How we planned and prepared for Miguel’s Baptism and First Birthday Celebration

Monday, 14 January 2019

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We welcomed the year 2019 with two very important milestones.

Last January 5, 2019, we had Miguel baptized at St. Peter Parish Church and, afterwards, had his first birthday celebration at Microtel Hotel in UP Ayala Technohub.

Woodland theme venue styling for Miguel’s Baptism and First Birthday Celebration
We have been busy with preparations during the last five months but it was not really as nerve-racking as when we were making arrangements for our wedding four years ago. In fact, for Miguel’s baptism and first birthday celebration, we enjoyed every moment of sourcing for suppliers, looking for a church, and discussing the requirements with our event coordinator.

Father and son

Finally, our months of preparation culminated in a happy and fun-filled celebration with family and close friends. It was one of the most joyful moments of our parenting adventure and we pray that it is just one of the many good things ahead of us.

Church-hunting for Miguel’s Baptism

We had Miguel baptized at St. Peter Parish Church along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. It was just a few meters away from Mircrotel Hotel in UP Ayala Technohub, our party venue. St. Peter Parish Church was not our initial choice; it was the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman. However, we were not able to complete the requirement because the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice was asking us to submit an NSO copy of Miguel’s birth certificate. We only had a copy of his birth certificate secured from Taguig City Hall and it will take another week for the NSO copy to arrive.

St. Peter Parish Church for Miguel's baptism
St. Peter Parish Church for Miguel's Baptism

We considered another nearby church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, along Road 8 in Diliman, Quezon City. Unfortunately, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s requirements were much stringent as compared to those of the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice. Specifically, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is requiring us to submit baptismal certificates of our principal sponsors, in addition to the photocopy of Miguel’s birth certificate, our marriage contract, and certificate of permission since we are from another parish.

On top of these requirements, all our sponsors (and us, of course) are required to attend a seminar or else they will not be listed as ninongs and ninangs. I could understand the strictness because, indeed, some parents have to be educated about the value and essence of why we get ninongs and ninangs. However, since we are pressed for time, we decided to look for another church.

Baptism ceremony
Miguel's Baptism 
St. Peter Parish Church is the next logical choice because it is just within the vicinity of our party venue. Plus, they were only requiring us to submit a copy of Miguel’s registered birth certificate and the names of our principal and secondary sponsors. We also opted for a special baptism or solo baptism versus the regular baptism or mass baptism held every Sunday only. St. Peter Parish Church also requires parents to personally register their child for baptism.

family photograph for baptism
Family photo before Miguel's Baptism
For a special baptism, we had to make a donation of Php2,050, inclusive of five pairs of sponsors. If you have more than 10 sponsors, you have to pay additional Php50 per extra sponsor. We were also required to be there on time (of course) or else our slot would be forfeited. Special baptism is held in any of the two baptisteries at the lower ground level of the church.

family photograph after baptism
Family photo after Miguel's Baptism
We were quite anxious about being late for our schedule and the possible heavy traffic along Commonwealth Avenue so we made sure to arrive at St. Peter Parish Church an hour before our schedule.

Miguel’s Baptism and First Birthday Celebration
Miguel after his Baptism: welcome to the Christian world!

Miguel’s first birthday celebration at Microtel Hotel at UP Ayala Technohub

Among the three hotels we considered for Miguel’s first birthday party, Microtel Hotel at UP Ayala Technohub is the most reasonable. It’s just within Quezon City so we would not have to travel far but it is also near Edsa so our guests would not have to brave the insane traffic as they make their way through congested Metro Manila streets.

family photo at the event
Miguel's first birthday celebration
Aside from practical reasons, after our initial talks with Microtel, we knew it was the perfect venue for Miguel’s first birthday party. The hotel looks good without looking intimidating; its function room is spacious and can certainly accommodate a large number of people; and the food will be catered by Millie’s All-Day Dining.

Woodland theme birthday cake
Cake for Miguel's first birthday celebration
What we really liked about Microtel was that they were easy-to-deal-with; they approved all our requests such as adjusting the time of Miguel’s party by an hour later and allowing us to bring in the giveaways a day before the event.

We also chose the theme “Woodland Camping” and we were happy to know that it was easily doable care of the hotel’s in-house stylist, Party in Style. It was also a plus that Microtel’s banquet coordinator, Aubrey Peñaredondo, was hands-on and very thorough throughout our planning stage, thus, made us feel assured.

