Catholic Wedding Requirements

Husband and I initially and mentally schedule our wedding sometime in May this year.  But we cancel the schedule off until we complete our requirements. But as soon as we iron out everything this month, we decided to make it earlier than the scheduled date. Hopefully April.

Even though we have been married in civil ceremony, a common practice by couples who are facing financial woes - we can't deny that - , but there's nothing more sacramental and more solemn like the church. As Christians, we believe that Church is the right place to hold a meaningful and joyful celebration to be blessed by God and witnessed by families who shared the same faith with the groom and bride.

Since we desire to wed in the Church, of course, we have to obey the Catholic Church processes. Ours will be going to take place at St. Michael Chapel near Eden Garden, Toril.  During my inquiries, the stuff from Eden told me to coordinate with Virgin Delos Remedios church regarding the requirements since St. Michael Chapel is under the jurisdiction of the former.

Before I move on, let me share you St. Michael's chapel which was taken last Saturday .

Ok, let's go back to the wedding requirements:

1. Baptismal Certificate (groom and bride)

Request this certificate from the parish where you were baptized, and ask them to indicate that it is for marriage purposes.

2. Confirmation (groom and bride)

Sad to say, I haven't been confirmed. My mom confirmed that I haven't really been confirmed. Nah! Since Virgin Delos Remedios doesn't schedule confirmation regularly, they told me to have it in San Pedro Church since they do it every last Sunday of the month.

I  got the confirmation certificate two weeks after the confirmation.

3. Church Interview (groom and bride)

We first signed up the form provided by the Virgin Delos Remedios , followed by an interview from the catechist. We were asked individually the reasons of getting married.  How long have we been as sweethearts, etc.? Are we sure of our intentions? Her pry was based from our answers in the form. Our supposition was that it would take her longer examining but when she knew we were already married in civil, it was somewhat shortened.

4. BANNS (groom and bride)

I was clueless what Banns really means until I learn today - since I Google it - that it is a public announcement (written or oral ) in Church of proposed marriage. BANNS will be released by Virgin Delos Remedios parish one week after the church interview.  We submitted the BANNS along with 2x2 picture to San Lorenzo Church, the parish we are actively and directly involved in. BANNS is also required if you wish your marriage to take place in another parish like we do.

5.  Identification Data Sheet (IDS)

You obtain the IDS from the chapel where you belong.  In our chapel, we were obliged to pay monthly dues and membership fee before the IDS will be signed by the leaders of the chapel. For some, they may require you to join the "kasaulugon" for weeks.

6. Pre-Cana Seminar (groom and bride)

Virgin Delos Remedios allowed couples to attend Pre-Cana seminar from the other parish.  Since San Lorenzo parish is nearer from our house, we decided to attend the two-day seminar there. Pre-Cana is a course of consultation a couple must undergo before they get married in the church. It tackles different aspects of married life.

The certificate of attendance will be released one week after the seminar.

7. Marriage License  

Since we have been married in civil for years, we will only submit the marriage certificate. Just bring original and photocopy.

8. Wedding Fee

If all the requirements are ready-to-go, you have to pay 4, 200 pesos for Virgin Delos Remedios Parish and another 12, 900 for St. Michael Chapel if your wedding goes under the Eden Wedding Package. The Eden wedding organizer will take care of everything including the chapel rental, booking of wedding date, church decorations, and flowers arrangement.

As for us, we didn't avail the Eden package because the cost was outrageously high. So we personally went to St. Michael GKK and coordinated with the chapel in-charge named "Mimi" to have us booked for the chapel. Here are the fees:

Chapel Rent - 2, 000
Choir - 2000
Stipend for the Priest- (any amount or donation will be accepted; not required)

Last but not the least, we decided to decorate the church ourselves to save extra money.

Friendly advice: Secure first the requirements before you secure the wedding date and reception to avoid unnecessary problems in the future  After all, it is not the reception, nor the date that matters, it's the ceremony. 

That's all folks. I hope you find this post helpful.

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Yes! I Am Five Kilograms Lighter Now

The days are gone where I could rely solely on breastfeeding in order to trim down my weight. When I got pregnant, I weighed roughly 53 kilograms, and it went down to 50 kilograms after giving birth which is still beyond my normal weight.

According to the dietician where I got a free consultation at the mall sponsored by NESTLE  7 years ago, my ideal weight should be 47 kilograms based on my age and height. Beyond that number, I am already overweight.

It is one of the woes (overweight) I endured for the past three years.  Even I had been breastfeeding Chesska for three years, I still got stuck in 50 kilograms. The culprit , I surmised, was I munched heavily on rice and carb-rich foods. It's also hard to diet especially if you are breastfeeding. I feel hungry from time to time.

