Viewing: the curry bride

Two years

Two can be such a beautiful number.

How has the second year been different from the first? In many little insignificant-yet-significant ways.

We have more things, more clothes, a new bookshelf by the entryway and new upholstery in the dining room. We color our hair less. Marlon weighs less (and dresses better, if you ask me). We switched bed sides. We fight much, much less than we did in our first year, despite me being somewhat less eager to please and prove myself as a wife. In fact, I don’t remember a single fight we had this year.

We are beginning to see our dreams slowly being fleshed out into reality. We have savings (!) and earn more as a unit. We’ve rented out our spare room. We don’t spend a bomb on groceries anymore. We do Iyengar yoga for beginners on Monday evenings. Actually, we exercise together, period. (Although we swim less often.) We cook together less often, but we still do sometimes, which I find extremely therapeutic and enjoyable. We are supposed to be closer to having a baby, but we keep moving the “deadline.”

I would like to be trite and cutesy and say that the only things that haven’t changed are the love and happiness of being married to my husband. But that wouldn’t be true, because they have — they’ve grown greater and deeper, and have simply become, in a word, more.

Happy second anniversary, sweetie. I love you!

Da who???

okay. so the reason i haven’t blogged about the wedding yet is that i want to select and upload all the photos first. which is way, way harder than it sounds. with four 4.7-gig dvds full of keepers from the dastardly dynamic dagooc brothers of mangored, it’s taking marlon and myself days to plow through everything.

there are tons of beautiful shots, and we’re having a hard time keeping it down to the 250 we’re allotted for the album. what i’m enjoying most, though, and find irrestible to blog, are the shots that definitely won’t make it into the album. and although i know you want to see pictures of the white dress, my glowing gorgeousness, etc etc, i know i won’t be able to sleep tonight without blogging about this mystery.

picture this: it’s a beautiful december afternoon in our little chapel in batangas, and our phenomenal photographers are attempting to take a lovely portrait of the mother of the bride in her gleaming golden dress.

or of little alexa tamayo, the pretenatually photogenic baby sister of my two flower girls dani and ela.

ngunit umihip ang masamang hangin. because instead, they wind up with a snap of…


she’s not related to me. she’s not related to marlon. not a friend, and as far as i know, not a supplier.


in need of eye relief? check out some of the official wedding photos on mangored’s blog.

The day that was

before i start blogging, a sneak peek. switch on your speakers or put on your earphones — although i don’t expect anybody to know the song, it’s a gorgeous one.

on-site avp by mg digital video.

This is it

the past two weeks have been something else. sometimes a crazy looping roller coaster, sometimes an easy coast, sometimes a slow trudge, sometimes a frenzied skitter, sometimes a happy and joyful dance.

yet i know tomorrow will be nothing like the past two weeks. it will be nothing like the past, period.

so what will tomorrow be?

a smooth glide, a light step, and a leap into a future that was totally not going to happen.

wish me luck.

All botched up

so after weeks of looking at/re-editing/sending/following up/choosing pantone chips for/double-checking invites that looked like this, in (reddish-purple) plum and (teal-ish) turquoise…

my printer sends me these horrid chocolate brown and grass-green invites. one hundred fricking twenty of them.

at first i am stunned. then i flashback to the meticulous process (see above) i went through just to idiot-proof the design. then i whine about it to all the art directors at work, who, while deploring the color job, say it’s a kick-ass piece of work. this is why i love working in an office full of kick-ass creatives — my seatmate cecil did the layout for me for free. “maganda naman siya eh,” volunteers jl. “itapon mo na lang yung original file.”

then i get online and, with almost eerie calm, proceed to inform the owner of the print shop of the matter. after checking the damn things, he promptly offers me a free reprint, which is just as well. dahil kung hindi, aba pucha, one email to the phalanx of bridezillas in my egroup can potentially derail his business for at least a few months. you have no idea how seriously brides take supplier reviews. really.

since he vows to personally take responsibility for the outcome of the reprints, i am placated. really, if not for the service given me by the owner, i would be bashing this place to kingdom come. which is a shame, actually, because i was pretty happy with them until all this happened.

the reprints are done in a week, which is still too long a delay for me but what can you do. the print shop’s peace offering arrives — the colors are still not true to the original file. at this point, i am still not happy, but not willing to put off delivering the invites for another week. so i simply choose not to feel bad about anything i’m going to give my nearest and dearest, and accept the prints. i tell the owner as much. he feels bad about the whole thing and offers me free thank-you cards — a very gracious offer, which i am gracious (and penny-pinched) enough to consider.

now most of the invites are out, the guests are informed — and on the whole, pleased and wowed by them (except for one major drama). and that is that.

