We welcomed 2019 with two milestones. Last January 5, 2019, Miguel was baptized at St. Peter Parish Church and had his first birthday celebration afterwards at Microtel Hotel in UP Ayala Technohub.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For a special baptism, we had to make a donation of Php1,500, inclusive of five pairs of sponsors. If you have more than 10 sponsors, you have to pay additional Php100 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the adult buffet, this is what we chose from the international food selection:
- Mushroom Soup and Bread Station
- Tuna and Bean Salad, Mediterranean Potato Salad, assorted Greens Salad with Condiments and two dressings
- Chicken Cordon Bleu with Sauce Aurora, Penne Boscaiola with Parmesan Cheese, Beer Battered Fish with Tartar Sauce, Cauliflower Gratin, and steamed rice
- Grilled Beef Belly with Horseradish Cream
- 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.
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.
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.
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
Phone Numbers: +63 (02) 899 7171 | +63 (917) 888 1800
Fax Number: +63 (02) 870 0319
- Mobile number: 09158203062
- Facebook: facebook.com/nizztymagician
Venice Handicrafts Wooden Kiddie Stools
- 382 Ringgit Street, Bankers Village, Gitnang Bayan 1, 1850, San Mateo, Rizal
Sumilang Ice Cream
- Mobile Number: 09162995234
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: facebook.com/sumilardairyfoods
Paula Sunga Event Host
- You may search SPARK Paula Sunga – Hosting and Events in Facebook
- Mobile Number: 09065671286
- Isbel Ent. at Malolos and 999 Shopping Mall
Discover more stories:
- Our journey to parenthood
- Fatherhood: The Five Important Things I Learned
- 7 simple ways working parents can bond with their baby
- Nice Print Studio for Miguel’s first photo shoot
- Miguel’s Baptism and First Birthday Celebration
- Christmas Dinner at The Wholesome Table
- How to go to Ditumabo Falls in San Luis, Aurora + Baler Travel Guides
- Paradise Dynasty: of Xiao Long Bao and other Classic Chinese favorites
- Bohol Travel Guide + Itinerary (Updated)
- Koku Japanese Restaurant Review