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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Womanhood: Seven Things a Girl Must Know Before She Turns Eighteen

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“A woman who walks in purpose does not have to chase people or opportunities. Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her.” –Author Unknown

 

Eighteen is a significant age for many teens across the world—but especially for young women in the Philippines. Why? Because this is the age wherein they are finally considered as adults and in a sense, this fact can be given teeth with its legal color. It is that particular age wherein both men and women would finally be able to vote, drive and even drink legally. Incidentally, it is that sensitive age wherein a woman is first introduced to the world of womanhood. In fact, a majority of young Filipino women would commemorate this momentous event by celebrating it with a grand debut party and for weeks leading up to the event they would come up with debut ideas.

However, the real world is not always about parties, ball gowns, and cotillions and while this marks as your initial step to the realm of womanhood, it presents a narrow view of what goes on in the adult world once you are there. Eighteen might be a magical age, but it is also that age wherein you start having responsibilities. More often than not, this transitional age from a girl to a woman can be considered both an exciting and terrifying time in your lives.

After all, it is that day wherein you can finally say you are no longer a kid. However, do remember that there is a stark difference between being an adult and acting like one. In any case, before you celebrate a momentous milestone in your life, it is best if you took a gander at the things you ought to know before you blow out your eighteen candles:

 

Time passes by quickly

As cliché as this might sound, there is truth to the sentiment that time does pass us quickly. In this regard, it is best to take full advantage of the time we have now and never let any opportunity pass us by as we would never know if we would be able to come across it again. With this in mind, always keep the adage Carpe Diem in mind. After all, today you might still be graduating from high school and in the next, you are filling out job application forms. Breathe in and enjoy the moment, stop wishing you were older as you would never be that young again.

Do not let labels bother or define you

Cliques and labels in high school might matter to you now, but when you are much older you would realize just how irrelevant they are. Always remember that you are so much more than what they say about you and no one can really be categorized and confined into boxes. We are multifaceted beings and are complex. Welcome your quirks no matter how weird they are as those are precisely what makes you who you are.

Growing up is not easy

…and it never will. No matter how eager and enthusiastic you are about being an adult, you would never be adequately prepared for it. Growing up is not something that can be taught, it should be experienced. In fact, it is these very experiences that would mold you into the grown-up adult that you will become. Allow yourself to learn and allow yourself to grow.

School does not last forever

At times all you could think about is getting out of school and graduating and making it big in the corporate world. In fact, school feels like an endless journey that serves only to wear you out. But once you have finally graduated and are working in the corporate world, you might even find yourself missing school and your classmates—depending on your outlook. However, one thing for sure is that school does not last forever, but it is imperative that you be thankful for the experience of education. Some of the years we have spent in school would serve as the most pivotal points in our lives and would contribute to how we are as persons today.

Failing is inevitable

No matter how much of an overachiever you were back in high school, know that at some point in your life, you are going to fail. Do not fret, as this is inevitable. In fact, just think of it as an avenue for learning and do not take it too hard. After all, how do you expect to learn if you do not commit mistakes and fail every now and then? What is important is that you learn something from your failures—so much so that you can recover from it. Let your mistakes teach you, not define you.

Some people come and go into your life. Some stay

There are some people that are not meant to stay in your life and that is okay. However, it can be hard when you have developed an attachment to them. But keep in mind that not everyone you meet is going to have a place in your future. Friends will come and go but if you are lucky, really really lucky, you will cultivate friendships that would last a lifetime. Remember, if you have people like this in your life, be sure to keep it intact by holding onto it.

Family is forever

Consider your family as a gift and always cherish them.  You may not see eye to eye always, but remember to thank them for everything that they have done for you. Throughout any problem or tribulation you might have, you can always count on your family to be there for you and in this sense, they are truly valuable. So, spend as much time as you can with them and do not let little squabbles ruin your relationship with them. Remember, when everyone else has seemingly left you, you can still count on your family.

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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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Four Ways to be an Unforgettable and Incredible Godparent

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“I am a godmother that is a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that is cute, I taught her that.” –Ellen DeGeneres

Being asked to be a godparent is an honor. In fact, it might just be one of the most pleasant things you will ever feel in the world. In this regard, you can truly say that the parents of your godchild hold you in such high esteem and admiration that they see you as a prospective role model for their son or daughter in the years to come. However, what does it mean to be a godparent, really? Beyond attending the baptismal rites and gracing the baptism with your presence, what is it that you should do? For the average Filipino, being a godparent constitutes as nothing more than being an entity expected to hand out treats and gifts on every significant occasion from birthdays to major milestones in life such as school graduations. However, being a godparent means so much more than just remembering birthdays and handing out Christmas gifts—you actually need to be a presence in your godchild’s life.

Considering that being asked to be a godparent is somewhat of a privilege, it carries with it a certain onus—one which you have the obligation to fulfill. So, what does it take to be a fantastic godparent? What should you do to be an unforgettable one? Take a gander at the list below to find out how:

1.) Be fun

When your godchildren are young, take the opportunity to be in their lives. Take the time to get to know them, what their interests and hobbies are and be the fun godparent. Be the doting and indulgent godparent—not by spoiling them with gifts all the time but by taking them on memorable trips. After all, you would rather be remembered as the fun godparent who took them on their first roller coaster ride than the godparent associated with gift checks and toys. Remember, there is no absolute need to buy your way into your godchild’s heart. What is important is that you spend time to bond with them.

2.) Never forget special occasions

This is a big one. As a godparent, it is your responsibility to take note of your godchildren’s birthday—mark them on your smartphone’s calendars with an alarm if you have to. Furthermore, on their special days and occasions, always remember to be there for them. It is not necessary to bring an expensive gift considering your presence alone would suffice. After all, you would not want to be that detached godparent who only sends greeting cards on special occasions. Take note: Your presence counts so much more than the present you are bringing.

3.) Know your place

While you were selected to be their godparent, this in no way means that you have some leverage on how their parents discipline them. Sure, you can serve as a good influence on them and be a great role model worth emulating. However, it should never extend beyond that. Your godchildren have parents who have their own approach to discipline as well as grandparents to mollycoddle them. Your job is to never take sides and never get entangled in familial conflicts and drama.

4.) Give your godchildren sound advice

There are instances wherein your godchildren may seek your counsel if there are things they do not wish their parents to know. One of these is when they start crushing on a classmate or begin dating. They may ask you how to approach a girl, which university they should attend and the like. In this regard, give them your sound and honest advice. Moreover, do not betray their trust, if they sought your counsel; do not go around blabbering to their parents unless it is a sensitive issue.

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