I remember meeting Nikki for the first time when she was still a wide-eyed teen fresh from her Coke commercial. She was very pretty but surprisingly sweet and sensible too—a rare combo to come across especially in the industry. We worked together as co-hosts on the morning show, BREAKFAST, and hit it off instantly. I found it very easy to start a friendship with her because we were both kengkoy (okay, I’m slightly more the “kolokoy kengkoy” —she’s the “classy kengkoy”) and had a lot of things in common. She may have a million followers on Instagram but she’s still very much the same Nikki I met a decade ago. Her parents really raised this one so well. (A very Titas of Manila comment, hahaha)
BJ, on the other hand, is like a little brother to me and Patrick. Pre-Nikki, he was our favorite third wheel. BJ has been such a constant fixture in our relationship that he even spent the whole day with us on Patrick’s birthday during our honeymoon—in New York! Hahahaha! Just like Patrick, BJ is cool as a cucumber and so easy-going and that’s why they get along so well. Despite his personal success, he remains very level headed, grounded and kind to everyone around him. Patrick and I chose him to be one of Theo’s ninongs because we know he would help us in pointing our son to Christ (something that is really important to us as parents).
I remember one day my mom randomly said (in a Eureka moment), “Anak!! Nikki should meet BJ!!! They’re perfect for each other!”. So it came as a pleasant surprise when we discovered they were getting to know each other. My kilig meter was at an all time high, it was SO hard to stay calm and act all cool about it! (Dani knows this! hahaha)!! Their love story is so old school, sobra kaming natuwa to see how BJ pursued her like a true gentleman with such good intentions for her. God really set aside someone special like Nikki for BJ and in many ways, BJ is Nikki’s answered prayer too.
Hayyyyy hormones, this is making me even more senti. I remember how Patrick pursued me years ago. It was so refreshing to encounter someone who didn’t “play the game”. He was forthright about his intentions from the very beginning, walang bola, walang paikot-ikot pa, walang diskarte. He made me feel valued from day one. From my past years of complicated relationships and heartaches, it was the first time in my life that I experienced a love that was so relaxed, a love so comfortable, a love that was hashtag #blessed. <Hahahahaha!> Our marriage has weathered so many storms, (this year alone with all my health issues, I think we’ve reached the quota already!) and when it does get overwhelming, I always look back to our early days of kilig and it helps me keep things in perspective. Patrick isn’t perfect and I too have fallen short so many times, but by God’s grace, we’re here—in our butas butas pantulog, dark circles/eye bags and morning bad breath making fun of our baby who likes to make laway bubbles at 4am. 🙂 🙂 Okay, sorry I got carried away! This post should be about BJ and Nikki! Hahahahaha sorryyyyyyy for the commercial break.
Back to the soon-to-be weds, our Bible Study barkada threw them an intimate brunch last Tuesday and we all had a blast. This group feels like our extended family. We consider ourselves very lucky to belong to this barkada and I have nothing but LOVE for this bunch! To have a bit of fun, we asked the boys to come in their “BJ ALBERT” outfits and they all looked so stylish in their preppy looks! E for Effort—ay mali, A pala! Mwahaha! Dani is right, we should mandate this for all our gatherings. Hahaha!
We partnered with COUNTRY SUITES in Tagaytay for this special affair because it was the perfect backdrop for our Hamptons inspired brunch. Chef Rhea whipped up her best-selling dishes for all the guests to enjoy. We feasted on their Pork Belly Benedict, Smoked Salmon, Corned Beef Breakfast Sandwich, Croque Madamme, Brunch Burger, Country Ham. And to make it extra fancy (with pinky finger up!), we enjoyed some mimosas as well. We also went wild with the dessert buffet filled with cookies, brownie pops, parfait shots, hello dolly bars, and that “Forget Your Name” strawberry shortcake!!! I will be back for that shortcake!!! The big highlight of course was THE CAKE by Chef Rhea! This came as a shocker even for me! I didn’t expect something this grand and beautiful! 🙂 All our jaws dropped when Celine and Rhea revealed this big surprise. To the Discovery Team headed by Jane Santiago, Celine Arenillo and Chef Rhea, we send you our heartfelt gratitude and LOVE! You guys certainly know how to throw a party! I highly recommend working with them for bridal/baby showers, despedida de soltera, anniversaries, and other intimate events. They took care of every little detail for us, we basically just showed up! So if you have a special occasion you’d like to celebrate soon, you may want to consider working with them 🙂 And if you want something a bit more private, you can enjoy a brunch date in Verbena Restaurant or just book one of their 7 suites for a romantic getaway. Each suite has its own distinct charm and character.
To make it extra pretty, we enlisted the help of BOQUERIA LIFESTYLE MARKET (@boquerialifestylemarket on IG) for styling. They did a fantastic job working with fresh flowers and elegant decors in deep blues and greens. I’ve been a secret fan of these girls for quite some time now and so it was so nice to work with them for this brunch. Thanks again for going all OUT for this! And of course, a shout out is in order for the glue that held it all together–mama to be MARGE MONTEMAYOR of #EventsbyMarge! Thank you for being a part of this labor of love 🙂
It was a very casual gathering to celebrate Nikki and Bj’s LU-LU-LURVE before tying the knot. Since we’re a pretty laid back barkada, we didn’t have any formal program planned. It was just the usual kwentuhan, tawanan at kainan with our closest friends.. and a special guest appearance by Theo Oliver Filart!!! O diba Nikki, tinalo namin yung surprise kanta with bouquet ni Piolo Pascual sa ASAP! Piolo who?!?!!? Kay Theo kamiiiiii! *chants* Theo! Theo! Hahahaha!
But the highlight of course, was gathering as a group to really pray for Nikki and BJ. After all MARRIAGE is one grand adventure and you’ll need a huge supply of GRACE to survive it! To all the young girls and boys reading this, listen to your Mommy Patty—choose friends who are not only fun to be with, but will also have your back when things get tough and will actually lift you up in prayer when those times come. Now that I’m married and with a child, I really appreciate this kind of friendship—FUN but thoughtful and intentional 🙂 You have to carefully surround yourself with positive and genuine people!
So I’ll quit blabbing now and just leave you with these beautiful pictures by Cherryblocks 🙂 Thanks again to all our friends who made this event extra special 🙂 Group HUG!!! And to Nikki and BJ, we are so excited for you! Dani and I promise not to do our ugly-cries at your wedding (we will TRY!!).Waaaaahhhh!!!
Thank you so much CHUCK RONQUILLO of @cherryblocks for these beautiful photos!
You, Sir, are a master lens man. It’s ALWAYS fun working with you!!!