Thursday, July 31, 2014

INC Musical Play

On July 29th, 2 days after the special worship service in Ciudad de Victoria, my family and I found ourselves inside the Philippine Arena once again, but this time to witness the INC Musical Play.

It was raining in Rizal when we left at around 2pm, so we didn't expect that the Philippine Arena would once again be filled to capacity. Well, we were so wrong. By the time we arrived at around 4pm, the roads inside Ciudad de Victoria were already full of vehicles trying to find parking space. Haha! The Memet and I had to circle around for more than 30 minutes just to find a parking slot that wasn't too far from the Arena.

After finally securing a parking space, we had to brave the long lines in order to enter the Philippine Arena. Once inside, we immediately found our seats and waited for the show to begin.

The INC Musical Play featured the history of the church, which was a wonder to behold. As we watched how the church began, we couldn't help but feel truly blessed for where the church is right now.

It was a huge production with thousands of performers, stage crew, an orchestra, a large choir, and so much more. I can only imagine the effort that was put into the musical play in order for the thousands of brethren to enjoy it during the centennial celebration.

Can I also just say that it was really good? I found myself crying, smiling, and cheering at different points during the play. Hehehe!

The closing number was also very spectacular. The crowd was cheering, and I imagine that it gave the performers an increased adrenaline rush. I looked around and everyone was smiling, even laughing while they waved their little INC flags and cheered for the performers. The mood inside the arena was celebratory which was exactly fitting for the celebration of the church's centennial year. I felt the happiness right through to my bones. Haha!

Even though I will not be able to watch Ang Sugo, a stage play to be shown on July 31st inside the Philippine Arena, I feel truly blessed to have been able to witness the inauguration of Ciudad de Victoria last July 21st, the Pyromusical Display & the Special Worship Service on July 27th, and the Musical Play on July 29th. 3 out of the 4 major centennial activities is not bad, not bad at all. :)

Thank you, Lord God, for the blessings and may You continue to shower more blessings unto Your church. To my fellow INC members, once again, Happy Centennial year! :)

(Black Lace Dress from Maldita; Dove Grey Jacket from Biba; Black Wedges from Montego Bay Club for Payless; Dark Silver Bag from The Memet Shop; Black Faced Gold Watch from Casio)

Iglesia Ni Cristo Centennial Celebration

We were on the road, bound for Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan as early as 7:30, morning of July 26th. We dropped by my sister in law's house in QC to pick up a few things and were in Ciudad de Victoria before 9am. And boy, were we glad we left early. Traffic started to build up a few hours later, but we weren't really surprised, because we were all expecting more than 1 million members of the INC to arrive as early as July 26th in preparation for our 100th year anniversary celebration on July 27th.

After securing our belongings and our vehicle, we immediately went for a quick tour around Philippine Arena, taking advantage of the views while the area wasn't jam-packed yet.

From morning till evening, we did nothing but eat, nap, play games, and what not. Haha! The next highlight was the pyro-musical / fireworks display, which we didn't expect to start until 12mn. It actually started a bit earlier than expected, so we didn't get to position ourselves in front of the Arena (we ended up somewhere to the side, near the back).

I got a few photos, but the lot of them wouldn't do justice to the grandeur of the fireworks display, so here's one that I got off of Google Images:

Image Courtesy of
After the fireworks display (around 12:30am), the event management group opened the gates to the Philippine Arena and started to let brethren in, in preparation for the 7am special worship service. The Memet and I didn't get in until around 3am because we had to take a quick shower and change into our Sunday dresses first.

The worship service was very solemn despite the sheer number of the attendees that morning. I can't explain exactly what it feels like to attend a worship service that is officiated by Brother Eduardo V. Manalo himself, because the whole experience is beyond words.

In the other "regular" worship services in the INC, you can always feel God's presence. I don't know how to explain it, but you just do. On the morning of July 27th, however, I felt that it was greatly amplified. Everyone in attendance, regardless of where the brethren were, felt His power and love. So despite the fact that many of us lacked sleep and were extremely tired, we all felt blessed and uplifted by the time the special worship service was done.

After the special worship service, we were all given a break (1.5 hours) before the Oratorio was set to begin.

An Oratorio is like an opera, but is composed of an orchestra, a choir, and soloists. The production number was magnificent, but The Memet and I weren't able to stay for the entire duration of the Oratorio, because we were really tired and sleepy. Hehe! So we left halfway through the program and I ended up kicking myself that afternoon when I remembered that the awarding for the new Guinness World Record that we set was to take place after the Oratorio.

Since we can't turn back time for me to witness the actual awards ceremony, here's an image that shows the world records that the INC has set so far:

What can I say? I'm just proud. Hehe! I'm proud that I'm a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo... A church that came from humble beginnings, but through God's love and compassion, has grown exponentially and is still continuing to grow across the globe.

