* Video password: ths

When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of getting married thrice.

Ok let me try that again.

When I was a little girl… I don’t think I was ever a normal little girl. I never really thought of my “dream wedding”. I used to play with Barbie and Ken and she had a wedding dress and they got married but I ran out of things to do with Ken so I ripped his head off and tossed him aside 😀

So anyway, I finally grew up and after much ado, decided to get married. I have never been able to get my family and closest friends all in one sitting so I thought this would be the perfect occasion. I wanted all of us to be on a vacation far away from civilization. I wanted the beach. At the same time, I wanted to show cebu off. So remote island + beach + cebu = Santa Fe, Bantayan Island. Except for a tiny hitch. We were roman catholic and the church in Sta. Fe was far from nice (and i’m putting this mildly). So I decided on a beach wedding. But that didn’t change the fact that we were still roman catholics and thus had to get married inside a church. So I decided on a small, family only, no fuss, very simple chapel wedding inside the church compound for wedding number 1, 3 days before my beach wedding number 2. Except for another not so tiny hitch. Wedding #1 entailed so much paperwork that I would have to stay in the Philippines longer than I initially thought, which I really didn’t want to do. Solution: get the paperwork out of the way. aAd so wedding number 1 had to be 6 months before church wedding number 2, to get the paperwork ready on time and all done in Dubai, and church wedding number 2 had to be 3 days before beach wedding number 3 to get the spiritual and church blessings. Confused enough already? Imagine how I felt while organizing all these :-/

October 6, 2011. The civil wedding. We wanted to keep this under wraps because the paparazzi might get hold of it and swarm us. We kept it a secret because we didn’t want to feel “married”. The less people who knew, the less real it would be. Or so I thought. I actually got cold feet days before the wedding. If I thought if I married him and grew tired with him, I couldn’t just rip his head off and toss him aside like I did with ken. I would be stuck with him legally, and annulment really isn’t in my vocabulary. But living without him also wasn’t an option, so I took the way to the consulate. On the way, we grabbed our 2 witnesses, stopped by “Day to Day” store, bought Josephus a 2-dirham fake wedding ring with with an ugly flower, ripped the flower off to make it look more manly, said I DO in front of the vice consul and then got tipsy in the Madinat Jumeirah after 😀

Before Ever After: The Civil Wedding

April 11, 2012. The church wedding. Family only. Did my own hair and makeup. Borrowed Dearlie’s costume and made it a wedding gown. Said I DO for the second time around. Had a small reception courtesy of the other Taboada pair, kuya ijiit and te yen. Very simple, happy and lighthearted wedding.

Before Ever After: The Church Wedding

April 14, 2012. The beach wedding. The most stressful 3 days of my entire life. Never again. except maybe in 5 years when we renew our vows 😀 We customised almost everything and did it by hand and almost went crazy. Stayed in the island for 3 nights and 4 days. Got married and cried my tear glands out, Josephus even more so :-p Island hopping with friends and family the day after. Lost a lot of money, lost my sanity but gained the most beautiful and unforgettable experience ever.

Before Ever After: The Beach Wedding (video above)

To give justice to the 3 weddings, we had to have 3 honeymoons. and maybe 3 children in the future 😀 Just not triplets please.

April 17, 2012. Flew to Coron, Palawan. We had been there once and it was and still is, a breathtakingly scenic place. We spent 3 days in Sangat, Island (http://www.sangat.ph/). Beautiful is an understatement. We had an authentic Filipino nipa hut and there was no air-conditioning but it was so windy you won’t really mind. The air was so fresh and you literally fall asleep with the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. It was soooo peaceful you’d think you died and went to heaven. We went kayaking around the island, went island hopping to the many equally beautiful islands in Coron and just laid by the duyan on the beach without a care in the world. Abso-bloody-lutely perfect. The only regret i have was not staying longer. But I shall return Coron. I shall return.
Happy Even After: Sangat Island, Coron, Palawan

June 14, 2012. We were supposed to go to Paris. But because of the consulate’s wayward ways, the visa would be issued by august. Too late for me. And so to seychelles we went. This was the land of the most photographed beach in the world, the land of the “bastos” fruit the coco de mer :-p and the land of the teenage mutant ninja turtle. Had i not seen the majestic vistas of coron, I would have been extremely impressed by the beaches of La Digue, Seychelles. Seychelles was a quiet country, with their capital Victoria, being one of the smallest capitals in the world. The seychellois (the locals), are very warm, friendly and they smile with their eyes. This was my favourite part of Seychelles, their people. They’re also fluent in english, French and their native language, Creole.
Happy Even After: Seychelles

August 4, 2012. 2 down, 1 more to go! And 1 more we went. Drove to the middle of nowhere in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates and stayed in a 5 star oasis, the Banyan Tree Al Wadi (http://www.banyantree.com/en/al_wadi/). They checked us in an hour and a half late and I was geared up to write a scathing review on trip advisor as soon as I got my hands on a laptop and some internet access. fortunately, they pacified me with a 6 pm (instead of 12 noon) checkout, 50% off on dinner and what I thought was champagne (turned out to be sparkling dates but was just as yummy). So scathing review avoided. In fact, we had such an awesome experience I now want to write an extremely positive review on trip advisor. And that, ladies and gents, is how you turn an irate customer into a fan. Anyway, they had 3 accommodation types: expensive, more expensive and most expensive. We got the second “more expensive” one and it was amazing. We had a huge bathtub and our own infinity pool facing the desert with gazelles and oryxes roaming around. We didn’t get to take a picture of the oryxes but just imagine a goat but with 2 unicorn-like but very deadly-looking horns. We also went on their “rainforest experience” which was inside a building with all sorts of water thingies: sauna, steam, hammam, jacuzzi, showers, feet hydrothermal whatevers, etc. point is, it was a cool experience. If i could only live there, i definitely would. I am now suffering from a case of banyan tree withdrawal syndrome. banyan
Happy Even After: Banyan Tree Al Wadi

3 weddings and 3 honeymoons after, all blogged and written down some 10 months after, I don’t particularly remember every single detail of every event, every trip. But that’s ok. Some memories will forever be lost to time and sometimes my amnesia gets triggered. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get married (thrice ;p), visit a place or travel with a twinkly eyed, thick browed, handsome man who swept you off your feet on a small beach in sta fe, bantayan island.

And I don’t think my feet haven’t landed since.