One year old


time has gone by so fast. the two people who got engaged one year ago today seem so different from who we are today. in a good way, of course.

wow. ang lapit na. or, in the language of a couple who’s had too many tearful farewells at airports, “just two more goodbyes!”

while sorting through photos of ourselves for the wedding slideshows, i came upon marlon’s picture of our paris trip, which i had totally forgotten that he’d taken. reminiscing through the photos was a beautiful way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of our engagement, and i’d like to share some of my favorite shots with you.

(yes that’s a gargoyle on the left. marlon took this from the notre dame church tower.)

Happy house

during the glee club’s tour of Europe in 2000, seventeen of us were thrown together into a multi-room nunnery in koeln, germany, left to fend for ourselves with no host parents – just a bunch of groceries, a kitchenette, the erratic and befuddled but well-meaning protection of a filipina we soon nicknamed tita lost (you can guess why), and each other.

maybe it was because we felt we had to compensate for our kawawa-ness (“ang saya-saya namin kahit wala kaming hosts!”) or because we really did have fun, but we soon came to call ourselves the happy house.

since then, the term “happy house” has been passed down in glee club/acs tour tradition as a house, typically small, crammed full with too many self-reliant, noisy, happy ateneans.

i don’t know why i chose this title for this post. it’s funny that my idea of a happy house is one that’s stuffed full of friends. because pretty soon, i’m going to start making a happy house of my own, with just two people rattling around in it – marlon and myself.

setting up our own home is one of the things i’m really looking forward to about moving to lah-lah land. apartment-hunting is scheduled for month’s end, when marlon and i hope to find a two-bedroom place that won’t make us wish we had just eloped and run away with our savings intact. marlon will move in in december, and will carry me over the threshold (he better start pumping some serious iron) in the second week of january.

(yes, my one-way ticket has been booked. eeek!)

i’ve been hoarding house magazines (real living mostly – just tried out a new mag called homestyle and i don’t think i’ll be buying it again anytime soon) and make daily pilgrimages to my favorite house sites: domino, apartment therapy, design sponge’s sneak peeks. at the bookstore, i make a beeline for the house and interiors books: the relaxed home, nest for two, and jeline’s fab flea market style book are all on my wish list.

for the meantime, i’m stocking up all this information and just waiting for a chance to unleash it. since we’re just renting, though, and are on a pitiful newlyweds’ pittance (good luck recovering from the wedding), i don’t know how much of my knowledge i’ll actually get to let loose upon our poor unsuspecting apartment. and a lot of the places i want to shop at – evangelista street in bangkal, cubao x, landmark – will be lost to me once i step upon singaporean soil. still, it’s fun to dream

i realized how house-happy i’ve become when the first thing i thought of buying on our honeymoon was block-printed indian bedlinen and table cloths, the handcrafting of which rajasthan is famous for. and i was thinking in exclamation marks: can you imagine?!!! our bed made with block-printed indian cotton sheets!!! block-printed by hand!!!

not to mention how i gushed for a full month, maybe more, to anyone who would listen, about the gorgeous, 100-year old, pure silk carpet that ambushed my heart in mumbai:

i swear, marlon and i sketched out living room layouts in june with this in mind. except he’s stopped, and well, i haven’t.

and i’m already eyeing my bookshelf and calculating how i’m going to arrange them into something like this (from the domino site) when marlon and i combine our sh*tload of books. di baleng marami, basta cute.

and after living with so many dogs for so many years, it’s my chance to finally have a cat! then again, a cat toilet-training (can cats even be toilet-trained?) on 100-year old silk carpet from mumbai might not a happy house make.

You had me at "verbal barrage"

with me in charge (more or less) of the wedding, the boyf has been tasked with planning the honeymoon. it took us the greater part of a year to decide, but we finally set our sights on a couple of days in boracay, a short visit to the family in kolkata, and a week-plus roaming the wonders of rajasthan and agra. (palace of the winds! taj mahal! amber fort! gorgeousness!)

yesterday, marlon forwarded me a lengthy missive from a mr. tapas banerjee of trinetra tours in delhi. and by lengthy, i mean three pages when cut-and-pasted into a word document! within seconds i knew this was going to be interesting.

‘Namaste’ & Greetings Mr. Plazo !!Good Morning !!Many thanks for your mail. We take this opportunity to confirm our best intentions and knowledge to the cause of your trip. It is a pleasure to welcome you & your traveling partner to our country.

Before I serve my verbal barrage on to you, I just wish to inform you that I would be delighted to offer you references from All Over The World including Singapore too.

kapow! you’ve got me mr. banerjee! something about the self-deprecating, candid and enthusiastic tone just got me. and so i read on.

more choice excerpts:

For your entire journey, we are upgrading your transport to a fine Toyota MUV (Innova). This car will substantially add to your traveling comfort, especially on some bumpy roads where the top quality suspension would not let you feel any discomfort. However, the biggest and the single most achievement of this car is its Air-conditioning, [natawa talaga ako dito! omigosh! this is so true! especially in india!] which ensures that you are cool and fresh even if you are traveling under the mid day sun in warm country.

