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

January 14, 2019

Here are some tips on how to prepare for the baptism and birthday of your little one, starting with church-hunting to choosing the best venue.

We welcomed the year 2019 with two very important milestones. Last January 5, 2019, we had Miguel baptized at St. Peter Parish Church and, afterward, 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-wracking 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

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

    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

    One of the very first things that we did was to look for a church that was available for baptism on Miguel's birthday. After several considerations, we were able to book a baptismal schedule at St. Peter Parish Church.  

    Last January 5, we had Miguel baptized at St. Peter Parish Church along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. It was just a few meters away from the Microtel Hotel in UP Ayala Technohub, our party venue. 

    St. Peter Parish Church was not our initial choice though; 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

    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 those 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 the ceremony

    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 an 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 the 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
    Welcome to the Christian world, Miguel!

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

    After booking a baptismal schedule in the church of your choice, the next task is to set a budget for the party itself. In particular, you have to allot a budget for food, venue, styling, entertainment, and giveaways and prizes. 

    If it's hard for you to come up with a budget, you can do it the way we did which was to look for possible venues, such as hotels, near the church. We asked for quotations and party packages from these suppliers and, from these costings, we were able to get a fairly good idea of how much we can spend. We were even able to customize our package based on our requirements. 

    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
    Miguel's first birthday celebration cake by Heavenly Sweet Treats

    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.

    If you want to do it, you may opt to have a theme for your party. We 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.

    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 of 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 at singing and impersonating celebrities.

    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, what we consider as one of the most important aspects of Miguel’s first birthday celebration was the food. Guests will forget every other detail of your event except food. Khris and I are believers that good food equates to an unforgettable experience. Thus, it is crucial to choose well the food that will be served at your party.  

    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 are 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 cheeseburgers. 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 was 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, the 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

    It's entirely up to you if you want entertainment and other additions to your party. But since this is a kiddie party, we opted to have entertainment and ice cream, because we wanted it to be fun and lively. Ask your party venue if they have accredited suppliers or if they can refer names to you. 

    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 a 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

          Sumilang Ice Cream

            Mobile Number: 09162995234

            Paula Sunga Event Host

              You may search SPARK Paula Sunga – Hosting and Events on 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!

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

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

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

                    4. 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!

                    5. 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

                    6. 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!

                      1. Oh, it's also the same here. It's always a big gathering of family and friends. Thank you so much!

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

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

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

                      1. It was wonderful day. We were very happy Thank you very much!

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

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

                    10. 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..

                    11. 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.

                    12. 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!

                      1. Thank you, Blair! A lot of people compliment his thick hair.

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