A fellow volunteer from Awesome Kids Ministry gave me a piece of Hello chocolate while waiting for our after service meeting last Sunday.

Lo and behold there was a cheesy line that caught my attention printed in the label and I shared to my wife.

“A stormy day with you is better than a sunny day spent all by myself.”



Photo caption of the little boy and the little girl. Minamalat na naman ang puso ko.. *** paano kasi, laging sinisigaw ang pangalan mo.

Cliches are often cheesy because they are an obvious and artless way of making a point. A movie might be cheesy if it contains ‘on the nose’ dialogue, like “I can’t live without you” or “You had me at hello.”

It also means using phrases when hitting on a girl at a “club” or any social setting.

Here are some compilations of cheesy lines from Rania Naim of

1. Are you a magician? Because whenever I look at you, everyone else disappears!

2. I’m not a photographer, but I can picture me and you together.

3. Do I know you? ‘Cause you look a lot like my next girlfriend/boyfriend.

4. Do you know what my shirt is made of? Boyfriend/girlfriend material?

5. They say Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. Well apparently, no one has ever been standing next to you.

6. For some reason, I was feeling a little off today. But when you came along, you definitely turned me on.

7. Are you religious? Because you’re the answer to all my prayers.

8. I seem to have lost my phone number. Can I have yours?

9. I’m lost. Can you give me directions to your heart?

10. Are you a parking ticket? ‘Cause you’ve got fine written all over you.

11. Are you sure you’re not tired? You’ve been running through my mind all day.

12. Is there an airport nearby or is it my heart taking off?

13. Was your dad a boxer? Because damn, you’re a knockout!

14. I was wondering if you had an extra heart. Mine was just stolen.

15. Would you grab my arm, so I can tell my friends I’ve been touched by an angel?

16. There’s only one thing I want to change about you, and that’s your last name.

17. Aside from being sexy, what do you do for a living?

18. Hi, how was heaven when you left it?

19. Do you believe in love at first sight or should I pass by again?

20. Is your dad a terrorist? Cause you’re the bomb.

21. Did the sun come out or did you just smile at me?

22. Kiss me if I’m wrong, but dinosaurs still exist, right?

23. Hey, you’re pretty and I’m cute. Together we’d be Pretty Cute.

24. Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?

25. Can I follow you home? Cause my parents always told me to follow my dreams.

26. Is your name Google? Because you have everything I’ve been searching for.

27. Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only ten I see!

28. Hello, I’m a thief, and I’m here to steal your heart.

29. I may not be a genie, but I can make your dreams come true.

30. If nothing lasts forever, will you be my nothing?

31. There must be something wrong with my eyes, I can’t take them off you.

32. I’m sorry, were you talking to me? [No] Well then, please start.

33. Was you father an alien? Because there’s nothing else like you on Earth!

34. Was your father a thief? ‘Cause someone stole the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes.

35. Do you have a pencil? Cause I want to erase your past and write our future.

36. I’d say God Bless you, but it looks like he already did.

37. I must be in a museum, because you truly are a work of art.

38. Are you my phone charger? Because without you, I’d die.

39. Can you take me to the doctor? Because I just broke my leg falling for you.

40. You don’t need keys to drive me crazy.

41. Are you a dictionary? Cause you’re adding meaning to my life.

42. You remind me of a magnet, because you sure are attracting me over here!

43. I’m no mathematician, but I’m pretty good with numbers. Tell you what, give me yours and watch what I can do with it.

44. Didn’t I see you on the cover of Vogue?

45. Somebody call the cops, because it’s got to be illegal to look that good!

46. Sorry, but you owe me a drink. [Why?] Because when I looked at you, I dropped mine.

47. You must be a broom, ‘cause you just swept me off my feet.

48. My buddies bet me that I wouldn’t be able to start a conversation with the hottest person in the bar. Wanna buy some drinks with their money?

49. Is it hot in here or is it just you?

50. Hello. Cupid called. He wants to tell you that he needs my heart back.


Let’s sing: “You have taught me how to feel, what is false and what is real. Of all the things I ever wanna do, I think I’ll start and end with loving you.” ♥♥♥

Facebook reminded me about our quirky cartoon wedding invitation inspired by our prenup photos held in the sand dunes of Arabia.

I still remember our prenup session or engagement shoot.

The place was called “the edge of the world”. It was a famous location among Riyadh photographers.

The session was sponsored by our godparent Ninang Saharia and Ninong Sam.


