Bistek and Cess 2.0

We celebrated our second wedding anniversary last December 28, 2015. I write this post, more than a week late, because we have been so busy these past few days with the usual holiday shenanigans. When Bistek and I woke up on the morning of the 28th, his first words to me were, “Happy anniversary, Hun.” And I uttered to him, “Shucks, two years na pala tayo! At eto, may baby na sa gitna natin!” Then Kobe gave us his “kilig” smile that he always bestows on us the moment he sees us every morning. 🙂

Bistek and I have gone very, very far since we first met waaaaaay back in high school. Yes, we met during the “interaction” of our classes from two exclusive schools back in the 90s. Our closest friends are familiar with our love story, and it warrants a different post altogether. But here I just want to recount the events on our wedding day, which took place on December 28, 2013.

We got married twice that day – our official (contractual) ceremony was in St. John Bosco Chapel in Makati the morning of the 28th with our family, and our celebratory (grand) ceremony was held at the chapel in Tuloy Sa Don Bosco in Alabang in the afternoon. We had to do this since contractual ceremonies are not allowed at Tuloy Sa Don Bosco since their chapel is not a parish church. We fell in love with their chapel the first time we saw it in 2009, and we vowed that we will get married there no matter what.

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Chapel of the Forgiving Lord inside the Tuloy Sa Don Bosco compound in Alabang. Beautiful!!

We had our wedding preparations at Vivere Suites. This is where we had our first date back in ’04, at the roof top restaurant. I remember having a glass of red wine on the eve of our wedding day, with my two bridesmaids Rain and Mara, to calm my nerves since I was so elated that I could not sleep! We all had to wake up early so we can be in Makati before 8:00 am for our wedding ceremony with our immediate family. I put on a simple white dress and off we went to get married. The ceremony was so intimate, and very memorable. There were less than ten people present there. Our friend, Fr. GC Carandang officiated the wedding, and his homily was so touching that we all cried. Events from that morning until the moment I was about to enter the chapel in Tuloy Sa Don Bosco were a blur (since we were running late). I just remember taking deep breaths seconds before they opened the door for my entrance.

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Posing by Vivere’s winding staircase and pretty Christmas tree
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Take a deep breath, Cess! Here we go…
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The chapel was beautifully decorated for the Christmas season. One of the reasons we decided to get married in December!

The chapel was filled with our family and friends, who came to celebrate our love with us. As I was walking down the aisle, cameras were flashing, and I was taking deep breaths all the while looking at my husband, who stood frozen by the altar with an awkward smile. Fr. GC officiated that ceremony as well, and he gave a different homily, though it was equally touching and memorable as the one he gave that morning. Bistek and I laughed and cried (I mostly laughed, and he mostly cried) as we read our personally-written vows; and I remember thinking that we both chose to begin our vows the same way, by recalling moments from our past in high school, where we first met.

5 inside chapel
I love the ceiling detail of the chapel, and the statue of the Pieta on the altar.
6 with fr gc
Fr. GC during his homily. There was an impromptu Q&A portion for the bride and groom.

We had our reception at The Palms Country Club, also in Alabang. We started our celebration around 6:00 pm for cocktails and ended at around 1:00 am! We had so much fun with all our guests, and I remember our friends kept telling us how yummy all the food was, and how they had such a blast at our wedding. I was so honored that my ASAP Sessionista friends all agreed to sing for us at our wedding, so I had my band arrange a (20-minute!) medley of 7 songs “Sessionista-style” to entertain our guests. And Bistek (who loves music as much as I do) surprised me with 3 song numbers with his own band, and one of those songs was a song he wrote for me for our wedding day. So my rockstar husband upstaged me that night, much to everyone’s delight! 🙂 After the program, my band stayed onstage to play rockeoke for all our guests, so many of our friends stayed until after midnight to celebrate. I remember changing to flat sandals so I can move around easier and mingle with all our guests.

