Beautiful Celebrations: Five Facts about Filipinos Debut You Probably Didn’t Know

 

 

18-roses“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” –E.E. Cummings

In the Philippines, a debut is not only a social event that a girl looks forward to celebrating all of her teenage life. Rather it is a girl’s symbolic transition from being a naïve lass to a woman. It has been said that this traditional practice has been around for years and has been meant to be celebrated to prepare the woman for the world of womanhood. In the age of social media and going viral, how this eighteenth “coming out” birthday party is celebrated will be starkly different to how it was celebrated decades ago. However, while there may be significant differences in how debut parties are celebrated now and then, there are still distinct aspects and notes that are present regardless of how a debut party will be thrown such as the cotillion dance and the customary eighteen roses dance.

If you are planning to celebrate your debut anytime soon, here are some of the facts about this coming of age celebration that you might want to know:

1.) It has been a tradition.

In the Philippines, girls are known to dream of their eighteenth birthday as it has been a long- held celebration observed by most Filipinos dating way back to aristocratic times. Today, some young women may choose to celebrate it differently but regardless of how they decide to greet their eighteenth birthday, turning eighteen is a big deal for them.

2.) It calls for a celebration.

Western countries are known to celebrate their sixteenth birthdays with a bang. Filipinos treat the eighteenth birthday of their daughters in the same regard. Depending on how the daughter wishes to throw a party and how much the parents would be willing to spend, eighteenth birthdays are usually elaborate events—second only to wedding celebrations.

3.) It is a big deal.

Turning eighteen is a big deal for most Filipino women and for this reason, they would wish to throw an elaborate party. In fact, some would regard debut parties in the same regard as wedding and baptismal celebrations. Although it is primarily up to the parents whether or not to give their daughters a debut party, a celebration of some sort is expected. With this in mind, some parents would throw an incredibly big bash for their daughters and would even prepare as early as nine months before the expected date.

4.) It is for women.

Debut parties are primarily geared towards women. It is a girl thing and is an occasion meant to be celebrated by women. However, this is not to say that boys do not have their own celebrations as well. As men are said to mature much later than women, they are to celebrate their debut or coming of age party when they turn 21. However, their celebrations are not as elaborate as a woman’s. More often than not, they would spend the night with friends in a bar and simply celebrate their adulthood.

5.) Social status is not an issue.

Back in the day, throwing a debut party was exclusively held by the members of the elite and upper class. It was said that they conducted these social events to keep up with current trends within their social circle. Furthermore, big parties and social gatherings such as debut parties were said to bolster their reputation within the community. In this regard, it can be said that debut parties were thrown for two reasons. However, as archaic and obsolete societal norms no longer constrain us, anyone can have a debut should they so wish.

 

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Successful Events: Four Ways to Plan a Catered Menu that Will Wow Your Guests

 

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“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It is not about nutrients and calories. It is about sharing. It is about honesty. It is about identity.” –Louise Fresco

Part of what makes any event successful is what you serve to your guests.

In fact, it can be argued that catering plays an integral role in contributing to the success or failure of any event. For this reason, planning a catered menu that is sure to wow and impress guests would put undue pressure on you. After all, you are not only considering what type of food you should serve, but you are also looking for the best possible affordable catering service that would offer you exemplary food and beverage. In this regard, how can you ensure that you can give your guests an extraordinary experience? One that would keep them talking for days? Well, for starters a delicious meal should be in order.

Unfortunately, most catered events are notorious for serving subpar food which can really diminish the overall experience. You should not fall victim to this scenario of serving less than stellar food, and there are ways of preventing just that.
If you wish to ensure that you provide your guests with an excellent menu and have an event that stands out, here are some of the things you ought to consider:

1.) Know your guest profile

Before choosing a menu, know who you are inviting first. What is the profile of your guests? And in relation to that, what sort of events do you think they will be attending throughout the year? More often than not, by knowing what they do, you can already tell what events they may attend. In this regard, you would already have a subtle hint of what they might always be served at these events. In any case, some of the things you should take note of are the professional level or your guests, the frequency of which they attend similar events, ethnic background and where they reside. From there you can customize a catered menu that will suitably delight them.

2.) Know their preferences

Of course, anyone would enjoy a meal that is filled with their preferred food and favorites. In this regard, it would be best if you took some time to understand the general profile of your guest list. With this in consideration, you would be able to prepare menu options better. However, to narrow it down, consider that older groups might choose a milder menu. Fitness and health buffs would favor a menu with vegetarian options as well as seafood while younger or middle-aged attendees would be more adventurous and may prefer spicy food. The key here is to take into consideration what your guests would enjoy the most depending on the type of event you are hosting.

