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VOL. 2 NO. 8 APRIL - JUNE 2014

Loyalty,Trust and Faith

Practical Steps to Get Over a Breakup p.8 │ Ways of Forgetting Someone p.10 5 Stages of Grief p.24



Publisher's Note Dear Readers, Welcome to the second issue of this quarter! I am again thrilled that you


are here to share in the joy of our new

Patrice McGrane

issue on weddings, true love stories, break ups, building futures and a lot more. We are so fortunate to have you patronizing every issue and feel honored that this magazine traveled great distances to reach you. You have all enriched our



every page with laughter, love, and support. Thank you for being such a special part of our lives.

The Only Way to Fully Get Over Someone is to Find Someone New

We hope that you will enjoy this issue as it is special to us. Please enjoy browsing every page as


you try to build your own future. In this issue, we will give you options of what and where to celebrate your wedding. We will give you stories that inspire

How To Get Over A Breakup in 10 Practical Steps


each of you. We hope you still continue supporting our every issue as we celebrate good memories with you.



22 Balai Isabel: The Country’s Most Romantic Wedding Destination


Wedding Journal Publication Los Angeles, California, USA Office 8340 Van Nuys Blvd. Suite M, Panorama City, Ca. 91402, USA Tel.: (818) 582-5028 • (818) 453-2696 Email: Philippines Office Mega Plaza Condominium 9th.F/L. Suite 921 Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines



Editor in Chief Managing Editor Event Editor - USA Legal Counsel Philippine Bureau Chief Legal Counsel

REY ALANO ESQUEJO Rayson Sawit Esquejo Sheryl Sawit Esquejo LOU RAZON Atty. Sharlene Bagon Atty. Teresita Capacillo

Int'l. Sales & Marketing Head Editor Event Editor Fashion Designer & Contributing Editor Art Director Photographer

The Marrying Months in the Philippines

Eliza CAO kaye marie mangabat MAVREEN MACALINDONG Joel Bautista Richard ERPILO RAYMOND FORTUN and Chito Ignacio









Ayala Center, 1223 Makati City, Philippines Tel: +63 (2) 238-8888 Fax: +63(2) 238-8800 Website: Tel: (818) 453-2696 (USA)



How To Get Over

A Breakup in 10 Practical Steps By Tasnim Ahmed

1. 2.

Cry. Cry until you no longer can.

Don’t try to contact your ex right after the break up; this will only make things worse for you and your ex. What you both need right now is space, space without each other, in order to reflect on your relationship and yourself.


Don’t try to contact your previous ex, your ex before the last, or that person you went on three disastrous dates with. After a break up is when you are likely to act as your least rational self. Suddenly you find yourself alone after being so madly in love, and it’s tempting to fill that vacuum with a familiar body, not a person, but just a body. This is just asking for trouble. You need space to be yourself, on your own — that is what a break up is all about.


Don’t deny yourself of feeling. Friends will tell you that your ex was not worth your time and not to waste any more time on that person; they say this because it hurts them to see you hurt. But this person was worth your time, because you built something together and shared your lives with each other. It’s okay to feel this loss. Take this time to mourn the relationship and your ex, and divest yourself of all feelings of hurt and sadness before moving on to a new relationship. Denying these emotions does not mean that they will go away; they will be compartmentalized and resurface in an untimely manner, when you may find yourself in a new relationship, and it will be detrimental to it.


Clock out from reality for a day or two. Break ups are emotionally and physically exhausting, and you deserve this. Remember that life isn’t 500 Days of Summer: you are not Joseph Gordon Levitt and you cannot drink yourself into a stupor and sleep for days on end on a pile of Twinkie wrappers and expect that your job will be waiting for you when you return after an eternity. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take some time off. Take a break from everything, but don’t let the break consume you.


Don’t bad-mouth your ex. It’s distasteful, and you’re better than that.




Get some fresh air. Go out for a run, take long walks. It’s the best way to allow yourself clarity.


Accept that you are no longer together, but as have all the people in your life, your ex has contributed in shaping you to be the person that you are today. If the relationship was good, your ex may have shown you how to love again, or if it was difficult, your ex may have taught you the need to be strong and to protect yourself through circumstance. Be grateful for this.


Go out and have fun with the people you love, not with the intention to get over your ex or in search of a “rebound”, but in order to celebrate yourself, your entirety.


It’s true: time does heal all wounds.



