“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” —Saint Augustine
Travel is an addiction that I am happy to indulge. Discovering new places magnifies my desire for adventure. Everything I’ve learned during my travels has forever expanded my horizons and changed my outlook in life. Stretched by new experiences and new friends, my soul is constantly filled with happy travel memories that last a lifetime. Because life is too short and the world is so wide, the sooner we start exploring the grandness and beauty of each destination, the better.
Several months ago, my niece Audrey Prieto and husband Oliver Gallego decided to have a destination wedding to be celebrated with family, relatives and close friends from New York City where Ollie is from. When I found out that Malta was chosen to be their wedding destination, I made sure to be part of the festivities and plan side trips after that.
With life reopening, the adventurous couple continued their planning after putting everything on hold due to the pandemic. After their civil marriage last year in San Francisco, they decided to relocate to the Philippines with their little girl named Aluna. They quickly settled into everything Pinoy. Ollie and Audrey were even able to attend the Red Charity Gala before they headed to Malta. Audrey wore a gown by fave fashion designer Cherry Veric who also made her wedding gown and the entire entourage in speed record!
In a tale as enchanting as a fairy tale, the newlyweds’ journey began in college back in 2010. Their love story, forged over a decade, culminated in a breathtaking wedding celebration that took place in the idyllic archipelago of Malta. Their joy was amplified by the presence of their adorable 2-year-old daughter, Aluna, who added a special touch of magic to their union. With their radiant daughter by their side, they celebrated with 100 guests from around the world.
The wedding festivities began with a welcome sunset cruise, hosted by the groom’s friends and family. The despedida de soltera, hosted by the bride’s loved ones, was a night of pure joy. A live guitar player serenaded guests, creating an atmosphere of mirth and music. The theme, “Filipiñana chic,” added cultural richness to the evening. I wore a gift from Cherry Veric while my girls, Jordan and Athena, wore modern terno jackets by Noel Crisostomo.
The church ceremony on Oct. 23 was held at the Church of the Nativity of Mary in Naxxar and guests came dressed for a royal ball. The solemn and intimate marriage ceremony was filled with joy and happiness and was so heartfelt!
The wedding dinner and celebration took place across the church in the magnificent Palazzo Parisio, a setting straight out of a storybook. Audrey and Oliver did their first dance in an ornate ballroom to the Bee Gees’ classic “How Deep Is Your Love,” played by a harp and string quartet. There was a surprise performance by the wedding party — a killer choreographed dance to a Beyoncé medley. The reception culminated in a spectacular fireworks display, painting the night sky with bursts of color and light.
As the festivities drew to a close, a final gathering—a bye-bye brunch—provided a chance for lingering moments of connection and reflection. It was a farewell to an extraordinary celebration of love, a celebration that will be etched in the hearts of all who attended. Audrey, Oliver and Aluna’s wedding was more than just a union; it was a testament to the power of love, family and the magic that can be woven into the most special of days. It was a day that reminded us all that love is the truest and most beautiful kind of magic there is.
Continuing that magic of love, I traveled to the south of Italy to enjoy the charm and flavors of the coasts of Positano, Sorrento and Capri. Discovering new destinations is always exciting and creating new memories is a thrilling experience especially when love is in the air.
Since I was away, I was not able to attend the surprise birthday party of a dear friend, Susan Joven. She told me about F&C Jewelry’s sparkling 50th anniversary (F&C Jewelry is located at all SM Stores. Its flagship store is in Ayala Malls Glorietta. Visit fncjewelry.com, follow @fncjewelry on Instagram, or shop on Lazada, Shopee and shop.fncjewelry.com). The event shared the brand’s timeless style, rich history and exciting new possibilities.
From a quaint establishment along 73 Guanco Street in Iloilo City, F&C Jewelry is now present across the country in key lifestyle malls, with 73 branches and counting! Over the years, F&C Jewelry has solidified its status in the luxury scene, raising the standard of style with its wide range of fine jewelry. And with its roster of brand ambassadors and collaborators, it’s unsurprising that many continue to turn to it for inspiration. F&C Jewelry has worked with Rajo Laurel to create Rings by Rajo, a 2010 capsule collection inspired by the couturier’s renowned work in bridal fashion. Actresses Bea Alonzo and Coleen Garcia have also represented the brand, proving its readiness to cater to the fashionistas of classic and modern eras alike.
To mark its 50th anniversary, F&C Jewelry is proud to enter a new chapter with its newest ambassador Sofia Andres. Like the brand she represents, the fresh-faced model, style icon and actress has gone through transformations throughout her career that highlight her versatility.
As it heads toward another milestone, F&C Jewelry looks forward to achieving so much more. With its commitment to creativity, craftsmanship and shaping the image of Filipino-made jewelry, there is no doubt that F&C Jewelry will remain at the top for many more years to come.
Traveling with purpose is always more fulfilling. As I continue my travels in Italy, I am grateful for all the blessings in life. We need to choose the righteous path to feed our soul and make a positive difference whenever we can. INQ
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