Besides the car, your driver would be special. He would be your ‘Man Friday’. You would of course have local guides conducting your city tours in each city, but, besides that, your driver would be your most invaluable friend. He would not only be knowledgeable about places of interest in between journeys as also in cities, but, he would be a very nice human being with a pleasing personality for whom nothing would be trouble.

pero dito talaga nahulog yung loob ko sa kanya:

I apologise for my unending chin wagging, Mr. Plazo. I love the business and the gossip opportunities that come with it. Actually, the home dinner that I am proposing is in my house. Both me and my wife, Krishna love meeting people and making friends. I got into the business primarily because I could travel with tour groups making friends and sharing experiences. However, with the business expanding in the last 7-8 years, I am more or less now confined to my office ensuring standards that we are so paranoid about. Hence, whenever possible, I invite clients to our home for a meal with myself and my wife, Krishna. Home dinners are my major personal interaction with clients and I look forward to this eagerly. Little do the visitors realise that they would be subjected to my verbal diarrhea!!

ang sweet diba? anyway, i checked out a couple of the hotels and sites on his itinerary. and. oh. my. gawd.

behold rohet garh, a gorgeous 17th century home-turned-heritage hotel in jodhpur. swoon.

i may have died and gone into a taschen book.

and check out the luxe desert camping digs in manvar.

and one of the client references describes their driver as “a prince among drivers.”

i do believe we have a winner.

All I need to know

up until last night, i knew a million things about my wedding.

i could have told you the name of the church and why we chose it, how much we had paid to reserve it and the supreme hassle of confirming the overseas bank transfer to singapore. i could have told you the exact date and time of the wedding, and a funny story about how my sister asked me to please get married in 2007 instead of 2008. i could have told you all the things marlon and i considered — getting overseas friends and family home in time, where to put them up, and how to tell them. i could even post the save-the-date card that i made myself using photoshop.

i knew figures — budgets and buffers and guest lists and contingencies. i knew where marlon and i could pull out extra money and where we could save.

i knew exactly what the colors would be, since i had spent a large chunk of one workday afternoon ripping out pantone chips from a book we have at the office. i could also tell you how all four designers i consulted about the wedding outfits absolutely loved the colors, and how i basked in the glow of being the ultimate “different” bride, blazing brilliantly past the trap of trends, consciously eschewing some version of last year’s pink and chocolate brown or tiffany blue. i could have posted my color boards and described in detail the process that left me with the perfect color combination.

i could have named everyone on the entourage list and told you what they meant to me and marlon. i could have posted the carefully selected and compiled attire pegs that would give you an idea of what they would look like on the big day.

i could rattle off the names, services, rates, availabilities, pros, cons and general reputations of everyone from the venue rental to the caterer to the priest to the hair and makeup artist by heart. i could say the same of everyone on my shortlist, and why i hadn’t yet decided. i knew marlon and i would serve hot chocolate and batangas coffee before dinner, and that my music was not going to come from some cheesy string quartet.

i could show you a flamenco guitarist’s email address i had saved in my cell phone, and tell you why brazilian jazz bands are just way too expensive. i could tell you what ceremony songs i had wanted since i was a college freshman, what i would make my friends sing, and even where they would practice and how early in advance.

i knew exactly what i wanted to happen, from the passport-inspired invitation to the gallery of travel photos i would set up with the help of a professional event stylist i had hit it off with. i even knew what people would say, or what i wanted them to say about the wedding: that it was fun, personal, intimate, laid-back, so full of details, so romantic. i knew what all of that would say about me, about marlon and i as a couple, about the fantastic and wonderful life we were sure to lead after the wedding was over.

i knew. i use the past tense because i don’t know any of these things anymore for sure.

none of that matters, because now i know the most important thing of all.

i know that marlon loves me, and that i love him.

and that we’re starting over. and that our life together doesn’t have to be anything that we previously thought it would be.

and really, that’s all i need to know.

Pockets of comfort

my mind is still buzzing with thoughts about getting married and moving to singapore, which i touched on a couple of hours ago, and which i feel rather anxious about at this point.

but i was lucky to find little pockets of comfort while surfing the net at work:

- when i was nine, i saw a bed like this in an old issue of architectural digest. i decided then and there that i would have one just like it someday. they have it over at ikea singapore. oh, and this one is lovely too.

- in an old post (and column), jim offers wonderfully reassuring insights on marriage.

- and the dresses at pronovias are absolutely beautiful. (still got a little bit of a spain hangover there.)