Daily Prompt: Transformation – Gravida 1

via Daily Prompt: Transformation

Family, they say, is where life begins and love never ends.

Two days ago Mr. Q and I were overjoyed upon knowing that I was pregnant. We were so delighted because after 11 months, we can finally start a family of our own. But these positivity died out so fast when I experienced spotting that very same day when we were already home. We stayed calm and decided to see an OB-GYNE the following day. To our dismay, I was already bleeding when I went to the comfort room right before my scheduled ultrasound.

The doctor said that I was 6 weeks pregnant but the gestational sac turned out to be too tiny than it should be. With the rate of my bleeding, there was no hope for the pregnancy to push through.

It was truly a miracle how my husband and I survived God’s revelation inside the ultrasound room. When we were asked to wait for the OB at her clinic, I knew we both just wanted to be at our  room. To be at the comforts of our bed and the familiar walls. Without a doubt we just wanted to cry our hearts out, kiss, and hug each other. But we waited and was finally cleared to go home.  It was heart breaking to leave the hospital knowing how joyful we were the previous day.

God knows how grateful I was for my husband who only showed compassion and strength as we went home. We both broke down on our way and I can only imagine how our guardian angels secured the streets as we hugged and cried while he was driving. 

It was such an unfortunate event but nonetheless  I am thankful we had to experience it. There are manners to love that can only be expressed in these exact moments of our lives. Encountering them in  different situations will only convey different manner of love, less significant, less appreciated. 

Life is for and by God alone. It is not earned through the purest desires of hearts, nor even by the plans we involved God with. Life is only God’s miracle which He solely starts and ends perfectly. 

To our Baby Q, you are our family. You are the miracle that we will always recall everyday as we live a transformed life without you in it. Hope to see a bigger and healthier version of you in Gravida 2.


Mrs Q


Photo Diary: Dayang Beach Resort (Talicud Island, Samal)

Dayang Beach Resort
Talicud Island, Samal, Davao
March 24-26,2016

UV Express Hired Van (one way Butuan-Davao): Php 4500
Motor Banka from Sta. Ana Port, Davao to Talicud Island: Php 60-100
Dayang Beach Resort Room Rates: Php 700 (good for 2 but we asked for extra bedding so we were able to fit in 4 adults and 1 child) other companions opted for Php 800 and Php 1500 per night
Water for Taking a Bath: Php 20 per container
Other Known Resort in the Island: Isla Reta

Note: It’s a semi-virgin island so you will have to bring everything you need (raw food, charcoal, butane stove etc)








Mr & Mrs Q

Perhaps the easiest way for every bride to wrap up a wedding is by looking at the pictures and ask herself how she felt about it. No doubt it would be both blissful and rewarding.

Being a hands-on bride…and groom, it is gratifying to see all our ideas transform into a beautiful reality.

Sharing here some details of our do-it-yourself wedding that you might want to consider.


I’m a huge fan of surprises so I though of adding a “scratch off” sticker to our invitation card.

While we tried making our own scratch off paint (1 part washing liquid: 2 parts metallic silver acrylic paint), we were not able source out contact paper (used to protect the photo upon applying paint) here in the Philippines.  We ended up buying a ready made scratch off sticker from Etsy – Enchanting by Design and had it shipped (via EMS option) to Butuan City Postal Office in 2 weeks.

We used two photos from our recent out-of-town getaway 5 months before our wedding as our backdrop and did the wording and lay out myself. The minimal cost of our invitation afforded us to print the entourage page for all the 100 pieces as courtesy to all our guests.


DIY: Invitation, Garter, Boutonniere


For the envelops, we used sampler paper stacks, wrapping books and paper dollies from Bee Happy. Modge podge is extremely important for this project.



A florist would have been a wonderful addition to our wedding but we decided to slash this off our budget and besides I am lucky enough to have an equally gifted sister, Janice, who made the bride and maid of honor’s bouquet. I used fancy crystals and swarovski from worn out bracelet and necklace for the boutonnieres. An old gray scarf and my outdated gown’s tulle were used for the garter.

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DIY: Coin Holder (from old lacey key chain and empty flat bottle) and Boutonniere


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Well we did not cut the wooden letters ourselves but we laminated it with printed papers. Again we used mod podge (matte) since we needed to put it on top (and not underneath) the paper stack (we do not recommend commercial gift wrappers).




The medallions were pain in the ass. It took us 2 months to finish these deceiving decors, our only church decor by the way. While they look so easy to make, trust me they’re not. Good thing we allotted 11 months to prepare for our wedding. We made a total of 100 pieces.





TRIVIA: My husband and I placed the medallions and rolled this red carpet ourselves a day before our wedding, very do-it-yourself there. To date, these medallions have been used by our friends in 2 parties already.


Even before Toni G tied the knot, I had always wanted a wreath for a car bouquet so I did one myself which comes handy as christmas decor after the wedding. That’s just very me, having an ‘post wedding day’ use in mind.



