Beauty & Fashion Celebrations & Occasions Food & Dining My Kids The GOppets

#JenaSaisQuoi – The Debut Hashtag

je ne sais quoi  A pleasant quality that makes something distinctive or attractive. (wikipedia)

The Champagne Room of The Manila Hotel fits my princess to a T. <3 All sugar, spice & everything nice and dainty.

And it’s already mid-September! I can’t keep up with life, try as I might. It just moves too dang fast. @_@

After our Korea trip, it suddenly dawned on me that my Bae’s debut was less than FOUR MONTHS away & so far all we had accounted for was a place & her gown. The rest of the details were in limbo. FML.

Our dear Neni’s gown in peach & dove gray, the colors she chose & her theme throughout.

Her Tita Ann Chaves of Pluma in Alabang Town Center always saves the day for us. She is our go-to for every fashion need. <3 She makes great clothing at affordable prices suit to fit any budget. And I mean ANY. \m/ Ann also has off the rack formal wear for those rush orders.

Her 2nd gown in case she wants to change into something more comfy & less billowy mid-way. We also used this for her “Save the Date” photoshoot with her amazingly talented Ate. <3 My baby’s taste is really changing, she’s into earth colors now. She chose nude & beige for her 2nd gown.

Ate’s payback for all the times she asked our dear Neni to be her photographer haha. ;) I am such a blessed momma talaga that my Giblings are so devoted to one another. Lookit, the lengths they go through for each other. My heart is so full. <3

Ate is really a talented photographer. She is an artist which is why I believe she will be a successful reconstructive surgeon. Everything she creates is simply beautiful. Just look at this professional-like take of our lovely debutante. Thank you so much Ate for saving me lotsa moolah by being our photographer & videographer, same day edit pa. ;)) I O U big time, my darling! :-*

Contact details: 0917-8529614; 313 Cadena de Amor St., AAV. Email

Thank you Faye! :-*

We weren’t really thinking of getting an events coordinator. I was thinking between me & my 2 girls, kayang-kaya. Except for one detail. I forgot that my Bae is off to college na leaving me on my own. And Ate is always & forever studying, no time for assistant duties. Wapak! It just hit me that I simply kenat do everything by myself!

A dear reader, Jo, generously offered her complimentary services, and I was truly grateful for it. But then Jena’s fairy godmother Faye suddenly sprang a wonderful surprise on us. JOBET, her most precious gift to Jena. <3 Jobet was also her events coordinator for her daughter Maxine, & everything just fell into place.

Contact details: Joseph Vila 0918-9357258 ;

For the food, my Bae had a choice between a French menu, an asian menu, and an international menu. She went with the French menu as it matched her overall theme. Di bale nang hindi namin maintindihan hahahahaha! ;) This was our first meeting with Jobet & we just hit it off right away. He eats, breathes, & lives POSH. Nagkainitindihan agad sila ni Bae, lol.

Manila Hotel was so gracious to let us have a food tasting course. So far we are happy with all that they presented to us. Yehey! Sana magustuhan din ng mga bisita nya.

Our baby is now a lady. You have all seen her grow up right before your eyes through my blog. <3

Joseph “Jobet” Vila is from In the Company of Brides, a spin off from the original Bridesmaid & Company. A well-known event organizing name during my dalaga days. At one point I contemplated on getting their services for my own wedding but I was intimidated by their fee. So sariling sikap nalang, simple wedding, no fanfare. Nairaos din naman. ;P

Anyway, with Jobet, suddenly, all our worries disappeared as he took on most of the details & our debut plans suddenly went into action & fell into place.

Sharing with you our Suppliers..

Photo & VideoPatrick L. Uy During my prime -a looooong time ago before Pat Dy et al became so popular, Patrick Anthony Uy was the rage among brides & debutantes. I said, Jobet, I definitely kenat afford him. He magically swished his wand & made a personal call. O-to-the-M-to-the-G biglang kinaya ng budget ko ang photo at video! Palakpakan, all hail to the queen. <3

Contact details: Atlanta Centre, Suite 2901 , 31 Annapolis St., San Juan Tel 725-2333 Mobile: 0917-8335868

I made the rounds & a photo/video coverage by a reputable photographer costs around 80-100k. This is a MIRACLE! Thank you dearest Jobet huhu!

