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

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“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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Memorable Events: Five Things to Know Before Planning Your Debut Party

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“Womanhood is the great fact in her life, wifehood and motherhood are but incidental relations.” –Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

In the Philippines, a girl’s eighteenth birthday is a cause for a big celebration.

For some, it marks the transition of a girl to a woman which would then be accompanied by an elaborate party with all the works. Indeed, a big party would usually be thrown in honor of the young lady’s special day. In this regard, the debutante would have to take into account the numerous preparations she would have to do—depending on the type of party she wants to have. The more elaborate it is, the more time would be required to prepare it. With some modern debut parties closely resembling wedding reception parties nowadays, it would be no surprise that the amount of effort (and money) that goes into this event would be quite significant. As this is a considerable milestone in a girl’s life and a once in a lifetime event, it would be understandable for girls to only wish for the best. However, be warned as planning such a party might come off as a challenge and it would certainly not be easy. So, before you brainstorm on debut ideas and proceed to the planning stage, here are some things you do need to bear in mind:

 

Limit your guest

A pivotal factor in planning your debut is the guest list. Knowing how many people you invite and would be coming to your party would determine the type of preparations you should make. The number of people you invite would also determine the type of catering package that would be recommended for your event. Although it might seem a little overwhelming to consider the task at hand (and to identify who to invite), know that there is a limitation on the number of guests you should invite. Try to keep the number reasonable as the number of guests would usually affect the food menu and size of your venue. Have an estimate of how many guests will be attending before you even start answering your planner’s queries as regards your guest list.

The venue

The next thing you should consider after creating your guest list is to think of an appropriate venue for your event. Remember, your venue should be big enough to accommodate the number of your guests. So apart from your budget, you should also take your guest list into account. You have quite a lot of options when it comes to your event venue. You do not absolutely have to go with a 5-star hotel if you want someplace unassuming. You can even use your own house if you have a big enough space to accommodate your guests. Just be sure that your venue has all the necessary things that would make your party run smoothly. These things would include enough bathrooms, electrical outlets, and a kitchen.

Send out your invitations

One of the fun things you can look forward to making is your party invitations. In designing and creating them, you can really make your creative juices flow and if you are looking to budget, you can even make them yourself. Ask your friends to help you out—however, do take into consideration the number of guests you will be inviting. If you intend to make by hand a hundred invitations, then it might not sound as fun as it originally was. Remember to design your invitations accordingly as they would give your guests a glimpse of what they can expect at your party. Choose a theme on the cards as well as on the materials you will be using.

Check out your catering options

Another thing of significant importance when it comes to planning your debut party is to consider what catering packages you want. To narrow your list of choices down, it is best to look for those caterers that can multitask. However, there are also some suppliers who can provide you with packages while offering another service. Logistically, to make the planning go smoothly, book an event organizer who can provide for floral arrangements as well as collaborate with other event suppliers. Look for suppliers that are not only cost-efficient but would also cause you less stress in planning your event.

Know your priorities

A surefire way to make your planning preparations for your debut a lot less stressful and hassle-free is to know what your priorities are. Know what is best for your debut and where you should be pooling most of your finances into—whether that may be a sophisticated gown, a grand fireworks display or the event venue itself. Sorting them appropriately would mitigate the chances of you overspending for the event. Furthermore, it allows you to fine-tune the details of your debut.

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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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The Worst Wedding Tips Brides Should Steer Clear From

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“A talented wedding planner is a gift you give yourself…and then you wonder how you ever thought you could manage without one.” –Author Unknown

Planning a wedding is in by no means a cakewalk regardless of how simple or how elaborate it would be. There is quite a lot of aspects to consider and just like there how two brides are not the same, the logistics of their weddings are never straightforward nor are they quite same. For this reason, people who have already been engaged and tied the knot will often come to you in droves—giving you pieces of advice (solicited or otherwise) about what you should and should not do for your wedding day. Although they are well-intended, they are not always precise and some of them can be quite impractical. Furthermore, what used to work for them might not exactly work for you when it is your turn to walk down the aisle.

In this regard, it would be important to be a little shrewd and meticulous when it comes to following the innumerable unwarranted advice you will inevitably get. Recognize which ones are helpful and which ones could be detrimental. Remember, from something as major as your wedding gown to something as insignificant as which flowers to use, you have the final say. So, do not let anyone’s ability of persuasion overpower you.

In any case, here are some of the worst advice you should avoid and ignore:

1.) Skimp on catering costs

Some brides who have tied the knot two decades ago would probably be the first to tell you to skimp on the food costs and splurge on the other elements instead. They would tell you that no one really goes to the wedding to eat anyhow so do not go above and beyond when it comes to food packages. However, this might come as a shock to you but some wedding guests go to the wedding precisely for the food. After all, in these days, nothing is considered better than wedding food. Furthermore, it is one of the things that make your wedding memorable and really, you do not want to be remembered as the cheap bride who let her guests go hungry just so she can have stellar wedding decorations.

