One Love. One Lifetime.

10 01 2012

And with these rings, bind them...

“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.”

PARTNER AND THE BOY WONDERJen and Tom, respectively, to everybody – brought me along to one of their appointments at Cartier at ION on Orchard.  This one time, they were having their wedding bands engraved.  They knew that just like a kid in a candy store, I would feel right at home in the midst of vitrines of Santoses, Tanks, Pashas, Calibres and Ballon Bleus while they attended to their official business.  And that that was all that was in store for me.  I thought so too.

But just like what that oft-quoted saying says, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans,” I witnessed, on that very moment, what love and lifelong commitment could mean and that it could happen, just when I was busy ogling at timepieces I couldn’t afford.  When asked to add a line (motto) to their initials and their big day’s date, I half-expected Partner and The Boy Wonder to struggle to come up with something witty or profound.  But in a minute, they motioned for me to approach and asked for my opinion.

One LoveOne Lifetime.”

I was speechless.  I guess that when you meet that someone – the one – you just know.  And that you won’t have to struggle for words when asked on the spot to commit your feelings to be impressed into the back surface of 18K yellow gold.  Clearly, just how you feel for “the one” is something you carry in your heart always, all the time.  I knew right there and then that two of my closest and most important friends have found love in a hopeful place – in each other.

Last Monday, the 2nd of January 2012, they chose to make this commitment official and blessed by God.

Within the hallowed walls of the Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, Asia’s only all-steel church and a fine example of Gothic architecture in the Philippines, my own faith in the sanctity of marriage got renewed as I witnessed two of my best friends take a chance on each other, in front of the most important people in their lives, the only ones they care about – their families and friends.  Perhaps some may say this to be a bit naïve, but to me it’s rather hopeful and magical.

The hallowed walls of Basilica Minore de San Sebastian

The Altar

The church still had the trimmings of Christmas.

Beautiful chandeliers lit up the church.

The part of the ceiling right above me.

And if I did indeed believe in magic, it all would be too easy to explain the sight of Partner, the very moment the basilica’s massive doors were swung open.  Famed for her beauty, brains, and breeding, my best friend was undeniably breathtaking on her special day, quite resplendent in her Joel Escober wedding gown of intricate beadwork and delicate lace appliqué that cascaded down to a billowing skirt of silk organza.  Ever the one to strike a balance between tradition and modernity, Partner later livened up the white-on-white during the reception by choosing to wear her color motif as a crystal-studded belt that cinched her already defined waist.  The seriously long train that she drew along the red-carpeted aisle left not only a trail of luxury, but the promise that this was going to be happily ever after.

The blushing bride, on board her white Mercedes Benz bridal car. I was going to and fro between the church and the car (mine) when out of nowhere, she called out to me, "Partner!"

The detail of Partner's wedding gown. She kept gushing about how almost-perfect the fit was when she first tried it on.

Marching down the aisle...

As if on cue, I moved my gaze to the altar, at my other friend, The Boy Wonder, the groom, and just as I had suspected, he was in tears.  I knew it was inevitable for his lachrymal glands to be wrung dry as this moment was the very fulfillment of his life’s deepest longing and his heart’s most fervent desire.  As friend to both of them – to Partner first, then to The Boy Wonder second – I couldn’t be any happier that this time had finally come.  And that I was there to witness it.  I almost clapped when The Boy Wonder, himself very dashing and dapper in his custom-fitted Hugo Boss suit, took Partner’s hand from her mom.  I tell you, it was just magical.

Tom waiting at the altar.

"Shall we?"

All the male members of the entourage wore suits.

The Secondary Sponsors

The homily was short, sweet, and solemn, cracking me up only at that point when the priest told a story about a girl and her three suitors, playing around the line, “Leave her alone, she’s mine!”  But I would always be brought back to the solemnity of the occasion, much thanks to the music that was provided for the most part by The Sound Salad, who would later play at the reception.  When they sang “Lead Me, Lord,” I was tearing up, feeling that I was right where I wanted to be, spending one of the only four full-packed days I had back home with the other family I have made – those of Partner and The Boy Wonder’s.