I know I am not alone on this woe , because there are a lot of moms I know whose worries are the same as mine: overweight, bulging bellies, etc. But in fairness to my belly, I don't appear yet as 4-month-old pregnant as others. That's what I am constantly watching for. (hehe)

However, early this morning, while Chesska and I were throwing and catching ball to each other, I spotted a weighing scale under my mom's bed. I pulled it over and have Chesska weighed first. She weighed 13 kilograms, which was as exact as her weight during her recent check-up.

I was hesitant to believe because I used to think this scale was defective because every time I stepped on it, the hand was always pointing to 50 or 51 kilograms, sometimes 52 kilograms (somewhere in that number  and the truth there's a sort of self-denial). To make sure, I called my husband to come over and weigh himself, and he assured the result was correct, and so did my mom.

Convinced, I  stepped on the scale over and over and got the same results, 45 kilograms. Out of gladness, I paused awhile, thought as deep as a swimming pool, and exclaimed "My Strategies Did Really Work, YES!".

If you want to know my natural ways, no-trick secrets to lose weight, here they are: 

1. While at the mall, I utilize stairs instead of elevator and escalator.
2. I only eat one cup of rice and prepare healthy foods every meal.
3. I don't munch junk foods of any kind  (I have practiced this for 7 years already). According to studies, if you constantly munch junk foods, you add 54, 750 calories to your diet per year.
4. I stop sipping soft drink anymore since Jan. 1, 2015 (one of my 2015 goals).
5. I only walk when errands cover only short distances. I make sure to bring umbrella with me and don my sunblock.
6. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
7. I drink 7-8 glasses of water daily.
8. I keep my body moving. I do the household chores as I can before the clock hits 9:30. My online job starts at 9:30.
9. I make sure to sleep at least 8 hours daily.
10. I no longer eat pork since Jan. 1, 2015 (one of my 2015 goals).
11. I take a few minutes walk with my loved ones daily around our subdivision.
12. I only nibble healthy snacks (fruits, nuts, corn).
13. I drink 28-pc, fresh, squeezed kalamansi with empty stomach 2 times a week.

As you can see, most strategies I listed down are not actually strategies, those are part of my daily routines which are effortless and costless. Though these would entail self-discipline and take time to get used to them.  I take those healthy habits nonchalantly, after all, it's I who can profit from it. My last secret is I haven't been sick for the past 7 years. Thank GOD!

P.S. Next goal is how to flatten my belly. (both of my fingers crossed!)

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As I Stumbled Upon this FB Note

I am no expert writer. Nor I've ever undergone any trainings related to writing. Long story short, I could only concertize my emotions into notes when I feel either elated or gloomy . Otherwise I would consider my pieces lifeless and senseless, and has no difference than any scribbles of grade-one students (I am just jesting!)..

Yesterday, I stumbled upon some notes of mine in Facebook. I am no FB heavy user but then I found myself aimlessly browsing my profile. As I scrolled down, I discovered some notes found somewhere at the left bottom and written sometime four years ago. It is titled "AMAZING". Upon reading it, I was amazed literally.

Bemused, I was debating in my mind whether I was the author of this piece.  I paused awhile and scanned through the note. I could vouch that it is truly my piece based on the scenarios. One is, I used to attend masses in San Pedro Church way back single life.

Let me share with you this story: original, without minor nor major edits, however with grammar flaws (hehe).  Well, since I started blogging, I've never claimed that I am an outstanding writer.  I know, if you desire to be so, it takes an enormous amount of energy and time studying the grammar rules and polishing your writing style. Yes, I may have been miles away from other excellent writers, but I never cease learning to be one of them someday.  All I can say for now is that my progress bar is gradually increasing.

