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Church Booked: San Roque Chapel – Subic Bay

There’s no other thing to book before everything else but the church. The sacred union will take place there. The magical place where you will receive the sacrament of matrimony. So before we book anything else, we made sure that the church is already booked and secured.

We got engaged on October 7, 2018. After letting that sink in for  a month and after scouting for the perfect church for our big day, we finally found “The One” and booked it on November 3, 2018. Luckily, they are already accepting bookings for 2020 weddings.

We booked the very simple San Roque Chapel in Subic.

We didn’t originally plan to have our wedding in Subic. Since the fiance is from Pampanga and I am from Bataan, we knew that it’s gonna be in either one of those provinces.

So, how did we end up in Subic?

Here are our considerations before booking a ceremony venue.

  1. It has to be air conditioned.
  2. That’s all. HAHA!

My tolerance for heat isn’t very high. Plus, who wants to walk down the aisle sweating, right?

So, I started googling air conditioned churches in Bataan and Pampanga. The options aren’t too many.

I wrote the list of churches in my notebook and googled them one by one.

  1. Arzobispado De Pampanga in San Fernando, Pampanga. – This is where the fiance’s sister got married last September. The church is good and there is a function hall at the back where the reception can take place. We will save so much time and money. But, the fiance doesn’t want to get married in the same church where her sister got married so we crossed it out.

    (c) Bride Worthy

  2. St. John Paul II Parish in Lakeshore – Mexico, Pampanga. – I like the minimalist altar of this Parish. It looks very simple and neat. However, we crossed it out as well as Lakeshore is not very accessible especially to guests who don’t have a car.

    (c) Bride Worthy

    (c) Lakeshore

  3. St. Peter of Verona Parish in Hermosa, Bataan. – It has a look of a classic and traditional church. But, it didn’t give me the “this is it” feeling.

    (c) www.bataan.gov.ph

  4. Sanctuario De San Jose in Las Casas De Filipinas Acuzr in Bagac, Bataan. – When I started planning, I once told myself that my dream wedding would be in Las Casas. I immediately inquired. Their packages are pricey. Their packages are:
    – 1,000,000 Php for 300 guests
    – 600,000 Php for 200 guests
    – 485,000 Php for 150 guests
    – 425,000 Php for 100 guests
    – 300,000 Php for 50 guests
    – 1,888 Php for every extra guest

    Though the inclusions are many and will cover most of the services needed, we still find it too pricey. Also, it is very far and we didn’t want to cause too much hassle to our guests. Also, the chapel inside Las Casas is just a replica. It doesn’t look good in pictures and videos. So, goodbye, it’s not my dream location after all.

    (c) e-philippines.com.ph

    (c) www.senyorita.net

  5. Chapel of Jesus and Mary at Cana in Holy Land, Subic. – This also caught my attention. The church is very classy. Holy Land is a place in Subic where people go for pilgrimage. There are picture worthy spots inside the Holy Land. There is also a tent inside where they hold wedding receptions. So, we really considered this church. I even asked a friend Pam to inquire for me. So she called them and was able to talk to one of the staff who promised to send her the fees but did not. So, I just asked my brother to have an ocular visit and to inquire personally. I cannot do it myself because I am working abroad. Later on, we found out that the visit should be scheduled. We were able to schedule our visit but did not push through after realizing that Holy Land is not accessible to guests without a car. Another thing is, the reception venue is a tent and we are a bit hesitant to hold our reception in a tent.

    (c) Bride Worthy

    (c) Bride Worthy

  6. San Roque Chapel in Subic Bay. This church, from the very first sight, gave me that “this is it” feeling. I fell in love with the all white facade of the chapel. I love the minimalist style of the chapel and there is a huge space outside with lots of trees. The trees provide a lot of shade and fresh air. Even its altar is very simple. The only think that bothers me is that the aisle space is a bit narrow and short and it is not allowed to close the church door during the whole ceremony which means there will be no dramatic door opening for the entrance of the bride. Maybe a curtain entrance will do the trick. But, overall, it’s good. I showed it to the fiance and he instantly fell in love with San Roque Chapel as well. So, there’s nothing left for us to do but to book it. Thanks to my family who is a family of Methodists for being so understanding and for supporting my decision to marry in a Catholic Church.

    (c) www.eckaywashere.com

    (c) www.keywordbasket.com

Since we are abroad, I just asked my family to personally visit the church and to ask for the fees/ donations.

Here’s the breakdown of fees/ donations:

  1. Church:
    – 12,500 Php for local parishoners and 15,000 Php for non-parisioners. This fee is mainly for the ceremony venue and air conditioning. The styling, choir, and other requirements are not included.
  2. Officiant – 3,200 Php

Total: 18,200 Php (for non-parisioners like us.)

They will require you to pay the 50% of the Church fee and the Officiant service fee.

Fortunately, I was able to go home to the Philippines last month (January 2019). The first thing on my To-Do List is to visit San Roque Chapel. It is heartwarming to see it for the first time.

I took a moment of silence and meditated for a while. I stood inside. Alone. Closed my eyes. Took the moment in. Opened my eyes and walked down the aisle. I teared up a bit. It gave me goosebumps and it kinda made me realize what is really happening. I AM REALLY GETTING MARRIED. IN THAT VERY CHURCH AFTER A YEAR. I knew it right at that very moment that we booked the perfect church for our union. Praise God!

Booking the church took as a big step forward into planning. Booking it is like making a promise to God. A promise that noone can ever seal our relationship but Him. We would love to start our happily ever after in His presence. After all, He is the one who wrote our love story. He is the one who lead us to each other. He is the one who sustained us in difficult times. We are forever grateful. In that very church, we will make a promise to love each other because He loved us first.

