EXCLUSIVE: What We Learned From Chef JP Anglo And Camille Malapas' Oceanside Siargao Wedding
They met, fell in love, got engaged, then married on a beach.
For recently wedded couple Chef JP Anglo and Camille Malapas, nothing else could serve as a more perfect venue to the most life-changing moment they could experience as two people in love.
And in the re-telling of their sunny, sandy, oceanside happily ever after, they teach us a thing or two about love and what it takes to put together a wedding to remember, not only for themselves but for their loved ones, too.
Food lover and professional chef JP met former currency broker and surfer enthusiast Camille in Real, Quezon, when he was filming Hungry With Chef JP, a culinary lifestyle documentary TV show.
JP and Camille soon became a couple, with like quickly turning into love and a barely-a-year relationship blossoming into a marriage proposal in March.
Camille reminisces, "When we were in Siargao, he brought me to a hilly part of the island during sunset. He proposed there."
And in just a few months after the joyous day, a new Mr. and Mrs. emerged, hand in hand, and heart to heart.
An intimate ceremony held on the third of June at Don Salvador Benedicto, Bacolod with just 10 of Camille and JP's family set off a series of wedding celebrations, the most memorable of which was their Punta Dolores Homestead, Siargao nuptials that were ultimately Camille's beach wedding dreams come to life.
Every detail of the day was to her liking: her Kristel Yulo-designed dress in silk chiffon featuring delicate lace detailing and a deep back style; her fuss-free décor that revolved around a Filipino tropical feel mirroring nature and sunsets; the dress code of sage green for bridesmaids, canary yellow for her mom and mom-in-law, nude and orange for ninangs, and custom-made short-sleeved barongs by Ziggy Savella for the groom and his groomsmen.
Their wedding stylist Jof Serring, on the other hand, also played a key role in accomplishing what Camille had in mind. Using locally sourced flowers and greenery, she simply enhanced Siargao's natural beauty, rather than overwhelm it with lots of accents. Camille's favorite details were the aisle, altar arch, and a little door detail that made all the difference.
"We didn't really have a theme to be honest. We wanted it to be very organic and reflecting the 'island life,' since we were going to have it in Siargao. We wanted it to be very laidback and easygoing, hence we weren't strict with dress codes and all. We wanted all of our guests to be comfortable the whole time," describes Camille.
And as for the groom—whose main priorities were simply his bride's happiness and a feast to remember—he contributed to the day by making sure it was going to be distinctly Filipino.
"It was carefully thought of, but we weren't so strict on things. We went with the flow of everything and we didn't push for something that was too difficult to attain," she continues.
Together, Camille and JP's vision resulted in a wedding that was truly reflective of themselves and what they held dearest.
But if there was anything that Camille and JP would not compromise on, it was Siargao as the venue.
The tear-shaped island was where they vacationed together for the first time, became a couple, and committed themselves to each other to spending the rest of their lives' days together.
Camille explains, "Every time we go there, we are reminded of the simple joys in life and how beautiful God's creations are. Ang ganda ng isla ngSiargao, and it just takes away all the stress the city life can bring. We love living in the city, but sometimes we need the island to remind us that there is beauty and joy in simplicity and it's where there is no prejudice. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, if you own this kind of car or live in this subdivision. There, everyone is equal and you see people for who they are, not for what they have."
And of course, because it was a wedding involving one of the country's most popular chefs, this party's menu was definitely a key player alongside the couple!
In lieu of formal cocktails and sophisticated bites, fresh pan de coco, homemade dirty ice cream, and lip-smacking pickles and cheeses by Chef Momon Fortich greeted guests as they funneled into the venue, while the day's fresh catches were served whole, carving station style, alongside lato salad, lechon, and pulutan of chicken inasal and batchoy.
Yet at the end of the day, when the guests have gone home, the sun has set, and the party has come to a close, Camille looks to her husband JP and is reminded of why she chose him and no one else.
"He's never afraid to admit that he's wrong and he always strives to become a better person—both personally and also with work. I love how driven he is with everything. He is a go-getter. He's so optimistic and positive and he has such a bright outlook in life—and this is very important for me," she begins.
"He's someone I can really be myself with—the silly me, the cheesy me, the serious me and the feisty me. He is the sweetest," she ends.
Photos by Pat Mateo and from @camanglo