18 years


My husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary yesterday, 22nd July. Our first wedding was in Uxbridge, London, in 1999. The simplest wedding you can ever imagine. We did not really spend anything on that day. We did our small reception at my in-laws’ house and had very few guests. Nothing fancy.  We did our big wedding in Manila, where my over 200 relatives live. Haha Yes, we saved our money for our big church wedding in Manila in 2000.

It’s been 18 years, and when you have a partner who loves you dearly with all his heart, accepting just the way you are, life is beautiful. I feel that every single day since we got married. Of course, you can’t avoid the ups and downs in every relationship but what makes ours different is we are together in every way. We have the same interest, same passion, same craziness. We only have cultural differences but we have the same passion. Our daughter knows exactly what I’m talking about. She grew up with a very loving atmosphere.

Recently, a mother and daughter, supposedly old friends whom I considered family since I lived in Germany, accused me and my family of faking our happy posts on Facebook. That I try to portray a happy life but in reality, I’m a vile person. Only people who feel jealous of your happy life say this. They must be that miserable. Well, it’s my turn to hit back darlings and I am not sorry for what I’m about to say.

All my family and friends know, those who are close to me know that I speak my mind in social media. I don’t hide my feelings. If I am angry, I express it. If I’m happy, it is infectious that everyone could feel that happiness. I am probably one of the most honest person you’ll ever encounter. But to accuse me of FAKING happiness, that is them, and it’s something they obviously do and in fact, going through. They obviously feel so jealous of a great relationship that we have as a family. I was obviously being watched closely by these people all these years without knowing that this is how they have always seen me – VILE.  Well, what can I do with that?

This person you’re calling horrible is the person who cancelled all her schedule every time you were around London, just to meet up with you and your family. This person is the person who saved her hard earned money for her trainfare, so when you’re finally over, she has money to pay for her expenses. This vile person never forgot to greet your birthdays on Facebook and kept in touch wholeheartedly. This person ignored your provoking comments on Facebook just because you hate her President. This person gave up her performing career to focus on family, and be there for her child, and always been happily married. This person is so loved by her husband that he pampers her everyday in simple ways. This person would rather have an enemy than be FAKE to anyone. So to accuse me of faking happiness that I share on Facebook, I am indeed laughing as it is a sign of jealousy.

I just wish that they would look at themselves in the mirror first because once they see their real reflection, it won’t be as pleasant either.

And eversince they found out that I am a Duterte supporter, they have attacked me on Facebook because of our political differences. Isn’t that pathetic? Politics, Religion, and friendships. Not a good mix really. They ruin all relationships. I don’t react on what they post on Facebook, but they always had something to say about mine.

Lastly, I am confident that all my posts on Facebook are genuine, honest, real and ME. What you see is what you get. That’s me. It’s a pity that some people are too jealous of people like me who can freely speak their minds. I really don’t care about who likes me or not. I have one amazing man who truly loves the real me and who sees me beautifully. All my posts about how caring my husband is, they are all true. For 18 years of our happy marriage, he made me feel so special. Made me breakfast in bed when he’s around and not busy. He didn’t make me feel like a slave unlike other husbands who are so bossy, and just expected their wives to cook for them all the time. For one thing, I am not that kind of wife who gets fatter and fatter every year. I looked after myself all these years to look good for my husband. My husband and I have a healthy relationship, not perfect, but we are happy.  At least my husband is not a boring man.

Never insult my family. You know nothing about our journey and the trials we’ve survived. Our daughter is so proud of her parents, who are not couch potatoes at our age – just sitting down, pigging out, getting fatter and fatter, doing nothing. I am 46 years old, and my husband turned 60 last month. This photo was taken yesterday. Our daughter has the most hardworking parents inspiring people to take care of themselves, get fit, achieve their goals and be happy.

These people always talked about people’s lives. All I can say now is SAD. It is very sad that your true colours were just revealed now, when you have been feeling this against me for so long. I wasted my time and money travelling to London just to see you. Goodbye,  B family.  We will not miss you at all.  Call me stupid, idiot, but I’d rather be one than to pretend upper class with a pretentious accent, that is obviously Visayan no matter how hard you try to be Bri-ish. LOL You have no British accent at all darling, neither your kids. I will never forget that scene when you slapped your daughter in the face for no reason. Nope, not for being naughty. She was just excited to say something and you wer impatient. Garry and I were witnesses of that. Since that moment, we thought you’re a horrible mother!  How you behaved in public made me ashamed of knowing you.

My advice:  Remove people in your life who are not happy with your success, and simply not happy for you. Never be afraid to be YOU.