At 1:35pm, Sunday afternoon, I attended mass at San Pedro Church. Most often, I had been attending mass on this schedule for the reason that the mass is in Visaya dialect. I usually came in the church very early so I could find a seat, otherwise I will be standing the whole period of the mass. I was sitting at the 5th row from the front. 
While waiting, I observed things around me and a gospel written in a big rectangular cloth captivated my attention. The gospel goes this way“ Ang Mahigugmaong Sakripisyo ni Hesus” I tried to translate this in English and it is “ The sacrificial love of Jesus Christ”.  
As I turned back, I saw the priest who was scheduled to preside the mass along with the other children who were tasked to read the gospels. But I was surprised, because the priest was not a Filipino, instead he is a Black American. At first glance, he could really catch everybody’s attention because of his skin complexion. He was so dark. And then, a question came to my mind, how could he conduct a mass in Visaya?  
Abruptly, I answered my own question, perhaps he will just speak in English. As the mass started, and when it was the priest’s time to speak, he amazingly spoke visaya articulately. And he uttered not just a simple visaya but a very deep visaya that even I, could hardly speak. 
Though the only silly thing there was, he spoke visaya better but his pronunciation was still associated by Americans pronunciation “something like slang” as we called here in the Philippines. The priest spoke straight Visaya all the way and I never heard him spoke English. Everybody was so astonished not only the way he spoke our dialect incredibly but the way he delivered the message to us. At the end of the mass, I came into two realizations; 
First, when God’s spirit works to each of us, nothing is impossible. Such as the priest who successfully learned our Visaya language because of his passion to preach the good news of God to people. 
Second; when you are tasked to work, do it for the Glory of God. Learning language is not an easy thing to do, it really takes a long time to learn it but if we put God first in everything to please and glorify Him, even the impossible thing can happen.

Can you spot the difference between my writings from the past and the present? Or you see no difference at all? I would love to hear what you think.


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Because Yelling is Not Healthy At All

A couple of days ago, I burst into anger due to a very small reason.  My 3-year-old girl was busy playing her tablet while I was extremely busy catching up the household chores before the clock hit at 9:30 am.  My online job starts at 9:30, by the way. You see how my life goes almost everyday? Doing household chores, taking care my little one, and working at 9:30. I was like a wonder woman!


All of a sudden, I heard a big scream from my little girl (actually an annoying scream), murmuring that her tablet got lowbat. I said "I will get the tablet charged", and you could play again in 3-4 hours later until it will be fully charged. To keep her busy and not also to distract me with what I was currently doing, I temporarily handed her my phone.

Minutes later, she again screamed.  I approached to see what made her complain and then I found out the "YouTube" she was supposed to watch was buffering all the time. I explained in a gentle tone that the internet was very slow (though I knew she didn't understand what internet meant).  But again, she persistently complained and accidentally dropped my phone on the floor.

Out of  anger, I yelled at the top of my lungs.  I yelled not only because of the undesirable behavior she demonstrated, it's also because my phone dropped on the floor.  I have been fuming with exasperation, wanting to spank her.  My nerves were shaking all over. My tongue got sharp and so unkind, even I , couldn't believe I uttered those hurtful words which I won't mention anymore. She cried out loud and I got annoyed even more, so I pulled her hand going to her father who was currently working that time.

A few minutes later, my husband brought back my child to me but I said "please stay her away from me until I calm down". I went to our room to get some sleep trying to forget everything but it didn't help at all. I instead went to take a bath to cool me down, at least.  After that, I was a bit mesmerized. A remorse was suddenly felt deep inside me. I realized "OH MY,  WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MY LITTLE CHILD?" SHAME ON ME.

An evening later of the same day, I prayed and asked forgiveness from God. I confessed that I have sinned. I got angry easily. I lose my temper quickly. I asked for guidance, enlightenment, and most of all a longer patience. That's what I lack for now - PATIENCE, PATIENCE. I came to realize that yelling out of anger is not healthy especially yelling in front at the very young eyes of our child.  It's my fault, it's I who commits the sin, not my child. After all, she's just a toddler who needs quality time and extra understanding which I failed to give on that day.


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Dateless this Coming Valentine?

Is anyone among you still dateless this Valentine?
Feeling no one cares and minds?
Fret Not
Because there's someone up there
Whom you can talk anytime, anywhere
Not only during Valentine's day
But in every single day
I assure you He won't break your heart
And will never make His promises apart
Just invite Him into your life
and He will make your heart full of delight.



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Turning 33 and My Only Wish

When I first heard from our neighbor's yaya who is older than me (intuition), calling me "Ate", both of my ears rang. I began to question myself in silence, "Do I look old that made her say that? I am not used to be called "Ate",  unless if someone calling me is obviously younger.  So I asked the yaya about her age and I found out then that she's only a few months younger than me. At least, I was clarified (hehe). One day, another yaya called me "Ate", but this time, I can tell that she's younger than me. Ok acceptable.

Those two ladies remind me that I am not getting any younger anymore. I accept the fact wholeheartedly,  though there were several occasions that I still feel like I am in 20's (hehe).  If I could only turn back time, I would have done the things I failed to do way back then. No, I don't have any regrets, I was just astonished at how time flies away.


