Showing posts with the label thewriter

The Before Sunrise Itinerary - Train To Vienna & Prater Amusement Park

The fourth stop on our Honeymoon Itinerary is the Imperial City of Vienna. The capital and largest city in Austria, Vienna was also the center of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and is known as the "City of Music" due to its enormous musical legacy. A great cultural center in the history of man, Vienna was home to such prodigies as Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert.

* One of the bonuses of this trip, was that we got to recreate a scene from one of my favorite movies of all time, Before Sunrise.

Honeymoon Honception!

* A memorable honeymoon, as with a happy marriage, succeeds with a good mixture of compromise and win-win situations. For the writer, this amounts to going to places rich in history and culture (food, music and landmarks) where his inner historian/adventurer can be satisfied; and for his wife, this amounts to loads of shopping and picture-worthy sites. This was our first challenge as newlyweds, and we both jumped at the chance to tackle it head-on.

* Grabbing one of my favorite books from the home library, we decided to work on a big chunk of our bucket list by crossing out Central and Eastern Europe, site of some of history's most important moments and wars, as well as the home of Europe's ancient Kingdoms (Polish, Magyar, Austro-Hungarian, Bavarian, Bohemian and Venetian)

* Our honeymoon travels would take us from the World War II battleground of Warsaw, to the home of Polish Kings, Krakow, from fairy-tale Budapest to the majesty of Imperial Vienna, past the beer halls of M…

The Wedding - Part 6 (Photobooth)

It's no secret that our favorite place in the world is the mystical island of Santorini in Greece. That is the reason why everything in our wedding was Greek-themed; from the colors, to the floral arrangement, the styling and the invitations. 
Fortunately we met Jiggie and the guys from Team OSS, who were able to take it a step further and actually teleport our guests to the island, if but for a moment! These are the photographs that captured the experience.

* The photo that started it all. (Santorini, 2013)

The Wedding - Part 5 (Reception)

Last July 5, 2014, I married the love of my life.  These are the written chronicles of that beautiful day.
After the beautiful church ceremony and the channeling of our inner models with the pictorial at Raffles Hotel, came my most awaited part, the reception. I was excited because I personally had a hand in organizing much of the food, entertainment and libations for the evening. 
Hey man, if we're gonna throw a party like this once in our life, it might as well be the best party it can be!

* Our reception was held at the Blue Leaf Pavilion in McKinley Hill, Taguig. Not only was the venue perfect with its proximity to the Church and hotel, wide open space and high ceiling, Blue Leaf also had ample parking slots, a nice garden area outside and extremely well-kept restrooms.

The Wedding - Part 4 (Portrait)

Last July 5, 2014, I married the love of my life.  These are the written chronicles of that beautiful day.
Being an only child, I find that trust is a very important word, seldom given and hardly earned.
Indeed, I am a believer of the age old adage, "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself." and can only truly count in one hand, the people that I have full faith in.
But with a master of his craft, like our photographer Oly Ruiz, at the helm, there was immediate and total confidence, assurance, and certainty, and it was our great pleasure to watch this genius work his magic.
These are the official portraits of that important day, courtesty of Mr. Metrophoto.

The Wedding - Part 3 (Ceremony)

Last July 5, 2014, I married the love of my life.  These are the written chronicles of that beautiful day.

* For our wedding ceremony, we specifically chose the Magallanes Church in Makati due to its impressive architecture, steady vibe and proximity to the reception venue.

The Wedding - Part 2 (Bride Preps)

Last July 5, 2014, I married the love of my life.  These are the written chronicles of that beautiful day.
* Down the hallway, in a much larger suite, my bride-to-be was getting ready for her big day.

The Wedding - Part 1 (Groom Preps)

Last July 5, 2014, I married the love of my life.  These are the written chronicles of that beautiful day.

* On July 4, 2014, I checked in to my suite at the Raffles Hotel in Makati. After dinner with my parents and a late night visit from my cousins, I proceeded to write my vows on the huge desk in my room. At first I couldn't get my mind to settle down, so I went down to the Raffles Long Bar to get a drink (or three) and watch the World Cup match. The ideas flowed freely after. 

A Wedding in Greece

A week after the start of our Greek escapade, from bustling and busy Athens to calm and reflective Northern Greece, to exciting and wonderful Santorini and Mykonos, we finally got around to our whole reason for coming: the wedding of Monicca’s good childhood-friend, Bryn Martinez to Greek-American, John Zavras.