Remembering our Wedding day…

9th March, 2000 – our church wedding day in Manila, Philippines. It was our second wedding actually as we got married in civil ceremony in London in July 1999. We really planned our wedding in Manila as my family and relatives were mostly there. My relatives and friends came all the way from USA, Germany, Canada, UK, Cebu, Pangasinan. It was indeed a grand reunion of people closest to our hearts. Garry’s brother, Bob, came from London. That’s his first time in Asia and he had a blast.

I remember flying to Philippines twice in three months whilst planning our church wedding. I even spent Christmas with my family there and had a brilliant time. I don’t know how I managed to put an international entourage. All my best friends from childhood who are now in America, to High School, to College, were there. Out priest was the brother of my High School bestfriend. It was so special. But I guess when you know you have found the right person you want to be with for the rest of your life, suddenly everything seems to be easy.


I was a beautiful bride, if I may say so. Ehem! Haha  My good friends made me look so beautiful in that beaded Indian silk gown, designed by my lovely friend. My make-up was just perfect as it wasn’t too dark, and it was very appropriate for a blooming bride.


My parents were still around during our wedding day. My dad passed away in 2003, three years after my wedding. My Mommy passed away in 2012. Mommy was able to visit us in the UK, when I was due to give birth. She was able to enjoy her granddaughter, who was born in 2002.


To my super loving husband who made me feel special all these years, I love you. I have no regrets after 16 years of being married to you. No one can ever replace you in my heart. Most of all, we were blessed with a beautiful daughter.

Happy 16th Wedding Anniversary, Garry!  ❤



Goodbye Mum Jean…


Exactly one month after Grandad Ray left us, our beloved Mum/Nanny Jean joined him in heaven.

It was a lovely send off for Mum Jean last 4th December 2014 at the Breakspear Crematorium in Ruislip. Very simple but meaningful.
Thank you to all the relatives of Mum, who flew all the way from Ireland, travelled from Linconshire, and friends from London. So lovely to see you all.

Once again, we would like to thank all our friends who sent their condolences (for the second time), through my facebook posts, emails, text messages and cards. Reading your kind and inspiring words in times like this surely gave us more strength, love and light, knowing that we have such good friends around us. May you all continue to be a blessing to others and receive more blessings that you deserve. THANK YOU!

Mum, thank you for being such a loving mother-in-law. You have been my second mother for the last 16 years and I truly felt your care. Alyanna will miss her sweet and always fun to be with Nanny. She didn’t expect you to join Grandad so soon as she’s so looking forward to spending time with you this Christmas. Thank you for loving your only ‘apo’ so much.
Bob and Garry are very lucky to have you as their mother. You raised them both with so much love, care, and respect for you, and I have seen that. Your boys love you very much. Thank you Mum for everything. Rest in Peace.

Eternal rest grant unto Jean Banes’ soul O Lord,
And let your perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul rest in peace.

We lift up to you O Lord our grief and sorrow, confident that you will change our mourning to rejoicing that our beloved Jean now rests in your peace. Amen




Goodbye Chief!


It was an emotional day for the family and special friends of Grandad Ray from Cottesmore House, who all came to honour his send off. Grandad’s wishes were respected – no religious service, no flowers, no singing. Only the American flag was there to symbolize his life in the U.S. Navy. It was simple, intimate, quiet, and actually very meaningful. Michael Gordon, who officiated the small ceremony, was very good as he read a brief life story of Ray and finished it with a beautiful poem by Henry Scott Holland. Robert Noakes (Bob), Garry’s older brother, spoke for the family and thanked everyone who came. Bob and Garry are just amazing esp in visiting their parents in two different nursing homes every week. After the short ceremony, the boys organised food and drinks at the pub across the crematorium. Unfortunately others had to go back to the Cottesmore House, whilst the family and a few friends stayed at the pub ’til evening. To all our family and friends who extended their condolences via cards, emails, text, and on Facebook, again, our heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you! Salamat po. xxx

9th March 2000

9th March 2000

Celebrating our 14th Church Wedding Anniversary… Church because we got married in 1999 in London before our Manila church wedding…

Thanking our beloved family and friends for the greetings… xxx

The Amazing LK…


Marcia Carbonilla, is one of the professional pioneers of Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance Troupe from the Philippines, who has been training Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Company in London for so many years now. I have seen how these lovely people work so hard to promote our Philippine culture to the world, and it’s been an honour to have been part of the family since 2010, even as a singer (and sometimes dancer).  I admire how everyone devotes their Sundays to rehearse and do their best to master our Philippine Folk dances, and perform non-stop in the UK and all over Europe for the last 20 years. They have been seen on Paul O’Grady Show on TV, concerts, galas, charity shows, Philippine Embassy events, and have produced their big annual shows. They are performing in Manila this year to mark their 20th year anniversary. Lahing Kayumanggi, based on what I’ve seen and experienced, is the only ‘professional’ Filipino dance troupe in the UK that will warm every Filipino’s and British audience’s hearts with the graceful flick of their hands, the sensual sway of their hips, their warm smiles, colourful costumes and props, incredible music and chants, professional musicians from the Philippines, and the dedicated volunteers who work so hard every week to improve their dancing skills. Keep up the good work guys and always feel proud to promote our beautiful culture and heritage. The person behind LK is the Philippine Baranggay veteran himself, Ronnie Barrio, who dedicated his time in helping people and making LK a success!  To all the talented LKyans, well done!  So proud to have been part of this family! Happy 20th Anniversary! Mabuhay ang Pilipino! x


