disclaimer: super delayed post 🙂 but am writing it anyway for posterity. as i have briefly blogged a couple of weeks back, we celebrated mischa’s 1st first birthday last june 6. we were lucky enough that it fell on a weekend, and we need not worry about moving it to a different day, a weekend for that matter. well, seeing as i was scheduled to give birth by c-section anyhow, i chose to be “opened up” on a saturday last year, just 1 day shy of my actual EDD. my entire birthing process was hazy, even then, except for the part when they had to put in the anesthesia, which i remember vividly, and will remember to my dying day because of the intense pain i went through with it. it was the most excruciating part of the whole birthing.
i started scouting and contacting suppliers as early as january. i wanted do something special, and not the usual birthday parties that we are used to. i was adamant about not having it at a fastfood resto. but the first and foremost venue on our list is the fun ranch complex in ortigas. we always pass by the area to and from work, and it has always caught my eye. so i started asking around, getting a quotation, and trying to work on our budget AROUND this. see, i wanted it to hold her birthday so badly that i was willing to spend less on the other items on our list. it was just disappointing that we had to get most of our suppliers from them since they bank on a one-stop party place thing. this meant, i had to get everything from food, decor, entertainment, etc. from them. sigh! this put a huge dent on our budget since we could’ve saved a lot if we got suppliers on our own effort, which was nothing new anyhow since i managed to pull off our wedding and mischa’s baptism based on negotiation skills, resourcefulness on finding the “best buys” and just plain looking and finding your way through all that bookmarks you made on the computer and wayward notes around.
hokei, so i said we were just happy and giggly on that special day. we were ecstatic when my in-laws and some nieces and nephews arrived from the province just to celebrate with mischa. i got a few jitters when the day started because it was raining on and off the past few days, and i feared that when it came down too hard, we would lose a few visitors. the oldies said not to worry as the rain of course, signifies blessings but couldn’t help myself from praying hard for mr. sun to come out. it was drizzling that morning although i know the party will push through even with just a handful of us present, but i wanted everything to be perfect for mischa. i would certainly understand if guests would be lazy to go out and make an effort because i know how hard it is to go out. so i almost jumped for joy when the sun peeked around midday!
and the party was a blast! thanks in large part to the suppliers. of course, looking back, i wished i had done more but then again, there’s always next time. (i always feel like this after every party we throw hihi). i wish we had more decors, i wish we hired a professional photographer, i wish, i wish, i wish! but as we were working (as always) on a tight budget, and due to my insistence to hold it at fun ranch, we had to let go of a lot of things. sometimes, it did cross my mind that if we had decided to do things the “normal” way, we would have needed to spend less. we are far from being rich. we are a struggling family, and we had to work hard for every penny we spent on mischa’s party. but every time i look at her, seeing her dimpled smiles and i began envisioning her having fun, and all my doubts about our capability diminishes. i know that i would do everything i can when it comes to her and her needs, maybe a few “luho” once in a while. this birthday party counts.
too bad, the celebrant wasn’t in a very good mood. she’s usually bouncy, giggly, and exuberant but these were non-existent on her special day. i guess the constant carrying and passing from arm to arm took its toll, even in the early part of the party. she had very little pictures showing her beautiful smile, which was a real pity. her aversion to men also reared its ugly head as she was cranky from the get-go whenever “strange” men approached her.
here are the supplier ratings: (no rating scale, only “kwentos”)
PARTY VENUE: Blue Whale Grill, Fun Ranch
Contact number: 706-3019
Rating: The entire complex was fun! it’s a place for kids. need i say more? mischa’s party was held at the 2nd floor of the blue whale grill. what i loved about it was it had an indoor play area for kids! now, they didn’t have to get bored while people were eating and the host had to take a break. as it is, they had quite the time of their lives just playing on it. it made for entertaining at a new level, which we could not have if we held the party at a regular function hall. the place was large, it could have accommodated 180 guests but we made a reservation for only 100 adults and 30 kids. the decor was very simple, but again, it was what we paid for so no complaints there.
the FOOD is a different thing. i thought we paid for more than what we actually consumed. there wasn’t any shortage at all, but we had barely anything left to bring home. and considering, we didn’t reach 100 (about 85, i estimated), i was expecting to have much leftover from the buffet. i didn’t know if they actually prepared food for the “average” eater but isn’t the idea of “buffet”…overflowing? that’s why people get buffet packages instead of plated ones, isn’t it? oh well. it was quite a letdown for me. and it wasn’t even that delicious, just a bit so-so. or maybe i was busy entertaining and talking to guests that i didn’t mind my food so much.
DECOR: balloons at the fun ranch cost GOLD! i inquired early on from n@wie suppliers and found reasonable rates, but then, as i said, i had to get them from fun ranch, and they were quite expensive. so we had to do away with table centerpieces, balloon chandeliers and styro backdrop, much to my chagrin. we got 50 balloon drops and a pair of column towers to breathe some life into the stage but that’s it. fun ranch also provided a generic tarpaulin bearing mischa’s name.
HOST (c/o fun ranch): Jester: this one, i like! He really, really rocked! our guests absolutely loved him. he’s not bakya, he has the perfect accent, and the ideal humor cutting across all generations and societal status (lol), which made up our guests. of all the money we shelled out, he’s the most sulit. at 7k, he did total hosting, balloon twisting and magic show, which left the kids gaga over him.
CUPCAKE TOWER AND SATELLITE CAKES: Fernando’s Bakery
another hit! this is a gift from tito ninong mico, and i felt a whoa when i saw it. pang-debut? i told my brother, it was a little too much for a 1st birthday part. it had 150 cupcakes made of choco and cheese, and 6 satellite cakes designed as ladybugs spelling out mischa’s name. anyway, nothing were left of it, ewan ko ba, some got more than they could carry. tsk tsk.. i really hate it when people make dumog when there’s more than enough for everyone. it doesn’t speak well of a person(s). like there’s no tomorrow…
OUTFIT: Prim Chua
love the outfit even though many have worn this kind before. i just adore mischa in red. she’s just so darn cute! i loooove my bulilit to bits! transaction was easy. too bad we didn’t get to meet prim but we covered everything over e-mail. went to her shop in sta. mesa twice, first for measurement taking then pick-up after a month. what a breeze!
INVITES: Ninang Bel and Ninong Troy (maps)
labor of love. all the way from dubai. we had this developed at photoline, inserted it inside a red envelope and the result was great! it was cheery, and spoke of P-A-R-T-Y!
LOOT BAGS AND PRIZES: where else, but divi? we just a hard time finding ladybug-inspired stuff so we opted for floral-inspired and generic designs. it felt hot and sticky, going through the divi road but we came home happy with our lot with only a few pesos spent. nice job!
all in all, we’re just happy we managed to pull her birthday off. it will be a long time before we do this again. many years ahead of watching and enjoying her grow each day 🙂
will post more pictures soon. cheers!