strengthened by God.




Hon, You know that what we have

Is a quiet kind of love –

A love that has been refined

Through the trials we had along the way.


The strong foundations of our friendship,

Have been the force that held us together

We may have shed tears along the way

But joy has always been deep down in our hearts.


This day, I will marry you, my best friend

You will be the one I will laugh with and cry with

I will go down with you in the depths of sorrow

When someone hurts you.

And I will rise with you in the heights of joy

When you celebrate your victories.


Honey, I will forever be your friend and lover

I will be your companion and helper

Together we will build a family

Whose God is the Lord of Love and Acceptance


I will not promise the heavens in our married life

But I promise, I will remain committed to love you

Not only during moments that we feel happy

But even when loving each other may be difficult.


Pakatandaan mo na pinili ka ng puso ko

Dahil ikaw ay ikaw

Mahal na mahal kita

Kahit pa sabihin ng iba

Na tayo ay nagmula sa magkaibang mundo.

Sa mata ng Panginoon, tayong dalawa

Ay pinagbigkis Niya ngayon upang maging isa.


In our Savior’s eyes, we are God’s best for each other.

I love you.


Growing in Love with my Best Friend

4Not all are given the one chance to have a best friend and a lover at the same time. It has always been my heart’s desire – to be best friends first before becoming lovers. I’ve always believed that the strongest foundation of marriage is the solid friendship built by the man and woman in the relationship. I’m fortunate enough to have experienced all these and more with my best friend and my lover – my husband, no less!

It all started when I attended worship service in our satellite church. I’ve just come out from a broken relationship and was not ready to enter into another commitment. I decided it was just my time to serve the Lord. Little did I know, that someone out there was already observing me from a distance. Until one time, I began seeking assistance from this Logistics guy who would always help me put up the mats in the Sunday School room. I was a Sunday School teacher back then. And so this Logistics guy would always be around during Sundays. I began seeing him moving about the church, fixing the place, ensuring that everything’s in order in the sanctuary. Turns out, this Logistics guy will be my husband around 7 years later.

Our first, real encounter when we had our real, unhurried conversations was when we went to a church retreat. Everyone else knew each other. However, we did not have any groups to go to, that’s why we were left with each other to hang out.  He asked for my number during that retreat. And that’s how it all began. And the rest, they say, is history.

Best friends are there for each other, through thick and thin. They share laughter and sorrows. They know the inside out of each other’s heart and soul. They share deepest secrets without fear of being judged. They enjoy life’s simple pleasures together. They encourage each other to be the best person one can be. They love and accept each other no matter what. And that’s the way we were.

It wasn’t love at first sight. It was friendship first. And I’d always like the phrase, “I grew in love with him.” The friendship was nurtured until it blossomed into love.

I’m glad I grew in love with my best friend.


Photo credit: Kimberly Chan Hung and Gary Albano



Signs that You’re Going to Get Married Soon

HPIM1497Before I got married, I was looking for some signs that I am about to take the plunge. I asked some of my married friends back then how will I know. All they said to me was that, “you’ll just know it’s time”. That didn’t help me in anyway. It agonized me even more. But looking back now, I guess I can see some telltale signs that I was going to get married soon even if the proposal hasn’t come yet.

So here’s my list of signs that you’re going to get married soon.

1. The ‘talk’ happened between you and your partner. Whether it is a casual conversation or a serious one, both of you consider the idea of settling down together.

2. For Filipino cultures, when you let your parents know of your plans of getting married, that’s one sure sign that you’re tying the knot soon. Details aren’t there yet, but the intent is there.

3. You are looking for a place to stay and call your own home. My now-husband and I helped each other find our own place even before we were wed. You need to prepare your abode before the wedding takes place, or else, you aren’t actually ready for married life.

4. You open a joint bank account. For some, this may take place after the wedding, but for my husband and I, this worked for us even when we were single individuals just yet. We saved up so we can have our dream wedding, but more than that, to prepare for our future joined together as husband and wife. But we made sure, we already had the commitment to marry when we did this. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a financially bad situation, when a bad break-up happens. 

5. You are looking to buy a bed, a stove and a refrigerator. Yes, as ordinary as it may sound, those three things are what seems to me the first things you will purchase as a married couple.

6. You find yourself attending wedding fairs and considering suppliers for your wedding needs. If you are detail-oriented as me, this task can be daunting. But be sure to put on the right perspective: the wedding will just take place in one day. You need to put in more focus and effort at the marriage that will last forever.

7. You are composing your wedding vows to be exchanged with your soon-to-be lifetime partner during the ceremony. This is my ultimate wake-up call that I will very soon be getting married to my one true love. Rehearsing the vow the night before the wedding is as surreal as it can get. You get to sleep that night knowing that when you wake up, you will never be alone anymore – ever.

So the next time someone asks you, how will I know if I’m about to get married, shove them in on these 7 signs. You might have your own sign to add to. Happy wedding bells to those getting married! 🙂

CGI picture: Andrew Albano