Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hawaiian Themed Wedding: Herbert and Meng Furio!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Big, fun, colorful and musical are the adjectives that best described the Hawaiian - themed wedding reception of my colleague Alenea May Salangad or "Meng" and Herbert Furio last March 31, 2012 at Partyland in San Fernando, Pampanga! With 500 guests, it is probably the biggest wedding event I have ever hosted. But its uniqueness doesn't stop there - it is also a reception where all the wedding songs are actually sang instead of just played and both the bride and groom actually sang dedication songs to each other! Aww, sweet!!  

I put together a script two hours before the scheduled reception, while I was at the bride's house. I was cramming haha. Glad I have an earlier blog post of another friend's wedding so I used that as basis for this script and of course some help from my friend Google. So, I am posting the script here, just in case it may come in handy in the future!

March 31, 2012 – 6pm - 9pm Partyland, San Fernando Pampanga
5:50 PM  Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. May I have your attention please. We are about to begin our program so please find a seat and make yourself comfortable.
 6:00 PM Introduction of bridal party
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, friends and loved ones, welcome to Furio and Salangad Wedding Dinner Reception. Tonight is a momentous occasion as it marks the first event where our newly - weds Herbert and Meng would share with us as a couple. Let this be a unique musical experience for all of us since music is the most important part of this celebration. Without any further ado, let us rise and give our warmest welcome to the entourage.
          (Flower Girls and Escorts)
Marching to the tune of The Last Time to be sung by Danel October Beriong, a mission friend of the groom, put your hands together for our cute flower girls and their handsome little escorts. Flowers have always been a big feature at weddings. This stems from the Medieval tradition of a Knight wearing his Lady's colors, as a declaration of his love. Each flower has its own meaning. RED means I love You and YELLOW new beginnings and happiness!
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, our set of flower girls and escorts.
(The Bridesmaids and Groomsmen)
Now we come to the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. They are twelve understudies for the Bride and Groom. If the Bride and Groom chickened out, it’d be two of you who will pose in their place! No, actually as members of the Church we believe that the decision to marry in the temple is one of the most important decisions a person can make. Church members should begin preparing for eternal marriage when they are young.
The tradition of Bridesmaids has evolved from the custom of surrounding the Bride with other richly dressed women, in order to confuse evil spirits.
So without further ado let’s give a big hand to -
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, our set of groomsmen and bridesmaids.  
 (Maid of Honor)
And now we come to the Maid of Honor, Girlie Merdegia. It’s been said that Girlie  is chosen for her ability to outthink, outrun and generally outwrestle anything with up to eight legs that stands in the way of a smooth-running wedding.
(Best Man)
Now we come to our Best Man, Ladies and Gentlemen, Josua Furio by name. He assures us, he really is the best man. We can’t wait for his speech and wise counsel. Let’s hear it for Josua.
(Special Witnesses)
With a song number from Carmel Anne Aguilar, the sister of the bride, let’s give a round of applause to our most distinguished set of principal sponsors. Fifteen, altogether.
Please welcome -
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, our set of special witnesses.  
(Parents of the Bride- Meng) Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen. With another song number from Danel entitled “Beautiful, Please be on your feet as we welcome the bridal party. Put your hands together for our hosts, Mr. Augusto Salangad and Mrs. Marlene Salangad, the father and mother of the bride.  As you all know, the day your little girl gets married is the happiest day of the century for every doting parent and don’t they look radiant? Thank you Augusto & Marlene, we can see where the bride got her good looks from. I’m not saying which, you both look wonderful tonight.’ 
(Parents of the Groom – Herbert)And now, here come the parents of the groom, looking happy and proud. Please welcome Mr. Teodoro Furio and Mrs. Aida Furio. A big hand for Teodoro and Aida Furio, Parents of the Groom.
(Entrance of the Bride and Groom)