The Only Way to Fully Get Over Someone is to

Find Someone New By Michelle Hopper

With him I was timid and ashamed of myself. I was afraid to feel, afraid to reveal any emotion. From empty conversations to unanswered texts, he broke me in a way I’d never been broken before. I couldn’t look in the mirror without crying… I couldn’t smile without tears in my eyes. He crushed my soul, and the sad thing is, he didn’t know or care.

I’ll always remember his strong embrace, big shoulders, and bouldering legs. The way his body crushed mine and his hands caressed it. I will never forget the way his brown skin looked in contrast to my white body. The overwhelming locking of our lips. His touch. Our bodies together. The images and feelings are burned in my memory. Then there was that day I went to the doctor. The look in her eyes was frightening; it was a look of pity and disappointment. She knew something was wrong right away. But I was in denial…There was no way, I was clean, I was an honors student, I was a good girl. But all of a sudden, I wasn’t. I was gross and dirty. I was a statistic. The thought of myself at that moment made me cringe. Calling him was supposed to make me feel better, it was supposed to make us closer. Yes, I was that lost… I thought this sickness would make him want me. It made me want him more. For him, I was an annoyance and this was his escape. His carelessness ruined my soul, ruined me in a way I can never be ruined again. For weeks I was lost in a dark world. Endless nights of tears, thoughts, and depression. I barely got out of bed, I barely ate, I barely kept myself together I public. I avoided going anywhere he would be, for fear of interaction because I knew to him I meant nothing… And to me, he meant everything. I couldn’t explain why to anyone, it was insane that I fell for him. I still couldn’t put into words why I felt this way about him. I was lost, broken, and had a deep hatred for men. Then, I saw you. I mean, I had known you for a while, but for the first time I actually saw you. It was on my birthday, we were all at your house to celebrate. We were sitting on the couch and you were telling me a story, and then I saw you… I saw this gentle, compassionate man. The way your deep blue eyes sparkled while talking to me; you looked at me as if I was the only one in the room.



From there, I started to see a light in my darkness. Seeing your name pop up on my phone, text after text, without fail. Yet, I was still slightly empty from him, from a longing for him to want me. So one night, I gave in. I went to his place; I went to lose the pain. I wanted to numb the pain and loss of him. The next morning, I snuck out at the crack of dawn. When I left that morning, I left my pity, shame, and depression at his house. I allowed myself to feel for you after that. I was able to engage in conversations and have confidence that you’d answer me. Yes, you made me happy by just texting me back. It was an unfamiliar feeling. It was comfort. You made me feel special, beautiful, and worthwhile… You made me feel wanted. You didn’t know about any of this when you pursued me. You thought I was a happy girl, without a care in the world. You had no idea my heart was breaking and my soul collapsing. You were everything I needed, exactly when I needed it. You saved me, and I love you everyday for it.



By Janine Alyssa

Somebody told me that it was important to understand ourselves before we could attempt to understand others. I think I’ve lived my life by inhaling fabricated truths enough to blend my coffee breaths with it. Words didn’t break me like how sticks and stones could, but at times it could be fate worse than a regretted tattoo – a permanent scar under the skin, visible to nobody but your own. I think it’s magical to witness when two people are able to exchange their tales, or better yet take their hidden demons out on a play-date. The world functions through norms and wrecks itself in its pursuit, but just like the unnoticed rising and setting of the sun, something so common and ignored actually adds up to why we’re here. Certain anxieties like bullet holes to a steel-plated wall reverberate voices that sound like your own but aren’t. They can keep you up at night, until it steals you off the hours of the day that should have been a brand new page on your disheveled book. But we can never control the shadows that lurk and sequester themselves in corners we’ve involuntary crafted through time. I wish I could keep count or validate which of the connections I’ve made in the



past and still have will make sense tomorrow. It is a fright to embrace here and now, because even as the clock strikes the next day, here and now only means being stuck in the moment that will eventually fade. I look way ahead until the disillusion of an abyss frightens me. But I’d rather look ahead than to tame my walls for what’s in these moments. Moments are fleeting, but the verity of their power to destroy is what will always remain. Various truths and acceptance come with terms and conditions that won’t always agree with us. It’s like forcing a sack of new truths into a peanut-sized hole that is our mind. Our minds are like caves – some have open doors, some require some sort of password. Their existence is known to us, and by some. But whatever lurks inside is a mystery, a risk that nobody dare takes. I think it’s a wonderful thing to witness two broken creatures in unison, than to resolve to acceptance just for the sake of. There’s always something beautiful in broken things, especially when they’re the two pieces that equate to a whole.