When I saw these two back in Manila a year ago, I knew that they would make an excellent match. I can go on about complementary personalities or shared life goals or similar family backgrounds especially in terms of the concept of family, but the fact is, he’s Greek! You can’t go wrong with the lineage of Leonidas and Hercules, people!

* My stunning fiancee posing with the whole of Ornos beach as a backdrop. The wedding was on a hilltop overlooking this fantastic view.

Getting Engaged in Santorini at the Beautiful Town of Fira!

As I was getting my cultural and historical fix in Athens and Northern Greece, I knew that for Monicca, this whole trip was leading up to her personal highlight, Santorini. Sure I knew from all the pictures and movies shot here how beautiful the island is; but what got me really excited was when I read that the Legend of Atlantis was actually based off of this island! To get a chance to explore the so-called most beautiful city in antiquity, destroyed by the gods because of its citizens’ hubris? Count me in!

* The departure gate at Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos. You know you’re going to have an epic time when all your fellow passengers are wearing shorts and sandals.

5 Reasons I'm Grateful For 2012.

1.  Expanding my book collection

No matter how integral a role the iPad now plays in my life, I will always prefer looking, touching and smelling a real book.

* Books on History, Travel, Comics, Religion and Humor rule.

8 Awesome iPad Apps for Travelling

My iPad was such an indispensable tool of my last three trips (Mid-East, China, Europe) that it has become THE constant source of Ready Information and Entertainment in other facets of my life. With so many great apps out there, I decided to concentrate on the 8 that are truly useful for the budget, foot travelling, wanna-experience-all-the-sights-and-sounds-in-limited-time traveller such as myself.

1.  Goodreader ($4.99)

One of the best PDF readers for the Ipad, Goodreader not only allows you to read the PDF’s, it also allows you to highlight and add notes on the pages.  I loaded this app up with various DK Travel Series and DK Top 10 Travel List books (the best travel guides due to the abundance of pictures and maps) and was particularly helpful in Barcelona, Rome, Paris and London.

Eurotrip (8/29/12 - 9/15/12)

Europe has always been my dream destination.

Having been to the Americas, China, Middle East and around Southeast Asia, it was the one area of the world that seemed so elusive to me.  Part of what made it so was the fact that my family always chose to go to the States for the holidays.

So when I found out that there was a chance that we were going to go this August, I was beyond excited.

My cousin, Rachel, decided to have a destination wedding; and being the romantic that she is, she decided to have it in an actual castle in Florence, Italy.

* Ate Rachel and her fairy tale wedding.

Now it seemed like we were not only going to Europe, the whole family was going as well.  Around 20 of us, including my lola.

The month leading towards the trip, I got excited about the prospect of seeing all these beautiful faces that I had only read about in books and seen in movies.

I got word that the wedding was going to be part of a Mediterranean cruise. So I suggested to my folks that after the cruis…

The Plan is REAL.

China, Check.

UK, Check.

EU, Check.

The Goal for 2012 is REAL.

August 2012.  Let’s do this!!


The hounds chilling out in a rare moment of peace.

Hulk vs. Beast

The Incredible Hulk has finally met his match!Can he withstand the brute force and glorious spectacle that is the Shaggydog?

The Fork In The Road.

Forks in the road are tricky.  
Often it involves a choice between:
a.  the path you currently are in: safe, familiar, with the devils you know
b.  and the other path: with the more narrow roads, heavy clouds and the devils you don’t know.
However, the safest path is not always the best one.  For indeed, the narrower the road and the greater the challenges that await; the grander the treasures that behold you, in the land where dreams live and come to pass.
So how does one deal with a fork in the road?  How do I make the right choice?
Like any good gamer would say, you collect as much information as you can so as to make the most informed choice.  A sense of perspective over the big picture as it relates to your hopes and dreams, openness to see the signs that often point to the right direction, conviction to actually make the decision and stand by it and luck from the heavens; are the tools we need to equip when we face this situation. Friends and contacts often act us our quest giver…

The Case of the Migrating Dog

Shaggy the immigrant finally exploring the place where I have been disappearing to for the past 10 years. 

Favorite House Guest

2:30am - Dog looking happy to be my guest for the evening rather than being home alone in his human female’s house.

2:45am - Dog rolling all over the bed, to get rid of my scent and replace it with his.

3:00am - Dog realizing that it’s friggin 3am, gives me the “WTF are we still awake?!?” look.

3:30am - No longer caring that his human male is taking his sweet time in checking his email, Dog starts to dream about food, cats and belly rubs.

Derpina and Derp, Friendzone-free!!  4/22/12