Make up. Jena requires little to no make-up. Her skin is really nice & I don’t want her to look like a clown on her special day. I saw one of her BFF’s prom photos & I liked how Alyssa looked with her simple make-up, so I booked Xeng Zulueta to do our faces for the event.

Contact details: 0917-8059364

Xeng is also another name I’ve heard of during my younger days. She is in demand as a makeup artist & has done so many bridal events. She is also in my age group, so I’m assured that her work is classy, not brassy as is with some hipsters nowadays, teehee.

Invitation. Because Champagne room is surrounded by iron gates, my Bae saw a “gated” invite peg on pinterest & dear Jobet helped us source for the perfect piece. She will have a facebook event page which is what’s uso now for her peers, but of course for the Treasures & cast members, we need to give out a more formal invitation. 

Contact details: 633-8181/0917-8959425 (SM Megamall branch); email

I’m also very happy with the price of our invitation. QP Designs already sent us a mock format & it looks so, so nice! <3 Can’t wait to see the real thing.

Flowers. We need a fresh floral backdrop for the stage. Klazz all the way so this was one of my worries. Ang mahal kaya ng fresh flowers. Good thing half of our beloved wonder twins is getting hitched this year too so she shared with us her supplier. Thank you dearest Adrielle for the gift of Juanita! <3

Magpa-Gideonize sana ako (Gideon Hermosa) or Teddy Manuel for my darling Bae, kaso hinimatay talaga ako sa presyo! Magpa-Juanita Rufinta nalang ako, masaya pa sa bulsa! ;P Sa wedding nalang nila sila bumawi, at least yung groom na ang gagastos, lels.

Contact details: 0928-6789899 ; Stall #15 Dos Castillas St., corner Laonlaan, Dimasalang, Sampaloc Manila ; email

Jena’s all-white assorted fresh flowers costs the same as her gown, FML. And dangwa na yan ha. I hope they really come out nice huhu. Pwede bang iuwi ang backdrop? I need to remember to ask Juanita. She’s really so nice though, and honest. For that alone I am a new loyal customer. Initially, we ordered 2 backdrops. One for the stage & another for the Photo Booth. But since we’re going with an interactive mirror Photo Booth (like Claudia Barretto’s), we won’t be needing a fresh floral backdrop anymore so nakatipid ako ng konti. However, I already paid Juanita in full the last time we saw her so I was worried baka ma-penalty ako at hindi na maibalik ang binayad. I called her & explained my situation. The very next day she gave me the refund in full & deposited the money into my account, no ifs & buts. Now this is one classy lady, she has my respect. <3 I highly recommend Juanita Rufinta for all your floral needs.

We agreed to keep it classy & stick to a mix of roses & other white flowers for the stage backdrop. Fresh like my Bae, and para mahalimuyak.

Speaking of Photo Booths, Jobet was able to find us a supplier for an interactive mirror photobooth, itong Twinkle Prints Photo Booth. I’ve been trying to get in touch with the supplier for Claudia Barretto’s debut pero biglang hindi na ma-reach mula nung sumikat, hmp. So thankful talaga for Jobet who is like a doctor, on-call 24/7 para sa amin hehe. And grateful as well for Aaron na mabilis pa sa kidlat sumagot. ;)

Contact details: 0915-8922404 Aaron Paul B. Dizon ; email twinkleprints@yahoocom 16B Washington rive, Vista Verde North Exceutive Village, Llano, Caloocan City Novaliches.

Cuteness Everdeen. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Modern times call for modern measures. Bakit walang ganito nung panahon ko??

We got the 3 hour package with a break midway. I think 3 hours is ok, don’t you?


Music. My Bae is classy so she requested for a harpist instead of the usual DJ or band. Gora lang, karirin yan. I was also partial to a harpist as I find the music coming from it soothing & magical. It has always been my dream to meet a Harpist after reading Jack & the Beanstalk as a child hehe. Diba ang sosyal!