The marriage rite

The vows

"TOM, wear this ring..."


"Brothers and Sisters, before us is the newly wedded couple, TOM and JEN."

"You may now kiss your bride..."

Sealed with a kiss

We all felt just how much love they have for each other.

I wanted to stay for the recessional and shower the newlyweds with bubbles, but one look at Ma’an, my co-emcee at the wedding reception, and I knew we had to take off to The Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel.

The very lovely and beautiful "Singapore Girl" Genie and my co-emcee Ma'an, at San Sebastian Church.

This is Genie's first time in the Philippines, and what better reason is there to come over than for the wedding of a dear friend?

Macon, Genie and Ma'an. Macon did Partner's make-up for their pre-nuptial photo shoot at IKEA and Marina Bay Sands.

Partner and The Boy Wonder’s wedding was a wedding of “non-negotiables”.  The wedding gown has to be by a top Filipino designer known for uncompromising professionalism, quality and artistry (Joel Escober).  The suit has to be Hugo Boss.  The shoes – his and hers – have to be Louis Vuitton.  The wedding bands can only be Cartier Love rings.  Favors are by Burberry.  And the wedding reception has to be at The Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

"TOM ❤ JEN"... such a lovely touch. What a loving gesture.

Clearly, there was no doubt as to whose party we were all headed. This setup greeted guests at the Registration Table.

Favors were by Burberry, no less! This is my good friend Dennis's. He was Candle Sponsor.

And this one is mine! Until now, I haven't touched it. I took a peek. But I don't want to use it just yet.

But while that is true, theirs is also a wedding that is truly a labor of love; highlighted in the little details that bear the bride’s and the groom’s individuality and their melded tastes as a couple.  The tables were named after scents they love.  The dinner napkins were bound in handmade lace rings, with handmade dinner menus tucked in.  And scattered on each table were photo albums that chronicled the couple’s happy times together, albums that doubled up as guest books as well.

Dinner Menu Cards made by the couple themselves. They had them tucked in with the starched dinner napkins, and held in place by homemade napkin lace rings.

The place setting was simple, yet quite elegant. And I ended up using all the cutlery. There wer 26 dishes spread across six courses! Yes, I counted. Nothing comes between me and the food. Oh, a song number perhaps. Haha!

As a wedding reception emcee, I have always enjoyed the privilege of that “first look” of the venue.  While the others guests would mill about and enjoy the cocktails, I would be inside, taking in the soul, the spirit, and the importance of the reason for the celebration.  Among us friends, we would refer to Partner as the Disney Princess Sleeping Beauty, Princess Aurora.  And the look that The Sofitel put together, in partnership with the couple, was a silent homage to my friend’s relation to animated royalty.

This photograph doesn't do justice to how breathtaking the ceiling treatment was! There were yards and yards of tulle, crystals, and chandeliers everywhere.

The crystal snowflakes that hung from the high ceiling gave the feel of winter, thawed by the lush blooms, ethereal lighting, and the warmth of the couple's love. I told you it was magical.

There was a section for the kids! Who knew?!... I found this to be quite thoughtful of Partner and The Boy Wonder. This was the first time that I saw such in a wedding reception venue.

Crystal snowflakes that hung from the ceiling from long strands bridged the holiday season, the most joyous of occasions to this one, yet another joyous occasion.  Flowers were in abundance, in tall elaborate centerpieces and in numerous little arrangements that ran the whole length of the VIP table.  Tiffany chairs have got to be the most elegant, sophisticated and stylish seating anyone can provide.  But the one element in their reception venue that made me chuckle and realize that we were celebrating a really thoughtful couple was the fact that they provided a seating section – almost a play area – for all the kids that were in attendance.  While it is any couple’s prerogative to restrict their most special day to be an “entirely adult affair,” Partner and The Boy Wonder welcomed their friends’ whole families to share the moment with them.  Tita Baby, Partner’s mom, hinted at wanting little ones running around the house.  I guess she just knows how much the couple does adore children.

