Excerpt from The Charlotte York of Manila

By Ria Hazel Lumandog


If I were a character in Sex and the City, I would be the Charlotte York of Manila.

When I was little, I loved attending weddings. I’ve always wanted to be the flower girl of an aunt or uncle who’s getting married. If I wasn’t part of the entourage, I’d collect the souvenirs or take the “wishes” hidden at the bottom of the wedding cake.

After college, I became a bridesmaid to one of my high school friends and caught the bouquet when I wasn’t supposed to. At that time, I thought it might be fate. I was in love with my then boyfriend, who happened to be my childhood crush with whom I reunited after some years apart.

But a year after that, I found myself being cheated by fate. To be more specific, I was betrayed by the same guy I thought I would spend my life with, forever.

And to think, I had the wedding part all planned out. From the flowers, the possible venues for the reception, the music that’s going to be played, even up to the audio-visual presentation featuring our childhood photos so our guests would say ohh and aww as our photos flash on the screen.

My plans and dreams were shattered. And for the first time in my life, I wasn’t sure where I was going. Little Ms. Planner felt lost. At 25, I was hoping to find true love again. I went back to square one. For someone who had her first relationship easily, looking for someone to give my heart again to was difficult.

But as it turned out, fate wanted to play around with my heart some more. Fate wasn’t done with the scheming. Just four months after the breakup, I met someone who was exactly the person the tarot card and palm readers described to be. And I’m a believer of such things. He and I had the same wavelength. He took care of me when I felt bad. We sang the same songs and enjoyed the same movies. And just like Lily and Marshall from How I Met Your Mother, we finished each other’s sentences and sandwiches.


Photo by Ria Hazel Lumandog

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 About Ria

Ria Hazel Casem Lumandog has always been a hopeless romantic. She works in a bank, but also blogs in her lifestyle web home, www.sugarsmile.info. She graduated from the University of Santo Tomas, majoring in AB-Journalism, where all her ideas about love, life and friendship blossomed.

She loves traveling, coffee, Hello Kitty and music. If she can have a soul sister, it would probably be Elle Woods, because like her, she also “wears too much pink.”

Photos by Ria Hazel Lumandog






Thank you for supporting this book! Share it online and include #BeforeIDoAnthology! This 2-in-1 book was self-published in Manila, Philippines in December 2016. Before I Do Anthology will soon be available at National Bookstore and Fully Booked branches in the Philippines.

Edits: Jacquie Bamba S. Zamora

Before I Do Anthology

Philippine Copyright © 2016 by Katherine C. Eustaquio-Derla

Kath C. Eustaquio-Derla is a journalism graduate from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. She wrote Bedroom Blog by Veronica, a relationship blog for Cosmopolitan Philippines from 2009 to 2011, which covers most of her single dating life. In 2015, she published her first book Before I Do. She’s passionate about coffee, red wine, books and Mad Men. She stopped collecting hearts when she got married in 2013 and went back to collecting Archie Comics ever since. Send the author a tweet @kceustaquio.

Disclaimer: This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental. Image from Pexels.com.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without written permission of the publisher or author. The exception would be in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles or reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher or author.

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