My first glimpse of this hidden paradise in Bukidnon was truly unforgettable, as it deserves its own post and a special place in my heart. I went here on my first trip to Mindanao with close friends for their engagement session, with the location as a surprise. Going way past the marvelous, sunlit pine trees that hid the lush compound, Cawayanon unravelled lovely sprawling slopes, a romantic lakeside, and a wonderfully quiet post-war American village that served as a perfect haven, my friends’ pastures of youth.
Cawayanon surprisingly took me into an unexpected trip back to innocence – the idyllic provincial life in my childhood I realized too, I have not forgotten at all. Spending summers in a mellow, 50′s wooden bungalow, being wrapped in towering trees and sunkissed flowers in my late grandparents’ homegrown garden, running around fields against a mountain scenery – these vivid memories evoked by Cawayanon’s quiet wonder gave me a newfound light, a renewed optimism at a time I was coping from my hardest days.
Being with likewise sentimental friends on this memory lane trip, Cawayanon has that undeniable magic of binding people and memories together within its divinely peaceful backdrop. Until it welcomes us back into its arms again, thank you Cawayanon, for making me look back at life with such incredible joy and peace.
A dream come true.
Looking at these images, I again find myself speechless, overwhelmed, recounting what all of us workshoppers there would fondly call ‘The Jose Villa Experience’. In all its myriad of details and entirety, it is deservedly called so, and for me, has been truly one of the best experiences of my life.
I can only express my immense gratitude through these photos and the inspiration behind it. Thank you Jose Villa, and your dream team of wedding industry leaders who have ingeniously, lovingly crafted this amazing, life changing workshop. It’s been truly awesome meeting you all who have been such wonderful inspiration on my journey in photography and self-discovery. And what an incredible privilege it was learning from the best in the world.
But above all the boundless beauty and glamour that you all effortless create through and through, I will always be reminded of your unforgettable enthusiasm, warmth, sincerity, and humility.
The Jose Villa Italy Workshop
Villa Cetinale, Tuscany, Italy
with guest speakers
Shira Savada Of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine
Mar of TEAM Hair and Makeup
Angela Marcaccio of Richard Photo Lab
Design And Planning: Laurie Arons Special Events
Creative Direction And Design: Kate Holt Of Flowerwild
Hair And Makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup
Wardrobe Stylist: Summer Watkins
Workshop Marshall: Lacie Hansen
Special Assistant And Decor: Tomasso Of La Rosa
Models : Love Management And Casting Italy
Gown: Reem Acra From Gabriella Bridal
Gown: Samuelle Couture
Cake: Maggie Austin
Calligraphy: Tara Jones
Graphic Design And Printing : A Day In May Design
Leather Work And Brass Tags: Amber Moon Of Pitbulls And Posies
Beaded Charger: The Ark Event Rentals
Veil: Preston Olivia
Car: Zephyrus Sienna
Richard Photo Lab
Kraft and Jute
This engagement was shot on the 2nd day of the workshop, all shot digitally and processed in Filmtastic.
Today is the day our son is born. And with these photographs, my wife and I ought to celebrate the overwhelming end of this journey, and the start of a new one. To God be the glory.
Maternity photographs by J Lucas Reyes
Cat and J’s Portraits by John Lucas Reyes
Special thanks to Lace Tan of I Love Koi for Cat’s bandeau
Last week Sunday, my prenup partner in crime, Dylan Gozum of Vatel Manila threw an elegant, intimate, early dinner thanksgiving party with close friends, family, and friends in the wedding industry. Knowing Dylan, his SoCal-inspired setup (with the help of Lace Tan of K by Cunanan) was incredibly simple and amazing at the same time, it was just begging to be shot.
It was also my wife’s first trip to the Mango Farm, and what sheer luck it was for her to be greeted by fine and dandy long tables and succulent food set under the cozy mango greenery.
Later on in the party, it was such a warm surprise knowing from his inner circle how celebrated and well loved this humble, talented man is, for the little big things beyond his impeccable talent in styling flowers.
Incidentally, just this weekend Dylan has been named as one of Weddings@Work Top 5 Wedding Suppliers, as personally voted on by hundreds of couples and brides. Cheers to more blessed years to come for Vatel Manila, Kudos Dyl!