This has got to be one of the more lavish VIP table settings I have ever seen. There were about four or five imposing gilded candelabras, an array of tall and short flower arrangements, lots of votives, and crystal in various shapes and sizes.

An instant hit for me were these arrangements of a couple of flowers weighed down by little decorative rocks and submerged in water, with a votive candle floating on the surface. I think this was the first time I ever saw this.

I have to say that there was a noticeable order in the seeming chaos of various colors, textures, and heights. I will go out on a limnb and say that the setting was understatedly ultra chic in its apparent shabby chicness.

The wedding cake

I chuckled when I saw the cake topper. To me it is an homage to Tom's persistence and to the test that he had to go through to really win Jen's heart. And those blue roses? Let's just say they played an important role in the blossoming of their relationship.

The cake topper awash in a sea of purple.

And this time in warm tones.

Truly, Partner and The Boy Wonder’s wedding reception was a celebration of families and friends coming together.  Loved ones flying in from as far as New Zealand and Singapore (this contingent including the very lovely “Singapore Girl” herself, Genie), among many other far places, underscored just how beloved the newlyweds are.  The Maid-of-Honor, Maan Miranda, a friend of the bride’s from when they were all of seven years old, had to fight back tears of joy at finally seeing her best friend happy.  When words failed her, she relied upon silent knowing glances, which between the two of them had been one language only tried and tested long-standing friends have.  The Best Man, Hennessy Portem, the groom’s best friend of 13 years, cracked jokes about the Tom he knew, only to choke up when the tone became serious, speaking about how his buddy has finally found the one.

It couldn’t be denied just how very happy all the people were, that even the country’s biggest stars – Judy Ann Santos, Sam Milby, Kim Atienza, and Anne Curtis, among others – from arguably the biggest TV network, ABS-CBN, had to send in their congratulations and best wishes by way of the video made by an artistic and creative genius, Paolo Emmanuel Ramos, director of all of the network’s station IDs.  (This one was such a treat!)

For our part, my co-emcee Ma’an, the bride’s close friend Eugene, and I decided to say how much we love the newlyweds by way of songs.  Trained in the rigorous world of musical theater, Ma’an effortlessly belted out Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” while Eugene sang about “The Promise.”  As for me, accompanied live by The Sound Salad’s keyboards and saxophone, I paid homage to the moment with “Got to Believe in Magic.”  All of our offerings would later pale in comparison to the bride’s niece Bea’s rendition of Shania Twain’s “From This Moment On,” complete with stomping of the feet and just the right amount of head and hand gestures.  She sang from the heart for her Tita Jen and Tito Tom.

My co-emcee Ma'an and I offered a song each for the newlyweds. She, "If I Ain't Got You." I, "Got To Believe In Magic." I loved how The Sound Salad's Keyboardist and Saxophonist got exactly my pitch and the arrangement I wanted.

The Sound Salad Band provide the music. I loved them at the Church. And even more so at the reception! Amazing, powerful, yet soothing vocals!

Of course, anything food is never lost with me.  And while in previous hosting gigs I would fail to touch the buffet, at Partner and The Boy Wonder’s wedding reception, I found myself stuffing myself crazy with all the sumptuous creations on offer.  Not even the dread of singing on a full stomach prevented me from gorging at the Boneless Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Jus from the carving station, which I had with a lot of the Greek Salad, Pasta Salad with Raw Ham and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Tomato Salad with Onions in a Classic Vinaigrette.  A few more rounds acquainted me with the six-course meal, totaling to at least 26 dishes (I counted!).

The carving station featured Boneless Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Jus. This was melt-in-your-mouth good meat! I came back again... and again... ang again! And I'm not a lamb lover!

