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"Nothing Beats Spending Time With My Wife During Ramadan"
17 May 2018STORIESBY SweetEscape

The Ramadan month is always something that Muslims around the world look forward to every year. With an entire month dedicated to removing oneself from wordly temptations, stripping things down to the basics and bringing oneself closer to the divine, there are plenty of ample opportunities for religious and spiritual reflection. In addition, there are also plenty of opportunities to spend more time with your loved ones, as businesses typically cut down on working hours throughout the month. If you're a newlyweds, this is obviously good news! Just ask musician Ritchie Ismail, who recently got hitched to TV personality Syahnaz Sadiqah, meaning that this is the first time they spend Ramadan as married couple. We spoke to Ritchie and asked for his insight on navigating Ramadan as a husband and whether there are any significant changes on his Ramadan habits now that he's a married man. Read on to find out!

"As I'm certain any newly married couples would attest, the main difference to Ramadan when you're married is definitely having a partner accompany you for your suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and iftar (breaking the fast). When I was single up until we were dating, I would usually wake up alone for both and prepare everything myself; but now that I'm married, my wife would prepare suhoor and iftar for the both of us. It's a nice and comforting feeling to have a partner with you when you're observing a religious activity.

That aside, there is not that much difference in my daily activities in comparison to the other months. But obviously there are certain specificities that you can only do during Ramadan. For instance, I would go out and get snacks for iftar. I love doing that, especially when my friends join me.

However, nothing beats spending time with my wife. Ramadan is the perfect time for that, I think. In fact, I would recommend all newlyweds to just spend more time with each other for your first Ramadan together. It allows your bond to become stronger, and at the same time, the two you can be closer to God and observe the month of Ramadan to its fullest extent. We are planning to do everything this Ramadan: suhoor, iftar, all the prayers. It enriches your soul and it teaches you the true essences of life: love, connection and God." - Ritchie Ismail

by Haris for SweetEscape in New York
by Haris for SweetEscape in New York
by Haris for SweetEscape in New York
by Haris for SweetEscape in New York

SweetEscape is online platform that connects you with local photographers around the world. Our mission is to capture your life precious moments, anywhere in the world. SweetEscape is available in over 400 cities around the world.

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8 Things To Do This Holiday Season, The Filipino Way
17 Dec 2018IDEASBY SweetEscape

Filipinos are known for their long holiday celebration. Many traditions and new ways keep this season alive no matter which city or town you go. You won't run out of things to do (but your budget probably will!) when you celebrate the holidays in the Philippines through these activities:

1. Go Christmas shopping in bazaars.

It's this time of the year when massive pop-up year-end bazaar and sale events happen, so go ahead and take advantage of the markdown madness to complete your Christmas gift list.

2. Complete the Misa de Gallo.

How many masses have you attended so far? Get up early or spare an hour so you could attend the mass at night because as they say, completing the 9-day or -night series will make a wish come true.

3. Visit music and lights shows and displays around the metro.

As soon as the holiday season comes, many parks and tourist attractions open Christmas-themed shows that are perfect for all ages. These Instagram-worthy locations are usually free of charge, making them picturesque and cheery venues to gather with your friends and families.

4. Spread the holiday cheer through Christmas carols

It has been part of the Filipino tradition to gather in groups and sing either classic or remixed tunes as they go from one house to another. Just as long as you know the lyrics to the in-trend Christmas songs, you'll definitely get those coins, or if you're lucky, you'll receive bills from your kind neighbors!

5. Organize a reunion party.

Many Filipinos love merrymaking, so expect most of your December weekends, and sometimes, weekdays too, to blocked off with schedules of parties. It's also a time to meet the newborns or catch up with the relatives who you haven't spoken to for a long time. Make your reunion party more memorable and let SweetEscape photographers turn your moments into beautiful photographs. Special for this holiday season, get 50% OFF on your 2-hour photo shoot, anywhere in Manila.

6. Pick a gift for your "monito" or "monita"

The Filipino version of Secret Santa is a more exciting and interesting one because gift-giving is done in small batches. Whether the category's something big, something fluffy, something embarrassing, or something naughty, you'll surely go home with a smile on your face because your friend or officemate could surely find a gift to pull that category or theme off!

7. Go on a staycation with your family

For some Filipinos, the holiday season means quality time, without the hassle of preparing feasts or organizing parties. Some simply prefer staying in or booking an accommodation where they could all relax and exchange thoughtful gifts after a hearty meal.

8. Go for a quick holiday vacation.

To some who've been looking forward to a unique kind of celebration for the holidays, setting off to another country is an option. School or office breaks give them a chance to explore new places, making their holidays a more memorable one.

In times like these, memories are meant to be saved. Especially if you've waited long enough for your family to be complete this holiday season, don't miss the chance to document those moments — let SweetEscape do it for you.

SweetEscape now offers a one-hour photo shoot that'll capture your best holiday moments in 1-2 spots. Your edited photos will be ready in 3 business days, just in time for sharing with everyone else around the world. Learn more about our one-hour photoshoot here: https://www.sweetescape.com/en/one-hour-photo-shoot

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