Eva’s Ice Cream Party

This little baby decided to spend her 1st birthday here in the Philippines (Bacolod to be specific) and coincidentally Marco and I were really planning to be there around that time. It was quite a family affair, a mini reunion if I must say. Here are a few snippets from her Mint/ Baby Pink Themed Ice Cream Party. DROOL.

The Venue Set up (thanks Nans for the photo)

The Birthday Girl and her family— Tito Tommy, Rachel, Sophia and Eva

“All you need is Ice Cream”

Cute little frames with Eva’s photos as center pieces

The 2 “Pilars” hosting the event once more

“Make your own ice cream” stand

…And here’s Sophia showing off her creation

w/ Abu Viol this time around

I love this candid photo of Abu, Ninang Ito and Cali

The “Babies” Table. As you can see they’re busy coloring. ūüėÄ

Just had to take a photo.

Not only was this good, it was also in theme. Haha, Thanks Pia!

The mommy and the birthday girl

We had nowhere to hang the¬†patin…

Improvisation. The key is to have two tall guys hold up the pabitin for the kids, Hans and Nacho to the rescue.

Scurrying for candies, chocolates, coins and such

Standing (or should I say sitting) still in the chaos

Favorite tita Pica? Need I say more.

Handing out the give aways

Btw, thanks to Mariana Lopa and Angel Lopa for some of the photos! I can’t seem to figure out¬†where I saved my shots on the details of the party including the delectable invite. I’ll update this post once I get a hold of ’em.¬†Enjoy!

~Rhea

Mik ‚̧ Poi

While typing the title of this blog entry I almost put “Solon” instead of “Mik”, we should really stop calling him that. All throughout college we were so used to calling him by his last name so naturally we were doing just that during the entire wedding reception, I was actually surprised that we weren’t turning a lot of heads considering that half of Mik’s guests were related to him and they probably had Mik’s last name too. Haha.

Amidst the crazy circumstances and the time constraints, I’m glad we got to witness one of¬†our closest guy friend get hitched to the long time love of his life. I think the last time I saw Solon was right before I migrated to Houston, he moved to Chicago too but in those years that we spent in the US we never found the time to meet up. I’d like to think it was perfect timing for us to still be here, imagine if we moved back to Houston a few months earlier then we would have completely missed this celebration of love.

Like every one else I knew these two¬†were going to end up with each other, it was clearly just a matter of time.¬†Solon and Poi got hitched in the US before coming home to the Philippines so they had a simple renewal of vows by the ocean, in front of closest family and friends. It was a wonderful and intimate celebration and I do have to agree with Missy, the place looked like “Pinterest ideas that came to life”. I loved how everything was¬†charming and rustic. Hats off to Poi…I know how hard it is to plan a wedding fro across the miles but you pulled it off and the details were just gorgeous.

Sharing some photos of this wonderful wedding…

Btw, thanks Ninang Ito for the wonderful Kate Torralba dress, you are a life saver!

LaVista ladies made it to Moalboal

Mrs. and Mr. Marco Mendezona with our little one on the way

Jau and Gelala

When cousins think alike, Kuya JV in yellow too!

This way to the reception. ūüôā

Gela, Missy and I waiting for the rain to stop pouring

Little Diego

The set up

Everyone settling down for the night

Classic appetizers

The happy groom and bride

Slicing of the cake

Sandbox—the Kid’s Area

Diego and Mateo having a grand time at the sand box

Tonight’s Menu…Yumm

Tito Marco and Mateo

There were TWO goofballs…

…then THREE

….then FOUR

…and then there were FIVE. Hay nako boys…

I caught my godson coloring the night away

And he’s at it again..

Nacho recruiting the boys to the KLG (Kagat Labi Gang)

Pauline and Nacho

Missy and Andoni

Gela and Jau

Our little family and the Santos(es), the photo bombers

Solon and Poi, thanks so much for having us, it was a fun and relaxed wedding and I’d have to say we enjoyed it immensely. We love you both and we’ll see you in the States.

Congratulations and Best Wishes!

~Rhea

Who is “Spriki”?

(SHORTS: Tomato/ TOP: Kimono top from the Alabang Hills Bazaar/ PURSE: Mustard Sling from my sisters/ SHOES: Peeptoe Cut-outs from 168)

Still fit my clothes at 14 weeks

Happy momma-to-be

Looks like a beer belly to me. haha.