Online search led me to Recuerdos where we were able to get these canvass bags and wristlets at reasonable prices. My brother-in-law did the lay out and hot pressed printing all the way from Cebu.  I got the bags as early as February 2015. *will update this post for better photos of the souvenir once the official photos come out



12310011_905619209513789_8545843842162757306_oTo say that our wedding was plain simple is an understatement. It was undemanding, basic, candid, dear, serene and full of love. It was  a type that would bring only pleasant memories. And no matter how many times I go over the photos, I always feel all the love and I could only wish the same for all the wives reading this.


Mrs Q


*more of the wedding at RJ Giberson Photography facebook page




Happily Ever After — Take One!

Summer in Butuan City is a season long celebration of weddings. So here is a throwback to my friends, Alrex and Suzette’s big day.

Marriage, they say, shouldn’t be showy. But I guess it wouldn’t hurt if we add up a little thrill on wedding days to add hype to everyone’s experience. I considered sharing this very coherent movie-themed wedding I attended last 2011 that I believe was well thought of and most of all hindi pinagpilitan. The fact that the couple are frequent moviegoers make the conceptualization a no brainer.


INVITATION: caricature of the couple at a movie house


GIVEAWAYS: paper mache of a popcorn

Another version of the souvenir was corn kernel placed inside a transparent bottle and wrapped with ribbons. 404919_10150507962897940_1877598777_n


Popcorn Bouquet

The popcorn bouquet was used during the reception in place of the calla lily used at the ceremony.

table number

TABLE NUMBER: movie titles


CAKE: movie clapper and film strips





ENGAGEMENT SHOOT: took along friends as extras 🙂



Although not in photo:

*their pre nup pictures were mounted on the side of the reception area like movie poster

*their menu and programme cards were laid out like movie tickets

*an excerpt from a musical movie was re enacted by the couple and selected friends, filmed, and was show during the reception

What better way to add romantic aura on your big day than to have String Musicians play while you walk down the famous aisle or to your first dance as a married couple.


Barter System: The Make-Believes of Social Media

It is none of my business, however when you post a thing or two on the web, you are feeding my mind, our minds.

At times I find it disturbing how social networking sites have become a shit absorber. There are flooding posts on a bad day as if it really was that worse when they just waited longer in the line than they usually do or when it has always been the case all their life and they just happen to have 24h unlimited access to the web. There is an outpour of people insinuating love, false love, fear, sadness, happiness, boredom, anger etc. Then feel bad on people talking about them.

There is freedom of expression, I could not argue with that. But we could not just get naked on the street because we wanted to be as honest in expressing ourselves right? Or slap a customer for being such a biatch? Yes sweet little nothings and mysterious shout outs could be fun but I really hope you could post something with substance too.

Life is a barter system. When you give out peace you might just be handed with appreciation. When you give out crap, people will give you a ribbing.


Slash and Burn: My Unfinished Story

Chapter 3: Bleeding Love
by Johanna Almendras
July 31, 2008


I have to be honest to myself, after the break up I had a hard time. In fact it must have been the most difficult phase of my life. After school I go home to a place of no assurance. I find myself worrying for I have nothing to do. I had no one to inform that I arrive home safely. I had no one to wake up in the morning or follow up academic home works at night. It seems that a big chunk of my time, effort, concentration, emotion, finances, and memory was now empty, spacious and unused.

At 9 in the evening I prayed but was surprised that intentions came out from me with so much effort. What once was a smooth sailing, free flowing conversation turned into a scripted one. it was precisely because I was resisting my own thoughts and feelings. I was so used to praying for him, his family, his studies, his health, his friends, his service,etc. but we are no longer to together and this “obligation” is no longer necessary. But is it really like that? Should one stop praying for a person because that person is technically  no longer his concern? Yet as much as I want to still pray for him what shall my prayer sound like? Of course I can’t be praying that his new relationship be well. So I’m only left confused, reminded and saddened of how my prayer was like so I have chosen not to pray instead.

The sun continued to shine, the workers go on with their daily routine, my sisters go to work and so I’d do my thing too. I’d take a jeepney, cry in there when I’m once again haunted with my loneliness and wait until the 45-minute ride ends, enter the room and while waiting for the professor, do chit chats with my blockmates.

“How are you now?”, asks Indie a blockmate who herself has not been into a real relationship but lives in Dumaguete, a place which I imagined to be perfectly romantic for lovers and a haven for barkadas.

“Still not okay. It’s very hard. I still cry myself to sleep and wake up crying still.”

As expected from any broken hearted person, I started telling my story.

“He was really a good boyfriend and if there was anything wrong with the relationship it was only on the latter part where the relationship was on the rocks.”