And now the big moment, to the tune of Ikaw by Aileen Rose Stanger, the sister of the bride, friends, ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure to welcome our lovely couple, our newly – weds Mr. and Mrs. Herbert and Alenea May Furio. A round of applause please. Our bride and groom Alenea May (or Meng) and Herbert! Doesn’t she look beautiful? Meng has been practicing her bouquet-throwing and hopes to give a good account of herself when the moment comes. As for the groom, look at him! Ladies and Gentlemen, a big hand for Meng and Herbert!’. 
6:30 PM Invocation Please remain standing as we call on Mr. Wilfredo Canlas for the opening prayer.
6:32 PM Introduction of HostA very good evening  to everyone, friends and loved ones, welcome to Meng’s and Herbert's Wedding Dinner Reception. My name is Mhe-anne Ojeda, and I have been asked by our lovely bride, Alenea May, now Mrs. Alenea May Furio & her husband Herbert, to be your Emcee tonight and they would like to extend their thanks for gracing this joyful occasion especially to those who have traveled many miles just to be with us. In behalf of Herbert and Meng I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for your presence. It is indeed a pleasure to have you all tonight.
 6:35 PM Father/Daughter Dance with a special song number from Aileen Rose Stanger.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s get the celebration going with a very special part of every wedding party. The Father and Daughter dance. This is the moment when the father walks his daughter to the dance floor and they begin the last dance since after tonight, the bride will only be dancing with Herbert, her dad excluded. Put your hands together for daddy Augusto and Meng as they dance to the special song of our wedding singer Aileen Rose Stanger, the sister of the bride entitled “From This Moment” and “You changed My Life In A Moment”.
6:45 PM Newly Wed Song Number
Wow, that’s a sweet dance routine. Our groom I’m sure admittedly can’t beat dad with his dance steps so instead of the bridal waltz, Herbert will show everyone why Meng was swept off her feet. Let’s hear it from our dashing groom – Herbert with his song Grow Old With You. To be followed by a quartet rendition of the Tagalog song “Kasama Kang Tumanda" by the bride and groom to be accompanied by bride’s brother John Eleazar Salangad and bride’s sister Carmel Anne Aguilar. Our program will proceed in that order. 
And of course, our bride as a singer herself will not let it be outdone so she’ll have a song number for Herbert as and by way of surprise!Meng please take it away!!
7:10 PM Begin food service. Guests to mingle, socialize, and couple go round per table downstairs after eating. 
And now we come to the best part of the celebration – food and drink, an indulgence and a luxury to enjoy both  by guests and hosts.  This will also be the first Dinner together of Herbert and Meng as a couple so we will commence very soon.   We ask that everyone make you way to the stage for a photo opportunity with the couple before you proceed to the buffet table. We will be entertained by our wedding singers Danel, Carmel Anne and Aileen Rose.
To resume our celebration, let’s watch an Audio Visual Presentation prepared by Visual Focus featuring some of the couple favorite songs. This will give us an idea how in the millions of people, Herbert and Meng stumbled upon each other and found their way to the Manila Philippines Temple today.
8:15 PM Cutting of the Wedding Cake (DJ play music)
Gentlemen and gentlewomen! Could we have your attention for a moment for the cutting of the cake. For those unfortunate souls who are on a diet, tonight’s not your night. Now all of those taking pictures, be sure you’re ready for the photo-opportunity. Herbert make sure you have a firm hand on the cake with your beloved bride. ‘ (the cake is cut)
 Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen.’Wedding just wouldn't be complete without fertility symbols, like the wedding cake. Ancient Romans would bake a cake made of wheat or barley and break it over the bride's head as a symbol of her fertility. It became tradition to pile up several small cakes, one on top of the other, as high as they could, and the bride and groom would kiss over the tower and try not to knock it down. If they were successful, it meant a lifetime of prosperity. During the reign of King Charles II of England, it became customary to turn this cake into an enjoyably edible palace, iced with white sugar.
8:25 PM  Best Man's Toast to the Bride and the Groom
Ladies and Gentlemen, a moment’s pause for the best man Josua. As you all know, it is customary for the best man to reveal rare insights into the make-up of the groom, to share with us, that make our beloved groom Herbert, the man he is. In other words, an exposè! Ladies and Gentlemen, the best man!
8:30 PM White Doves Release (DJ play music)

