Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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A W@Wie Thank You :)

May 12, 2010

There are usually three stages to getting married:

  1. You fall in love.
  2. You get engaged.
  3. You get married.

In my case, there were four:

  1. I fell in love.
  2. I got engaged.
  3. I became a w@wie.
  4. I got married.

Step 3 was crucial in our wedding plans.

W@W or Weddings at Work is a website started by Benz and Abet Rana. The w@w yahoo group is composed of (mostly) brides who are planning their wedding. The group is a certified goldmine of information on Filipino weddings—everything from suppliers, to venues, to problems with future in laws are discussed by fellow brides.

I first heard about w@w through a former groom of a w@wie bride. I was ranting on how clueless I was about weddings—I wasn’t the type of girl who already had visions on how her wedding was going to be when she was still young. I literally had no idea where to start! He told me how the group had helped him and his wife when they were planning their wedding. Seeing how lost I was, he advised me to join.

I have to admit that I was skeptical at first. But a couple of w@w messages later, I was hooked. Until I joined w@w, I didn’t realize how much time and energy went into planning a wedding. We found a lot of our suppliers through recommendations by fellow brides. The sharing of ideas was nonstop—I was even encouraged to make our own “do-it-yourself” projects. Almost all the little “gimiks” we did for our wedding, we learned in w@w.

The best part about being a w@wie is that I could talk (or write) about our wedding plans all the time! There was no need to censor myself. I got to talk with fellow brides who actually knew and understood the things that we were going through. When a supplier started giving me a hard time, I just posted a rant in w@w and I got a dozen or more messages of support. When we finally booked our venue after months of searching, it was the w@wies who shared our excitement.

Thank you to the brides (and grooms) of w@w for the constant feedback and the generosity of ideas. And for the ones who started it all–Benz and Abet–a cyberhug and our eternal gratitude. W@W enabled us to plan and have the wedding of our dreams. We couldn’t have done it without you.

I am Hazel and I am proud to be a w@wie.

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M&H Supplier Ratings (Shoes and DIY Projects)

May 12, 2010

Bridal shoes: Nina (Rustan’s Makati)

Peso power: Php 1,800 (sale from Php 5,500)

It took me three months to find the perfect shoes. Finally found them at Rustan’s Makati ON SALE! Love them! High heels but really comfortable. Can’t wait to use them again. 🙂

Overall rating: 5++++

photo by Raymond Fortun

Groom’s shoes: Hush Puppies

Peso power: Php 4,000 ++

Mac is the type of guy who doesn’t wear leather shoes unless forced to. Good thing he found this pair of very comfy Hush Puppies that we both liked.

Overall rating: 5++++

photo by 5th Door Productions

DIY Projects: butterfly baskets, kissing bells, table numbers

Thanks to w@w, I learned a lot about making our own DIY projects. I actually enjoyed them! The butterfly baskets were something I thought of as an alternative to bridesmaid’s bouquets. The kissing bells were something I learned from fellow w@wie brides.

Other DIY projects: Invitation layout, table numbers, the menu.

These stuff made our wedding much more personal. I just wish I had more talent in arts and crafts because I certainly would have done more just to cut cost (sobrang kuripot ko talaga! haha!).

photo taken by a friend

photo by 5th Door Productions

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A Sweet Surprise

May 11, 2010

Our friends surprised us during our wedding reception with a video they prepared. Mac and I couldn’t believe that they were able to interview our families without us knowing!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "wedding surprise", posted with vodpod

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Our Caricature

March 20, 2010

Our wedding caricature by the Graphizar.

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Bad Camba! Bad!

August 21, 2009

I received this email from a friend of mine whose brother got married a couple of weeks ago. They got Robert Camba as caterer for their wedding reception at the UP Bahay ng Alumni. Apparently, when the waiters were requested to “take care” of the left over wedding cake, the waiters had this brilliant idea of putting what’s left of the cake inside a red and white plastic bag–the type you get when shopping in Divisoria. Here’s a picture:

Wedding Cake

Let me share with you the personal account of the bride about their experience:

***

Considering Robert Camba’s Catering Services for your event??? The people behind Robert Camba’s Catering Services are liars, thieves and they are incapable of handling food appropriately.  Spare yourself the trouble.  Read on..

