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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Catering Ideas: What Your Guests Want You to Know About Wedding Food


“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” –Thomas Keller


No question, one of the most important aspects of a wedding is where you decide to hold it. After all, your wedding venue often dictates the kind of wedding theme you might have—so it is pivotal that you choose well. Furthermore, your wedding venue tends to give your wedding guests that first impression of what they can expect to unfold during your event—a teaser for what is about to come, if you may.

However, regardless of whether you choose to have your wedding reception in the North Forbes Pavilion or no matter how lush and sophisticated it might be, maintaining the kind of impression you initially had on your wedding takes a lot more than beautiful, elaborate décor and elegant venues. In fact, one thing that stays with your guest well after the toasts are made or once they step out of your venue will not be how ornate your centerpieces are, but rather, the quality of food that they ate. Apart from ensuring you serve enough to feed all of them adequately, you need to consider including food that would fit everyone’s palate and not just yours and your partners.

Remember, if you wish your wedding guests to feel welcomed, then it is best you kept them in a celebratory mood all night long. In any case, here are some of the food-related guest secrets that are sure to wow them:


Consider the timing

While it is understandable to have a program flow, you should not keep your guests waiting to eat. If you and your guests normally take your dinner at around 7PM in the evening, they should not have to wait until 9PM to eat their food. However, if your dinner is not scheduled to be served until much later, consider adding more options to your cocktail bar. Apart from including drinks and juices, include some light finger food too such as sandwiches and chips. This will ensure that your guests would not be starving by the time dinner arrives. If you are in the initial phase of your planning, be sure to set your mealtime first and then work backward to your ceremony start time. Just be sure never to leave your guests starving.

Bedazzle your cocktail table

Impress your guests by having a large and bountiful table display filled with finger treats and food. You can take it up a notch by electing to have the food served to your guests by butlers. Be sure to include a variety of food so that your guests will have a lot to choose from. However, be careful not to add to have too much food on the cocktail table as your guests might overindulge—leaving them far too full to enjoy the evening wedding banquet.

Accommodate dietary restrictions/preferences

Be sure to account for food preferences, allergies as well as diet restrictions as well. Address this by talking to your caterer beforehand and ensuring that special dietary needs are met. Furthermore, it is best to communicate with your guests before the wedding so that they would have an idea of what to expect. After all, you cannot leave your vegan and vegetarian friends out just because they cannot enjoy the food. You also cannot realistically expect them to eat only bread and green beans. Be prepared ahead of time and ask your guests if they have special food needs.

Choose a menu that reflects your favorite items

In a way, the wedding menu reflects what you and your partner love to eat. If your favorite food in the whole world includes hamburgers, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese or the like, find a way to incorporate that into your menu. Customize your menu according to what you wish and ask your caterer if they can prepare it for you as well.

Include local food items

If you have wedding guests flying in just for the wedding, be sure to include local food that will be sure to impress them. Food items that are specific to a particular location are enjoyable as some of your guests might not even get another chance to try it apart from having them at your wedding. Feature some local dishes and be sure to get the best so as to give your wedding guests an appropriate experience.

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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

Q&A: 5 Crucial Things to Consider Before Hiring a Catering Company

“I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I’d buy a painting.” – Andy Rooney


Planning an event is one of the most exciting yet overwhelming times one can experience. The success of the event is a reflection on how capable you are in organizing and coordinating things. When initiating an event, planners need to think about the flow of the program, theme, some people to attend,and don’t forget the food – it’s one thing most attendees are waiting for. While others would rather go for a snack, many event planners and organizers prefer hiring a catering company.

There will always be advantages when you hire a caterer. Most companies have catering packages that offer not just coordinating with the reception timeline and the flow of the dinner but, in most cases, they will also supply the needed tablewares. On top of your priorities, there’s no pressure when it comes to food. However, just because you decided to hire a catering company, that does not mean you’re done. There are crucial things to consider when choosing the right catering company for your event – this is to ensure that attendees would be satisfied with their services.

Below, we list down some questions to ask and consider before you choose and hire a catering company.

Who am I meeting with?

The basic question you need to ask – who you need to meet and talk with regards to the overall process. As a planner, you need to determine whether you are meeting with the owner of the company? A manager? A representative in the sales department? Do you know the owner of the company in person? Knowing these questions would give you an idea on how to approach such person to work with you for the entire event.

How will you run this event?

The next question you need to think about is what kind of event you are planning? Is it a formal event? A party style event? This will determine how the food will be served. Moreover, don’t forget to ask a similar question to the company. Although it is not your job to tell the caterer on what to do, at least you know how the catering staff will be operating during the event.