7 the palms
At the lobby of The Palms Country Club. I loved their giant ginger bread house!
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For our grand entrance, Bistek and I sang “Come What May” live. And yes, he chose that song (from Moulin Rouge).
9 rockstar
Then he surprised me with a song number with his “band” composed of his close friends who know how to play instruments haha (halo-halo sila). He also performed a song he wrote for me entitled “Ang Ating Pag-Ibig” which he played towards the end of the program.
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We were so happy and “kilig” while the Sessionistas were singing our favorite love songs for us 🙂
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My friends, the ASAP Sessionistas – Duncan, Nyoy, Aiza, Kean, Richard, Juris and Sitti 🙂
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Siyempre kailangan may “wacky” shot, hehe 🙂

We had a rocking-great time at our wedding, and it is by far the most memorable night of my life. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to eat all the food that our friends were raving about! 🙂

This is the first time I wrote about our wedding, and albeit it is two years late, I want to say thank you once again to everyone who made that day perfect! Many of you know that getting married nowadays is like staging a major production event, so I am very thankful that all our suppliers were very professional, but very accommodating to our personal preferences (and budget limitations!).

Here are more pics from our wedding. Credits to Niceprint Photography, our official wedding photographer and videographer. 🙂

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I loved my beautiful wedding gown, I felt like a real princess in it! Made by Cheena Ng-Lio of Amour Couture
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Love the beadwork!
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Beautiful shot by Niceprint 🙂
16 bouquet
I told Teddy Manuel that I want classic red roses for my bouquet. He personalized it with “musical” charms 🙂 I was very happy with how it turned out!
17 bistek
The dashing groom with signature “smirk.” Tux by Nat Manilag.
18 cake by fernandos
Classic and elegant (and super delicious!) cake by Fernando’s Bakery. It is decorated with real red roses and all four layers were edible, yum!
19 stage setup
Our stage set up – I asked Teddy to make a “homey” feel with a mantle and fireplace. He outdid himself with this wonderful Christmas-themed backdrop. We super loved it!
21 decor
I loved the cute details in our decor. 🙂
22 instagram game
We had an Instagram game for our guests and gave Starbucks Gift Cards as prizes! 🙂 Trivia: Bistek and I love coffee!

Here is a complete list of our suppliers:

  • Church: Chapel of the Forgiving Lord, Tuloy sa Don Bosco, Alabang, Muntinlupa – beautiful, beautiful church! Such a shame that it’s not allowed to be an official wedding venue.
  • Reception and Catering: The Palms Country Club – oh, their food is to die for! I wasn’t able to eat the whole spread on our wedding day, though I was able to sample the best ones on our food tasting, yummy! The good thing about The Palms is that they serve superb food at prices much lower than five star hotels. Their ballroom is also nice, though you will be limited to a maximum of 350 guests. Also, you need to be endorsed by a member to be able to use this venue.
  • Officiating Priest: Rev. Fr. GC Carandang, SDB – you may contact me if you want to get him.
  • Bridal Gown: Cheena Ng-Lio of Amour Manila – Cheena is a very talented designer. She can work with what you envision, and is very flexible. She is super nice too! 🙂
  • Groom’s Tuxedo: Nat Manilag – Bistek loved his tuxedo custom-made by Nat Manilag. He was very accommodating to us!
  • Entourage Gowns: Tina Daniac – Tina was so nice to accommodate my requests for bridesmaid dresses.
  • Makeup: Bem Abeleda of Glo Minerals – Bem is a good friend, and she has been doing my make up for ASAP ever since. So I didn’t want to get another make up artist for my special day. Despite the rush during preps, she was able to do my make up flawlessly!
  • Hair: Tin Sevilleno – I loved how Tin did my hair – an up-do for the ceremony, and soft waves for the reception. She is currently abroad though! I miss you, Tin!
  • Skin Care: Dr. Celia Faustino of MD Aesthetique – Dr. Cel has been taking care of my skin since 2009. I had several RF sessions with her leading to our wedding day.
  • Nail Care: Nail Files – no bride should have bare nails on her wedding day! I had a gel manicure with a light color two days before the big day.
  • Photography and Videography: Nice Print Photography – Ms. Charisse of Nice Print was very nice and accommodating from the start of our preparations. They also did our prenup pictorial, and we loved it!
  • Wedding Planner: Christine Ong-Te Events – I met Christine way back when I was a wedding singer, so I was familiar on how she and her team worked. It was a no-brainer when we chose her to be our wedding planner. And we have zero regrets, because our day was perfect! A special shout-out to our overall coordinator, Gelo Nadonga! 🙂
  • Event Stylist and Flowers: Teddy Manuel – Christine recommended Teddy to be our events stylist, and it turned out to be the perfect-fit! He was able to work within our budget and even made a very beautiful, cozy backdrop for our stage. The set-up was classic and elegant, and just how we envisioned it.
  • Wedding Cake: Fernando’s Bakery – Tita Pinky of Fernando’s Bakery made our beautiful cake just the way we wanted it. She put real roses on it, and all four layers were edible! The flavor was so yummy, too (banana walnut)!
  • Church Choir: Tuloy Children’s Choir
  • Photobooth: Pose and Print
  • Sounds and lights: JR Music
  • Invitations: Amis Print

