Saturday, April 16, 2016

FINAL PICKS FOR BINIBINING PILIPINAS 2016

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We will be crowning our new Binibining Pilipinas 2016 Queens in less than 24 hours! I am very excited for this because my friends and I will be watching the Grand Coronation live at Smart Araneta Coliseum (yay!). I will try my best to tweet and spoil the results so please mute me on Twitter if you don't want spoilers. The telecast on ABS-CBN will probably be delayed by at least an hour.

Here are my final picks this year. I hope that I can get most of it right. I was also an armchair judge last year and I only got 10 out of the 15 semi-finalists but was right with the wins of Pia, Christy, and Ann. Rogelie Catacutan was the only 'dark horse' in last year's bout. 

Top 15
I had an easy time predicting this year's queens but had a harder time in finalizing the line-up of the Top 15. There's a small group of frontrunners and consistent performers this year so it's easier to predict the winers than their courts. I ended with a top 15 with 3 alternates. 

Binibining Pilipinas 2016 Glam Shots
Row 1 - #3 Angela Fernando, #4 Kim Penchon, #7 Angelique De Leon
Row 2 -  #11 Nicole Cordoves, #13 Joana Eden, #14 Paula Rich Bartolome


Binibining Pilipinas 2016 Glam Shots
Row 1 - #Maria Lina Prongoso, #21 Jessica Gonzales, #22 Aprile Smith
Row 2 - #25 Anjelica Lopez, 26# Jennifer Hammond, #27 Dindi Pajares

Sunday, April 10, 2016

THIS YEAR'S NATIONAL COSTUMES

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It's my first time to blog since January! Wow! I know that I've been neglecting this little space of mine in the Internet and it's not for the lack of trying. I've been meaning to post stuff about our new life, our wedding, and exciting things at work. I really really hope that I will have time to write more in the next weeks. 

I'm back to blogging to post about my yearly National Costume favorites in Binibining Pilipinas. I wasn't able to focus too much on this year's nationals because I lost interest after Kim Ross Delos Santos' disqualification weeks ago. Kim is one of the early frontrunners and it was really a letdown that she was not allowed to join because of some "racy" photos that were leaked. She might try in Miss World perhaps?

The National Costume Show this year coincided again with the JAG Fashion Show last Wednesday, April 6. Forty (40) binibinis showcased the creations of Filipino designers and their interpretations of the Philippine National Costume. We had a very good batch this year. I saw a lot of creative pieces that are truly world-class. 

Here are my favorites:

Binibini #37 Jehza Mae Huelar in Patrick Isonera & Xioti Chiu
Binibini #37 Jehza Mae Huelar in Patrick Isonera & Xioti Chiu
I love the uniqueness and the bold color of this gown that took inspiration from the Iranun tribe in Mindanao. This is a breath of fresh air from the ternos and Maria Claras that are often featured.


Binibini #36 Maria Gigante in Philipp Tampus
Binibini #36 Maria Gigante in Philipp Tampus
I like the simple nude silhouette and the tiara in Maria. She truly radiates on this Filipiana. She became one of my top bets upon seeing this. It was surprising that this was not chosen in the Top 6.


#3 Angela Fernando | Frederck Peralta
Binibini #3 Angela Fernando in Frederick Peralta
I like the modern take on this classic terno. The headdress is also a plus.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

OUR WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS

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It's my first day back at work as a new missus. I missed my wifely duties and housewife routine of the last two weeks while I was at work earlier. I am still on our wedding bubble and I want to extend for one more week our vacation BUT sadly off to work we go. Gotta save for that honeymoon trips!

One of the things that made me happy last night was our on-site photo slideshow by Nicolai Melicor. It was the same day edit of our photos that was featured in our wedding reception. We finally got our copy yesterday.

Witt & Abbie

Nicolai Melicor is the best! She's one of the first suppliers we booked and met back in January 2015. There are so many good wedding photographers in the Philippines today but we chose Nicolai for her colorful and vivid style. We love the brightness and lifelike style of her photos and her team's. We are not really the dramatic, slow-shutter-low exposure, play of lights kind of couple so we opted for Nicolai and her playful saturation and natural light type of photography. More review on this soon!

For the meantime - here's our on-site wedding slideshow...


Music: Run Run by The Rival

We are very very happy how this turned-out. Nicolai and her team beautifully captured the happy, emotional, and candid moments that we had in our wedding. Wagas ang kaligayahan ko, diba? 