I'm also proud to be a Filipino, because I believe that all these world records and the Ciudad de Victoria complex are something that we as a nation should be proud of. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Philippine Arena Inauguration

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I'd be able to attend the inauguration of the Philippine Arena, a humongous structure which currently holds the title for being the largest domed indoor arena in the world. The Memet and I were already resigned to the fact that we'd just watch the inauguration on TV. Thank goodness for live streaming. But at around 9pm the night before the inauguration, we received a call from my sister in law's husband. We were going to the inauguration!

We were set to leave at 2am (July 21st), but we got so lost in the excitement (and trying to decide what to wear) that lights out didn't happen until around midnight. We hardly got any sleep at all. Haha!

The Philippine Arena and its surrounding structures in Ciudad de Victoria (City of Victory) are not 100% completed yet. Construction is still ongoing for some of the other structures, while finishing touches are still being done to the Arena, as well as the neighbouring Philippine Stadium. Given that, nothing can take away from its grandeur.

Here are some of the photos that I was able to take from inside the Arena.

The Philippine Arena is said to be able to seat 55,000 people. It's that big. I know several of my friends were able to attend the inauguration as well, but I only saw the ones who were situated as receptionists or event managers at the lobby. The other handful, I did not see at all due to the sheer size of the Arena.

Just look at the background in these two photos below. The people at the topmost seats are like little specks. If not for the two gigantic screens inside the Arena, they're highly unlikely to see what's going on during the program.

A few minutes before 8am, the Iglesia Ni Cristo's Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo arrived at the site's marker. Philippine President Benigno Aquino and his entourage arrived shortly after. The inauguration and unveiling of the marker itself started at 8am and was followed by a short program. The whole thing was done by 9:30am, but we didn't leave the complex until around 11:30am. We had some mingling and picture-taking to do. Haha!

When we were finally able to leave the complex (which proved to be a difficult task if you're not familiar with the site's layout), we headed to UP Technohub in Commonwealth for some much needed food. We were tired, sleepy, and famished. The adrenaline had finally worn off. So, we didn't have any pictures taken during our short and late lunch break at Seafood Island. We all looked haggard. Hahaha!

I was, however, able to steal a photo with my sister in law after we've recharged a bit.

(Black Dress from Sesura; Brick Red Bag from The Memet Shop; and Shades from Onymous)

Sorry for my incomplete OOTD photo (shoes not shown in the shot). The Memet was the one who took our photo and after several tries, this one was the best that we could do. We were just too tired. Haha! I was wearing black wedge sandals from Payless. I'll wear it some other time for another OOTD photo. :p

We got home around 3pm and had no choice but to hit the sack. I can only imagine how tired all the other folks were. We were lucky enough to have been given a pass to travel to the inauguration in our own vehicle. The others had to go by bus. And with the sheer volume of the attendees, waiting for their bus to pick them up at their designated bays would have taken a while.

I cannot fathom what it's going to be like on the actual Centennial Celebration this coming July 27. The number of attendees will most likely be more than thrice the attendees of the inauguration. Let's just wait and see. :)

P.S. All photos in this post were taken either by my ancient iPhone 4 or The Memet's iPhone 5S. I didn't bring my DSLR because I wasn't sure if it was allowed. Hehe!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Colourful Kiddie Party at McDonald's

I'm not a big party animal. Never was. I'm rather uncomfortable in bars, pubs, and loud, noisy parties with lots of dancing and booze. I mean, not that I'm against that kind of partying. It's just that it's not my kind of thing.

Believe it or not, I'm happier at kiddie parties. Hahaha! There's so much colour, and the smiling kids are so much fun to watch.

A niece of mine (My first ever niece from my cousins - father's side) recently had her 6th birthday party at a McDonald's branch near our place. Oh, and by recent, I mean February of this year. LOL!

Here are some photos from the said party. I just wanted to share it because the colours are so happy, which is in complete contrast to today's weather - dull and dreary.

I love this cupcake tower! It's so pretty to look at. And the cupcakes are delish too! I got to take home four of these babies. Haha!

It was a very intimate party with only a handful of guests. Most of them were relatives and from Mimzy's school.

It wasn't just the kids who enjoyed the games. The adults gamely participated too, and made the kids laugh - a lot!

There's my cousin, the stage daddy. Hehehe!

The kids loved the mascot. And so did the adults!

And, oh! Imagine that... I actually have a photo with the birthday girl. Hehehe!

This one's my favourite out of the entire lot of photos. Just look at daddy and his little girl... All smiles!

Kiddie parties are so much fun because kids are usually pretty easy to please. The party doesn't always have to be extravagant. What's important is that their favourite cartoon characters or mascots are featured in the party and that their close friends are there. They don't have the time to be pretentious - yet. Life is so much less complicated for kids, eh?