LAST NOTE: I publish this post today, January 5 (which is coincidentally the wedding anniversary of my parents), looking back at our first two years together as husband and wife. Bistek and Cess version 1.0 was us pre-wedding, and oh boy, we had our share of stress-testing! Now we are Bistek and Cess version 2.0 and it has never been better, especially now that we have our little Bistek 2.0, Kobe! Cheers to more years full of laughter, sweat, blood, and tears together, Hun! 🙂

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24 bistek and cess copy
I’m thankful I chose to live my life with you. 🙂

If you want to see our SDE (same-day edit) video, you may watch HERE. We originally used the song, “Everything” by Lifehouse, but Niceprint changed it to a licensed song so they can post on Youtube. I hope you like it! 🙂

Bistek and Cess 2.0

12 thoughts on “Bistek and Cess 2.0

    • January 7, 2016 at 4:56 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂 I can’t believe it’s been 2 years!

  • February 1, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Hi Cess, what do you mean by contractual ceremony?

    • February 2, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Hi Niña, our wedding at Tuloy Sa Don Bosco was technically a “renewal” of our wedding that morning at Don Bosco Makati. So our marriage contract was actually signed that morning in Makati, we had one pair of ninong and ninang that morning with us to sign as witnesses. We had to do this because the Tuloy Chapel in Alabang is not allowed to hold weddings (legally) because it is not a parish church… So our “real” and legal wedding took place in the morning, and we had the “engrande” wedding ceremony in the afternoon at Tuloy Chapel coz it’s the chapel that we like – aesthetically and sentimentally. I hope my answer makes sense. 🙂

  • April 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Cess, what a lovely wedding! I was wondering if I could ask you about how you got the permit to have your “Renewal of Vows” at the Tuloy Chapel… Because we have been trying to get a permit to do the same (do a renewal of vows after getting married at another church first), but it proving harder than we thought. Do you have any tips? Thanks very much and God bless! 🙂

    • April 17, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Hi Carline, yes, it’s quite difficult, but I really hope I can help you! 🙂 I’ll email you privately.

    • March 7, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Hi! Thank you so much for this blog post! I’d love to get married at Tuloy too. Could you also please send me tips re: process of having a “renewal marriage ceremony”? Thank you in advance and God bless your beautiful family! <3

      • August 13, 2020 at 4:52 pm

        Oh gosh, Gigi, I am so sorry I just read this comment. Were you able to get married in Tuloy? The renewal ceremony is basically just a “ceremony” since we were already technically married that morning. You just have to book the chapel in advance and ask for their requirements. I think it was easier that we had the official ceremony at Don Bosco Church as well so it was easier to coordinate. Thank you and again sorry for the super duper late reply! God bless!

  • July 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Cess! What a wonderful wedding! I came across your blog because I was looking for intimate chapels to get married in. I fell instantly in love with the Chapel of the Forgiving Lord in your wedding photos. If it’s not too much to ask, I hope you can also help me on how to get a permit. Your blog has been very helpful. Thank you!

    • July 26, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Jenni, yes it was the same for us, we immediately fell in love with the chapel. 🙂 Honestly, it is quite to difficult to get married there, as they only allow renewal of vows. So we had to get married first at a different church. Shoot me an email at, I can email you more details. Thanks!

  • October 17, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    hi cess i came upon your blog when i was searching for palms country club as wedding venue. i also have heard raves on their food so i its a good choice (since me and hubby-to-be is on a tight budget but we wanna splurge on food!). i am just concerned about the grand ballroom since its a little outdated, can you comment on how you got about it? thank you! 🙂

    • November 3, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      Hi Hanna! I’m not sure about this, but I heard they are renovating the ballroom. 🙂 For our wedding, the ballroom was packed to the brim, so I couldn’t do too much with the decor. Our stylist, Teddy Manuel did a superb job in decorating the place, and we were also lucky it was Christmas-time so the lobby and staircase was also decorated. 🙂 And yes, yes, yes, the food was delicious!


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