3.) Provide menu choices

Unfortunately, no matter how much you try to anticipate your guests’ food preferences and plan your catered meal or buffet around it, you cannot realistically expect to please everyone. With this in mind, event planners should at least plan to offer several entrees or at least have a menu choice to ensure that guests will be satisfied with the meal offerings.

4.) Anticipate special needs

Know that allergies are a thing and several of your guests will probably have it which is all the more reason why you should offer a varied catered menu. In this way, they would have a lot of choices and would not be restricted to eating one dish just because they are allergic to the other–or worse, restricted from eating at all because you only served one particular dish—which they happen to be allergic to. In this regard, it is your responsibility as an event planner to know if there are dietary preferences and concerns to consider. Find out if any of your guests have a special dietary need so that the catering management can address this prior to the day of your event.

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Exquisite Events: The Top Reasons to Hire a Caterer on Your Next Event

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“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.”-Alan D. Wolfelt

Parties are a whole lot of fun but incredibly stressful to plan.

The logistics of throwing a successful one can get incredibly complicated—especially if you are the only one doing the planning. You have invitations to send out, create a menu, find a host for the event, serve the food and when all of that is done, you have to stress about the cleanup. From that perspective, it does not sound as fun as it initially was, is it not? However, this does not have to be the case at all times. Of course, reliable help is just within reach and to help you mitigate the workload; you can delegate the cooking to a catering company. There is a myriad of affordable caterers in Manila that you would not have a hard time booking one.

Now, all you would need to do is choose from their menu, sit back and enjoy your party as you should. If you are unconvinced, here are some of the other reasons why you should definitely hire a caterer for your next event:

1.) Save yourself some time

In delegating the cooking to an experienced caterer, you are not only ensured of a superb menu, but you can save some time as well. Instead of spending hours upon hours in the kitchen cooking (not to mention in the creation of a menu), you can dedicate more of your time to other tasks that would demand your attention. You will save a lot more time by letting the catering team do all the work.

2.) Make a statement

A catered event will definitely leave your guests with an impression. Moreover, it will tell them that it is an occasion of vital importance. It shows your guests that the kind of event you are throwing is not an ordinary one and that it commands their apt attention. Whether you may be hosting a birthday party, an anniversary party or even a business dinner, so long as you have it catered, your guests will feel the shift in the atmosphere.

3.) Save money

You might think this is impossible considering that you are paying for the labor as well as the food that would be served during your event whereas doing the cooking by yourself can effectively cut your labor costs. However, unlike you, caterers know whether to get the freshest and best ingredients for a lot cheaper than it would have been had you bought them straight from the grocery store. Moreover, some caterers would also include decorations as part of their catering package which means your event will likely be in grand style. Furthermore, your caterer would already have the equipment and other items necessary for your event. Lastly, as food is bought from their suppliers which would likely be wholesalers and markets, you can effectively cut down the price significantly as it would have been if you bought them at the grocery shop.

4.) Offer a versatile menu

You might be a skilled cook, but it is highly unlikely that you have the experience and expertise of a seasoned caterer. This means that you might probably fall short when it comes to creating an excellent, diverse and versatile menu. Sure, your winning recipes may always be a fan favorite, but remember special occasions call for a little extra when it comes to the menu. With that in mind, you can count on your caterer to surely deliver.

5.) Reduce your stress level

Last, but definitely not the least: Hiring a caterer to handle everything from the cooking to the decorations would certainly help you enjoy your event better. Moreover, you do not have to stress about the cleanup as they would take care of that right afterward. Socialize without stressing about what you need to do after and simply enjoy your event the way it is meant to be enjoyed: relaxed and stress-free.

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Get Hitched without Breaking the Bank

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When thinking of weddings, we immediately think of the damages. It will cost us the venue, guest list, gowns and suits, invites, food among other things. Then, there’s the theme to think about. A whimsical wedding at Blue Gardens, Quezon … Continue reading

Here’s a Mini Checklist Before You Walk the Aisle

This is a simple checklist to keep your head in the game. Preparing ahead of time is key to pulling off anything. Don’t sweat the small stuff and make sure no details are missed on during the big day. Continue reading

Caterers 101: Four Things Your Caterer Wishes You Knew

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“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate” –Alan D. Wolfelt

We might think their jobs are easy enough and straightforward, but the truth is, a caterer’s job is quite complex. Whether they may be providing the canapes for your daughter’s eighteenth soiree or providing all the courses to your elegant wedding, catering for an event is not as simple as creating a menu and cooking whatever is selected for the menu. The truth is being in your caterer’s shoes can be quite an overwhelming and daunting experience. In fact, there is a myriad of things your caterer would want you to know, so that the next time you are thinking of hiring one, you would have a better understanding of what goes on behind the kitchen doors.