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Taken at Art Personas Studio, Makati City, Philippines

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The 5 Stages of Grief, As Applied to a Cross-Country Move By Meg K. Rauch

In the movie, Garden State, Zach Braff’s character observes, “You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone… I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.” Here, Andrew Largeman discusses the familiar idea for any twenty-something: how the transition from childhood to adulthood irreversibly alters the family dynamic and the idea of home. But what happens when it’s not a group of people missing the same imaginary place? When the imaginary place still exists in a very real way for everybody else except for you? When you’ve left home and everyone that created that world alongside you? Just over eighteen months ago, I made the decision to move across the country, from the northeast to the southwest. It’s a five-hour plane ride on a good day, and a three-hour time difference everyday. Undoubtedly, as with any major life transition, I had a serious adjustment period. I moved one month and one week after graduating from college, which only compounded how quickly and how drastically my life changed in such a short period of time. Given the significant passage of time since I moved, I have gained some perspective on this move and its effects. The five stages of grief, which are the benchmarks of many important changes in the cycle of life, are absolutely applicable to the cross-country move. The five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—were first introduced in 1969 by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book, On Death and Dying. In the beginning, the five stages were applied exclusively to the death of a loved one or a person’s own terminal illness. Since then, psychologists have concluded that the five stages of grief are relevant to any serious loss in life—loss of a job, the end of a relationship, etc. Moreover, modern research emphasizes that a person can experience the stages in any order, and people often fluctuate between the stages before finally reaching acceptance. Once in this stage, a person comes to terms with his or her new place in life and position in relation to the world. The following are how the five stages of grief occur when a person’s decides to uproot his or her life and relocate to a new place far away from home: 1. Denial “I’ll be back in two years.” “I’m not going to stay there forever.” “I’ll keep in touch. I promise.” “I’ll call you.”



When I first accepted the job that prompted my move, a two-year teaching program at a low-performing urban school in Nevada, I remember repeatedly telling family and friends that I would never stay out here forever. “I am meant to be in Boston or New York,” I would tell them. At graduation, I comforted many friends with the promise that our kids would grow up next door to each other somewhere in the suburbs of the Northeast. I imagined one day working at my alma mater. I had dreams of Sperrys and Vineyard Vines, of scarves and the leaves changing in the fall. Was I lying to them, to myself, or both? At the time, I honestly and wholeheartedly believed these things. If denial is a river, I was drowning in it. And happily. I believed all the things I told other: I would come back to the East Coast. I would keep in touch. I would call and text and Skype and write all the time. A year and a half later, I admit that none of these things are true anymore. I have probably known this all along, but it was definitely easier at the time to pretend otherwise. When I first decided to move, I thought one big adventure, living in Las Vegas, would be enough to satiate me for the rest of my life. This is no longer the case. It could be that I am still looking for more new experiences. I don’t feel like I’ll ever want to stop trying new things, and I enjoy a challenge. If you believe in astrology, it could be that I am a Sagittarius and therefore, crave travel and independence. The most likely reason is that even if I did return to the East Coast, it would not be the same place I left. This is proven to me time and again when I go home to visit. The decision to move away is like a chemical reaction. Once it takes places, the elements involved are permanently altered. They cannot go back to their original state. My relationships with are like this. My interactions and bonds with my family, my friends, and myself have all changed in the last eighteen months. Some have gotten better. I feel like I can pick up right were I left off with my friends from high school. My sister and I have more meaningful conversations. I finally understand and appreciate how my parents raised me. Other relationships, however, have not been so blessed, which brings me to… 2. Anger When I started my job out here, in many ways it felt like I was seeing the world for the first time. Up until then, I had a very comfortable and sheltered existence. Living where I do and doing the work that I do has shown me firsthand so many problems that plague our society today that had previously been remote things I read about in the newspaper or saw on the news. This experience has forever and irrevocably altered who I am as a person and who I want to be in the future.