Also - here is the list of awesome our suppliers whose works were featured in the video. I am hoping to write a review about each of them very soon. I just really need to sit down and find time to do it.

Chapel: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Montecito Nuvali
Reception: Pasa Tiempo, Montecito Nuvali
Wedding Preps: Seda Nuvali
Gown: Gretchen Pichay
Entourage's Gown: Paolo Blanco
Entourage's Suits: Gardini
Hair & Make-up: Eds Go
Flowers: Joel Faller
Pre-nup Photography: Caliber King, Team Pat Dy
Invitation Design: Ink Scribbler
Missalette Design & Other Prints: Blissful by MarKat
Wedding Coordinator: Events By Marge

Our wedding was truly a joyous and love-filled occasion for us and our families. A big thanks and shout-out to our family, relatives, friends, and colleagues who celebrated with us!

Friday, January 01, 2016

KITCHEN EXPERIMENT: CHICKEN SOPAS

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We've been married for two weeks now and living a very domesticated life. There are adjustments here and there but the biggest discovery I had is my hubby's hearty appetite. He has a very strict rule of eating 3x a day (on time and on the dot at that) whereas I only eat when I am hungry. This was initially a problem because I am not exactly Martha Stewart. I cook from time to time but I am not really the Filipina 'housewife cooking type'. 

BUT I'm a very competitive person and I always aim to please thus I was able to cook a total of 4 lunch/dinner dishes (Sinigang, Afritada, Fried Chicken, Sopas), successfully marinated some chicken thighs and drumsticks, perfected an over easy egg, and mastered breakfast cooking in my 14 days as a married woman. Mean feat for someone who used to be clueless on the amount of cooking oil when stir-frying. 

Last night, New Year's Eve, I decided to try one of my favorite dishes: Chicken Sopas. I got the recipe from Manila Spoon but I modified it a bit according to our preference, brands of the ingredients, and serving size. The hubby approved this but he wants it more 'salty'. You guys can also adjust the salt level through fish sauce or salt. Sharing the recipe below.

CHICKEN SOPAS

Ingredients
1 boneless chicken breasts, cooked then shredded
200 grams Del Monte Elbow Macaroni
3 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Knorr Chicken Broth Cubes
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium carrots, cubes
3 celery stalks, sliced diagonally
8-10 cups chicken broth (I used the water where I boiled the chicken)
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
Fish Sauce, 2-3 tablespoon or to taste (you can opt with 1 tablespoon depending on your preference)
1 can Carnation Evaporated Milk


Kitchen Experiment #5 - Chicken Sopas


Steps in Cooking

1. Boil the chicken breasts until tender and cooked. Shred it with a fork or just with your hands after it cooled down.

2. Set aside the water where you boiled your chicken breast. You will use this after for the broth.

3. Cook the Del Monte Elbow Macaroni al dente. I used an induction stove and boiled and timed it for 14 mins. Set aside after cooking. Prepare the vegetables while boiling the macaroni.

4. In a large pan, heat the oil. Saute the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots until the onions become translucent and the vegetables are tender for about 5 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper.

5. Add the shredded chicken. Add the boiled chicken water, add the Knorr Chicken Broth cubes, season with some fish sauce, salt, and pepper. Add fish sauce or salt to taste or depending on your preference. Bring to a boil.

6. Add the cooked Del Monte Elbow Macaroni and Carnation Evaporated Milk and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Serves 9 - 10
Cost: Php 250.00 (most of the ingredients are in the pantry so this could be lower)

Hope this helps! Enjoy!

HAPPY 2016!

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2015 was both an amazing and challenging year for me.
But the photo below sums up the great happiness it brought!

Looking forward to a marvelous 2016!

My 2015 can be summed up with this one photo. Thanks for being amazing, 2015! Bring it, 2016!

Happy New Year    |    Feliz Ano Nuevo   |     新年快乐

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

OUR WEDDING MISSALETTE

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We got married in Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel in Montecito Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. It's a nice chapel that very few heard about. It was the perfect chapel choice for us and I am still giddy whenever I think about it. I've been getting a lot of inquiries about it via e-mail and I promise that I will post about it soon.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

The chapel is owned by Montecito but the servicing is administrated by St. John Bosco Parish in Laguna Technopark. St. John Bosco will provide an officiating priest if requested. For our wedding, we asked our family friend, Rev. Fr. Renie Oliver, of St. Polycarp Parish in Cabuyao to celebrate our nuptial mass.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel doesn't have any strict rules in the wedding mass and ceremony BUT we still cleared everything with Fr. Renie including the missalette, hymns, and my bridal march song. He also allowed us to recite our personal vows.