Avonlea & Holly Paraiso are mother & daughter tandem harpists but I asked if I can just hire Avonlea for my Bae’s event. Not only do I cut the price in half, I feel na mas pang-debut material si Avonlea. ;) They were so nice to oblige. Avonlea’s PF is 20,000 for 3 hours. For duets, mother & daughter charge 35,000 for 3 hours. Just in case you need to hire them in future events.

SONG LIST (or request): La Vie En Rose | Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding | May It Be – Enya. | Only You – Enya | For All We Know – Carpenters | There Is Love – Noel Paul Stookey  | Kygo – Firestone. | The Wind Beneath My Wings -Bette Midler  | What Makes You  Beautiful – One Direction  |You Are Mine – David Haas | Fool Again – West Life | God Gave Me You – Bryan White | Canon In D | Concerning Hobbits – LOTR soundtrack | Say Something – Christina Aguilera  | A Thousand Years – Christina Perri | Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley  | I Cant Help Falling In Love With You – Elvis Presley | The Deer Hunter | Love Me With All Your Heart – Engelbert Humperdinck | I Say A Little Prayer For You – Aretha Franklin | Close To You – The Carpenters | When I Fall In Love | My Heart Will Go On – Titanic Soundtrack | When I Need You | O Mio Babino Caro – Puccini | The Scientist – Coldplay | My Girl – The Temptations | When You Say Nothing At All – Ronan Keating | I Believe- The Righteous Brothers | A Time For Us – Romeo & Juliet | Hall Of Fame – The Script | I See The Light – Tangled | Through The Eyes Of Love – Britt Nicole(ice castles theme) | The Only Exception – Paramore | Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder | Unchained Melody – | All Of Me – John Legend | Roar – Katy Perry | Some Where Over The Rainbow – The Wizard Of Oz  | Clarity ft.zedd | One Direction – Night Changes | River Flows in You | Love Is a Many splendered thing | Through the eyes of Love | Colors Of The Wind – pocahontas | Love is a Many Splendored Thing | Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran  | Through the eyes of Love |

Contact details: Avonlea Paraiso 0906-3627177 ; email

Grazing Table. My oh my. I wasn’t really planning on adding this to an already piling expense. But gah! Just look at this beautiful cart from Aperitif! <3 Pikit-mata, isali yan sa budget ahuhuhu. Also available in pristine white, this cheese cart grazing table is sure to be a hit with our dear Neni’s guests, mauna pa ako sa pilahan. ;)) Owner Karla Zulueta was so nice to include Rosé wine with cotton candy in our personalized menu.

Contact details: 0917-5737171 ; email

Aminin, a party is not a party without drinks. Take booze out of the equation at uuwi agad ang mga bisita mo pagkakain. So, I requested for a cocktail bar from the hotel on top of the food buffet setup. It can go with this lovely grazing table. Besides, a few drinks will guarantee to liven up any party, lol.

The Cheese Cart. Our dearest & sweetest friends Krsna Sui Algenio & Kai Miranda Sason surprised us with this very cheesy gift, literally! <3 A cheese cart for Jena’s party! <3 THE CHEESE CART is their newest & latest food venture. It is so heart-warming that they offered to gift us their service for our very special night. Now this is what you call LOL -labor of love! :) Thank you dearest Krsna & Kai, we so love you back. And congratulations on another successful joint venture!

The Cheese Cart is a full service food cart available for parties of all sizes. Grilled cheese sandwiches are cooked onsite making it hot, gooey, and oh so yummy! <3 Something I’m sure my Baa’s young guests would enjoy as part of the pre-event cocktails.

Available in assorted flavors: 3 cheese, Kim-cheese, mushroom melt, triple white, French onion, Italian pesto, spinach & artichoke, cheddar pumpkin, strawberry brie, and smores!

Contact details: 0917 524 2324 & 0998 995 7762 ; email

Shoes. “Bae, you’ll be walking around so much & your feet will be hidden naman under your  ballgown. Mag-flats ka nalang“, I say. Of course, the star of the show is adamant that she wear FOUR-INCH heels so she will look tall daw. Hay naku, bahala ka kung pulikatin ka sa event mo. Tigas ng ulo. Of course, I will still nag her no end to buy flats for back-up. Just in case TAMA ako. Mwahaha.

