Baby Shower: The First Lilibubs
When Ms. Jeyme Azarraga-Morallo of One Tree South Events contacted me last month and expressed interest in holding a baby shower for Joey and me, I honestly didn’t think much of it. I just said yes, invited a few family and friends, coordinated on the date, theme, and registry, booked my hair and makeup artist, asked my stylist for an outfit, and blocked off the date. Both Joey and I thought it was just gonna be another event, another baby shower.
The evening before September 2, our chosen date for the shower, Joey and I made our way to Vivere Hotel, Alabang. It was our first time to check-in there, though I do remember having dinner with my best friend Marj at their rooftop restaurant years back (today, the ambience still is a superb; the view still beautiful albeit obscured by some hedges). Again, we went there not expecting anything, just to get a good night’s rest for the event the following day.
Weren’t we surprised when the hotel personnel showed us to our room: a two-storey lower penthouse complete with a kitchen, a comfy common area, a spacious dining room, and with three bedrooms each having its own toilet and bath! My jaw dropped at the grandiosity of it, for honestly, both Joey and I are middle-class working people not that used to luxury. And there we were in a penthouse with two floors! Wow! Thank you, Jeyme and Vivere Hotel for this treat!!
As Joey excitedly went up to the second floor to see what’s in there and I signed all the necessary check-in documents, he immediately called his two best buds Chris and Paulo and their wives Nicole and Rachel to see if they wanted to stay there with us. They were - and it was an impromptu staycation! Saya!
But really, the moment I stepped into the penthouse, even as I was soothed by the calm lounge music at the ground floor, I immediately felt relaxed. Guess I’m really getting old because staying in and doing nothing and channel-surfing in a super comfortable hotel bed even for just a night was the stuff of dreams for me already, hehe!
The next morning, being an early riser (or being woken up early by Lilibubs to eat, hehe) I had breakfast all by myself at the top floor. The solitude was nice, the view beautiful, the air crisp - it was a good energy starter to a packed day. By 7:30am I was ready to be made up; Jeyme asked a few days’ prior if the partner videographer, Lemon Three Films could shoot Joey and I for a “digital memories” film at 9am, and that the photographer, Happy Folks Studio, also requested if they could shoot a few pictures at 10:30am.
The shower was scheduled from 11am to 3pm.
The shoot was a breeze. It was our first time working with Lemon Three Films and Happy Folks Manila, and they made the shoot easy, not requiring many shots or poses, haha. Though of course, Joey was a bit awkward (the last time he was asked to look into my eyes was during our prenup shoot January 2015, hehe!), but everyone was cool and having good friends Arianne Antonio and Carla Avanceña doing hair and makeup for me added laughter to the morning.
By about 11:30am, Jeyme called me saying that our first guests have arrived - my good friend Princess Velasco-Rosario with her panganay, Kobe. And so we proceeded to head down to the second floor ballroom.
And what a lovely sight greeted us! An arch of leaves and white flowers adorned the entrance (beautiful styling, DM Events!!), by its side was a very charming spread of dessert (Boulangerie 22), the tables were all rustically set with succulents and brown bottles and small lamps, the stage wowed with a huge garland and a teepee with a wooden pallet as backdrop, glass bubbles and branches hung from the ceiling, THERE WAS SO MUCH BABY COMPANY AND CETAPHIL AND PIGEON BABY STUFF at each side of the stage!! And when I looked to my left, there was a kid’s area with the stuff of kids’ dreams: COTTON CANDY (Lollipuffs), ICE CREAM (Baskin-Robbins) and two colourful tables with giant blocks and other toys in the middle (amazing setup by Party Kids Station).
Then of course, the BUFFET! Vegetable fritters (yummy okoy which I feasted on for days after, hehe!), fruity salad with honey patis dressing, pork hamonado, medallion of beef in steak sauce, crispy fried pork spareribs (which Joey absolutely LOVED), chicken ala pobre, oven baked fish fillet with cashew nuts, sautéed tofu with bitter melon, chorizo pasta (super yum!!!), turon, leche flan and really fresh fruits! Everything looked and tasted so good!!
OMG. Sobrang bongga ng baby shower namin. Hindi namin talaga akalain!! Joey and I kept exchanging bewildered looks and I kept thanking Jeyme!!
But apparently, the best was yet to come. :D
We started off the afternoon with of course, lunch (I must have went back to the buffet station three times! The food was so good!). Thanks also to our good friend, Pastor Brian Sebastian, for leading us in prayer (biglaan! Hehe!).