Wedding bells are ringing, plans are jotted down and one thing’s for sure in the list – wedding prenup photo shoot! This is a look back of our prenup in Riyadh, KSA.

Engagement or prenup shoots have been around for several years now and they are so important for so many reasons in the run up to your wedding.

They are a great way to spend some quality time together before the big day; they help you and your photographer get to know each other and talk about the final plans for your wedding; they allow you to get some stunning images of you both as a couple saying goodbye to one stage of your relationship before you become Mr & Mrs; but most importantly they allow you to ‘practice’ in front of the camera before your big day meaning you will be sure to get rid of any nerves!

So how do you make it fun, personal and get the most out of it as a couple? Here are some top tips from

1. Location
Think about your location, it is lovely to go somewhere that is meaningful to you as a couple but also has a variety of backdrops to make things more exciting and give you real variety in the images. City centres, villages, fields, beaches, farms, lakes, rivers all make fabulous backdrops so think of somewhere unique to you!

It is a good idea also to think seasonally, if your shoot is in the autumn why not take advantage of the amazing red and orange trees, winter could you do your shoot in the snow, spring in the daffodils or rape seed fields or, in the summer, the lavender fields or beach?

Villages and towns can provide some great quirky backgrounds, eclectic or antique shops, colourful doorways and old brickwork look great. If you have an amazing home or perhaps are hiring a really special bridal suite this can make a great place for some more intimate shots. Of course the beach is always fantastic especially if there is variety ie: old groins, colourful beach huts and long grasses in the dunes.

It is also a good idea to think about your history as a couple…if you met in Starbucks start the shoot there over a cup of coffee!

2. Activities
Activities are fabulous in engagement shoots, they give you something fun and natural to do while making the shoot individual and interesting.

You could hire a rowing boat on a local lake, do you have a horse and could go horse riding, does your dad have a vintage car you could borrow for a country drive or how about a vintage camper, you could visit an antique market, hire a tandem bike, or how about a picnic or trip strawberry picking?

Fruit fields look fabulous and strawberry picking is a great activity that is fun and looks very cute in the images. Take a picnic to the woods or beach for some really romantic shots. Ice creams are very English and again any experience you can be seen sharing makes the images really romantic.

3. Hobbies & Pets
Incorporating hobbies is another way to make your shoot personal to you as a couple. Obviously Zumba and squash might not work but both in cute golf outfits out on the course, boating or perhaps cycling (think vintage bikes with baskets) are great ideas.

If you have a pet this is something we could incorporate too they are after all part of your little family. Bringing your dog along will be sure to make it a fun experience!

4. Hair & Make Up
You really want look and feel your very best on your engagement shoot.

If you are a bit of a makeup/hair novice why not arrange to have them done professionally. Pop into your local salon or head to a blow dry bar. Perhaps you could even arrange your wedding hair and/or make up trials for the morning of your shoot?

If you’re doing your hair and make up yourself take a little extra time, perhaps buy some new items to make you feel great and remember to wear a little more makeup than usual while still keeping it fairly natural as makeup doesn’t show up as much on the photos.

5. Clothing
Choose colours that go together and keep the same colour palette as this will unify you together in the shots. I also think it is important to wear colour rather than blacks and whites which can look harsh as colour really lifts your photographs.

Think about where we are shooting and choose appropriate clothes ie: if we are in the fields in winter wellies hats and scarves or on the beach in summer think sun dress and flip flops.

Think classic, no big motifs or wording on your clothes and nothing too fashionable as this will date your images quickly.

If we are going to an appropriate location why not dress up a bit, a dress and heels looks fabulous or jeans, a shirt and suit jacket for the guys you will feel amazing and in turn look amazing.

Style it up – this really makes your photos sing. You could dress in a cute vintage way (not fancy dress!) perhaps a 40′s style dress and jeans and a waistcoat for your guy.

If it’s a winter shoot in the park don’t just pop your jeans, trainers and winter coat on…tights and a little skirt or tweed shorts, a chunky knit cardigan with a belt, hat scarf, gloves and cute knee high boots and wellies are far more stylish.

6. Props
Think about the kind of props that might go with the shoot you have chosen. Perhaps you have decided on a woodland picnic in which case you could bring a beautiful picnic blanket, hamper, pretty plates, and gorgeous looking food like strawberries, cupcakes, olives. You could bring a vintage tea-pot or a posh bottle of lemonade and glasses with fun straws.

If you are going strawberry picking bring a pretty basket, a woodland winter walk maybe a knitted blanket to hang round your shoulders and a flask of hot chocolate, even a bunch of flowers looks great as it looks like you are on a ‘date’.


