Today isn’t just another day in the Philippines. While we are here visiting family and friends, we planned for a getaway, staycation, but above everything else … a very special occasion in our lives. Welcoming our son Josiah King Bethea to the Christian world.
My husband’s family are Baptist but my husband had never been baptized. Given that I’ve been christened as well as raised as a Catholic, there was no question as to what religion our son should have. In fact, my late mother-in-law made me promise that I will have my husband baptized even if that means he will become a catholic.
Initially, I planned for a 2-in-1 event. The challenge became apparent when I decided to have the baptismal overseas (Manila, Philippines) so that my family could be there to celebrate with us. Apparently, Catholic churches are very strict. Grown adults that need to be baptized has to go through a much lengthier process and seminars. I had no choice but to postpone getting my husband baptized along with our son.
To be honest, the pressure was on. This is the very first time I planned, and organized a grand celebration. I had no experience, and I need to live up to a lot of of expectations —as well as stay within a certain budget. I asked friends, did my research, and went from there. So let me take this opportunity to share how this grand celebration transpired without spending a fortune. Of course I will also share my cost-saving tips before wrapping up this post.
Marking today’s special celebration, our son’s baptism took place in St. Michael Arc Angel Church. I made a down payment of ₱500 pesos ($10) to secure the date. Then paid ₱1000 ($20) for registering 5 primary sponsors and ₱125 ($5) for five candles. The church was absolutely breathtaking. My friends even teased us that I should have worn a white gown and we could have our vows renewed too!
St. Michael Arc Angel Church
General Alponso Arellano
Taguig Metro Manila
We celebrated his baptismal and his (late) birthday party (for my side of the family) in Cedar Crest Condominium’s
Function Hall. I managed to score HUGE savings on this with the help of my friend Karen Samson. Her cousin is a resident of the condominium and because of that, we only had to pay ₱6,720 ($128) for renting it from 3pm – 9pm. Honestly, the function hall is already beautiful setup that it needs very minimal decoration added.
Then I hired Rhonze Klowns and Party Shop to provide the catering service, clowns for entertainment, dessert station (candies & chocolate fountain), photobooth, and decoration for less than ₱35,000 ($670) —70 adults and 30 kids or 100 pax. The food was absolutely delicious and the service was professional and amazing!
I also secured an additional hosting service and got a special discount ₱3,000 ($60) by hiring my friend Beverly Jardine Santos who does it professionally.
My friend Mara Siojo Daculan who owns a salon (Makeup by Mara Siojo Unicorn Salon) and does makeup artistry professionally had her makeup team on standby to help me look glamorous. Depending on the service, the cost will vary. I spent ₱2,000 ($40) on what I got done.
For the photography and videos, my friend Mara’s husband Lord Daculan does it professionally as well and so I hired him to cover the event for ₱15,000 ($300).
My best friend Rochelle Dizon and her partner Jhoe Rodriguez have their own sweets shop (Sweet Ching PH) and they provided the Chocolate Lollipops for the guests which is an OBVIOUS HIT! Of course I got the lollies for free (best friend privileges) and a couple of packaged chocolates too!
The lechon was provided by my relatives from Valenzuela Bulacan instead of bringing gifts so that helped with the expense a lot! They have their own piggery and roasted the pig there too. My husband especially loves roasted pigs so this was a special highlight on top of the delicious catering provided by the caterer.
Also, my friend Lea Hannah Mercader and Dhon Rodriguez provided the piñata (pabitin) instead of bringing Josiah a gift as well. This definitely was an INSTANT WIN for the kids!
I bought the fire truck cake for ₱700 ($14) and spent an additional ₱10,000 ($200) (OPTIONAL) for soda and juice drinks AND a load of booze (for the adults —especially for my older relatives).
It was definitely a successful event and more than everything that I could possibly imagine. The MAJOR TAKEAWAY here is that knowing what you need and who you can ask for help. Our son already have plenty of toys and we don’t really need more. This is where the decision became easy to request for other things that can help with the party or celebration instead of getting a gift that Josiah would not be able to put to good use.
Family and friends traveled from the States, Europe, and out of town. Everyone enjoyed the party celebration, entertainment, and food!