What other services do you offer?

Apart from the main course, a lot of catering companies offer desserts, some have licensed bar services, and there are even companies that offer you a venue where you could have a rehearsal dinner. Availing their deals or packages is not only convenient on your part, but you can also have it in a less expensive than purchasing other services from different companies.

Can you provide me with a broken-down cost estimate?

For most event organizers, unless if needed, spending too much is a no-no. As much as possible they would find a way or alternative on how they can pull things off in an affordable way. That means, when it comes to the cost, you need to be skeptical enough to make sure there will be no hidden cost. Know how much you need to pay for the labor, set-up/breakdown, and anything that involves you paying.

What is your leftover policy?

Some catering companies are strict when it comes to the leftovers. If a catering company does not allow you to take the leftovers, then you are only paying for what your guests ate. Moreover, make sure to ask whether you can wrap up the food for you to take home after the event.

As the event organizer or planner, it would take you some time to think about the crucial things to consider when hiring a catering company. You do not want to ruin a good event just because you’re not satisfied with the food and their services they offer. Again, the success of the event would determine how you manage and organize things.

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Wedding Catering 101: Ten Tips in Curbing Your Expenses on Food for the Big Day!

A majority of your expenses will be solely focused on the wedding catering during your big day. And your disbursements will largely depend on how many guests you have invited to your memorable affair. If you are planning to host a rather lavish dinner complete with a food and wine buffet–some cocktails on the side with hors d oeuvres, chances are you are going to be charged rather exorbitantly but regardless of whether you are turning your wedding dinner into a grand event or not, wedding catering fees are going to be relatively pricey.
However, there are ways to curb these needless expenses, so before you contact your caterer take a look at this article and look for ways on how to have a great catered event while staying within budget.

1.) The presentation is key. People are very visual creatures and more often than not, they feast and eat with their eyes first, so zero your focus on the presentation of your food. Invest on unique plates instead of intricate serving trays as this will add a twist to your food presentation without having to foot a hefty catering bill.

2.) Being on a budget does not necessarily connote being miserly and cheap. This is your big day after all. For appetizers, instead of scrimping on the total costs by using commonplace cocktail food such as carrot sticks and cucumbers, opt for broccoli flowers and artichoke hearts cut in various unique shapes, sizes, and other creative choices. Give it a tasteful twist by adding an array of flavored dipping sauces.

3.) When it comes to rather expensive cocktail food and appetizers, opt to hand pass them rather than setting them out in a buffet for guests to freely serve themselves. In this way, guests are least likely to overindulge and have less wastage as well with the leftover food. Additionally, it helps you account for the cocktail food by serving only a portion per guest.

4.) Have themed stations at a buffet such as an Asian station or a Mexican station. The ingredients for a simple noodle dish are affordable, and Mexican fajitas and nachos are relatively cheap. It would look like you have invested a lot while you are still sticking to a budget.

5.) Save carving stations for the main course. Carving stations during cocktail hour (such as ham, pork loins, etc.) are impractical as it leaves guests feeling heavy and full making them skip out on the main meal and doubling your cost and causing food wastage as well.

6.) Serve seafood based soups in small mini cups. Clam chowders, lobster bisques or any flavors of any variety could be served at weddings for a minimal price if you served them in cups rather than have them sitting at a buffet station for guests to serve themselves.

7.) Skip the cheese platter from your cocktail menu. Hors d’ oeuvres are typically served before the main course and while guests wait for the entourage to arrive but cheese platters are often typical and predictable. Not to mention they are quite pricey, and no one is likely to pay them any attention. Skip this and serve little tea sandwiches instead.

8.) Ask your caterer beforehand which seafood are likely to be in season during your wedding day. In this way, you are likely to save on the cost as there is an abundance of supply in your choice of seafood.

9.) Consider serving family-styled dishes and forgo a buffet if budget is tight. In this way, each table gets served equal portions without having to worry about food going to waste which will help you and your wallet.

10.) For your wedding toast, consider skipping the champagne. Guests can similarly toast to you with whatever drinks they have in hand (and similarly allows those too young to drink to toast to you as well). Alternatively, you can look for cheaper alternatives in ciders and sparkling wines instead.


Serving a wedding feast does not have to be expensive if you know how to cut costs. Follow some of these tips to enjoy a sumptuous wedding meal without having to break the bank and leaving your guests satiated as well.

Wedding Reception Timeline: Four (4) Tips In Planning A Smooth Schedule

It is every bride’s dream to have a smooth and organized wedding. The trick behind this goal lies on proper planning and execution. Whether you’re moonlighting as an events organizer or you’re already a pro in the field, here are four (4) tips to remember in planning a successful order of events.

