Haneul’s Christening

It’s a such a joy seeing an entire family gushing over a little person. I think that’s why I love being a witness to these kinds of unrehearsed moments as it bares a person’s soul. The way a little child sleeps soundly on their bed or how a mother dotingly caresses her firstborn’s chubby cheeks–everything is worthy of being remembered.

I met Diana when I was at my last corporate stint. At that time, she was already engaged and she would sometimes ask for advice on who would be the best option to be her wedding photographer. It was one  of our talking points at that time and eventually she and Dino (her now-husband) got married. Fast-forward to this phase of their lives where they are now more joyful and their family is even more united because of Haneul. Dino (or “Taewoo” to his family) gave Haneul his name because it means “sky” and that’s why they decided on an aviator kind of theme, which their event stylist, Style Events, executed to perfection.

There’s something about the name “Sky” that makes it beautiful. Maybe it’s because of my love for cloudscapes and how I pretty much take photos of skies and clouds when they’re at their most beautiful or maybe it just points me to the right direction which is upward. There are times that I look most downward and focus on the negative but whenever I gaze up, I am reminded that there’s so much more to what is troubling me. The name, at least to me, is something that gives me assurance that everything will be okay. May you find your own north star, may you find that fork in the road that you were destined to take and may you always remember that if you require hope, you need only but look up.


Jorrel & Monica

Whenever I find myself in the midst of a preparation frenzy on a wedding day, I hear and see so many interesting things. Most of the time, I would come into a very busy layout of the room with different individuals donning different roles and slowly but surely, you get to know them and how they are associated with the bride–even when all they do when they see you is flash the gentlest of smiles.

I met Monica on her wedding day and she was very calm unlike any other bride I’ve ever seen. Her pupils would hide behind her chinky eyes but a certain unexplicable joy would radiate from her. Like a fireplace would warm an entire room, she would quietly sit by herself and wait for her makeup to finish. Everyone seemed to feed off her unflustered approach to this day and whenever I would look at her, I was sure that I would always see a small smile always stay. When you were there, it was like a scene from a slow cinema art film where one take seemed to go for hours on end. It was so serene that it seemed unfitting to even add anything to the moment. That living room with guests biding their time, a bride eagerly waiting for her time to be ushered onto the aisle and the soft glow of sunlight illuminating the room…everything was as right as rain.

You learn different lessons from the people you meet. You learn how to deal with certain challenges with some people and at times, you learn how not to face setbacks as well. I’ve always viewed a wedding day as an orchestra with dozens of conductors. Just to have so many things be right at a specific moment is honestly overwhelming to think about. This is where I find intriguing how some people find it so easy to keep a calm demeanor when so many things need to be right. And in between the frenetic pacing of people, amidst the infectious laughter and the rush of obligations, it was there that I came to realize, perhaps making one’s wedding flawless wasn’t the end goal. Perhaps perfection wasn’t the point at all. Monica knew something that most people would not even focus on a day such as that. She knew that no matter what, the day would end with her married to the love of her life. And for her, that was more than enough.

*Shot for Sofia Genato


Tim & Ash

Every story has a turning point: a singular moment that changes the course of the entire narrative. It sometimes comes crashing through the lives of the plot and in some cases, it creeps ever so slowly and then spills over the entire cast of characters.

Tim did not encounter one such moment–his journey seemed to be a roadmap which was full of hard rights and angled turns that it looked more like he was on an off-road course than a well-paved highway.

He confessed that he was at the lowest point in his life when he met Ash. It was during such a time that Tim was out of touch with his spiritual life when he met someone as angelic as her. He brushed all possibilities aside just as swiftly as the Beast ignored any chance he had with Belle. It was never going to happen as far as he was concerned.

A hard left.

Ash served in the music ministry in her native town of Pampanga when Tim heard of her. And although Tim was a bassist, he was somehow walking a different path than Ash at the time. In an uncanny twist of fate, Tim found himself in Israel, serving as a musician in the Feast of Tabernacles alongside some of the best musical talents in the world. That opportunity allowed him to find his North star and rekindled his faith and relationship with Jesus Christ, among many things.

A right turn.

Last year, he and Ashley were invited to serve again in the Feast of Tabernacles and he knew at that time that God was ushering him and Ash in a different and much more exciting phase of their lives. Tim suggested that Ash and himself both hike up the Mount of Olives and while overlooking the entire city of Jerusalem, Tim proposed to Ash in the very same spot where their one true Miracle-Maker preached to crowds.

Another right turn.

So many amazing things happened in Tim’s life before it led to the altar. One could contend that the level of serendipity that he had gone through could be nothing short of supernatural as he encountered blessing after blessing.

It was as if someone had guided Tim through all of his decisions, all of the important crossroads in his journey towards Ashley’s heart. He delighted in telling me that when he traveled all the way to Pampanga to ask permission from Ashley’s normally strict mother, her mom said yes and in true surprising fashion, even welcomed Tim quite warmly.

Another turn in the right direction.

And when the time came for Tim to talk to Ashley’s mom to ask for permission to propose to her in Israel, they had a chance encounter in a carpool ride which eventually ended with a seal of approval.

Everything, was orchestrated to perfection. From the simple nuances of their relationship to the kind of harmony and discord that was allowed in it, each and every step seemed to be directed with the kind of composition that could only be as enchantingly perfect as the language of music.

Tim and Ashley have a word for that kind of consonance. To them, everything was #GodOrdained.



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