Top Honeymoon Destinations near Metro Manila

One of the amazing gift of marriage is to spend your life with the person you love the most. I myself look forward to this date. For the eight years++ of being in a relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend, we’ve tried to reserve ourselves for the right time and we’ve looked forward to a church wedding. We are not perfect couple and just like the other couples we argue, make mistakes, tested through thick and thin and remained firmed against the odds. That’s why we wanted something extra for our honeymoon, however, since it was pandemic, we opted to choose a place away from the city. And the first thought of is something more of nature. But hey, this blog is not about my relationship, hahaha pardon for that long introduction.

Going back to our honeymoon suggestion if you are in the Philippines, and you love nature and like to refresh yourself in a sanctuary just few hours away from Metro Manila, here are my suggestions for you.

  1. Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa. This place is also nice for nature feels staycation, you will surely love the place being refreshing, known for its spa treatments and relaxing facilities. Have visited this place on April 2017, and we are truly attracted with beauty of the place, it has various amenities . The place is located in mountain resort in Antipolo with breathtaking views of Manila skyline and Laguna Lake, you will be recharged with the peaceful oasis with nothing but your relaxation in mind and body. It has pool, jacuzzi, sauna bath, spa, movie lounge, locker room for your belongings etc. you can view more of its amenities through their website, https://luljettas.com/ . This comes to my mind as I wanted to try their accommodation, way back 2017, we only have the chance to avail the spa services with free welcome snacks hahaha. ๐Ÿ˜€ However, we were not able to book due to short notice and the place is already fully-booked. For sure, the place is more beautiful these days than 2017.
This was still 2017, I wonder how much it improved this year??
Felt that it is so refreshing in here:)

2. The Greenery. This was the venue of our summer outing and team building in my previous employer. I love the place, very clean and relaxing, and with a lovely infinity pool. That time I said to myself I would love to go back the back with my love ones. The place is located in The Greenery # 80 San Juan St., Rio Vista Subdivision Sabang, Baliwag, Bulacan, 3006, Philippines. However, we were not able to push through this place because of transportation concerns. We find it hard to book for a grab car towards the place, “it’s a no-car problem thing”, maybe if you have your own car to transport you to the place it would be an advantage. To more details through their website, http://thegreenery.ph/

The Greenery โค
Look at this infinity pool, wanna swim?? Wow!

3. San Rafael River Adventure. Personally, I never have gone to this place but the reviews and pictures in their website tell it all. The place is very refreshing, and ideal for a honeymoon. I have tried to reach their reservations several times but have failed several times too, they have their facebook and messenger were we can reach for booking. We were replied late on our inquiry, the attendant told us that they are also having hard time to attend to a number of customers. Maybe it’s also my fault as I only inquired a week before our scheduled honeymoon. The time the customer service had attended my inquiry it was already fully-booked. Maybe the place is not really for us as of now ๐Ÿ™‚ This is their website, for sure we will be delighted to see and visit the place to see it for yourself; http://sanrafaelriveradventure.com/

Photo not mine, grabbed it from the their website. I am eyeing to book this tree house in San Rafael, maybe next time ๐Ÿ™‚ โค
Amazing tree house โค

4. The Cabin Resorts. This is one of the place that we are also eyeing to see, this is located in San Miguel Bulacan. As their page suggest, this place is an ultimate escape near the metro. Their goal is to provide our guest with the most peaceful escape without traveling too far. I think I just knew the place after various searches over the net. I just wanted those place that are not far from our place. We have a second thought when we knew that the place is a bit pricey. Note that we are also on a budget so we take hold on this and keep on searching for other options. By the way, you can see more of this place through this website; https://www.thecabinresortsph.com/

Wow to this cabin, photo not mine grabbed it from their website ๐Ÿ™‚
What a wonderful sunset at the cabin, omg! Wish to experience this, photo not mine ๐Ÿ™‚

5. Thunderbird Resorts and Casinos. Finally after several searches over the net, we’ve found a great deal from Thunderbird Resorts and Casinos. I am overjoyed when I found-out that they are on promo. Imagine they are offering a three-days and two-nights accommodation with food and amenities in one. That was a perfect deal for us, the price was for me very worth it for what the place has offered both of us. Me and my husband wanted something relaxing, cozy with panoramic sight of nature, a place that is not far away from the city of Metro Manila and of course within our budget. ๐Ÿ˜€ Viola! The place is what we were looking for, immediately I texted the reservation numbers in their website and got a confirmation call afterwards, then we proceed to payment. There was also a bonus that my sister and her husband treated us for our honeymoon. So we’ve able to save portion of our budget for other expenses. We were able to avail their “Haven” promo. Thunderbird offers the best amenities not only for relaxation but also for those who love to go and try their luck in the casino. The food is awesome, the pool is spacious and very clean, the rooms are well-maintained, the overall place is wonderful. I would always love to go back to the place with the whole family. See more of their services and promos through their website: https://www.thunderbird-asia.com. This luxury integrated resort is tucked in a serene place in in Eastridge Avenue Binangonan Rizal, a first-class municipality, and surrounded by lush greenery and panoramas of the Manila skyline and Laguna de Bay.