1. Consider the catering location. Know the requirements, their basic DOs and DONTs when you do the booking and create timing.pasig to antipolo

  • Preparation. Can you come in advance and do the preparations? Up to how many minutes do they give allowance so you can ready everything?
  • Distance between the nuptial venue and reception. For instance, if the ceremony will be performed in a Pasig church and the dinner party will be at an over-looking scenic spot in Antipolo, you may need to think about the duration of travel in between two districts plus the possible traffic the guests may encounter along the way.
  • Closing Time. How long can you stay after the whole affair is over? It takes about 30 to 45 minutes after the newlyweds bid their goodbyes before everyone can completely leave the area. Some may mingle first, others may need extra moments to gather their belongings or several of them may want to coordinate with friends for transportation assistance.

2. Think about the people. It’s all about synchronizing your sched with all the people involved.think about the people

  • The groom and his lady. How long will it take for them to reach the function – ten minutes, fifteen, twenty?
  • Attendees. As soon as they arrive, do you have something in store for them while they’re waiting for the couple? How will you keep them entertained? Who’s going to attend to them? Do you meet and greet each?
  • Photographer. Does he have a special lighting required at a specific time of the day? If it’s a garden wedding, would he need the husband and wife to proceed directly to the swing perhaps as soon as they come in to capture a certain feel?
  • Catering Services Crew. Are they enough or do you need extra help from the entourage on particular tasks? How long will it take them to serve all the food? Is there an exact hour for the cake arrival or will it be delivered beforehand?
  • DJ and the band. What’s the game plan? Do they sing live continuously? How many songs will they be playing?

3. Decide whether it’s going to be a traditional timeline or custom-made. Although it’s been a practice to stick to traditions, the wedded pair may have different views about it. Hence, consult their preferences. Would they opt to have dance breaks in between events to erase boredom or monotony?whiteweddingfloor4. Expect the unexpected. If the occasion entails an outdoor gathering, there’s always a chance that the weather may become erratic and unpredictable. On the same note, if it’s indoors, power interruption may occur as well. Thus, have a back up plan in case something goes wrong.expect the unexpected

Wedding Cake: Five (5) Steps On Planning The Right Cake For Your Wedding

Cutting the cake is one of the significant moments shared by the bride and groom during the entire wedding. This is their first activity as a husband and wife. It signifies a commitment that in whatever they do, they are in it together. As they feed each other a slice, it represents faithfulness and trust. Thus, the wedding cake itself symbolizes their love for one another.

Here are five (5) simple steps on planning the right wedding cake for you and your hubby.

Step One (1). Do a research. Consider the following.

  • Budget. How much is allotted to spend for the cake? Is it enough for a two-layer, three-layer or would one-layer do? Will it be shared to the guests as well?
  • Overall look and appearance. Seek inspirations over the web, or magazines. Would you opt for a traditional or non-traditional one?

Step Two (2). Begin the local baker search.

  • Quick reminder: before you do this step and start looking for a local baker, confirm first if your catering service in the Philippines offers cake as part of their package. In this way, there won’t be any unnecessary cost on your end.
  • Transportation. First consideration is how will it be transported. The nearer the bakery is to the reception, the better.
  • Recommended list. Come up with a list of experts in baking around your area. You can ask your catering guy in Manila if he/she knows someone.
  • Book early. Give your pastry chef an adequate time to perfect your wedding cake.

Step Three (3). Taste it.

  • Do the cake-tasting with your fiancé. This is to make sure that both of you agree on and enjoy the taste.
  • Add your personalities in the flavor. Associate the flavor with something about the two of you. If you met in an Italian restaurant, maybe a French cannoli filling will help remind of your first date. Do not choose safe flavors. The tendency is, it would be forgettable.
  • Do not try too many in one sitting. It could be overwhelming to your taste buds, not to mention your tummy.

Step Four (4). Customize.

  • Style and Color. Based on the inspiration, style your wedding cake. What colors would you use, would it match your wedding dress or is there a specific theme like Star Trek perhaps, if both of you are Sci-Fi junkies.
  • Cake Decors. Put in ribbons or candles. Real flowers may be cheaper too. Do not overdo.
  • Topper. Stick not to the generic bride-groom topper. Be creative and wacky.

Step Five (5). The Main Event.

  • Time your cake-cutting. It could be early so that all eyes are on you or it could be done the usual method, before the end of the reception program.
  • Place it prominently. Display the cake where everyone can see and appreciate.

On the next post, learn how to find unique ideas for your wedding cake.