Wasn’t really sure if I was up for posting maternity OOTDs but I guess I’m giving them a try. Can’t predict when my¬†hormones are planning to act up either so I am not going to be pressuring myself to take OOTDs every week just to monitor my pregnancy bump. Speaking of the size of my bump, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback already saying I’m showing a bit earlier than expected but my OB says its normal for petite girls to show so early in the pregnancy. Thank God I didn’t go through the vomiting phase either, yes I’ve wanted to puke a few times or so but I guess I’m more disgusted with the thought of vomit so I just don’t do it, hahaha. So far this pregnancy has been kind to me although I’m not going to lie, I dread the scary changes in my body thanks to the horror stories of some of the mothers that I’ve talked to, I guess I am vain after all.I am sooooo not looking forward to the stretch marks,¬†darkening of the neck, darkening of the underarms, belly button popping out, swollen extremities, swollen nose and that dark linea nigra on my belly but as long as my baby is safe and healthy then I really don’t¬†mind at all.

Right now we don’t know the gender of the baby yet so my husband has resorted to calling our baby a ¬†disgustingly funny name that caught on. It started out with us picking names for our baby and Marco, being the funny guy that he is started blurting out¬†stupid made up names like “Kapitan Love”. Well, he started calling our baby with one of those “stupid names”—“Spriki” and because he just kept saying it over and over again I found myself calling him/her that name too. So now the entire household has joined in the name calling, from siblings, cousins, friends, our¬†manangs¬†, even our parents sometimes call the baby “Spriki” so “Spriki” it is until we find out his/her gender. Hahaha, you are a very loved baby, “Spriki”. Btw, “Spriki” is short for “Sprikitik” and if you get a chance to find out what that¬†Filipino slang means, just don’t bother (seriously, I mean it).

P.S. If she’s a girl, Sandro and Pilica says we should call her “Sprikitika”. Guh-reat! ūüėÄ

~Rhea

Destination: Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

April 18 – 19, 2015

Since the entire family (The Mendezonas) was present, Mami thought it would be¬†best to go on a last-minute family outing but the question was where. It was a weekend during the summer season so we knew it was going to be fully booked everywhere. We just wanted to go some place near Manila but Papi requested to go to the beach so clearly Tagaytay or Baguio was out of the question. Subic was meh,¬†we already went there the last time so we ended up checking out places in Cavite and Laguna, there really was nothing available and if there were it was either they didn’t have enough rooms to accommodate all 15 of us or the rates were really jacked up.

For some reason Puerto Galera came to my mind, I think the last time my cousins and I were there was during my early college years—maybe 2004? At one point Puerto Galera used to be the “In” beach to be before Boracay became popular, that’s what I was told anyway. I had good memories of Puerto Galera so I suggested the place, mom actually thought it was okay and when we searched for accommodations there were a bunch of¬†hotels that had room availability for a party of 15 so with mom’s booking powers she found a wonderful place for the weekend, Out of the Blue Resort.

The road trip from Alabang to Batangas Port took more or less 2 hours. We had to take a 45 minute boat ride, usually the public bangka takes you to Sabang beach but we arranged for a private bangka to take us directly to the shore of Out of the Blue. The typical cost for a private bangka is P3, 500.

Out of the Blue, we see youuuuu

The view while going up the stairs to our villas

Mom got 2 villas to accommodate all of us and they were beyond spacious, couldn’t take a photo since we were all too tired and we started settling in

Poor Teo was happy to be out of that bangka

Good Morning, Puerto Galera!

The boys room

Our room. I’m sharing with Marco and Pilica

Our neighbor’s place didn’t look too bad either

The view from our villa

After having breakfast in Out of the Blue and and settling in, Mom arranged for a boat to take us to White Beach since the shores in our area weren’t really swim-friendly

Our boat mates for that trip: Camille and Javi

Papi and Marco

Mommy, Diego and Mikel chilling all the way in the back

When we got to White Beach some of us decided to jump right in

And others found it too hot…

Yep the sand texture was perfect but at that moment it was way too hot

Eating by the beach after swimming—the best thing ever!

Look at that smile, Teo’s happy he’s not swimming in the beach

Hanging out with his Ninong Javi

Wondered where Papi was after lunch and this is where he was, just right next to our eating place

… the rest of the boys followed suit. Haha.