Wow to this place, take me back โค Love this place a lot.
My better half, Iloveyousomuch! โค
Sorry for my short legs, that’s my hubby in the pool sort of figuring out how to float in the water hahahaha ๐Ÿ˜€

I know, you would love to spend your staycation, honeymoon or weekend gate-away to refreshing and relaxing place. I hope my suggestions above will give you some ideas on your next gate-away. Personally, I would love to explore more of the wonderful places that are hours away from the metro. There are so much more exciting and wonderful places to see and visit. May I know what are your suggestions?

Wishing an amazing and fun-filled gate-away ahead of you,

Mrs. Mira Ducusin โค

Top 5 Challenges in a DIY Wedding Preparations

Hi there!

I know wedding preparation is a hard thing, and is also time consuming. This is the reason why some bride and grooms choose to have wedding coordinators, but usually costs a bit pricey.

This is the reason why a bride/groom switch to a DIY wedding preparations, however, there are challenges that are usually experienced in a do it yourself (DIY) wedding preparations.

  1. Disagreements on preferences/taste. In a wedding preparation, there will always be differences in preferences and taste between the bride and the groom. Usually a wedding will consider its themes and motif, and in this aspect, there are differences already. Usually the bride would love something romantic and majestic wedding set-up but the groom may prefer to have a simple celebration or vice versa. It varies from person to person, in my case have also experienced this challenge. Our DIY wedding preparation was not an exempt to this one but we managed to surpass this concern. One of the ways to overcome this challenge is to brainstorm with each other on the ideas on hand and if these ideas are SMART and feasible. Remember in the preparation, you should have each other those differences in preferences should be resolved in the onset of the planning. It is also important to consider each others side on why one had come-up to a certain preference. The most important thing is understanding each other as you come-up with a final preferences in each aspect of the wedding planning.
  2. Budget constraints. Budget is truly one of the most answered reasons why challenges arise in a DIY wedding planning. I think not only in a DIY planning but also if you tend to hire a wedding coordinator. It is one of the factors needed to be properly taken into consideration, the budget. Based on personal experience, the most effective way to manage budgeting properly is to have them itemized through a detailed computation through an excel file via computer or documented through a notebook. I would recommend that along the process you will revisit, update and track the progress that you have put into your budgeting aspect. Would love to share our budgeting excel template that helped me and my husband in consideration of our budgeting. We started listing all the particulars that we need to set-up, those were specified accordingly, followed by an allocated budget that is feasible for the particular, then we track how much is the actual cost of that particular, then the last column is the evaluation of cost or savings. From there, you can assess how your budget is doing. You can also adjust from time-to-time those negotiable items vs those non-negotiable ones.
  3. Lack of time management. Time is a factor for any planning and even into its execution. Time management is always the key. Thus, if you lack proper time management even if you got the budget, we will still encountered challenges and pitfalls. It is important not only to consider the budget but also to put a time frame in the execution of those lists in your budgeting. For example, the time frame that you will have your wedding gown be fitted, the purchase of your wedding essentials, the reservation of your wedding reception etc. I still remember in our DIY wedding preparations, my fiance has to stay late in the house just to catch-up with brainstorming and updating, in our case we have to do the planning seriously as we have limited time and have some restrictions due to the pandemic. Time management will measure your ability to weigh the things that should be prioritized and those you can let go. I would also like to add that you should not be complacent while doing your wedding planning, I know you got your Plan A, but you should reserve extra plans on plan b and c for any contingencies.
  4. Non-cooperation of the groom or bride. This one may sound crazy but this is also one of the challenges encountered during a wedding planning. The usual scenario is the groom leaves the decision-making to the bride, or vice versa, however at the end of the execution the other partner will argue on why the choices were like that, like this. It’s very disappointing that arguments happen after all the works were done by the executing partner. This is why it is very important to collaborate with each other on every ideas that each want to put in place in the wedding planning.
  5. Unorganized planning. Organization is a vital role in every planning, like how a movie is made it should start with the organization of the main casts–in a wedding planning the main casts are the bride and groom, and they themselves should be expected to have organized themselves first– their thoughts, actions down to the execution. The planning is the pavement towards the success of every DIY wedding planning. You call it DIY as you do-it-yourself, and you must expect yourself to be present all through it.

Above all, every wedding planning has its pitfalls and downfalls, you just have to carry-on and know that the wedding is just a secondary thing, once a challenge is experienced go back to your primary thing on why in the first place there is a wedding? The primary should be the love that you have for each other, it should outweighs any pitfall, both the bride and the groom should be the each others best ally, and each others support system.

