Ezra’s and Kurt’s Pre-wedding Photo/Video Shoot (Crosswinds Resort, Tagaytay)

Back in January, Kurt visited the Philippines so that he and Ezra could have a photo/video shoot to celebrate their upcoming wedding. Back then they didn’t have a specific date for their wedding yet,  they only knew that they were getting married this year. They also knew that it was going to be a civil wedding at a courthouse, which meant that it was going to be a very low-key and quick event. Since they couldn’t have a big, fancy wedding, they decided to have this shoot instead.  (Plus, Ezra really wanted to wear a big, fluffy white dress and this was the perfect opportunity). 

My parents made arrangements with Crosswinds Resort in Tagaytay so we could have our shoot there. Our family has stayed there twice before (blog entry HERE), and we’ve always thought that the place was beautiful. The only downside was that it was very difficult to communicate with the resort’s management (they would reply very late, give us incomplete or contradicting information, etc…) My mom was pretty stressed about it up until the morning of the shoot. Fortunately, everything worked out and we had no problems at the resort when we arrived.

Our shoot lasted for two days. We were all extremely tired by the end, but we also felt very accomplished since we managed to finish everything. Kurt was more interested in taking videos instead of photos (which is understandable since he was a film student), so I was only able to shoot in between takes. Most of my photos are of Ezra because I would ask her to pose for me while Kurt made adjustments on his camera. But weddings are mostly about the bride anyway, so I guess that’s normal.

Cyrus also took several pictures that day but I decided to only include the ones I took in this post.

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Congratulations Ezra and Kurt!

I haven’t mentioned it here on my blog yet, but my baby sister got married last week :) I’m extremely happy for the both of them, and I can’t ask for a better brother-in-law. I’ve witnessed their relationship blossom and grow stronger over the past 14 years and I’ve never seen two people more perfect for each other.

If you read my blog, you would know how close Ezra and I are. We share clothes, interests, ideas, friends and secrets. We’ve always been each other’s outlets whenever we needed someone to talk to. The most we’ve been apart was when I lived in Katipunan for my graduate studies, but even then I would always come home during the weekend. We shared a room up until I was 15 and I remember how we used to love staying up, talking to each other. Even when we finally got our own rooms, they were right next to each other, separated only by a thin piece of plywood, and we could just yell through the wall whenever we needed to talk. If it was any other guy I probably would have a hard time letting go and giving her up, but I know that Kurt would take care of her and make sure that she remains close to our family. He’s not only my sister’s husband, but he’s also one of my closest friends, and that makes things a lot easier. The three of us went to the same high-school, and he was even part of my entourage during my debut. I love how they never make me feel left out when we’re together, and how they remember to include me in their plans.

They haven’t shared that many pictures of their wedding on social media yet and I don’t want to spoil it for them by posting photos before they get the chance, so I will leave you with this (which I grabbed from Ezra’s FB page).

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It was a court wedding and it only lasted about 15 minutes. Fortunately, the couple that was supposed to get married after them never showed up so we were able to stay inside the chapel for a few extra minutes and take some photos/videos. Besides, Ezra and Kurt already had an elaborate wedding shoot last January. I’m still working on the blog entry for that, but it should be up by tomorrow.

Congratulations to the happy couple! Wishing you the best on this new chapter in your life :D

Thailand 2014 : Ancient Siam

Last December our family went to Thailand and we scheduled a visit to The Ancient City (AKA Ancient Siam).  It’s a huge outdoor museum where they have replicas of famous landmarks around Thailand, with some of them being life-sized.  It’s popular among tourists because it’s like taking a tour of the country and learning its history without leaving Bangkok. 
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Tourists have the option of bringing their own car, riding a tram or renting a golf cart to explore the place.  We decided to rent a car at our hotel and hire a driver to take us around since we weren’t familiar with the place but we still wanted to be flexible with our time and not join a tour group.  We spent the day just driving around the park and stopping at all the displays that we found interesting.  We had to skip a lot of them because otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to see the entire place.  It was that big.

Here are some pictures we took at the museum:

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We found a baby elephant and took pictures with him/her

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This was the shopping area where you could buy gifts and souvenirs to take back home

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So pretty~

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We found some musical instruments and played around for a bit
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This was where I took my 51st self portrait last year

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Of course we saw lots of replicas of Buddhist temples and prayer rooms

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VLOG : Siam Niramit and Ancient Siam

I finally got around to editing and posting this vlog from when we went to see the Siam Niramit show and visited Ancient Siam in Thailand last December.  (I already posted a vlog and blog entry from when we visited Siam Ocean Park about two weeks ago.)