While the boys were out getting a massage, Camille, Jessica and I explored the local tiangges

I find myself getting attracted to the local market—same in the Bahamas, same in Cambodia, same anywhere else. You¬†never know what interesting things you might come across in markets like these, although this one really didn’t have anything extraordinary. I did end up getting braided anklets.

The view while the girls and I stopped to grab some shakes

Classic Mindoro Sling—still the most traydor drink ever

People started coming in during the late afternoon and it was getting crowded. It’s a good thing we had our fill of sand and sea so we left for Out of the Blue and ended up swimming in the pool there.

We started Day 2 by taking a couple photo right by our balcony

Ready to leave for the beach

Paparazzi-d these two love birds. Awww..

Mateo putting sun block on Ninong Javi’s tummy

Off to the bangka we go

Sunnies pic…Jessica, Me and Pilica

Because yay Diday wouldn’t pose for the camera

The beach our boat guy took us to

Swimming was a family affair

Photo credits to Camille. Me and my baby bump.

The kids building their supposed sand castle

The girls and Diego apparently. hahaha

Pauline with teo who refused to swim.

We always have fun with jumping pics, don’t you agree?

Wacky, every single one of us. Photo grabbed from Camille ūüôā

After swimming, we packed up, dressed up and had lunch somewhere close by

Ending this family trip with us almost tipping the boat. Haha. Typical.

~Rhea

Mami & Papi’s 30th Anniversary

It was quite a wonderful surprise that Papi could come home to the Philippines even just for awhile, especially since he and Mami were celebrating their 30th Anniversary. Instead of some lavish party and renewal of vows to celebrate this milestone, my in-laws decided to dedicate their time and commitment ¬†to serve in BLD’s (Bukas Loob sa Diyos) Family Encounter. We thought this was going to be one of those times where ¬†poor Javi, who’s all the way in LA, would miss out on all the family activities (like Mom’s 50th Birthday) but mom surprised everyone¬†by sending him home. No one knew (not even Papi) except Yok2x who picked him up and Yaya Diday who arranged the pick-up from the airport. It was a wonderful and emotional reunion of all sorts and we have the big guy from up above to thank for giving us a chance to celebrate this wonderful occasion as a complete family, even for just a short while.

Marco and I were blessed to have been present at his parents 30th Wedding Anniversary with every¬†single one¬†of us there. Those few days I spent with all of my in-laws made me realize how blessed I am to have married into a big family just like my own with their own set of squabbles, their own quirks, their own issues—everything that I love about my own family. Let’s face it, I know a lot of people who complain about their in-laws, monster-in-laws and what not; not everyone who marries into a family gets along with their in-laws but I’d have to say mine¬†have treated me like their own and accepted me and my maarte drama queen self even before Marco and I got married. I in turn have learned to love them as much as I love my own family, my sister Ann Marie even teases me that I might be enjoying too much with my “other family”, but seriously they are the easiest bunch to love.

Our move to Houston will be in a few months and it’s another blessing that Marco and I will be present for my own parents’ 30th Anniversary. I pray that my family too will be complete¬†when the time comes, with the addition of our own “little one”. Who knows, Marco’s family of 9 and my family of 9 might just “inspire” us to make our own family of 9, hahaha. (Uhhh, in the US? maybe not.) We’ll see where God takes us.

So¬†in the light of this very rare occasion, I’m sharing a few of our family photos. Nacho and Pauline surprised Mami and Papi with this family photoshoot session for their anniversary so it was a good thing everyone was present. These photos were actually taken a few days after their actual anniversary.

Meet my family. ūüôā

Happy 30th Anniversary Papi and Mami!

With Marco and our “little one” inside me. We’re having our own little family too. ūüôā

Nacho and Pauline

The Cuenca-Mendezonas: Nacho, Pauline, Diego and Mateo

Anya and Pilica—looking more like twins by the day.

The boys. I love how my godson is sticking his tongue out.

Our little gwapitos, Diego and Mateo.

Wacky Boys

This little rascal!!! love him to pieces.

And he loves his “nomnom” too.

The girls.

Peace out.

The Mendezona siblings

Love the faces guys, pang theater arts. Hahaha.

And where would we be without our ever-reliable manangs? (incomplete photo since the rest were too shy to be photographed)

~Rhea