Silver Tributes from her Ninang Marina to go with her gray & peach gown. I’ll buy her gold flats in the coming days so she can wear those when her feet gets tired (as I know they will). #motherknowsbest

Party favors. We wanted french perfumes to go with the theme. Kaso ang chaka ng mga bote ng perfume buffet. Plastic, hindi bagay. So pikit-mata, I let my Bae choose an assortment of mini-perfumes which we will distribute to her female guests as a “thank-you-for-coming-we-hope-you-enjoyed-the-night” token.

Chanced upon a sale in Duty Free, thank you DFS for our loot! Now how to package & label it.

Emcees. Instead of getting a professional host, we were delighted when the giblings volunteered to be the hosts for the night. It’s more personal & from the heart. I laveet! Thank you Ate & Kuya for your sweet labor of love. Ang kapalit, my Bae gave them a VIP table each to bring their own guests. Front & center pa. I love how they are so supportive of one another & loving to each other. Sa kanila pa lang sobra na akong pinagpala. <3

Cake. One of Bae’s besties own a bakeshop. Her friend Aliah’s mom owns Manna Bakery & Cafe. So with her peg (and my budget lol), we asked her tita Ut to come up with a similar design plus 18 mini cakes for her “wishes” to hold as she blows her way to 18. Hindi naman kata sya maubusan ng hininga? ;))

Contact details: PEARL PAY 0917-8251798 ; email

I’m very happy with Manna‘s quote for my Bae’s 3-tiered cake & 18 mini cakes for blowing. The cake will be gray & the flowers peach. The cascading flowers add class & ties the whole thing together. I’m so excited to see the real cake! <3

Assisting us was the lovely sister in law of dear Ut, Pearl Pay who helped us create Jena’s dream cake (in my budget hehe). #blessup

Gift Registry. I know it’s not polite to ask for gifts, but these are modern times & I have hosted so many parties between my 3 children & so many occasions that I have vast experience of gifts going to the recycle bin. So when I buy a gift, I try to ask if a celebrant is registered, or if there is something he/she particularly likes, because I want my purchase to be used & appreciated, not cast aside or worse -regifted.

I coaxed my Bae to register for some even though she wanted all her birthday gifts transplanted & dedicated solely to her charity event. I explained that some, especially her “Treasures”, will of course want to give her something for her to remember them (and the occasion) by. And so, my dutiful daughter relented & we had such a happy time looking for loot & treasures at our favorite store, Rustan’s. Unfortunately, we have expensive taste, lol. Mukhang mananatiling nasa “WISH” list lang talaga ang mga napili nya HAHAHAHAHA! :P

Most of her choices are for school like these fresh Moschino colognes, Longchamp school bags & Tory Burch school shoes, a Furla keychain, and of course Kate Spade rosé picture frames to hold keepsake photos of her debut. <3

Livin’ la vida loca. ;P

Last but definitely NOT the least. Remember I mentioned that in lieu of gifts for herself from her friends & guests, my Bae wants to ask for toys instead for a pediatric oncology ward she will visit?

Heart of gold, this daughter of mine has. <3

Initially we thought of Kythe Foundation. But then again, it’s so popular that Kythe probably has so many supporters & backers already. We want a home that is unknown & one that really in need of backing & financial assistance. Many of you have suggested Philippine Children’s Medical Center though & we gave it serious consideration because it has the highest applicants of in-patient & out-patient care. So far we have booked the date October 30, Monday for Jena’s Tricks & Treats event. Hopefully we can bring joy, albeit momentarily, to these little heroes fighting battles bigger than life itself. :'(

And that’s about it. As always, thank you for sharing in our joys. For always being there in our highs but also our lows. For embracing us & loving our family as your own. Even though many of you are silent, we still feel the love & we appreciate all your support through the years.

PS: je ne sais quoi – that’s certainly my Bae. ;)

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