The doves taking flight as they are released in unison with every enchanting and humming instrumental background music.
8:40 PM  Bouquet Toss (DJ play "All the Single Ladies while bridesmaids start the dance to get behind the bride for the bouquet throw)
Ok now it’s time for a little fun, because it’s time for the traditional throwing of the Bouquet.  There’s always a little risk for the lasses determined to get the bouquet in their clutches. It’s also the real reason you see so many high heels shoes tonight. As you know, traditionally the young lady who successfully catches the bouquet in mid-flight is a certainty to make her own way down the aisle.I’d like to request all the single ladies to step forward for the bouquet throw. The married ladies who’ve sneaked on, don’t be greedy. This is for single women only.  Our lovely and charming bride Alenea has been practising this throw all summer, so give yourselves some elbow room.’(to the bride)
Meng, if you’d be so kind…..’Ladies take your place behind the bride and be prepared to jump high. Fortune favors the brave! At the count of three, the bride will throw her bouquet. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s all count together.Are you ready Ladies? Would you just look at the concentration.  There’s some determined women out there. The countdown! One, Two, Three! What a throw, ladies and gentlemen.’(Bride throws the bouquet and it is caught)We have a winner! We’ll have the Best Man cleaned and brought to your table later.
 8:45 PM  Garter Toss (DJ play music)
Ladies and Gentlemen, here’s where things get serious. It’s time for the Garter toss. I understand some of the guys jumping for the garter have been in training for months. Underneath those barongs, we’re talking washboard abs, bulging biceps, nerves of steel. These guys are ripped and ready to rumble! Remember gentlemen this is serious business. The guy who catches the garter is destined for the altar next!
Now while the groom retrieves the garter, don’t let any of those garter jumpers melt into the crowd.We have the garter. Get ready gentlemen. (Groom throws the garter and it is caught)We have another winner! We have the next groom. Let’s hear it for our winners. (wide applause)
 8:45 PM Well Wishes From Friends, Family and ParentsNoemi Sanchez, Dr. Archimedes David, Rosalina Salangad, Thomas Merdegia, Maribel Canlas, Salangad and Arlene Furio 
           8:50 PM  Message of Thanks from the Newlyweds 
Ladies and Gentlemen, please stand by for a few words of thanks from our  couple, Herbert and Meng.
8:55 PM  Closing Remarks
Well I guess that’s about everything ladies and gentlemen we have finally come to the end of our program. It has been a great day and a wonderful evening with you all. Again thank you all for your presence. May we call on J.E. Aguilar for the closing prayer. God bless and Goodnight to each and everyone.   
          9:00 PM. Benediction  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Picnic Garden: An All -You-Can - Eat Korean BBQ Buffet!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

For my prince 33rd birthday last January 19, 2012, he brought me to lunch at Picnic Garden Korean BBQ in Edison, New Jersey  and I was blown away! 

I love Korean cuisine and can't pass the opportunity to have an all- you-can eat lunch for $15 since it was a Thursday!  It was the nicest birthday gift for me, except that it wasn't my birthday but my prince who will foot in the bill! HAHA

This is my first Korean BBQ Buffet while in the East Coast and oh just exactly what I expect every Korean BBQ resto to be - with decent selection of spicy, marinated all you can eat meat (pork and chicken esp for me and beef for my prince.), nice interior, huge space,  wide booths, and a table with built-in gas grill (not charcoal). Pretty impressive set up!

We got our choiced meats from the buffet bar, and as soon as we were seated, the grill was fired up. First off, I've got myself my favorite samgyeopsal  (three layered flesh or Korean bacon) and spicy chicken while my prince got himself some bulgogi since he can't have it at home often due to my sensitivity to beef smell in the fridge. The server brought us plenty of lettuces to wrap meat!

Then while meat is cooking, I got myself some ready-to-eat food from the buffet style selection. Yes, the place has it all although their specialty is Korean BBQ. I had jap chae,  kimbap, fried rice and several banchan  like kimchi and kongnamul (soybean sprout).

The service is outstanding for a buffet with waiters who go around and help with grilling the  food. They switch the grill multiple times within our meal so the grill is always clean and neat. They left us with one tongs to flip the meat ourselves, although they are pretty quick to come around with the scissors and flip and cut the meat for us. 