Did you know that there are taboos being observed during Chinese New Year?

A taboo is an activity that is forbidden or sacred based on religious beliefs or morals.

Last February 16, our Light Group (LG) had a post-Valentines’ celebration that coincided the first day of the Chinese Lunar year.

We traveled all the way from South Luzon and went to North Manila for a sumptuous feast of Chinese cuisine and a special heart’s day gift-giving.

We would like to thank Bro. Fred & Sis. Jane Pagala for hosting the fellowship.

After the fellowship, we visited the business warehouse of our host. They are one of the big suppliers of plastic wares in the country. Some of our sisters enjoyed some shopping spree at very reasonable prices.

We ended the day with a delicious sticky tikoy and a flavorful drink of black gulaman.

What’s the secret of cooking tikoy? According to Sis. Jane, use a lumpia wrapper for a less oily tikoy.


Our Light Group (LG) – standing from left to right Bro. Fred & Sis. Jane Pagala, Bro. Allan & Sis. Bebet Gayondato and Sis. Flor & Bro. Anton Erni; seated me and Kuya Bene Gayondato.

Back on the taboos, according to, here they are:

1. Do not say negative words
All words with negative connotations are forbidden! These include: death, sick, empty, pain, ghost, poor, break, kill and more.

The reason behind this should be obvious. You wouldn’t want to jinx yourself or bring those misfortunes onto you and your loved ones.

2. Do not break ceramics or glass
Breaking things will break your connection to prosperity and fortune. If a plate or bowl is dropped, immediately wrap it with red paper. After the New Year, throw the wrapped up shards into a lake or river.

3. Do not clean or sweep
Before the Spring Festival, there is a day of cleaning. That is to sweep away the bad luck. But during the actual celebration, it becomes a taboo. Cleaning or throwing out garbage may sweep away good luck instead.

4. Do not use scissors, knives or other sharp objects
There are 2 reasons behind this rule. Scissors and needles shouldn’t be used. In olden times, this was to give women a well-deserved break.

Sharp objects in general will cut your stream of wealth and success. This is why 99% of hair salons are closed during the holidays.

5. Do not visit the wife’s family
Traditionally, multiple generations live together. The bride moves into the groom’s home after marriage. And, of course, she will celebrate Chinese New Year with her in-laws.

Returning to her parents on New Year’s Day means that there are marriage problems and may also bring bad luck to the entire family. The couple should visit the wife’s family on the 2nd day.

6. Do not demand debt repayment
This custom is a show of understanding. It allows everyone a chance to celebrate without worry. If you knock on someone’s door, demanding repayment, you’ll bring bad luck to both parties. However, it’s fair game after the 5th day. Borrowing money is also taboo. You could end up having to borrow the entire year.

7. Avoid fighting and crying
Unless there is a special circumstance, try not to cry. But if a child cries, do not reprimand them. All issues should be solved peacefully. In the past, neighbors would come over to play peacemaker for any arguments that occurred. This is all to ensure a smooth path in the new year.

8. Avoid taking medicine
Try not to take medicine during the Spring Festival to avoid being sick the entire year. Of course, if you are chronically ill or contract a sudden serious disease, immediate health should still come first.

Some related taboos:

  • Don’t visit the doctor
  • Don’t perform/undergo surgery
  • Don’t get shots

9. Do not give New Year blessings to someone still in bed
You are supposed to give New Year blessings (拜年—bài nián). But let the recipient get up from bed first. Otherwise, they’ll be bed-ridden for the entire year. You also shouldn’t tell someone to wake up. You don’t want them to be rushed around and bossed around for the year. Take advantage of this and sleep in!

10. Chinese gift-giving taboos
It was mentioned above that you should bring gifts when paying visits. It’s the thought that counts, but some gifts are forbidden.

Clocks are the worst gifts. Gifting clocks (送钟—sòng zhōng) is a homophone of paying one’s last respects (送终). Splitting pears (分梨—fèn lí) is also a homophone of separation (分离).

Some regions have their own local taboos too. For example, in Mandarin, “apple” (苹果) is pronounced píng guǒ. But in Shanghainese, it is bing1 gu, which sounds like “passed away from sickness.”

These don’t just apply to the Spring Festival, so keep it in the back of your mind!

For the Spring Festival, these rules may seem excessive. Especially when you add in the cultural norms, customs and manners. But like a parent would say, they are all for your own good. Formed over thousands of years, these taboos embody the beliefs, wishes and worries of the Chinese people.