Much love,

 

Just Because It is Valentine’s Day and I Should Write About Love

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Today is Valentine’s Day. It is the time of the year when lovers show more affection towards each other, when flower shops run out of flowers, and when chocolates are given away to express love. But, for me, it is the time of the year when my newsfeed is filled with sweet nothings while I eat whatever amount of chocolate I could just to supply my body enough serotonin to keep my mood up. Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a relationship with chocolate? It can instantly make you happy. Just kidding.

I attended a Valentine Party last night. I was really hesitant to go and I was not in the mood to dress up. But, for the sake of friendship I managed to put on my little black dress and made it to the party. For some reasons, I was not in my “party mood” last night. I was glued to my seat the whole night. Well, aside from the fact that my shoes are not as comfortable as I wanted them to be, I just din’t feel like dancing the night away. All night, I was praying for the night to be over so I can just sleep the strange feeling off. The party was nice and lively. It is just not for me and I have never felt so pathetic for being like that. Well, blame it on the hormones. Such a kill joy. (I hate you, hormones!)

The night ended earlier than I expected. I couldn’t be more thankful that I reached home before midnight. It is not because I have a stepmother  waiting for me but because I don’t wanna carry the strange mood until the next day. On a quiet night like last night, there is no perfect thing to do but pray. I prayed to God to give me a restful sleep and to answer whatever questions I have in His perfect time.

God’s answers to our questions is only a prayer away.

Valentine’s Day. 5:45 AM. I snoozed my alarm off for 10 more minutes before I woke up from a restful slumber to a bright and brand new day. “What a lovely day. I won’t let anything ruin this day. So, hormones, please back off.” I told myself as an affirmation. But, bitterness sets in. Seeing hearts, chocolates and flowers all over every social media site makes me think “Why don’t I get those?”. Worse, my cousin from Oman asked me a favor of buying flowers for her girlfriend and to deliver it straight to her doorstep. After work, I went straight to the flower shop. I picked some pink roses as requested. Later on, I noticed that I am the only girl in the flower shop. I wonder if people thought that I was buying flowers for myself on Valentine’s Day because I am not blessed with someone who will bring me flowers. Who cares?! I am doing my cousin a favor because I want him to be happy. I don’t care what they think. I don’t care about anything. I don’t care about Valentine’s and flowers and chocolates! Okay, that’s me being carried away by my bitterness. Of course, I care. I care about love. I care about people expressing their love for each other because that is how it should be. Love should be expressed everyday.

Whenever I talk to God, I always let my guards down. Fresh from my bitterness, I asked God “Why can’t I have that kind of love? the kind that sends me off my feet, the kind that removes any doubts and fears in my heart, the kind that makes me look into the world in a different perspective, the kind that assures me that I am worthy of being loved in return.” That moment, I was vulnerable. And God knew that He has to speak to me. He did. I opened my “Our Daily Bread” booklet.

February 14: Second Best?

“Though she felt unloved by her husband, perhaps she now realized she was greatly loved by God.”

I guess there will always be a point in our lives when we will feel bad for always being the second best or for doubting our own capacity to love and be loved. It is normal because everybody desires to be loved. But, never let it bring you down. The greatest love that we can ever receive is the love from the Almighty One. The one who knows all our imperfections but loves us anyway. The good thing about His love is that it is free. You don’t have to look good, to give flowers or chocolates just to gain it. You don’t have to prove yourself worthy of it. Because this love has always been yours from the very beginning. God loves us and it is more than enough.

I am not being a hypocrite here and telling you that a love from other humans is unessential and unnecessary. It is. In fact, this world, though full of wonderful things, is still way too cruel that we need this kind of love to survive. This love somehow assures us that we are good enough, that we will never have to go through this life alone. The love that somehow makes us feel whole. I have been wanting to experience this love ever since I learned how to fully open my heart to love. And, I thank God for taking too much time on preparing me and my future God’s gift for the time that we will finally go through this life together.

“You don’t marry your great love, you marry your true love.”

Assured. That’s how I felt after reading that. Though I have never been to any official relationship, I have never denied myself the right of loving. I have loved and have been denied a few times but never did I think about giving up on this crazy little thing called love. The chase is the most exciting part of it. The chase towards my true love. I have loved a few wrong people greatly; more than what they deserve I guess. I have done crazy things for the sake of love. There were love stories which I thought were great enough that it could actually be a reality and last forever but didn’t. There have been times that I cried for unknown reasons for a love that I thought was great but actually wasn’t. Because this love isn’t true. Because this love isn’t for me so God marked it “Not my will” and asked me to let go of it so I won’t keep hurting myself.

“But, God, I want this. Nothing will be greater than this.” I insisted. I begged.

“It can’t be great if it isn’t true, my child.” God told me.

Then, I told myself, no matter how cliche this statement is “if you wanted the wrong one so much, imagine how it would feel when the right one comes along.”

So, instead of wanting the wrong love which we thought was great, let’s just wait for our one true love and make the greatest love story ever told. A great love may not always be true, but, a true love can always be great.

“It is impossible for a love like yours, that overwhelming kind of love that flows out from you, to not catch on anywhere or anyone. It is bound to be reciprocated, not necessarily by the person for whom it was intended but I’m sure it will go full circle back to you.” – That Thing Called Tadhana

Happy Valentine’s Day! <3 God is wrapping His gift for you; He just can’t choose the best wrapper yet because you deserve something special. Enjoy waiting.