2.) Going impromptu for your wedding vows

Your wedding vows should have meaning and should originate from the heart. Spend a good time contemplating about what you should say and write it down—even if you are a good speaker. Remember, when we are all choked up and overwhelmed by emotion, we tend to forget what we are about to say—and that is a scenario you would not want at your wedding.

3.) Wait for your wedding dress to go on sale

Sure, you might be constrained to a budget and it might be nice to get your dream wedding gown at a fraction of its original price. However, you should also consider that you are not the only bride looking around for a gown and there is a likely chance that there is another bride whose eyes are on the same dress you have been waiting to go on sale. Do not wait for flash sales and buy it as is or risk having it being sold to another or spend more on expensive alterations should you need it in a rush.

4.) DIY as much as you can

Personal aspects and elements make a wedding more charming and endearing. However, there is also such a thing as overdoing the DIY. Yes, you might be saving a lot more cash on wedding decors, favors, and all other whatnots but you are also spending a lot more time–time that could have been spent doing other things that would contribute to your wedding. Moreover, you may even end up spending more than you initially thought on craft materials which would be counterintuitive if you are working on a budget.

 

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Office Events: Five Alternative Christmas Party Themes

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“What I do not like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.” –Phyliis Diller

 

Office Christmas parties are somewhat of a hit or miss office event. Some of your employees might live for them, but there is an occasional slew of colleagues who would just grit their teeth, smile and bear through it all—in hopes of landing a better position in your office. However, love them or hate them, Christmas/Holiday parties—regardless of what your stance on religion is, is an excellent avenue for cultivating your inter-work relationships and fostering friendships. In this regard, it is in your best interest to maintain the holiday tradition of throwing an office bash every December.

Unfortunately, holding annual Christmas parties means you might be running out of original ideas for themes. After all, you can only hold so many ugly Christmas sweater themed parties before the idea gets old, worn and tacky.

Fortunately, despite holding a themed party yearly, there is no shortage when it comes to novel theme ideas. So, for your office Christmas party this December, try something a little less common and a bit more unique and fun with the ideas below:

1.) Sweets giving soiree

If you and your colleagues have a particularly sweet tooth, you might enjoy celebrating the holidays with sweetmeats and chocolates instead of the traditional Christmas desserts. As it is the of giving, why not engage in a sweet-gift exchange party instead? Fill your dessert buffet tables with sweet delights such as marshmallows, chocolate fountains, candy, icings and other saccharine delights.

2.) Holiday Movie Marathon

In lieu of donning on Christmas ensembles, encourage your colleagues and employees to dress up as their favorite holiday movie character—bonus points for originality and a touch of humor. If your workers love to dress up, they will especially love this theme, and it gives you more reason to anticipate the all-day holiday movie marathons you will inevitably be enjoying at home.

3.) Masquerade Ball

If you wish to throw a corporate party that is marked by elegance and punctuated by hints of lush sophistication and chic undertones, then treat your colleagues and yourself to a masquerade ball. Dress up to the nines and encourage your employees to do the same. There is a very likely chance that your colleagues and co-workers only ever get the chance to doll themselves up on formal events such as weddings. As a result, dressing up for a masquerade ball would be a welcome change to tedious functions–plus donning a mask is a unique twist. Throw this party in style and send out invitations indicating that it is a black-tie event. And do not forget: Ask everyone to don on masks.

4.) Nightmare Before Christmas Party

Colleagues with a proclivity for the Halloween festivities and employees who love Jack Skellington would enjoy this Christmas party theme. If you wish to give your party a bit of a gothic touch, this is an excellent alternative to common Christmas themes. Moreover, even if you are hosting a somewhat dark and morbid rendition of what should have been a traditional Christmas bash, you are still keeping in spirit with the holiday festivities as the Nightmare before Christmas is a well-known Christmas movie. While it might be a little too late for Halloween and some may think that the skulls, white tinsel, and skeletons would look a little out of place, you can always give them a little touch-me-up to give them a Christmas upgrade. By dressing those bones in traditional Santa suits and incorporating red and green hues, you have the best of both holidays: Halloween and Christmas.

5.) Santa’s Workshop

Give your colleagues and co-workers an insider’s view of the happenings in Santa’s office by transforming your corporate quarters into his workshop! Get someone to dress up as Santa and create a decorating team that can turn your office from a business hub to Santa’s headquarters. Ensure that the decorations include workstations, and the each would have a designated activity which your employees can enjoy.

 

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