#WittAbbie Wedding Misalette


One of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks that I did 2 weeks before the wedding was our missalette. I had to type everything since the template that was given to me was not complete. I laboriously typed the entire missalette based on a Marriage/Nuptial booklet published by St. Paul's Publishing. The missalette was used and approved by Fr. Renie.

Friday, December 25, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE DIMAANOS

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May this Season leave you with precious memories: 
a Christmas filled with light, love, and joy all around! 

Merry Christmas from The Dimaanos


Happy Christmas from our home to yours!

- Witt & Abbie Dimaano



P.S.
Been married for a week now. Yeah! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

OUR PRE-NUP SHOOT IN AN AIRBNB

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I am not really keen on having engagement or pre-nuptial photos. I am used to seeing a lot of engagement photos of couples dressed to the nines, in an island, in a forrest, in a quirky cafe, etc, etc, and I honestly don't see myself and Witt in those positions. I was thisclose to forgoing any pre-nup photo sessions but Witt cleverly came up with a nice pre-nup concept that got me onboard.

Witt wanted a photo shoot that is very casual in a 'daily grind' indoor set-up with our everyday stuff. I immediately liked the idea because it defines us and our personalities. We are homebodies who prefer indoors instead of going out for adventures. We love lounging around, social media, mobile games, our gadgets, and our mobile phones (and the stuff you can do with it).

I was already scouting for venues as early as March to complement the idea. We searched for the best condos, hotels, and staycation places in Manila. Our shortlist included Joya in Rockwell or Oakwood in Ortigas. This changed when my colleague, Jean, told me about their staycations in Airbnb flats here in the Metro. It was a eureka moment for me because Witt and I are Airbnb fans as well. We like unconventional and unique accommodations and we stayed in an Airbnb in Kuala Lumpur last year.

Airbnb is an online marketplace for people looking for listings of vacation rentals, homes, and flats for lodging. People host and rent their place for guests looking for accommodations. It's an improved version of the "couch surfing". Airbnb has over 1.5M listings in 34,000 cities and 190+ countries. 

There's A LOT of good Airbnb rentals in Manila. Top condominiums and buildings in Makati, Taguig, and Ortigas has a lot of listing targeting tourists and staycationers. We were very lucky when we chanced upon Clare's Modern Loft with Golf Course View in Bonifacio Global City's Burgos Circle. The loft is very nice and is very Instagram-worthy! It's perfect for our pre-nup session.

Here are some photos.

#WittAbbie Pre-nup BTS


#WittAbbie Pre-nup BTS   #WittAbbie Pre-nup BTS


Monday, October 12, 2015

OUR MONOGRAM

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It's only sixty seven days before our wedding! Whew, breathe in, breathe out! I am not yet ready! There are so many things that I still need to do before I say I do. September  and October are very busy months at work and I am already panicky because I need to concentrate 24/7 on our wedding preparations. I met with our super wedding planner, Marge, late last month and looks like we are on track (I hope). I just need to finalize our Strings and we are done with the big suppliers.  

One of the things I accomplished last month is our monogram and invitation suite design. I'm NOT supposed to splurge on invites but scrimping on design and style is unacceptable for me. The monogram and our invitation elements will set the mood for the whole wedding. It will also be the pattern for all the styling for our big day.

I cannot show yet the suite design but I want to share with you our monogram. Tada...


Our Monogram #WittAbbie



Nice, right? The design was made by Alexis Ventura's Ink Scribbler. We had a couple of revisions on this monogram because I initially wanted modern calligraphy or watercolor for our names. They gave us several options and Witt and I fell in love with this classic calligraphy instead of our original pegs. 

I did a lot of research for our invitation suite and I am very happy that I hit the jackpot with Ink Scribbler. It took me almost 6 months of inquiry and hours of Pinterest and Internet surfing before I stumbled upon Ink Scribbler. I was very happy when I saw their portfolio and I even enrolled in an afternoon calligraphy class with Alexis last July. I highly recommend them! They are very creative and they do their revisions very fast (a must for 'impatient telco clients' like me). Check their portfolio through their site or Instagram account. Shout out to Abbey Sy for recommending them to me.

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