Trying to convey these aspects of my life to people back home who have never seen these aspects of my life can be very frustrating. It’s hard to explain what my everyday life is like, even to people with whom I am very close. I want to share things about places they’ve never been and people they’ve never met. In addition, coming back home can be an isolating experience because it is now so far removed from my everyday existence, attitudes, and routines. For the person who moves away from home, our world is not the world of our family and friends, yet we still selfishly feel like their world still somehow belongs to us. We greedily believe that we are still a part of it, even though we are apart from it. We understand your commutes, your work, your weather, and your friends because we have lived those things, and as a result, we will sometimes—wrongly— trivialize them. Sadly, I have lost a dear friend of many years because when we would talk, I treated her problems like they were less important or less serious than my own. Ultimately, anger exists for both parties: the person who leaves and the people who stay behind. I can admit to feeling angry with my college roommates for growing much closer in my absence, and I am sure that they have also been angry with me for not calling when I say I am going to. I am angry that I don’t get as many visitors as I was originally promised, but I also visit home far less often that I originally intended. And of course, my parents are angry that I have made plans to move far away again when my job contract ends. If an effort to keep valuable relationships off life support, the cross-country mover often resorts to… 3. Bargaining “How about I call you next Tuesday at 7:00 your time, 4:00 my time?” “I can come see you the fourth weekend of February for half of that Saturday.” As I’ve said earlier, I am not good about keeping in touch with other people. As time has gone on and I’ve grown more and more comfortable in my new city and my new life, I find myself keeping in touch less and less frequently. There are people I cried with at graduation and in whose yearbooks I wrote we’d be “friends forever” that I haven’t spoken to in over a year. It’s not malicious. It’s not even intentional, really. It just happens. It’s life. This is part of the bargaining process. You have to decide who is worth keeping around and who might just get a text or call on the holidays. With those friends with whom I try to keep in contact, arranging time to talk or visit is a delicate dance and one that has become more difficult to navigate as time goes on. Figuring out schedules, time off work, and travel arrangements can be a logistical nightmare, even for someone like me who loves color-coding and spreadsheets. When I see some of my old friends, I can see that their circle has closed off, and I’m no longer on the inside. The first time I visited my college friends, I stayed for three days. Now, my trips are less than twenty-four hours, and I am not even sure when the next one will be. When I do visit family and friends, I often feel like I am burdensome or intrusive, and I know that I have made at least two people, one of whom was my mom, feel that way when they visited me. As much as the cross-country mover would like to believe that we will return to a perfectly preserved world with all of our relationships and structures still intact, it is not like this. Not

even in the slightest. People change, whether we want them to or not, whether they move away or stay close to home. Sometimes, we will wonder whether it’s worth it to go to all this trouble. It will seem that no one cares whether you took a plane, a train, and an automobile (a bus to be exact) to get to them. It can be very isolating and lonely, which can lead to… 4. Depression Moving to a place where you don’t know a soul when you step off the plane can be one of the loneliest experiences of a person’s life. You miss your friends and family. You miss the places you used to go and your routines. My family always gets take-out on Friday nights. My high school friends and I love one mall near where we live. In college, my friends and I always ate dinner at 5:00 to beat the dinner rush in the dining hall and went to the same bar on Thursdays. I find myself feeling especially nostalgic for my old life when things in my current one are not going smoothly. I recall looking up jobs at the companies I interned at during a particularly difficult period at my job. There have definitely been many tears shed and many sleepless over these last eighteen months. I have felt lonely and scared countless times. This is the depression. The depression can worsen if something truly terrible happens. In the spring, my grandmother passed away. She had been very sick for a very long time, so it was almost a releif when she died. Fortunately, I was able to go home for her memorial service, and I was able to be with my family during that time. When I came back to Vegas, her death did not affect me at first because I was too far away from the situation. It didn’t feel real. These things, which were at first my crutch, eventually became my anchor. I was weighed down by the fact that I was not there to say good-bye. Even though I knew she didn’t have much time left, my family shielded me from how grave the situation had become in her final weeks. I was also so far from home and from other people who were mourning the loss of this amazing woman, and I struggled with the fact that I couldn’t grieve with the people around me. Thankfully, I have been blessed enough to have amazing friends in Las Vegas who took the pieces I had crumbled into and put them back together. They held me up and kept me going. I was not allowed to wallow. Anyone familiar with the “Footprints Prayer” would recall that at the end, God tells the man that when there was only one set of footprints in the sand, God was carrying him through a difficult time in his life. This is what they did for me. This is what has led to my… 5. Acceptance My life will never be the same because of my friends, my job, and the city I now call home. I would not trade it for anything else in the world, and I cannot imagine being anywhere else in the world, including back with my friends and family on the East Coast. My life and my friends here have not replaced my old ones. They have merely enhanced it. Because I moved across the country, I have become so much more appreciative of the relationships I do have with others. As the immortal Carrie Bradshaw says in Sex in the City, “things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart… and if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.” FIL-AM WEDDING JOURNAL MAGAZINE


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Months in the Philippines By: Joel Bautista

A wedding event in a Filipino family. One of the most festive celebrations a family could have. The proudest moments we witness from both sides of the family. I could even confidently say that the union of a Filipino couple is more of a proud event of the parents more than the main celebrants or the couple themselves. I couldn’t agree more. Being a bridal gown designer, I have been a witness to these milestone not just of the marrying couple but most definitely the mother and father of each of side of the family. As if the mothers are more busy and intense on the day itself making sure that everything is place as the bride is being prepared herself. I’m very certain most wedding coordinators and even photographers would have witnessed this exciting behavior especially the mothers.