The buffet table had quite a variety of food in four sections - raw meats/seafood with quite an assortment of meat, squid and shrimp; ready-to-eat food with fried and steamed dumplings, fried rice, and some soups; banchan section with kimchi, kongnamul, and the likes;  and the toppings section which has jalapeno slices, garlic, onions and  variety of sauces like soy sauce, hot sauce, and vinegar.

Everything was delicious! So I had like two servings. Now writing about it makes me crave for some Korean food. Kimchiiii....(Note: For the beer drinker, this place is BYOB).  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Watching US Major League Baseball For The First Time!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

When my prince got us tickets to watch a US Major League Baseball game as part of our 4th anniversary as sweethearts, I must admit my heart thumps! Yes, it was my first time to watch a baseball game, but honestly it wasn't the main reason for the excitement.  

The hush was at the thought of standing tall like Drew Barrymore in the movie  Fever Pitch  and having the Yankee Stadium  in New York City (USA) as backdrop and the thousands audience of New York Yankees versus Seattle Mariners as witness for that movie - like proposal. But as you could guess I didn't win a seat in history haha! 

Well that is really no reason to sulk. Even without the popping the question part, watching  baseball with my prince last July 26, 2011 is one of the reasons why I had a blast while in the US last summer.

Baseball is a bat - and - ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond.  

The baseball craze hit the New York metropolitan area in the mid-1850s. Since then, baseball became the "national pastime" or "national game" of Americans like basketball to Pinoys. Ergo, having an American boyfriend means sometimes I had to take a back seat when my prince fave team plays. Well, not when I was with him watching the game! 

Seattle Mariners  is  my prince favorite baseball team. That day we were hoping to see the Mariners try to snap their 16-game losing streak. Well, I didn't have a first timer's luck. Again? haha.  

Monday, March 26, 2012


by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

MIRTHFUL (i.e. being merryfull of gladness, gaiety or showing high-spirited merriment or laughter.) I'll tell you one little secret. The name that appears on my passport is Merry Ann (coz my grandfather made a mistake in the spelling on my Birth Certificate during registration), while my professional name appearing on the Attorney's Roll is Mary Ann. I am of course planning on adopting just one name through a legal process. But in the meantime, I use my passport name Merry Ann with anything that concerns travel or out of the country matters (i.e. airline tickets & frequent flyer) and the name Mary Ann for legal stuff/legal representation. I take credit to my name Merry for reminding me to always be happy and to  relieve the pressure of the experience like parting or saying goodbye to my prince after every vacation. Instead of being sad while at the airport, we used the time to take photos of us together using self-timer on my camera and excitedly check how the picture turns out!  Guess, we scored merry on the above pic! 

*This is part of a series of 2012 Monday post inspired by Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant's 
Stop DoingStart Being article on Family Circle Magazine April 1, 2005 issue. What she said about having so many "to-do" list and trying hard everyday to check off the list hit so close to home! I agree with her that what I need is a list to help me be who I want to be, both for myself and others. Click on START BEING Monday Series to see other list of cool virtues we could emulate!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lakbay Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail: Rizal Shrine in Dapitan

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Date: March 6-7, 2012
Location: Brgy. Talisay, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte
Rizal @ 150 Stamp: No. 20 - Rizal Shrine and Waterworks of Rizal

After missing my flight in October 2011, I finally found myself in Dapitan City with my two brothers Mike and Joel for the  continuation of our Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail.  

Dapitan City is the so-called Shrine City of the Philippines. Last May 27, 2011, this quaint city is also the country's first Heritage Zone following a declaration by the National Historical Commission of its cultural and historical significance "because of its ancient beginning and Dr. Jose Rizal's four-year exile". Six (6) of  27 sites featured in the Rizal @ 150 Passport can be found here, and the six stamps can be obtained at the  Rizal Shrine in Barangay Talisay.

Rizal Shrine refers to the sixteen (16) hectares piece of land near the shore of Talisay which Dr. Jose Rizal purchased using his prize winning from the Manila Lottery. 