Our host was Vanna Rodrigo Reyes. It was my second time to work with her but the first to have her lead our own party, and she had Joey and me and the rest of our guests laughing the entire afternoon with her well-timed quips! She was so funny and the perfect baby shower host! Tuwang-tuwa sa kanya si Joey! Highly recommended!
We started the program by sharing our Lilibubs’ name: Issiah Dañelle B. Ramirez (pronounced I-si-yah Da-nye-le).
I recounted how and why we chose this name. As I’ve recently shared in my “God’s Whispers” blog entry, in 2014, when Joey and I were newly engaged, I had a dream. In my dream, I was in a church sitting beside a little girl. I knew she was my daughter. As we were looking at the cross of Christ, I told her:
“This was how I first came to know God.”
When I woke up, the name of the prophet Isaiah was on my mind. So when we found out we were expecting a girl, I knew we were going to name her Isaiah, or a variation thereof. It was Joey who chose the name Issiah.
We also wanted to name her after my father-in-law, whose name is Dan. Hence, Dañelle. A slightly different Pinoy version of Danielle.
So her name is like a mixture of Italian, Hebrew, and Filipino, with a Spanish surname, hahaha! But her nickname will still be Lilibubs because it has really stuck already :D.
After sharing this, it was time for games, prizes, and sakit-sa-tiyan-buti-nlng-hindi-ako-nanganak laughter! There were three games interspersed with Bring Me’s. The first was a couples game, a race for the women to put on adult diapers on the men and for the men to act like babies and finish a baby bottle filled with orange juice. SO FUNNY! The second was a name that tune game, boys versus girls. They had to guess the title of the song being played (twist is, the DJ played instrumental versions) which of course, had the word “baby” in it. The last game was kind of like a “staging of situations” game (I forgot the title) but it was also really hilarious because the categories were unheard of and out-of-this-world, like “Sitti singing in a zoo” and “Avengers changing diapers” and “Delivery sa MRT”. I’ve been to a lot of baby showers already but it was my first time to come across the re-enactment and aforementioned couples game. SO MUCH FUN!!! I’ll let the photos speak for themselves! :D
What a delight to see our guests having fun!! <3
After that it was pictures galore with the sponsors. It was at this time when I started to feel even more hormotional.. I mean, to have a party thrown for us that lavish was already a very unexpected gift.. and then for these brands to shower Lilibubs with gift packs pa! Wow talaga! It was so overwhelming, we are so grateful. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so so much for helping these first-time parents with products we will surely be able to use (and cross off our shopping list!). Huhu, really, truly, such a big help. To BABY COMPANY, CETAPHIL, PIGEON BABY AND SAFETY 1ST, thank you, thank you so much. And of course, to VIVERE HOTEL for hosting our shower and treating us and our guests to such sumptuous food, our forever thanks!! <3
Now I finally understood why they call it a baby “shower”. The coming of a little one is cause for a community to bestow gifts of love, prayer, and material blessings on an expecting couple and their wonderful miracle, to aid them as they begin the challenging yet fulfilling lifetime journey of parenthood. <3
We requested to have a picture with our few family and friends who made it that Sunday. Again, my heart was full knowing that our Lilibubs is surrounded by good people who have prayed for and will love and guide her.
I thought that was the end of the program, until Vanna mentioned a surprise. We turned to the TV screens and watched what Lemon Three Films prepared for us (Joey and me: “Aah, yun pala yung shinoot natin kanina” hahaha mga walang ka-muang-muang!): an SDE! I didn’t know they did SDE’s at baby showers!
Check out these links for the SDE:
Lemon Three Films asked me to write and record a letter for Lilibubs. In between shots of our shoot in the penthouse and the shower that was, I read my letter for our precious miracle.
Thank you so so much once again, Jeyme of One Tree South Events, and to all the sponsors and your partners who gave us this day that we will always remember: a day to rejoice in how good the Lord is through the generosity of others. Joey and I will never, ever forget. I pray that you all will be able to make more future mommies and daddies happy, and that the Lord will repay you for your kindness.
To my fellow mommies, do enjoy the showers that will come your way! God bless you and your hubbies and your little ones! <3
A Rustic Bohemian baby shower for Joey and me by One Tree South <3
Much thanks to:
Video by Lemon Three Films
Photos by Happy Folks Studio
Venue styling by DM Events
All those yummy desserts from:
Honey Glaze cakes
Kids section setup by: PartyKids Station
Giveaways by @arteegram_manila
Hosted by Vanna Rodrigo Reyes
Hair: Arianne Antonio
Makeup: Carla Avanceña
Dress: Nouvelle Haute Couture
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