On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning: To Cat and Carlo

Pulled from both directions

Two months ago, I had to make a clear-cut but very difficult decision.

Two very special people (actually, special is an understatement) were getting married off shore (Coron, Palawan) and I had already RSVPed that I would be there, booked a flight and confirmed accommodations.  I knew, because I have the DNA of a hopeless romantic, that it would be a once in a lifetime wedding for the books (insert: all cliches on love) and I did not want to miss it for the world.  These two people, on their own were stellar but together, and finding each other — what a truly heaven inspired union.

with Cat and Carlo at Chelsea (Serendra, 2009)

Carlo and I go way back.  Back to times we are now mature enough to want to remember (Antioch, Literature classes in La Salle, exes Drama, bad poetry,  et al) and laugh about.  I am really proud of him.  Check out the latest information on his first feature length film here and other work here.  I like this one a lot.

Cat is like my other younger sister.  I spent a good part of the first ten years of my working life with her family.  Her mom was my very first mentor (she taught me everything I know about fitness) and her dad was my very first boss (joined the business side of fitness after being an instructor and graduating from university).  I even spent a year being the Head Writer for her mom’s daily morning fitness show before I finally left the fitness industry for good to pursue teaching and writing full time.  We traveled together often and I consider them a surrogate family (dysfunction included).  I remember helping Cat move to the US (for university) and feeling like an older sister, helping her un-pack and making her feel more at ease with the fact that she would be so far away from her family.  I also remember her wanting a tattoo years ago and asking for my advice before she got one and how I in turn,  asked for her advice when I got my first piercing.  Sheesh. Those were the days.  LOL.  Here is a related post about a weekend I spent in Caliraya with her parents after years of not having seen each other.  It was a pre-wedding reunion and I was convinced that I would be taking pictures of beautiful Coron and their gorgeous wedding come mid February, 2011.


something else was at work in the universe and to make a short story even shorter, the yearly trip to Sagada with the kids from school was scheduled and confirmed to push through for the exact same week.  Doh.

Like I said, it was a very difficult decision.

I prayed for days and consulted a good friend and what G plunked in my heart was crystal clear.  The kids came first; there was no question about it, even if my stomach felt a little queasy the afternoon I tweeted and emailed Cat and Carlo that I wouldn’t be able to make it after all.  In the end, they totally understood and my heart was at peace and my stomach calm.  I canceled my flight and off to Sagada we went.  From the moment we set foot on the bus all the way to my schizophrenic weeping (from stress-slash-joy) when we got back to Manila a week later, I had absolutely no regrets.  I knew I made the good, perfect, pleasing decision.

This morning though, when I came across their beautiful wedding video and teared a little, I allowed myself to feel a little bad for not being there on their perfect day.

Carlo and Cat from Bob Nicolas on Vimeo.

But only for a very brief moment.

Because hello, it’s not about me.  But about them.  Their radiant smiles were so much more compelling to me, than my sadness for wishing I was there to see it first-hand.  Their creamy and sandy bliss caught on cinematic cameras washed away the ennui and made soft waves of happiness rush back to shore.  It’s really about seeing two people, who are perfect for each other, find each other and have the gumption and the zeal to seal the deal.  That’s what’s important.  I mean, the alternative is way more tragic.  Haruki Murakami agrees.  (You can read his story here. Used this one for my unit on minimalism with the kids.)  Sigh.

I may have missed the wedding of their dreams, as missed opportunities go, but “it was the price I had to pay to be in a magical place” (one of EVP’s quotable quotes, edited a little) with these hams for an entire week.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Living with a decision never felt this bittersweet but this beautiful couple and my amazing students make it a heck of a lot easier.

grateful slice:  the choices presented to us and the decisions we make, Cat and Carlo, love love love and yes, my grade 8 students.



  1. bonniechen

    I really like your pictures & thanks for sharing your story! I hope when I encounter such a predicament, I can make the same choice – where I won’t regret what I sacrificed.

  2. Erik Mahusay

    Each time I come back here, I am always inspired to write more, see more, desire more. And in a way, you’re right, I do feel like this is where I exactly need to be. Maybe it is where I should be. I always enjoy your posts. You pictures make me so joyful, and it just brings back happy memories during the times when they aren’t there. I honestly never know whether to laugh or cry in my enjoyment. It’s not a bad thing. It’s what I look for in writing and places like yours. Your space here is a sacred one that I appreciate so much.

    I am here, exactly where I need to be, wishing to come back often.

    • butterflybound

      Hey, glad you are enjoying your visits a lot, Erik Mahusay. Thanks for passing by. It has been interesting to write for an audience that includes you guys. Been ve-rry, inte-re-sting. And if profound is just vague well dressed, then neurosis is a cheesy telenovela you just can’t have enough of. LOL.

  3. Pingback: How I Learned to Love 2011 « You are Here.
  4. Pingback: Desperately Seeking Sagada « You are Here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s