To all soon to be wed bride and groom, I wish you all the best, you can do it! Cheers for a meaningful marriage life ahead!

Hi, this one is our simple reception background, we love to have it customized with our nicknames-Chard and Mira. Do you like the letter cuts too? We got it from the facebook marketplace, you can search all across facebook for your choice but in case you want to get our supplier, you can contact Ms. Maica Angelique Alcantara, here’s her facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/aica.marquez.3

With love and care,

Mrs. Mira Ducusin

Best Place for An Intimate Engagement Proposal

Hi there!

Until now I still cannot contain the happiness that I have that day when my boyfriend for 8 wonderful years proposed to me. That’s an every girls dream– to be married to the man of our dreams. It’s extremely satisfying that moment when he said MARRY ME! Actually he doesn’t asked a question, he just raised a statement saying MARRY ME. It was not as expected as it could be as we are in the midst of pandemic and trying times.

But love will always find its way for us to celebrate this engagement proposal. By the way, let me give you some details of momentous event in our relationship.

It was September 13, 2020, Sunday morning; 2 days before my birthday. Yes September 15 is my 29th birthday. We are in a lockdown that time, but my future-husband had requested me to be with them to have a family dinner that Sunday morning. I wouldn’t be surprised because September 12, is also the birthday of his brother. So all I thought it would be a double celebration over food and chats.

He booked our breakfast in Kaulayaw Coffee somewhere in Antipolo, it’s a wonderful place with a very relaxing ambiance ideal for family gatherings and special events. The place has also an overlooking spot where you can enjoy and refresh in a scenic spot of Antipolo, it’s like having a breakfast in the sky :). I also love the food (I think more of Filipino foods) you can order coffee or shakes at your choice. I cannot remember all the food that we had, I think it’s because I am more excited and filled with the happiness of the engagement proposal.

Part of me was really skeptic on why it seems that there’s something special that day. He requested for his best friend to drive us and use their car. My mother was there, and the wife of his best friend who is also our circle of friends. That time I am wondering why their other friends are not around so I keep on asking, I hope he invited them so that we can have a breakfast together. Without knowing that the other friends are in the restaurant already waiting for us and are preparing a little surprise.

By the way, the proposal was a bit epic. Hahahaha. My boyfriend’s friends are preparing for something surprising, some balloons, and other props were prepared.

However, knowing my boyfriend to be a truly shy type person, and a camera shy; without an element of surprise he directly give to me the flowers and said Marry Me ๐Ÿ˜€ hahahhaha

His friends were really laughing after all that what they’ve planned has not succeeded. This simple proposal made me cry and made me laugh at the same time. I can see that his friends are still holding the “Will you Marry Me” banner with a little choreography but those were not executed as planned.

We all laughed after all, that was a happy engagement indeed!

My boyfriend already my fiancรฉ that time told me that he don’t want it to be entertaining, he just want it to be true and sincere. โค โค โค

That day started our planning towards our wedding day. I will keep you posted what happens next ๐Ÿ™‚

By the way, we are always thankful for the support, care and love that our circle of friends have for us. They are truly for keeps. They’re more than family. Me and Richard love you so much guys. Mwaa.

This is the breakfast view, behind our back ๐Ÿ™‚ love it. @KaulayawCoffee
Wearing our couple ring and our engagement ring.
Photo not mine, grabbed it from google. This is Kaulayaw Coffee shop, this place is truly amazing.
Photo not mine, truly love the place, location: Kaulayaw Coffee Lower Antipolo
Hey, my hubby got this ring from @P.Zuniga Jewellery, they offer quality and authentic masterpieces. The jewelry store is located at Meycauayan Bulacan. ๐Ÿ™‚

Top 10 wedding essentials for bride and groom

Hi there!

My fiancรฉ proposed for an engagement proposal on 13th of September, 2020. If you’re gonna check my blog on “Best Place for An Intimate Engagement Proposal” you will know our story ๐Ÿ™‚

But hey, this is not about me hahaha:). This is now about your wedding preparation as I’ve done through it all. We have only 4 months to prepare our wedding, just to let you know it was a pandemic wedding. Philippines, is one of the countries that is hit so hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and up to this writing- April 17, 2021 we are still in an enhanced community quarantine (well I will let you know soon what’s with this set-up). For now let me share to you how we made our DIY wedding preparation into success. So we are talking here of the top 10 wedding essentials, so as a previous bride, these are my picks:
1. YOU, Yourself. Yes you got it, you being the bride/groom play the most important part of this event. Asked yourself how ready are you to settle from a your singlehood to a marriage life. Of course, marriage life is a milestone, this is not a JOKE. Evaluate your readiness towards this milestone. I know its feels very overwhelming to be that the person of your dreams, it just have to take its proper timing. The aspects of your readiness involve–physical, mental, financial, social and even spiritual aspect. We all want to have a marriage life that is happy and successful, and we deserved that, thus, before engaging and saying YES to a man or proposing to your woman, be sure that you are ready for it, 100%.

