batch_The stunning Maynila Ballroom dressed up by Robert Blancaflor for the ceremony.jpgIn light of the 105 years of presidential history surrounding the storied “The Grand Dame,” The Manila Hotel thus became the most fitting venue for the nuptials of Jerika Ejercito, the beautiful daughter of HE and former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Laarni Neiman Enriquez, to her dashing groom Miquel Aguilar Garcia, the General Manager of Porcelanosa Philippines.

batch_Vince Flores, John Lozano, Nicole Whisenhunt, Ferdi Salvador, Jewelle Mugglestone, Ellie Ejercito, Isaiah Ejercito, the bride, Meg Hornsby-Bates, Georgie Ichikawa, Precious Puno, Rebecca Zabarte, Jolo Estrada.jpgVince Flores, John Lozano, Nicole Whisenhunt, Ferdi Salvador, Jewelle Mugglestone, Ellie Ejercito, Isaiah Ejercito, the bride, Meg Hornsby-Bates, Georgie Ichikawa, Precious Puno, Rebecca Zabarte, Jolo Estrada

batch_The groom with parents Jose Aguilar Guillén and Alejandra Garcia Soriano.jpgThe groom with parents Jose Aguilar Guillén and Alejandra Garcia Soriano

The splendour of the wedding reflected the glamour of a bygone era with 600 guests dressed to the nines in their barong tagalog, evening gowns and glistening finery. The groom’s parents, the distinguished Jose Aguilar Guillén and Alejandra Garcia Soriano and sister, Claudia Aguilar Garcia had flown in from Spain along with his closest friends to witness the beautiful union of this well-loved couple. batch_The first dance to Love Story perfomed by Rada.jpg

The first dance to Love Story perfomed by Rada

The handsome duo were introduced through matchmaker extraordinaire Ferdi Salvador (Jerika’s dear friend and whom was also one of Miquel’s groomsmen) at the fancy Desiderata May of last year. The two hit it off instantly and after a year of blissful dating, Miquel proposed on the 12th of April 2017. Both being God-centred and spiritual individuals, Miquel whisked the love of his life off to Israel where they relished their first backpacking trip together through Jordan to Petra. Waiting for that perfect moment, he then got down on one knee at the luxe Kempinski Hotel by the wondrously captivating Dead Sea.

batch_The gorgeous gown was designed by Inno Sotto.jpgThe gorgeous gown designed by Ino Sotto

batch_The gorgeous Fiesta Pavilion decorated by Robert Blancaflor.jpgThe gorgeous Fiesta Pavilion decorated by Robert Blancaflor

The ceremony was held at the Maynila Ballroom of The Manila Hotel where a teary-eyed Jerika was given away by her proud father. “There were so many magical and memorable movements,” shared Jerika, “The moment my father gave me away, my mother's speech during the ceremony – who could forget that? But of course, my most memorable would have to be the exchange of our vows.”

The couple’s adorable son Isaiah Ejercito shyly executed his role of ring bearer while the very precocious brotherly duo, Harrison and Cameron Mckowen were the entertaining pen bearers and the cutest flower girl trio Ellie Ejercito, Elyziah Enriquez and Catherine Mckowen stole everyone’s hearts. 

Guests, beaming with happiness for the newlyweds and some dabbing at runny mascara (thanks to the bride’s emotional vows and her mother’s heartfelt speech) proceeded to the timelessly elegant Champagne Room for bubbly, delicious Spanish cured meats and tapas. 

The wedding party eventually made its way to the Fiesta Pavilion for the grand reception where the jaw-dropping tablescapes and décor (by the venerated Robert Blancaflor) paired rich textures with lush greenery and lilac blossoms which looked amazing under the dimmed mood lighting and candle-lit space. 

batch_ Ellie Estrada, Jake Ejercito, HE Joseph Estrada, the bride, Laarni Neiman Enriquez, Jacob Ejercito and Isaiah Ejercito.jpgEllie Estrada, Jake Ejercito, HE Joseph Estrada, the bride, Laarni Neiman Enriquez, Jacob Ejercito and Isaiah Ejercito

For the first time in the hotel’s history, a guest star chef collaborated with the kitchen on a phenomenal menu, which was masterminded by no less than The Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016, Margarita Forés. Hers was a clever mix of the couple’s heritage such as the Catalan seafood stew with Palawan lobster, Bulacan river prawn and capiz scallop; the handmade water spinach panuelos with boletus, chanterelle and Philippine kabute mushrooms; and the Philippine sea bass in parchment with chorizo, native corn, persil and aioli.

batch_Looking to the future.jpg Looking to the future

Forés’ pièce de résistance, however, was the fall-apart organic Negros roast lechon, Cerveza Negra infusion santol and calamansi in montassa syrup with Tempranillo liver sauce. The trick? Leaving cans of Cerveza Negra within the lechon while roasting until they exploded from within.