I mentioned a couple of incidents to convince them how perfect it used to be even if I feel that they don’t want to know and even if they do, will still feel indifferent to what I feel. They  may feel sympathy but after that they’re okay. There is nothing they can do and they exactly knew that but still continued to console me. Human nature has always been this way. When someone suffers all we can do is ask, make them share their thoughts and how they feel of the situation, give advise when ask for one but we will still remain indifferent. We cannot equally feel their pain for one’s suffering is always different from the other no matter how similar the situation may be. But nevertheless I went on conversing with them.

“He must have fallen out of love”, comments Angel, a tall pretty morena but an NBSB blockmate. Noticing that I remained silent and a bit confuse of the idea she further explained.

“You know, one day he woke up and realize that he does not love you anymore. A lot of people say it happens.” then the door opened and our professor stepped in.

After class I went straight home because heavy tears are about to pour. Even before I can undress, raindrops started to fall. Could it be heaven’s way of accompanying me in this miserable lonely night? Well it really doesn’t have to, even the rain is indifferent to my suffering. Indeed things changed, even how I see the rain changed. I used to see it as a blessing, a shower of fireworks from heaven. On the night we became a couple it was raining hard and I took that as heaven’s approval and confirmation of what just happened. In our 2-year relationship, it has always rained every 9th of the month at least in places where we were at. It was pleasing to hear raindrops embracing the earth but now, there is so much bitterness in hearing it clash the rooftop.

Fall out of love? that’s weird. I never knew that falling in love was reversible but if it is then it means that falling out of love is favored when falling in love is saturated, in that way the direction shifts to falling out of love. That’s how chemistry describes it through Le Chatelier’s principle.

no love <—-> love

But wether this is the case or not, being the partner of the person who fell out of love is as painful as the idea sounds.

The rain continued and I finished preparing supper. My siblings arrive and we ate together like we usually do only this time I need not worry if Lino has eaten too.

Breaking up with me was painful enough to hate him but hate isn’t the absence of love. I may have hatred in my heart but I have love too, I feel them both.

If by any moment now I die, it has got to be due to internal bleeding.


Circuitous Path to Saving

First things first—-I am no financial guru.

The world have different standards when we speak of richness. To some one million is the benchmark, while for others five thousand. For many though fifty thousand will do.

Many may not realize it but apart from standards, we may also be using different units. Some may consider themselves rich for acquiring monetary wealth. Others measure richness with the number of business ventures they have. Still others consider themselves rich for having many friends.


But what keeps rich people rich? — Saving!

The truth is, saving is very addicting. Eureka! that’s why millionaires keep acquiring more and spending less. This is probably the reason why it is effortless for people who have money to stop themselves from being lured to promotional sales, shopping giveaways, etc. They are hardest people to convince to buy something they do not need at the moment.

Stewarding my own finances made me realized that every individual has a “saving threshold”. A point where one begins and is more motivated to save. In my case that would be ten thousand. It was almost impossible for me to reach this amount for a long time but when I did it was easier to be more thrift in buying anything. But when an unforeseen expense came my way and my savings went lower that my saving threshold I was back to square one. So the trick is pretty simple, never fall beyond your threshold.

How to reach your saving threshold? Here are desirable habits that you may start considering in order to manage your finances better. These are compilations of books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, seminars I’ve attended to and even lectures I gave.


It was from Sophie Kinsella’s, Confessions of a Shopaholic that I’ve learned to write down my expenses every time I come home. It was an effective way to save because I became conscious of my daily expenses. From there I was able to identify what was the big chunk of my day’s expense (food, taxi etc). But the most surprising revelation was those cheap but repetitive charges or payments I made. It is the unconscious and painless payments that made us ask ourselves “Where did my money go?” at the end of the week.


I personally believe that promotional sales are not for everybody. While buying on sale period makes us “save”, zero spending it still better that 70-80% savings in the form of discounts. SALES don’t look for me, I look for it. I don’t buy a thing because it is on sale, I plan to buy a thing and wait for it to be on sale. Typically the world would tell us that this is going to be harder for women that it would be for men.


We all hate it but we can never get rid of it, even if we are way pass college. If you want to save, get the exact figures. Compute your daily, weekly or monthly target savings. Never miss a centavo when consolidating costs. Know your numbers and it will surely grow. Just this year I enrolled in online banking, so I can keep track of all deposits and withdrawals I make (and do away with keeping atm receipts).


When the dead presidents are within your reach, it is harder to resist spending. So I never withdraw cash until I can no longer pay for a cab. Got scolded for this way back college when my sister knew about this habit 😛 For some of us it may also come handy when we someone else saves for us. My mom used to deposit  my paycheck in our joint account which made it hard for me to access my money (because I forgot my pincode and was too lazy to do something about it). And yes she saved for me 🙂 Then after a year, I started saving on my own, using my own bank account. I even invested on treasury bonds from a different bank (and forgot my atm pincode again). And guess what? I am now safe keeping someone else’s money too—paying it forward.

I’m no millionaire but I sure have managed my finances well. Hope you learned a thing or two.