After our successful three shows in London last 30th and 31st August 2013,  SAYAW is going to be presented again in Milton Keynes this Sunday, 20th October, at The Venue MK, 7pm. This is a fundraising show for the victims of the recent 7.2 earthquake in Bohol and Cebu, to help buy foods and water. Please support ‘DANCES OF PARADISE ISLANDS’ in Milton Keynes (SAYAW).  Salamat po!  x








Rocking Amsterdam!

Finally, a few days to spend some time with my hubby. Well not really alone because our girl is with us, but happy enough to have some family time.


The last time I visited Amsterdam was 13 years ago, just before I moved to the UK. I lived just two hours away from Amsterdam.


I missed their famous Patatja Oorlog, chips with satay sauce (or any types of sauces really, but for me, satay sauce is the best).

I’ve been to this City a few times but I never got the chance to visit Anne Frank’s house/museum. We had a great time there, and it’s so different to see where and how she lived. My daughter had a great time and felt so blessed to be there.


We had the chance to meet up with a great friend, Eladio, who happened to be there too in Amsterdam. We got to see him on the cruise ship. He’s the only Filipino singer in the ship. 🙂

We also got to see the world arena touring production of WE WILL ROCK YOU musical, as my hubby works there. We had a party! A fellow Filipino actor, Mig Ayesa, plays the lead Galileo and he’s fantastic!

It’s Mother’s Day in the UK…

After all these years living in the UK, I never got used to celebrating Mother’s Day in Winter time. I got used to the universal one in May. Although it’s so nice to be greeted twice in a year, from my friends in the UK, and from family and friends around the globe. It makes you feel so proud to be a mother during this special day. It is the hardest role I’ve done in my life and it is true that you’ll never know what it’s like to be a mother until you become one. That’s why I don’t pay attention to the ones who are not mothers yet, whatever they think motherhood is like and how it should be. 

To the two best mothers I’ve known in my life, my own mother, Beth Papas-Mercado, and mother-in-law, Jean Banes, and to my special friends celebrating in the UK today, Happy Mothering Sunday. I am so proud to be a MOTHER!   



“Before you were a Mom –
You slept as late as you wanted and never worried about how late you got into bed. You brushed your hair and your teeth everyday.

Before you were a Mom –
You cleaned your house each day. You never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. You didn’t worry whether or not your plants were poisonous. You never thought about immunizations.

Before you were a Mom –
You had never been puked on – Pooped on – Spat on – Chewed on, or Peed on. You had complete control of your mind and your thoughts. You slept all night.

Before you were a Mom –
You never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests…or give shots. You never looked into teary eyes and cried. You never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. You never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before you were a Mom –
You never held a sleeping baby just because you didn’t want to put it down. You never felt your heart break into a million pieces when you couldn’t stop the hurt. You never knew that something so small could affect your life so much. You never knew that you could love someone so much. You never knew you would love being a Mom.

Before you were a Mom –
You didn’t know the feeling of having your heart outside your body. You didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. You didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child. You didn’t know that something so small could make you feel so important.

Before you were a Mom –
You had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. You had never known The warmth, The joy, The love, The heartache, The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. You didn’t know you were capable of feeling so much before you were a Mom.

Send this to someone whom you think is a special Mom… 

And remember that behind every successful woman……
is a basket of dirty laundry.”
— Unknown.

One perfect day…



This was our church wedding day 14 years ago. We already got married in civil ceremony in the UK a year before our church wedding in the Philippines. It was such a beautiful wedding. The church was solemn, beautifully decorated, a string quartet and a choir played heavenly music during the service, My High School best friend’s brother was the priest. My friends and relatives around the globe flew all the way to show their love for us. My mother and my father were both present. What more can I ask for?  

To my husband who truly accepted the good and the bad me since that day, thank you. Thank you for all your patience, your unconditional love, your care. I felt very special in your life. Thank you for bringing out the best in me, for making me feel that I exist, that my views count, that my voice is always heard. Thank you for listening every time I feel down. Thank you for being proud every time I achieve something. Thank you for keeping me grounded, for making me realize what life is all about. I can’t imagine my life without you. You and our daughter, Alyanna, are the greatest blessings in my life. Thank you. I love you. 


Happy Anniversary, Garry!  Here’s to another wonderful 14 years of LOVE and HAPPINESS… xxx



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