Additionally, it would not hurt to know a few of some insider caterer’s secrets that might be helpful in aiding you make better decisions for the catering of the party you would be hosting next. So, before you start scouring for potential catering services in Bacoor, Cavite or elsewhere, here are some of the things you might want to know:

1.) Guests will drink more than usual

Guests tend to indulge themselves more at parties by drinking in excess and far more than used to. More often than not, this is because celebratory libations are free and of course, parties have an aura of euphoria to it which would prompt guests to drink. As this is the case, estimating the amount of alcohol needed for a particular event can present a challenge, but it is not impossible. Keep in mind that as your guests tend to imbibe more drinks than usual, so if you want them to indulge their drinking desires, buy more than necessary, or you can alternatively avail of cheaper packages.

2.) There is no need to create a menu around special diets

Some of your guests might be vegan, and there might be a few who might be allergic to gluten, this does not mean however that you have to bend over your back and design an entire menu to suit those preferences. Your caterer can always provide a dish or two for the guests who have particular or strict diets. Remember, you are feeding every single one of your guests—not only a fraction of them with specific diets.

3.) The kitchen at your site matters

One of the major snags a caterer would hit when it comes to catering for an event is a small kitchen—or worse the lack of one. Even if the food for your party is prepared off-site, a kitchen would still be ideal in order to reheat the food or keep it warm. In any case, having your caterers operate in a site sans a kitchen would result in creamy food being congealed and food losing its crisp. While this is not the case all the time (as you can always plan your menu with food that does not necessarily need to be kept warm), having a kitchen on the site would still be a good contingency plan.

4.) Pinterest is not always realistic

Some brides-to-be would come up to their caterers and ask them to imitate a particular food or cake they found off Pinterest and expect their caterers to mimic every detail. While Pinterest is a good website to inspire ideas for an event, not everything on the website is necessarily realistic. Apart from relying on the skills of your caterer, you also have your own budget to keep in mind. More often than not, the praise-worthy posts you have seen on Pinterest were probably created by food stylists who have employed innumerable inedible things (from shaving cream to glue) just to make food look the way it was advertised.

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Party Planning 101: Five Tips to Creating An Excellent Guest List

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“A balanced guest list of mixed elements is to a successful party what the seasoning is to a culinary triumph.” -Lentia Baldridge

A wise adage about successful parties has one said that, “The most successful event is the one that achieves your goal and exceeds your expectations”. But this sentiment begs the question, how do you plan an event that does exactly two things? How do you put together a party that accomplishes what you want by the time it ends and succeeds spectacularly beyond your dreams? Well, part of it is having a solid plan, a good and appropriate venue and more than enough food. However, your invitees would also play a pivotal role to the success or failure of an event. For this reason, you might want to be a little particular and meticulous about how you create your guest list. You might think that this is a negligible aspect when it comes to party planning, but whether you are throwing a children’s party with a fun ranch party package, or a party exclusive to adults, your guests’ presence would matter as they would contribute to how a party will go.

To create a good guest list, here are some tips you should keep in mind:

1.) Consider the mix

In creating your guest list, be extra mindful of the guests you invite and take into account what their interests are. In the same vein, try to invite guests who are within the same age group—after all, you cannot expect your teenaged guests to blend in and get along well with adults who are well into their fifties. Choose guests who you know would appreciate your invitation and actually make a conscious effort to contribute to the overall success of your party.

2.) Send your invitations the traditional way

While sending invitations through email or social media’s event invites might be a lot more convenient, and faster, there is a likely chance it will get ignored. Additionally, sending it digitally can cause a myriad of headaches as guest-list management is a lot more complicated when you do it over social media. Inviting your friends digitally would cause some of your uninvited friends to question why they were not invited and may hurt their feelings. Avoid this by using paper invitations.

3.) Do not let others bully you

“But, are you not going to invite all your cousins?”, “What about my friends from the health club? Are they not coming?”, These are just common statements from people who bully you into inviting more people—particularly people who are in the social sphere and not yours. This is especially true for weddings. However, if a relative or friend is pressuring you to invite more guests, politely tell them that it is your party and not theirs. In any case, you should not yield to any kind of pressure to supersize your guest list—whether it comes from a relative or your friends. After all, at the end of the day, you are the one who is going to be paying the event—not them.

4.) Give your single guests the option to bring dates if they have partners

While you are not obligated to extend the invitation to the romantic partners of your guests, you should at least be consistent. Do not give one guest that option while denying it to another. If you grant this option to one guest, make sure it is an option available to all single guests. Remember to include “and guest” in the designation of their invitations should you decide to let your single guests bring their plus ones.

5.) Beware the snowball effect

There is no rule in etiquette dictating that you should invite all the guests of your wedding to your kid’s christening party. If your budget dictates otherwise, invite only the people who you want to be in your party.

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