Miguel's first birthday celebration: venue styling at Microtel Hotel 
First birthday party venue styling
Microtel Hotel Diliman Room
When the momentous day arrived, we were pleased with the venue set-up and styling. It was how we envisioned it to be. The styling, in particular, perfectly captured the theme woodland camping.

family souvenir shot

souvenir shot with friends
Dear friends and family for Miguel's first birthday celebration
Furthermore, the energy was high throughout the party courtesy of the hardworking host, Paula Sunga. Paula can surely keep any party going. During the games when guests had to guess the title of the song, she would sing the song herself. When guests had to guess the name of a personality, she would impersonate that celebrity. Paula was not just trying; she was really good in singing and in impersonating.

Souvenir shot with organizers and event host Paula Sunga
Our friend, Menea (leftmost), who volunteered to be the on-the-day coordinator for
Miguel's first birthday celebration, and our party host, the lively Paula Sunga (rightmost) 
Probably the highlight of the party was when Paula gathered our guests at the stage. While everybody thought that it would be a simple group photo, Paula surprised everyone by announcing that we would do a flash mob. Since it was unannounced, Paula had to teach the dance steps to our guests. It was just fun to see everybody happily dancing and smiling.

Group shot after the party
Group shot after Miguel's first birthday celebration

Food by Millie’s All-Day Dining

As with any special event, the most important aspect of Miguel’s first birthday celebration was the food. Guests will forget every other detail of your event except food. Ynah and I are believers that good food equates to an unforgettable experience.

As I had mentioned earlier, a big factor that influenced our decision was that the food will be served by Millie’s All-Day Dining.

I have heard a lot of positive feedback about Millie’s since about four years ago when it became an accredited credit card merchant in my previous company. When we were preparing the marketing collaterals for the partnership, Millie’s food shots always looked delectable so I included the restaurant in my must-try list. I thought that Miguel’s first birthday was a good opportunity to finally sample what Millie’s had to offer. However, I found out later on that Millie’s had a menu for social events that is different from its All-Day Dining menu.

Children's party buffet meal selections by Milie's All-Day Dining
Kiddie buffet by Millie's for Miguel's first birthday celebration 
Here is what we ordered for the kiddie buffet: Fried Cheese Sticks for the appetizers; Mini Cheeseburgers with Condiments, Chicken Nuggets, Mini Pork Barbecue, Spaghetti w/ Meatballs for the mains; and Chocolate Brownies and Cream Fruit Salad with Cheese for dessert. This combo is the most kid-friendly among the choices presented to us. We had the pasta changed from carbonara to spaghetti with meatballs, which is more appealing to children.

I only had the chance to taste the spaghetti with meatballs and it was good. It was not the typical sugary children’s party spaghetti because it only had a slight sweetness to it. It was, nonetheless, appealing to the taste of kids. As for the rest of the selection, I have gotten feedback that the barbecue was tender and had large cuts of meat. Our guests also liked the mini cheese burgers. All in all, the feedback that we got for the kiddie buffet was positive.

Adult buffet selection by Millie's All-Day Dining
Adult buffet by Millie's for Miguel's first birthday celebration
For the adult buffet, this is what we chose from the international food selection:
  • Soup: Mushroom Soup and Bread Station
  • Cold: Tuna and Bean Salad, Mediterranean Potato Salad, assorted Greens Salad with Condiments and two dressings
  • Hot: Chicken Cordon Bleu with Sauce Aurora, Penne Boscaiola with Parmesan Cheese, Beer Battered Fish with Tartar Sauce, Cauliflower Gratin, and steamed rice
  • Carving: Grilled Beef Belly with Horseradish Cream
  • Dessert: Assorted Fresh Fruits and Chocó Éclairs
We loved our food choices and we would not have it any other way. I found the mushroom soup impressive because it was packed with flavors. It was a chunky type of soup because it had coarse bits of mushroom in it which I liked because of the texture. You can tell that it was not canned soup.

As for the mains, I thought that the Chicken Cordon Bleu with Sauce Aurora and the Cauliflower Gratin were unforgettable. Most cordon bleus have a tendency to be dry and tough but not this one from Millie’s. I love cauliflower because of its flavors and consistency; it tends to remain firm even after reheating it. The sauce of the gratin complemented the cauliflower really well.

I was looking forward to the grilled beef belly, which remains my perennial favorite in any event or restaurant. However, the beef belly that I had was a little tough and dry. It took me quite a while before I was able to eat my food so that was probably the reason for it.