I can't wait to plan a kiddie party in our back yard! Soon, I hope. :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Apartment 8 Love

Confession: I don't really like revealing where I get my clothes. Ever happened to step into a room / venue / wherever and come face to face with another girl wearing the exact same dress? Yeah. That's what I've been trying to avoid all this time. Haha!

With that said, you can probably tell that I'm no fashion blogger. And true enough, I'm not. It'd be fun to be one though. But the thing is, I don't exactly know how to pose or take fun pictures of myself, by myself. Oh well. Hahaha!

This post is going to be one of the few exceptions though. I love Apartment 8 so much that I'm going to share them with you all. No, this is not a giveaway. I'm just going to share 3 of my Apartment 8 dresses with you. I think I have 4, but I haven't worn the other one yet.

The first two dresses below (mint green & coral), I wore to the last two weddings that I recently attended.

I almost panicked when I went through my camera after I got home from this wedding, because I only found this picture of me with my mom, wearing my Apartment 8 dress. As you can see, I'm sitting down in the photo above and you can hardly appreciate the dress. I was super relieved when my sister in law sent the following two photos to me a few days after the wedding. Hehe!

Terno with the niece. (Ugh, awkward pose. Haha!)

(Mint Green Sunscreen Dress by Apartment 8; Chunky Platform Heels by Primadonna; Slim Gold Belt by SM Accessories; Gold Studded Watch by XOXO)

I don't have any solo photos from the wedding below, but The Memet and I did have some fun having our photos taken by a friend while being photobombed by our other friends. Hahaha!

(Coral Tamara Dress by Apartment 8; Gold & Light Brown Wedge by Montego Bay Club for Payless; Gold Studded Watch by XOXO)

Now, the third Apartment 8 dress below was one that I wore to dinner with The Memet last week while we were in Boracay. I've had the said dress for almost a year, but never had a chance to wear it, so I brought it with me when we went on our trip. Actually, I almost forgot to pack it... Hahaha! Getting old. (Will blog about our Boracay trip soon.)

(Pink Jasmine Dress by Apartment 8; Fedora from a random stall in D'Mall)

So there you have it! What do you think? Should I blog about this sort of thing more often? I can't promise you great photos though. I prefer taking pictures of things, places, food, and other people... I don't really like taking pictures of myself. Hahaha!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Red Carpet Wedding

I went through the photo albums here on my laptop and I was a bit surprised to notice that I attend quite a number of weddings every year. I'm not complaining, because like I mentioned in a previous blog post, I like dressing up. It's just that... I feel like I'm getting old. I mean, gone are the days when all that I'm attending are 18th Birthdays / Debuts. Now, it's all about weddings and baby showers. Haha!

Oh well. :p

Last December, I attended another wedding. The theme on this one was Hollywood / Red Carpet. Now, this couple isn't another high school or college friend. They're a much younger couple, my friends from church. They call me Ate D / Mommy D. Yes, I feel quite old. Haha!

Why don't we just move on to the pictures? I have limited photos from the church, but I was able to take a lot at the reception. The venue looked wonderful, and it did look like an awards night, complete with a red carpet!

I got an Early Bird Award, and even the prize was very apt for the theme. T'was a cute birdie trophy! Haha!

And here are some photos of the newlyweds. I was sort of on paparazzi mode that night. Hahaha!

I love the photo below. It would've been perfect had their official photographer not shown up out of nowhere and blocked Mem & Ona. LOL.

The Memet wasn't able to attend this wedding, because he was busy at work and couldn't take a vacation leave (as usual). So I attended the wedding with my mom & my ninang (godmother) - both of whom looked utterly stunning that night - and my other "younger" group of friends who showed up really, really late. 

I love photographing weddings, but the drawback is that at the end of the day, I usually don't have any photos of myself. I think my Ninang Cora took pity on me after the wedding ceremony, because she insisted on taking the photo below:

I usually use my Nikon D40 (yes, my DSLR is a bit ancient, but I love it) whenever I travel or attend events, so hardly anyone offers to take my photos using my camera, unless I'm with friends who know how to use a DSLR. Well, some people do offer, but the photos always come out blurred. So I was really happy to find this one pretty clear. My ninang's got steady hands! Hehe!

Oh, and a little tip before I end this post: When attending garden weddings / receptions, bring a pair of flip flops or bejeweled sandals with you. Or you can wear wedges. DO NOT wear stilettos. Your heels are going to end up sinking into the soil. Haha!

I wore stilettos to the wedding ceremony then switched to flip flops when we got to the reception. Hehehe!

Outfit Details (Again, just in case anyone asks. Haha!):

Dress - Paper Dolls
Shoes - Twinky
Lipstick - Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red (01)


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