I’m still working on the blog entry for our Siam Niramit and Ancient Siam adventures, but it should be up in a day or two. In the meantime here’s the video of our trip:

EDIT: Blog post is already up. You can read it HERE if you’re interested

Thailand 2014 : Siam Ocean World

As usual, this entry is going up pretty late.  These pictures were taken when our family went to Bangkok for the holidays last December.  Just like in 2013, we chose to fly on Christmas Day because plane tickets are cheaper for some reason.

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This time Amie came with us, yaaaaay!

We spotted these pretty flowers at the airport and stopped to take pictures
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Our parents booked the same hotel we stayed at last year
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It was Christmas day, so of course there was a huge tree in the hotel lobby

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View from our room

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The next day we enjoyed a lovely breakfast at the buffet room.  We walked around a bit after eating, and stopped by the koi pond to see the fish

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We also took some pictures by the pool area
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Afterwards, we went to Siam Paragon to explore Ocean World since we weren’t able to do that last year

First we said hi to the Harrods bears
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Then we headed to the aquarium entranceIMG_9115 (1)

They were having some sort of penguin exhibit that day
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Ezra found Nemo!

The exhibits outside the aquarium were the same as last year’s, but they were covered in snow this year

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Amie was bitten by a fish

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My Diamond Princess Experience

Our family went on a cruise around Japan and Korea last month, and it was so amazing that I had to make an entry about it right away. I’ll be posting detailed entries about each day we spent there, but this is just a quick summary of our experience on the ship.  I did something similar for when we went on the Golden Princess last year (read blog entry HERE).  We had such a magical time back then that my parents immediately booked another cruise with them again last October.  Unfortunately, Ezra and I couldn’t come with them because of classes, so they booked another one this May for the entire family.  Both the Golden Princess and Diamond Princess are owned by Princess Cruises, so there were a lot of similarities between the two.

Our cruise started in Yokohama, at the Osanbashi Pier

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Ezra and I were so excited to be going on another Princess Cruise.  This year, Princess is celebrating its 50th anniversary, yay!

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Since we already had our luggage tags prepared, we just headed over to the luggage drop off counter and left our bags there.  After this we sat down and waited for the ship to start boarding.

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Bags at the pier waiting to be delivered to the guests’ rooms

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Ezra and I were assigned to stateroom C724, which was the room my parents had when we went on our Alaskan Cruise – though that was a different ship of course.  But still, we thought it was a funny coincidence.

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Our room looked pretty much identical to the one we had last year.

Since this was our second cruise with them, Princess upgraded us to gold card status :)

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(The blue card at the bottom is from last year’s cruise)

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We also found this “Welcome Back” card in our room

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Aren’t they sweet?  Since we are now repeat passengers, we were invited to the Captain’s Circle Membership Event

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It’s a simple event with cocktails and a raffle draw.  The ship’s captain thanked everyone for choosing Princess Cruises again.  They also gave recognition to people on board that have spent the most days with them.  The winning couple spent over 1000 days at sea already!  I can’t imagine how they did that.  That’s over 3 years of cruising!  So far Ezra and I have a total of 15 days with Princess.  We’ve got a looooong way to go.

This year, my parents got a room with a balcony, so we hung out there a few times during our stay

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This trip was meant to celebrate my parent’s 31st wedding anniversary, as well as Ezra’s birthday.  When you book your cruise, they ask you if there are any special events they should be aware of, so they can prepare a special gift for you.  You can specify the date you want that event celebrated, in case you are celebrating late or early.  In our case, my parents chose to celebrate their anniversary 4 days late, and Ezra celebrated her birthday exactly 1 month later.

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The wonderful crew at the Sta. Fe dining hall presented my parents with a cake on their “anniversary”

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And gave them this card

Ezra also received a card in our room on the morning of her “birthday”

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As well as a cake and birthday song during dinner (again from the Sta. Fe crew)

The staff also decorates your stateroom door with balloons on your special day.  This is what ours looked like since my parents’s room and our room were facing each other:
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(Ezra and I decided to wear matching dresses for her “birthday”)

Our cruise consisted of 4 shore excursions and 2 sea days.  We maximized our sea days (as well as our nights on the ship) by participating in various events and watching shows at the Atrium or Princess Theater.

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On our first sea day, the ship organized a $1000 treasure hunt.  To participate, you had to go to different areas of the ship and have your card stamped before dropping it off at the Atrium for a chance to win.

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