2. BUDGET. You need to consider your budget, this is your fuel to start you wedding preparation. As you evaluate your budget for this, you will be able to plan which wedding type would you prefer– would it be a church wedding, beach wedding, garden wedding, a civil wedding or whichever you like this will fall on your budget consideration. Here in the Philippines, a usual wedding will cost you around 50k-100k, but if you like to upgrade your preferences that will cost or more.

3. WEDDING CEREMONY VENUE. I would consider this as part of the top 3 since the wedding venue really matters, this is where you will evaluate where are you going to conduct your wedding preparations, and after the wedding ceremony, where are you going to hold your wedding reception? One more thing, you can also assess how accessible is the place for your guests. From there you can decide if the wedding venue is best fit for your wedding day.

4. WEDDING REQUIREMENTS. Prior to your big day is a process of complying to the wedding requirements. Usually the wedding requirements between a civil wedding ceremony and church wedding ceremony has almost the same, but church wedding ceremony usually have more requirements than civil wedding. First you will have to process your Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) which you can request from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which costs 210 per copy last 2020. Next to it, we also have to process our marriage license in the City Hall, but prior to marriage license issuance, one should have undergone some seminars on family planning and counselling. In our case as we preferred to have our church wedding, there were needed requirements like Baptismal Certificate, Confirmation Certificate, Pre-cana seminars and wedding banns.

5. GROOM & BRIDE’S ATTIRE. Every bride or groom has different preferences on how they like to dress-up during their wedding. In my own experience, I borrowed my wedding gown from my sister in law. She have her own wedding gown during their wedding, and we have the same fit that’s why I’ve managed to recycle and reuse her wedding gown, it is still good as new. You can also rent your wedding dress if you like to. There are lots of available  gowns and suit for rent, one of the recommendations that I can attest to its affordability and quality is Gardini Fashion Center, however they offer most of the essentials for the groom, you can visit their facebook page through this link https://www.facebook.com/Gardini-Fashion-Center-166025710081467/. It offers variety of coat, tuxedo, barong etc. they will provide according to your taste. For the wedding gowns, there are lots of available gowns that you can purchase brand new in Divisoria-Tabora Market with a very affordable prices.

6. BOUQUET AND BOUTONNIERE. Bouquet and boutonnieres also add colors to a wedding, especially when blended on the themes & motif of your wedding. But these should not be too costly as these can be a do-it-yourself thing. Here in the Philippines, we have varieties of flowers available for sale in bundles or piece in Dangwa, somewhere in main the Manila City. Lots of sellers are offering fresh flowers, flower arrangement — bouquet and boutonniere in a very affordable prices without compromising the quality of the flowers. One of my recommendation is the seller Ate Gene Managuit. She has a stall in Dangwa, you can also coordinate with her through her facebook page @Gene Managuit. For sure Ate Gene will be really happy and welcoming to deal with you.

7. WEDDING ACCESSORIES. Accessories are also must haves in a wedding ceremony, especially if you preferred to have a church wedding there are essential accessories that you will have to prepare. In a Catholic church wedding, these essentials include veil, arras, bible, candle, chord, ring & arras holder. I think this varies from the type of ceremony. For the wedding essentials, I am recommending the crafts of Ejeksy’s creations

They cater all bridal accessories, center piece, bouquets, wristets, bridal hoops, flower girl baskets and corsages, etc. 

9. INVITATION & SOUVENIRS. Invitation maybe not a necessity for other but still a necessity for me. This serves as an official reminder for your big day, that your guests may save the date of your wedding day. One way to upgrade a wedding invitation is by making it digital form or a form of save the date video which you can send easily through social media accounts.  Souvenirs on the other hand should be noted as your sponsors and guests would love to receive a souvenir/token for them to be reminded being part of your special event. 

10. WEDDING RING. Of course the ring, how can we forget this. Your wedding ring is a symbol of love, honor, glory and beauty that lets everyone know you are taken by man in a sacred sacrament of matrimony. As you vow your “I DO”, in sickness and in health, ’til death do us part—it follows you wear the RING into your ring finger. 

For me these are my top 10 picks, how about you? Let me know your thoughts, I would also love to know some topics that you want me to share with you.

Keep in touch with love and blessings,

Mrs. Mira Ducusin โค

Our Wedding ceremony venue at National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Marulas Valenzuela City.
Love our wedding invitation, thanks to @The Lucky Cat PH, to Ms. Belle Casin.
My wedding dress and bouquet ๐Ÿ™‚

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