When I was young, I always hear that June was the marrying month. As if it has a very significant meaning to me but as a youngster then, there is no way but to go with the flow of the tide. Even the time of the wedding then, I recall attending the wedding of my uncle and Aunt many years back, it was a very early ceremony 7:00 am at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros and after the ceremonial tying of the knot and the ending of the mass, of course there was this traditional picture taking of the wedding couple, their principal sponsors, the entourage and of course families of both sides taking turns with the group shot. I witnessed a wedding that where political bigwigs composed the principal sponsors, male and female as both my uncle and aunt were so acquainted with these political figures. If I had to prolong narrating this experience, reception immediately followed at La Concha Ballroom of the memorial Hyatt Regency Hotel along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City. That was the 80’s and before it gets unexciting, I am going back to the topic that inspired me to write this article. So many things have changed since then, from a medical career, indeed I shifted to my passion of becoming a bridal



gown designer. When the so called “wedding industry” was being established, I was privileged of being part of it. Hotel bridal fairs as the popular venues to witness a bridal fair exhibit during those times. Being part of this league of suppliers and meeting couples with their respective inquiry concerns, it seemed that the more popular time to tie the knot has become December and January. I thought it was June? Not anymore. I soon came to know the reason why. In the United States, June was indeed a popular time to get married. Indeed June is part of summer and so there is so much popularity with this month where the rains are seldom being a summer month and people enjoys the weather along with the wedding celebration in the family which is a fitting time to celebrate a wedding. Going back to the Philippines, I soon began to ask why December and January? And as if every day is a wedding day and not the popular weekend weddings only. Hotels are fully booked, even destination weddings have become so popular that overseas couple are booking their respective venue choices even two years ahead. Soon I got the rationale of a December and January wedding.

December being a Christmas season where the air of the yuletide season prevails, it was the most popular months where most Filipinos from all over the part of the globe are mindset to come home and celebrate Christmas with family they have in the Philippines. It’s always about family reunion and bonding that I realized. Even January is not spared from its popularity as a wedding month. In my years of being a bridal designer, to this date since I have been a regular figure in the wedding industry scene, I have never felt the essence of Christmas. Not because I didn’t want to but because I am always swamped with work year after year for the last fourteen years of my career as a bridal gown designer doing apparels not just for the ladies but for the men as well. I even had a December 24 afternoon client wedding experience, a destination wedding in Tagaytay City from both Filipino families based in Guam who have decided to tie the knot on the eve of Christmas and celebrate Christmas as the time has ticked and for them to continue with the family bonding and celebration of Christmas after their wedding . I couldn’t comment more. I had to hurriedly come down home as soon as the bride has commenced with her bridal march. I have my own family waiting for me as well as my staff to celebrate Christmas with their respective families. I am not complaining, I am just laying out the rationale behind the popularity of December and January. Of course some Filipinos can come home only after Christmas day but makes it to a point to be in the Philippines when the clock strikes midnight and celebrate New Year where celebration

with family is more meaningful and intimate. A wedding celebration on New Years’ day itself or even the day after. I am a witness to these daily weddings and couples and families really celebrate this eventful moment in their lives during January. And so, families of fiancées and beaus based overseas decide to hold their wedding dates during the last month of the year or the first month of the following year. Of course wedding ceremonies is a whole year round event wherever you go. But in the Philippines, engaged couples wants to make sure that family is part and a witness to this union of body, heart and soul and that family is really important to them. Even foreign fiancées or beaus are not spared from this dates, manner and quality of celebration. I cannot recall how many grooms of different nationality have agreed to tie the knot with their Filipina wife-to-be and even bringing their entire family not just to witness the celebration but even to enjoy what the Philippines has got to offer to them. So to summarize it all up, the spelling of June in the Philippines a marrying month is, D-E-C-E-M-B-E-R and J–AN-U-A-R-Y. Such a long spelling for June. But no matter when and how you celebrate it. Wedding in the Philippines is really the best part of your wedding experience. Not to forget, the amount you will be spending for a wedding in the US would definitely stretch you a long mile for your budget that could translate into a more quality and fabulous type of wedding experience. It’s not just “FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES”, it’s also a lot “CHEAPER TO GET MARRIED IN THE PHILIPPINES”. Something I can vouch for! FIL-AM WEDDING JOURNAL MAGAZINE




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