Secret Civil Wedding: Becoming Mrs. Villanueva Part 1

It was supposed to be a “secret wedding”… We wanted our partnership to be legal and official even before we lay out all the plans for 2023, one of which is being able to do our dream beach wedding. Blame it to my “segurista” and OC personality, I just want everything ironed out on the legal front before the year ends. And I’m very grateful for the fact that Mahal has always wanted to marry me and supports me all the way, til forever and beyond… ❤

Actually, if we didn’t have the funds to do a beach wedding next year, a simple, “secret”, intimate civil wedding one is what we’ll really do. We are both introverts after all. I was even content to just have a piece of thread tied to my finger as a promise of his love. But thank you, God, for blessing us with a beautiful engagement, complete with an engagement photoshoot and engagement video shoot, and even an engagement honeymoon in Camotes Island which I’ll share here soon. We really feel so grateful plus I feel like such a celebrity (lol!) doing 2 kinds of weddings. Actually, even before J.Lo and Ben Affleck did their two weddings, doing the same had always been my plan… the two stars just beat us to it! Lol!

Didn’t JLo say

“Life is an art… and we are the artists… make it as beautiful as you want and create exactly what you want it to be…”

So that’s what we did!

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Oslob New Village Christmas 2022 Celebration

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

How’s everyone doing? I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season!

It’s been a year since Typhoon Odette hit us and just remembering that makes me feel all the more grateful because this Christmas, the weather has been good to us. Though it’s a bit cloudy and sometimes windy here in Oslob, at least so far, there’s no typhoon in the horizon. Thank you, God!

And so, we decided to celebrate our Christmas here at Oslob New Village. The original plan was actually to check in at a nice resort like what we used to do before in Cagayan de Oro but then we figured it would be more fun to celebrate it here at our own mini resort because we have Jona and Wenie (our staff at Oslob New Village) to celebrate with.

I created a vlog about it. Enjoy!

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Holiday Musings [and a Recap of Halloween]

Our 2022 is about to end. I’ve been reviewing my previous blog posts here and my life has really been “more of the same” kind of thing. Just like last 2019, when I wasn’t even able to blog about our Halloween celebration because of my jam-packed schedule at work, with motherhood, and family! And it’s happening again this time of the year!

Don’t get me wrong though — I DO LOVE OUR LIFE AND THE LIFESTYLE WE’VE BEEN LIVING — it’s been the best year so far — so many celebrations, so many happenings, so many blessings despite the sleepless nights from my VA work, being a homemaker, and homeschooling our now 7-year old kid! So, I’m gonna give myself a little pat on the back here…

Jen 1: “You’re such a superwoman, Mommy Jennie!”

Jen 2: “I know… I know…” 😉

Anyway, I am not going to let 2022 pass by without documenting here my most favorite holiday. For those who have just started to follow me here, Halloween is my most favorite and Christmas comes second. Though I like Christmas, Halloween is just more fun for me with all the trick or treating, candies, and costumes. Don’t you think? So though it’s already December and we’ve started decorating our little home resort for Christmas (you can check my FB page for updates), sharing my favorite holiday here with you this late is better than never, isn’t it?

But before that, let me just give you a rundown of our Halloween activities since Tuz was born. Re-reading my blog entries here… Oh what a roller coaster ride it has been! So many trials, joys, financial troubles, and tribulations. From being in a long distance relationship with Mahal, to finally living together in my first dream home, to giving that up in exchange for living the hard kind of life at the farm, then back to city life and experiencing tiny home living and finally, living the beach kind of life which has always been my dream. It makes me all the more grateful for the life we have now because we are living our best life so far and we can’t wait for things to keep getting better and better…

(2014, 2015, 2016) Nuvali Night Sky Cinema

(2016) Thoughts This Halloween

(2016) Nuvali Night Sky Cinema 2016 Family Event

(2017) Halloween 2017: How to Let Go of Attachments

(2018) Halloween 2018 – Transformative Lessons and Realizations

(2020) How to Celebrate Major Holidays During a Pandemic: Halloween Feature + a Guide

(2021) The Root of Happiness (And How I Found It Around Halloween)

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Thoughts About Real Estate and Mortgages in These Trying Times

Hello, hello, hello!

I’ve been catching up on a TON of work since we got engaged!!! A lot of things have been going on in my personal life as well but I’m hoping to share more of our adventures real soon. And one of these adventures that I’d like to share here with you now is not just about travels that we’ve been doing but more importantly, stuff that we’ve been accomplishing to help fulfill those goals we’ve set out for ourselves for this year and the next. I gave you some ideas before about how to reach your goals for 2022 and I’ve also shared with you some financial tools if your goal is a financial one.

So, this other adventure that I want to share here with you is also a bit related to finances. As you may know, Mahal and I are getting married next year and we are in the works of fulfilling our dream of having a beach wedding in Mactan, Cebu. Even if what we want is just an intimate one with only a few guests, it would still be considered as a big spend for us frugal folks so we’re doing everything we can to augment our income. We don’t want to spend so much on the wedding because we have a bigger fish to fry so to speak. Or shall I say “fishes”? Teehee.