The fish fillet could also use a bit of moisture as it was a little dry. Anyway, fish fillet is my least favorite food in any gathering so I may just be a little biased against it.

Overall, we were happy with the food served by Millie’s All-Day Dining. For other Millie's All-Day Dining outlets, please check here.

Entertainment, ice cream cart, and giveaways

Microtel has its accredited magician, bubble show performer, face painters, and food carts. However, we decided to get external suppliers because we deemed it more practical. We found a package of magic and bubble shows, and face painting care of Nizzty Magician. We were happy with the performance of Nizzty. He was very professional and he kept the children screaming for more magic and bubble tricks.

We initially thought of getting street food cart but, in the end, we decided to just get an ice cream cart from Sumilang.

Nizzty the magician
Magic show
face and body painting
Face and body painting
As for the giveaways, we ordered woodland kiddie stools from Venice Handicrafts Wooden Kiddie Stools and customized pillows from Isbel Enterprises. All items were of high-quality and impressed our guests.

party giveaways and loot bags
Giveaways and loot bags
Woodland theme pillow giveaways
Wooden chairs woodland theme
Woodland chairs
For dirty ice cream, Sumilang is a staple and you can never go wrong with it. I have dealt with them years ago and liked the ease of talking to them. However, for Miguel’s first birthday, our cart arrived considerably late to the point that we were not expecting them to show up anymore. Thankfully, it arrived after 2 hours and was an instant hit with our visitors.

Sumilang ice cream
Ice cream cart
By the end of the party, we were just happy that it went smoothly and our guests were happy with the food, the giveaways, the games, and the prizes.

Directory of suppliers:

Microtel by Wyndham Hotel at UP Ayala Technohub

UP-Ayala Land Technohub,
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines 1121
Phone Number: +63 (02) 804 6888

Manila Sales Office
Phone Numbers: +63 (02) 899 7171 | +63 (917) 888
Fax Number: +63 (02) 870 0319

Nizzty Magician

Mobile number: 09158203062

Venice Handicrafts Wooden Kiddie Stools

382 Ringgit Street, Bankers Village, Gitnang
Bayan 1, 1850, San Mateo, Rizal
[email protected]

Sumilang Ice Cream

Mobile Number: 09162995234
Email: [email protected]

Paula Sunga Event Host

You may search SPARK Paula Sunga – Hosting and Events in Facebook
Mobile Number: 09065671286


Customized Pillows

Isbel Ent. at Malolos and 999 Shopping Mall

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  1. What a lovely baptism! I'm glad it went off without a hitch and baby Miguel is too cute!

  2. What a sweet day! Congrats to all of you!

  3. Yup, we were also relieved that everything went smoothly. Thank you very much!

  4. Wow! What a party! The food looked amazing and Miguel looks so cute!

  5. This post is so informative! I love all the pictures and the details of the event. The food looks DELICIOUS! Congrats to your little boy!

  6. loved reading about the baptism and his first birthday.. first birthdays are so wonderful - important and memorable for all of us (except the birthday kiddo)! loved those decorations and the gifts i am sure would have thrilled everyone - the woodland theme is cute

  7. Thank you for your kind words!

  8. Happy Birthday to lovely Miguel! We baptized our daughter just before her first birthday too but here in Greece a baptism involves a large gathering of family and friends. I love your photos!

  9. post is so informative! congrats to birthday boy! hope everybody enjoyed party and the food.

  10. Thank you very much! Everybody had a great time.

  11. What a lovely celebration! I am glad that Miguel's party was so wonderful. The decor, food and everything looks amazing.

  12. Congratulations to you and your family! Great photos! Looks like you overall had a great time celebrating together!

  13. Thank you very much! We had a great time.

  14. It was wonderful. Thank you very much!

  15. first of all,welcome to the Christian world Miguel. And happy birthday...
    second, your article is very detailed - thank you. OHH I love those pillows and chairs.. And the stage is amazing... I love it..

  16. I love things like this which celebrate life. I know I love seeing the kids dedicated at the churches and the community committed to the growth and upbringing of the individuals. It's so beautiful. This looks awesome.

  17. Thank you very much for the kind words!

  18. blair villanueva17 January 2019 at 22:45

    Glad that everything when well and the celebration becomes memorable.
    I couldn't help noticing your baby's hair - very luscious!

  19. Thank you! A lot of people compliment his thick hair.

  20. This is such a precious moment❤ wish you the best for you and your family.