Homemade Cookies

Black Forest Cake

Bread and Butter Pudding

Dark Chocolate Mousse

A wedding being steeped in tradition, the one that pulled the most at the heartstrings was the couple’s second dance, which was done in place of the bride’s dance with her father.  Knowing for a fact just how much Partner will always be Daddy’s Little Girl, I felt how bittersweet the moment was for her as she fought back sobs, her face at times buried in the arms of the man she loves.  I had to tell her that her daddy was looking down at her and Tom that very moment, happy that she is finally happy.

Happy that the two of them have finally found their One Love, in this One Lifetime, happily ever after.

Partner and The Boy Wonder. Jen and Tom. Tom and Jen.

Partner, The Boy Wonder,

I read somewhere that in this world, relationships – love, actually – have become so cheapened.  And in that kind of world, only friendship is the kind of love that refuses to be cheapened.  I’m not referring to my friendship with the both of you.  I’m talking about your friendship with each other.  And knowing just how you were as friends – where you and all of this started – I couldn’t be any happier seeing you finally together.  I will always be there wherever and whenever you need me.  While there may be no question where my absolute loyalty lies (Hahaha!), you can both count on me during the good times, and most especially on the not-so-good times.  That’s the very least I can do.  I hope and pray for you all the best.  I love you!

eNTeNG  c”,)™©

The newlyweds with their emcees.

The newlyweds with the Singapore contingent.

eNTeNG and Partner

Partner with two of her longest-standing best friends, Meryl and Janice.

All the pretty ladies. Partner gets a buss on the cheeks from Meryl while Janice beams.

Four of Partner's closest friends, Kevin, Eugene, Hope and Anna.

Macon, Ma'an, and Genie.

All of us who stayed behind and danced (haha!) got a piece of the wedding cake! Haha!

eNTeNG and Hope

Partner and Hope

Partner and Louis =)

The perfect Louis Vuitton shoes for her big day. The groom was also soled in LV =)

Eugene and Louis

The groom sported a brand new Tag Heuer Link Automatic, one of the bride's gifts to him. Sweet.

Genie, Miss Behavin'...

Genie and Partner

Eugene, Partner and eNTeNG

The newlyweds with Eugene and Anna.

My loot from the wedding – the invitation, menu cards, misalette, favors.

eNTeNG and two of his best friends, the newlyweds Tom and Jen.

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved




6 responses

10 01 2012

It looks like such a gorgeous wedding, her dress is stunning! I hope they have a good marriage ❤




10 01 2012

Congrats to your dear friends. Jen is a stunning bride. And I pretty much smiled at the wedding cake! Hahaha!

Oh, and I hope Genie enjoyed Manila!


10 01 2012

I am so happy for Jen and Tom! So thrilled and awed at the attention to detail. It’s nice to see how love triumphs above all things, and how two people who were always meant to be together, finally are!


11 01 2012

Partner, like what i said in my text, we are deeply moved by your very thoughtful feature about our wedding. while a lot of couples take pride in getting their photos published in wedding magazines or online blogs, we had the privilege of having our wedding day documented by someone who knows our story and writes from the heart.

You forgot to mention my first ever non-negotiable: for YOU to host my wedding! i remember telling you that years ago, when we hosted our first ever wedding reception.

Thank you so much for being such a great and loyal friend (i was laughing while reading your note above, the loyalty will always be mine! haha!)

Here’s to many more years of great friendship and special moments together. We love you!

Tom and Jen

p.s. if anyone’s interested to know our wedding suppliers, i’d be very glad to share more information but the following are definitely high on my list:

– Joel Escober for my wedding gown
– Chichi Sotomil for my make up
– Joyce Aguilar for the reception venue set up


11 01 2012

..and Jo Pafin for the exquisite flowers for the entire entourage!


12 01 2012

Love the wedding gown and the wedding cake. Best wishes to your friends. 🙂


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