And these “fishes” are:

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How We Celebrated Valentine’s Day Throughout These Years

I was planning to have a repeat of how we celebrated Valentine’s Day last year because I really liked it so much. But because we are in Cebu City today (we’ve been here since Feb. 11 doing a different kind of shopping spree and running some important errands), and we won’t be traveling back home until probably evening of Valentine’s Day itself, I just thought of sharing with you here some of the things we did to celebrate the love occasion throughout these years. 

This post is actually a long dedication to my Mahal, who stuck with me throughout all these many years (we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our best friendship this March and we are now on our 90th month of being together as life partners); who loved me and continue to love me through thick and thin; who, despite all my flaws and craziness, continue to show his patience, dedication, and commitment to me and our little family. I just want to declare to the whole world how much I appreciate everything he does for me and our son, and I thank God every day for him coming into my life…

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Typhoon Rai (Odette): Nightmare Before Christmas 

Just when you had everything planned out for the remainder of the year — your tasks, projects, finances, celebrations… the biggest typhoon of your life hit you — metaphorically and literally. 

We were minding our usual business… I was working and finishing my deadlines for the week and getting ready for client meetings. Mahal was busy with the resort. Everyone was working. Though we were getting news reports about an impending typhoon, upon checking, the eye of Typhoon Rai or locally known as Typhoon Odette won’t be hitting us but instead, it will head straight to Cebu City which is 3-4 hours away from where we are. We had plans of doing our Christmas shopping there that weekend so we figured that we just had to reschedule. Plus, we’ve already experienced so many kinds of weather conditions here that we became complacent. We felt confident that it’s just another one of those storms. There could possibly be a brownout (electricity getting cut off) that will last for an hour or two, or at the most overnight, but that was it. We didn’t do any kind of preparation at all — we didn’t save water; we didn’t charge our phones and electrical devices; we didn’t check if we still have enough gas; we didn’t buy supplies… nothing. It was as if it was just another day in our beach kind of life

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The Root of Happiness (And How I Found It Around Halloween)

I’ve been listening to Rob Dial’s podcasts. He’s a mindset mentor and one of the things he discussed was about happiness and the root of it or the key to achieving it. He based it on what Will Smith said before that it’s not the material things nor money that will bring you happiness (I think many of us know this already), but it’s peace. Peace is actually what I have been experiencing just recently, around Halloween time. It’s not because Halloween is my most favorite time of the year and this year’s celebration has been the happiest Halloween I’ve had so far (I thought last year’s Halloween celebration was the bomb! Didn’t think we’d top that off this year!), but it’s more than that. 

I’m not sure if I mentioned it here before or in some other diary of mine, but living here in Oslob, for as long as I can remember, wasn’t really a good idea for me because I know and I feel that there are people here who don’t like me… they don’t like me because I’m with Mahal… because I used to be married to someone else… and maybe because I am just the kind of person they couldn’t believe achieved so much in life without much help from others. The way people think here is that you can either only be successful if you work abroad or if you’re married to a foreigner. I’m neither, so, maybe that boggles them. Honestly, I don’t really know why they don’t like me. The reasons I mentioned above are just my assumptions. 

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reduce stress

3 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress During These Hard Times

How are you? We are on the 18th month of this pandemic and so many things have already happened… deaths left and right… Covid getting closer and closer to home (if it hasn’t hit yours already… it surely did mine. 5 of our family members caught Covid and thankfully survived it despite not getting vaccinated)… businesses shutting down… people suffering…. freedom getting suppressed in many places around the world…. and all this is starting to get on my nerves. Do you feel the same? Am I alone in feeling this way? If you’re on the same boat as I am, don’t fret. There are ways we can do to try to ride these waves. And we must. I just read an article on Bloomberg that this pandemic can last for a really long time. We can’t just give up, can we?

So what can we do to help reduce our stress during these hard times? Let me share with you some ways we try to do at home to help cope with this depressing worldwide situation:

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ON SURVIVING THE 7-YEAR ITCH ON OUR 7TH ANNIVERSARY AND STRIVING TO LIVE A BEACH KIND OF LIFE DESPITE THE PANDEMIC

As our 7th anniversary was fast approaching, I was tapped by Mommy Ruby of CDO Bloggers Group to participate in a campaign by a certain insurance company. It was about being stronger now despite whatever it is that we are struggling with. What came to  mind was about being stronger than my demons because as I’ve mentioned before, my emotional and mental health haven’t been that well lately. 

Below, I am sharing with you the original draft of what I wrote in that campaign which in a way helped me recognize my power, my strength, and sense of resilience.  

And further down below, You can watch the entire video on how we spent our 7th anniversary despite the lockdown here in Oslob. ❤❤❤

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Sunrise in Oslob

How We Transferred to Oslob, Cebu During the Pandemic

Hello Summer! It’s been a busy 2.5 months as we started our new beach life here in Oslob, Cebu and I promise, I will be catching up on my blog posts and vlogs until I get more current with what’s happening with us. I may still insert some throwback travel posts from the past since I’ve collected a ton all these years. But for now, here is a vlog on how our transfer from Cagayan de Oro (where we lived, half the time, the other half was in Claveria) from Sept. 1, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2021) to Oslob, Cebu happened, how we got quarantined for 14 days when we got here, and what we did while in quarantine (Jan. 9-22, 2021)

For those who are considering transferring to their respective provinces in this time of the pandemic, you can check out this related blog post:

BOAT TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS DURING A PANDEMIC IN THE PHILIPPINES (FROM CAGAYAN DE ORO TO CEBU

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