First and foremost, this is not my wedding… It was Noi’s, my only brother, with a femme française (French woman) who is now my sister-in-law, Megane.
Let me begin with an anecdote…
They were both migrants in the island, Noi comes from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines while Megane hails from Paris, France. They met each other while staying in Siargao, the unfamiliarity of the place became the bedrock of their friendship that ultimately turned into romance. They found a home in each other’s arms. In fact, Megane left the island once, but of course the inevitable happened and love brought her back to Siargao Island.
Finally, both decided to tie the knot on the 19th of September 2018. It was a day of pure happiness and gaiety; My first time to witness a union of two souls in a rustic, simple but meaningful, and intimate setting. The compounded impression of the ambience, carefree guests, sunlit weather, good music and food made it one hell of a day. There was a short drizzle before the start of the celebration, but the sun and azure skies appeared just in time for Megane to make her dazzling entrance.
Alright.. So what made it remarkable?
It was held in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, specifically in a secluded and private property located in Malinaw, General Luna. It’s owned by one of the couple’s friend, who I heard lent it for free. Some locals call it the “secret beach” where they can halt from the flock of tourists visiting the island. The property is situated between the beach and a lagoon having few mangroves along the coastland.
Tip: I heard the owner intends to open it for public next year and name it Maison Bukana Resort.
Here’s a view of the beach…
And the lagoon (Too bad I was not able to take a picture of the mangroves)…
Hopefully, these pictures can already give you a sketch of the solitary place.
Synergy of Friends
The bride’s Santan (Ixora) bouquet, her floral headdress and the blossomy garnish on the wedding cake were handpicked by her friend “Leah”, no wonder all of it have the vividness of colors. Further, each layer of the wedding cake has a different flavor (Calamansi, Chocolate, and Carrot) and was baked with love by Siargao Sweets.
Even Megane’s classic bridal car was owned by one of their friends and it set the mood more folksy. She was met by “Thomas”, one of her closest comrades from France who visited the Philippines for the first time just to see her happy tears. Kidding aside, isn’t this photo tear-jerking?
Again, the location is still not open for commercial purposes, thus there was no electricity in the area. Lo and behold! Another couple’s cohort brought a generator, portable speakers, and music instruments too! I was surprised few of the guests were gifted and sang out their wishes for the couple. Even the cab used to fetch guests and run some errands during the celebration was owned by someone they know.
Gaps Sabuero & Leighton Andante, both are Meganoi’s friends, were the videographer and photographer respectively of the surf-themed prenuptial session and during the wedding. I saw the vid by Island Monkeys, and it was lovely!
Moreover, what’s also amusing was when the supposed person to initiate the union failed to arrive in Siargao due to cancelled trips brought by a storm, their Yogi cohort “Davide” (the one on the picture) accepted their request to stand-in and composedly managed to lead the vows. Namaste, indeed!
Meganoi’s Hearts and Hands Into It
Very heartwarming to know that the couple used their hearts and hands to make the event more cherished. Noi personally built the wooden tables for the reception, and Megane embellished it with neutrally colored candles and table mats, plus the “Banig”. Voila!
All other decorations were personally chosen by Megane and designed it herself. Moreso, their wedding souvenir was a Filipino native “paypay” or Abaniko. All ornaments were an epitome of basic supplies turned into ingenuity.
A Warm and Merry Celebration
It was a cordial invitation, guests were allowed to wear anything comfortable and advised to bring beach mats for resting, but if they don’t mind lying on the sand then no problem too!
Of course there was wine, baguette, jam, and cheese (imported from France just for the wedding), Filipino cuisine like Pancit, Sinugba and of course Lechon! It was catered by Mama’s Grill, one of the favorite restaurants in Siargao. It was not just Megane and Noi’s union, but also of the French and Filipino culture.
It was festive the whole day, there was even a bouquet throwing for the men! The one who was able to grab it came along with his Filipina girlfriend to whom he gave the bouquet afterwards. Cheesy!
It was a day of joi de vivre and love, strangers became friends, storm became sunlight, and sweethearts became husband and wife.
By the way, the photos above were captured by me & my connoisseur cousin, Mich. Follow her on instragram (holamishka and mishabalos) and see more of her portfolio.
This write-up is not against couples who want to have extravagant and fancy wedding, everyone deserves the freedom to choose how to make their day extraordinary. Rather, this is a remembrance that weddings are personal events that should be celebrated candidly, where the couple is saved from uneconomical expenses and socially constructed wedding programs that are usually the source of anxiety, and be celebrated together with people who sincerely cares for them. A union of two souls can be memorable in any way it is celebrated, what’s important is the commitment and candor to share life’s ebb and flow side by side.
Here’s a snapshot of the couple with the bride’s closest friends and the groom’s relatives (of course, I’m wearing my precious hat):