Last week, Feb. 9, I celebrated my 33rd birthday.  I promise myself not to prepare anything because it would really take a lot of time and energy cooking and I just plan to bring my family somewhere in a decent restaurant for a dinner. Just for us. However, the plan was totally changed when we learned there were some neighbors pala, forgotten to be invited by us during Chesska's 3rd birthday last month. So I cancel the plan and finally decided to cook for them, asking the help of my mother.

Along with our neighbors, we merrily celebrated my 33rd birthday with the simple foods served on the table including my best-seller daw maja and buko pandan. Of course, there's nothing more joyful than sharing to one another our daily life-stories and "chikahan" that are sometimes off the topic.

As for my personal wishes, I know they were all granted by our loving God, except for one thing.


We all know what the families of fallen 44  had gone through up to this time. If I were in their shoes, I couldn't imagine what would I do. I earnestly pray that justice will be served in the soonest possible time without hampering the peace process in Mindanao.  I am from Mindanao too, and I feel the dread if the war arises.

Some people calling for an all-out-war did not realize how many innocent lives will be lost. After the war, what will happen then? Do you think, we'll attain everlasting peace?

Remember, only a small fraction of the Mindanao's population is the perpetrator of the crime. The authorities should only focus capturing them but by not using war as the solution.  I hope our leaders and other citizens as well will not be overpowered by their emotions that will only aggravate the situation in Mindanao.

Once again,  my wish is to push through the peace process and don't make war as a last resort to resolve the current problem.

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Weaned at the Age of Three and the Stories Behind It

In my attempt to wean my toddler off from the breast prior that age, the heart of being a mother has always won me over.  So I kept postponing weaning which rooted from several reasons.

First, the concept of weaning is the thought that I didn't pay much attention mainly.  Because my job as a work-at-home mom has given me an opportunity to look after my daughter 24/7 so I see no reason to refuse breastfeeding. Second, I couldn't afford seeing my child from crying and begging for my breast. (Again, I am just a mother.)  Lastly, we cannot deny the fact how beneficial is breastfeeding for mother and child.

Since I used to view breastfeeding as such, it didn't occur to me ever by setting deadlines for breastfeeding. For as long as the child still wants to, then I  just always go for it.

However, a couple of months ago before her 3rd birthday, a number of realizations struck into my mind that led me into the possibility of weaning. 

1. The supply of breast milk is no longer sufficient to satisfy my child.

Gone are the days where the supply of  my milk is like a dripping faucet. Yes, I had an abundant supply of milk at the first semester of breastfeeding, but as my child grows, her demand grows, too. As a result, my supply of milk can no longer sustain her needs up to the satisfaction level.

2. She sometimes treats my nipples as pacifier.

It would often take her 45 minutes and longer nursing until she dozed off.  But the worse is, even if she's already in a sound sleep I still noticed that she didn't stop sucking as if treating my nipple as a pacifier. It was wearisome and painful (physically) on my part.

3. She often bites my nipples.

My initial reaction after she accidentally or intentionally bit my nipples is pinch her or tightly hold her mouth until she releases the bite. (Baka ma 163 ako..) It was due to out of self-control because it really did hurt.

4.  Asking for my milk anytime at night that interrupts my sleep.

During the first year of babyhood, where a baby relies independently from the nutrition present in the breast milk , and where a growing baby breastfeeds from time to time, you will be really deprived from sleep which is still acceptable.

But by the time my child started taking solid foods already, she would still wake up at night looking for my breast like a blind and saying "tutu" (breast). If not attended to immediately, chances are, she'd  roll over, kick like a ninja, and whine like a cat. But since I am a voracious sleeper, I can't avoid but get irritated easily when I am distracted amid sleep hours.


The illustration above made me laugh. Yes it really did. Of course, I don't want that to happen where my child's snack at school will be a glass of breast milk. haha.

Ok. After contemplating, I finally decided to put an end to breastfeeding. Three years has been already a long journey for us. That's enough.

So the weaning strategy I used has worked pretty well in less than a week. Yes, I slightly force it, and it was not child-led. But I assure you it was less dramatic.

Since my child has aversion of sour, I thought of rubbing a lemon (sliced), around my nipple. There was, at first,  a sort of crying and fussiness for days, but she didn't pursue or attempt nursing anymore. Though there was, at times, pulling of shirt just to see or hold my breast , but up to that point only. The only negative side of it is she's staying up late at night, wanting to play and wrestle with us. Another is she jumps in the bed, imitating the actions seen in "Five Monkeys Jumping in the Bed". Unlike before, breastfeeding is used to be like her sleeping pill. But over-all, I found weaning successful. At long last!

Any thoughts about weaning? Feel free to drop your comments below.

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