The playlist was a thoughtful intermingling of the couple’s favourite – albeit romantic – tunes such as What A Wonderful World, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Por Fin, Despacito, Orange Coloured Sky, and Tu Silueta. Father and daughter took to the dance floor to the moving melody of Sunrise, Sunset and then for their first dance as husband and wife, Love Story perfomed by Rada in Spanish with the Philharmonic orchestra.

Miquel, who is now looking forward to two new additions to the Aguilar brood (they are expecting twins!) said of their special day, “When she was walking down the stairs and down to the aisle with her parents all the way to her greeting my parents, I got very emotional and I tear up every time  I remember that unforgettable moment.”

 Browse through our slideshow below:

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A tender father-daughter moment 

 

batch_Adrian Campos Garcia, Gregoria Garcia Soriano and Joan Campos Garcia.jpgAdrian Campos Garcia, Gregoria Garcia Soriano and Joan Campos Garcia

batch_Alyssa Enriquez, Rebecca Zabarte, Paul Cabral, Precious Puno and Nicole Whisenhunt.jpg Alyssa Enriquez, Rebecca Zabarte, Paul Cabral, Precious Puno and Nicole Whisenhunt

batch_Carlos and Mariquita Yeung.jpg

Carlos and Mariquita Yeung

batch_Celia Subirana and Eduard Montmany.jpg Celia Subirana and Eduard Montmany

batch_Chris and Carla Mckowen.jpg

Chris and Carla Mckowen

batch_Claudia Aguilar Garcia and Lara Hernandez.jpg

Claudia Aguilar Garcia and Lara Hernandez

batch_Claudia Aguilar Garcia, Alejandra Garcia Soriano, the groom, and Jose Aguilar Guillén.jpgClaudia Aguilar Garcia, Alejandra Garcia Soriano, the groom, and Jose Aguilar Guillén

batch_Claudia and Ezra Yeung.jpg Claudia and Ezra Yeung

batch_Eduard Montmany Jane, the groom, Fran Valle and best man Jordi Pelay Guinjoan.jpg

Eduard Montmany Jane, the groom, Fran Valle and best man Jordi Pelay Guinjoan

batch_Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Marichu Maceda.jpg Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Marichu Maceda

batch_Former Senator Ferdinand Jr and Atty. Luisa Marcos.jpg

Former Senator Ferdinand Jr and Atty. Luisa Marcos

batch_Ino Tatsuya and Georgie Ichikawa.jpg Ino Tatsuya and Georgie Ichikawa

batch_Jacinto and Anita Ng.jpg

Jacinto and Anita Ng

batch_Jacob Ejercito, Jerika Ejercito-Aguilar and Jake Ejercito.jpg

Jacob Ejercito, Jerika Ejercito-Aguilar and Jake Ejercito

batch_Jose Kho and Ngan You Fan.jpg Jose Kho and Ngan You Fan

batch_Mila Wales, Mariquita Yeung and Teresin Mendezona.jpg

Mila Wales, Mariquita Yeung and Teresin Mendezona

batch_Mrs. and Ambassador Antonio Villamayor.jpg Mrs. and Ambassador Antonio Villamayor

batch_Pen bearers, Harisson and Cameron Mckowen.jpg

Pen bearers, Harisson and Cameron Mckowen

batch_Philippe and Edna Lhuillier.jpg Philippe and Edna Lhuillier

batch_Simon Ruparelia, Juncal Hernan, Jordi Noguera and Lara Hernandez.jpg

Simon Ruparelia, Juncal Hernan, Jordi Noguera and Lara Hernandez

batch_Sylvia Fu, Camille Lhuillier Madeline Lhuillier and Jaime Silverio.jpg Sylvia Fu, Camille Lhuillier Madeline Lhuillier and Jaime Silverio

batch_The Spanish side giving a warm welcome to the couple.jpg

The Spanish side giving a warm welcome to the couple

 Photos by Red Mango