Our lovely, knowledgeable tour guide shared to us that sometimes in August 1892, Rizal with two others (politico military governor Capt. Ricardo Carnicero and Francisco Equilior, a Spaniard living in Dipolog) bought lottery ticket no.9736 which luckily won for them P20,000.00. Rizal's share of P6,200 was invested in business and used to buy lands, after giving the P2,000 to his father and P200 to Basa, his friend in Hongkong.

In his letter to his friend, Ferdinand Blumentritt, on December 19, 1893 he said "I have three houses-one square, another hexagonal, and the third octagonal. All these houses are made of bamboo, wood, and nipa". However, my actual visit to The Rizal Shrine introduced me to other houses there.

"I live in the square house, together with my mother,  my sister, Trinidad, and my nephew".

CASA RESIDENCIA (Replica of Jose Rizal's House reconstructed in 1960) is the name for the square house (or rectangular house) where Dr. Rizal lived with his mother, sister and nephew from March 1893 until he left Dapitan in July 31, 1896. It has a bedroom and a veranda on its four walls and a comfort room accessible through a bridge at the rear.  

"In the octagonal house live some young boys who are my pupils".

CASA REDONDA (Replica of Jose Rizal's Clinic reconstructed using same materials) is the name for the octagonal hut which served as Dr. Rizal clinic and dormitory of some of his pupils. He performed many medications in this house during his exile.  

"Then, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., I am busy as a teacher. I teach the young boys"

CASA CUADRADA (Replica of  Pupils Dormitory and Workshop) Jose Rizal effected the construction of the house to accommodate the growing number of pupils in his Talisay school. The area underneath the hut served as workshop.

"At noon, I return home to Talisay for lunch"

RIZAL'S KITCHEN (Replica).The kitchen has the same materials as Casa Residencia. It has a dimension of approximately fourteen (14) feet by ten feet and is open on all sides from waist up to facilitate airflow.

"After breakfast, I treat the poor patients who come to my house"

 CASITAS DE SALUD (Replicas of the Hospital Houses of Rizal). Two little huts, each with a floor area of seventy (70) square feet. Each hut, one for male and one for female, could accommodate two patients.

I can't find my picture of the barn called CASA REDONDA PEQUENA, the  hexagonal house where Rizal keep his chickens. Anyway, here are some excerpts from his letter to friend Blumentritt that is captured in this photo.

"I have many fruit trees, such as mangoes, lanzones, guayabanos, baluno, nangka, etc. I have rabbits, dogs, cats, and other animals.

"I rise early in the morning-at five-visit my plants, feed the chickens, awaken my people, and prepare our breakfast. At half-past seven, we eat our breakfast, which consists of tea, bread, cheese, sweets, and other things.

"I spend the rest of the afternoon in farming. My pupils help me in watering the plants, pruning the fruits, and planting many kinds of trees. We stop at 6:00 p.m. for the Angelus.

"From my house, I hear the murmur of a clear brook which comes from the high rocks. I see the seashore where I keep two boats, which are called barotos here.
"Then I dress and go to Dapitan in my baroto. I am busy the whole morning, attending to my patients in town."

"I spend the night reading and writing."

The Rizal Shrine allowed me to get to know the kind of life our pre-national hero had while in exile. It was a time well spent - in service, the making of a true hero! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Traveling Fashion In Summer and Winter!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Season dictates our fashion while traveling - with summer and winter being on the opposite end of the pendulum. To me though, whether in summer or winter, my goal in fashion is to have a more fun feminine look with a  few pieces in my luggage (esp. if I want to travel in style while flash packing or backpacking) - chic head geareyeglasses, a layered tops ensemblesoft  bottoms, a small bag for knick knacks, and matching shoes that slip on and off easily . 
Summer Outfit in Aspen, Colorado (USA)
So for summerhats and caps are practical and stylish accessories to protect me from sun rays and takes little effort to polish my look; colorful soft tee-shirts over a plain white undershirt; a jacket same color with beltless pants; white gray easy strap Skechers; and eyeglasses that doubles as sun glasses. 

Winter Outfit in Alton, Utah (USA)
For winterknitted hooded mufflers work double duty by blocking chilly winds and as fashion pieces that is light yet provide the comfort and warmth on a cold day; jeggings/leggings; winter sneakers; white and colorful long sleeves for layering and black multi-tone eyeglasses.

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