 My hubby and I decided to get Robert Camba’s Catering Services (www.robertcamba.com) for our wedding last August 8, 2009.  Amongst a number of options and other catering services recommended by friends and relatives, we decided to entrust our wedding to Robert Camba for the following reasons:

  • When we visited their office in Project 4 QC, we were able to speak with Ate Neneng whom we found helpful and accommodating.  Ate Neneng was our point of contact from the day we signed the contract until after the event.
  • Though the prices of their packages are a bit on the pricey side, the package has inclusions which made us think that it is worth it.  They included the emcee, bridal car, all tiffany chairs and etc in the amenities.
  • My brother got them on their wedding six years ago and the entire family has a positive recollection of how the event was handled.  Moreover, I have a sister who works for a reputable company.  She recommended Robert Camba’s Catering Services because their company often hires Robert Camba for their events.

We had a number of requests which we endorsed to Ate Neneng. She assured us that they can accomplish our requests on our wedding reception:  1. we requested the waiters to cut and distribute the 3 bottom layers of our four layered wedding cake to the guests and, 2. the waiters to serve bottles of red wine per table.  As a wedding gift, my brothers also endorsed 5 cases of beers and 1 box of San Miguel Light containing 24 cans.

Suffice to say that things went well up until the event.  I remember asking Ate Neneng how they account the food consumed by the guests and what they do if there is left-over food.  Ate Neneng advised that they count by the number of plates used and she assured us that any left-over food will be given back to us at the end of the program.  She said that she will not be there to physically to manage the event for us but she assigned an “experienced” and “skilled” headwaiter, Alvin, to attend our wedding.

Confident that our business was in good hands, we signed the contract for 250 heads for the Silver package and we made it a point to ensure that our payments were made on time.  We took the time to visit their office in Baler a number of times to give our 2nd and 3rd partial payment.  And for the final payment, I asked my mom to give it on our wedding day.

The series of problems began to unfold after the reception program.  My coordinator advised me that the total headcount was only 151 guests including 11 kids, plus 10 heads for a few of the suppliers whom we asked to get food from the buffet.  My hubby’s mom prepared packed dinner for our suppliers so only a handful ate the food brought by Robert Camba.  This totals to 161 heads only.  But the left-over food given to my hubby’s mom was not even enough to feed 20 people. 

I asked Alvin, the headwaiter, about this but he assured me that 220 guests attended the reception.  I remember asking him how he came up with 220 heads as opposed to the 151 guests reported by my coordinator but he was unable to give me any realistic and plausible explanation.  The only thing that Alvin could tell me was that they prepared 270 plates and that they needed to wash the plates because all were used.  I find that highly unlikely because we had 22 round tables which can seat 10 people per table.  And I know that more than 4 tables were unused, and more than 3 round tables only had 2-3 guests, so his summation of 220 guests does not add up.  But I knew I was not going to get anything from a headwaiter who obviously does not know anything and who obviously believes that he can get away with his lies, so I decided to table my queries.

After which, we later saw that a portion of our wedding cake was placed in a large red and white plastic pangpalengke bag by one of Robert Camba’s female staff.  But instead of carefully packing the remainder of the cake inside the plastic, she dumped the food carelessly inside.  This enraged my sister because the large plastic was almost full and we could no longer eat it.  Robert Camba’s female staff tried to reason out saying that she was given vague instructions by my coordinator on how to pack the cake and that my coordinator told her “bahala ka na” when she said that they do not have available plastic bags.  My sister told her that she should have the common sense not to handle clean food in such a manner no matter what other people tell her.  My sister even asked if she herself will eat the cake if she is asked and Robert Camba’s staff declined.  She said that she will not do so.

Unfortunately, my husband and I could not stay longer.  Our bridal car was waiting to take us back to the hotel so my family said that they will call Robert Camba and that they will work out the details.

We found out the following day that my sister took a picture of our wedding-cake-turned-kaning-baboy, called Robert Camba to inform him of the issue and sent Robert Camba a copy of the picture.   My family also informed me that my brothers asked for the remaining beer after we left and that the waiters could not produce all of the beers in can endorsed to them.  Only 5 cans turned up when they searched and 19 cans were missing.

I sent SMS to Ate Neneng and Robert Camba about what happened.  I apologized for not speaking to them directly and I told them that we had problems with the missing food for 89 heads, missing 19 cans of beer and that our wedding cake was mishandled by their staff.  The initial response that I received from Ate Neneng was that the waiters are on a rest day but that they will talk to them when they report to work. 

August 11, I received messages from Mr. Robert Camba himself telling me that I had 220 guests, that no food was missing, that he saw the picture of the cake my sister sent him and that “maganda naman”. An altercation of messages occurred after that but he just replied over and over again that no food was stolen because I had 220 guests (where they pulled that information, I really do not know), that some of the guests came back for seconds, that my suppliers also ate from the buffet and that the waiters served food as pulutan.  Robert Camba even had the gall to tell me that my guests took home the 19 beer cans missing and that giving us a refund is not fair because we only gave a small tip to his waiters with all our requests.

Sensing that communicating through text would not get us anywhere, I scheduled a meeting with Ate Neneng and Mr. Robert Camba when my husband and I got back from our honeymoon.  We took time off from work to meet with Robert Camba, hoping that the discussion will make Robert Camba realize how his staff’s actions and misconduct is damaging the name and reputation he has worked for.

I showed Mr. Robert Camba the report submitted to me by my wedding coordinators showing the number of guests seated per table and the breakdown of suppliers who took food from the buffet.  I offered to check the photos and videos taken by our wedding photographer because we had pictures taken per table before guests are allowed to proceed to the buffet tables so that Mr. Robert Camba himself can see and count the number of people who attended our wedding. 

I explained that there is a very big difference between the 250 heads my husband and I paid for and the 161 guests who actually attended the wedding reception based on the headcount per table and the registration.  I also said that my guests took the time to say their farewells before leaving the reception and that we did not see a single guest carrying a can of beer and that my wedding coordinators and some of my guests attest to seeing the waiters getting food from the buffet and actually eating the food we paid for.

Robert Camba however was deaf to reason.  He refused to even glance at the written report from our wedding coordinators.  He did not even consider looking at any wedding photos or videos and he remained firm and confident in his stand that none of the food was stolen, that I had 220 guests as if he was physically there and that my guests took the cans of beer home with them in their barongs and cocktail dresses.  Robert Camba is apathetic to his client’s concern and well-being.  He simply did not care.  He insists that their methods of doing their job is working and an incident like this cannot derail him from that belief.  Robert Camba’s quick responses only convinced us that he is not as innocent as we want to think, that he is completely aware of how his staff steals from clients on events and that such conduct is even acceptable to him. The way Robert Camba justified his staff’s actions point by point showed us that he is part, if not the master, of the entire thing. 

So if you are considering Robert Camba’s Catering Services for your event; do yourself a favour and look elsewhere.  They will blind you with the inclusions and amenities of their packages and they will shower you with assurances and promises that everything will be handled appropriately.  But based on our experience, Robert Camba and his catering service cannot be trusted.  On the day of your wedding, debut or what have you, you cannot count on them to listen, evaluate and to conduct their business professionally and with integrity.

I honestly find the experience with them very, very, very disappointing and frustrating.  With the 89 heads difference, our families should have had a fiesta 3 days after with the left-over food if Robert Camba’s staff were honest enough and if they did not steal our food.  Or we could host another party with the 89 heads when we have our first born two years from now.  But we have accepted the fact that we can no longer get a refund from Robert Camba.  We are just hoping that through this, you will learn from our mistakes, you will be able to choose a better catering service and you will have better experiences and memories when you have your event.

Good luck hunting! 🙂

Joan Collada-Carinan

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Picks from 2010 Spring Bridal Collection (Part 2)

April 26, 2009

Jenny Packham

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Jim Hjelm

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Monique Lhuillier

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lhuillier

Vera Wang

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Sisterhood Award

March 16, 2009

Thanks to sis Carla for this award.

Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Passing this award to my w@wie sisters: Fozzy, Len, Arvee, Maan, Suyen, Tani, Zigrid, Ayha, Trina, Georgia, Macy.