THE THEME THAT NO ONE DARES TO TRY
Sometimes we are so preoccupied with the fantastical and aspirational that we fail to appreciate the things that are right under our noses. Take, for example, choosing party themes. Who would have thought to do this type of party:
Welcome to Cady’s Filipino Fiesta!
A BIG thank you as always to Happy Folks Studio for these amazing shots.
In my so-far 3 and a half years of styling, no one asked to do this type of a party. But yes, that’s right. Party Magic just did a Filipino Fiesta party!
Why “Ate Cady” and not just plain “Cady”? Well, I found out that “Ate Cady” is Cady’s grandma’s very special term of endearment for her beloved granddaughter.
One reason that I think people are so hesitant to do this type of party revolves around our preconceptions about our own country. For some, Filipino-themed parties might come off as dull, typical, or just plain old ordinary.
But don’t you find it odd how the French are proud of their unique language, the Americans extol their values of liberty and justice, and the Chinese tout their culture which was developed and preserved over thousands of years, but we Filipinos seem to lack anything to say about our own culture? We seem to more often look outward rather than inward.
When I heard that Giselle, my client, wanted to do a theme revolving around Filipino culture, I thought it was the brightest idea I’ve ever heard.
One of the things I wanted to do almost immediately was to create jeepney centerpieces like the one shown below:
There are so many things in this type of theme that can go wrong, but people fail to realize that there are also so many things that can go right, given the right vision and execution.
For example, the ceiling (see picture above). Since fiesta is equated to a barrage of bright colors , there were a of thing happening: multi-colored bunting flags, bright yellow and orange drapes, as well as those streamers that you’d normally see on the streets of the metro (our version had Talk ‘N Text streamers!). To neutralize all these colors, I wanted to do something cleaner for the hanging lanters: all of them should be white.
The results are undeniable: these white lanterns acted as a sort of “blanket” that effectively lessens all the noise of color happening above it. It also provides the guests with a cleaner, “styled” aesthetic.
White lanterns blanket the venue of Cady’s Birthday
Besides the jeepney centerpiece, we also did a sorbetero centerpiece for some of the other tables:
What is a determining element of every Filipino party? Lechon, of course!
Although I have to warn you: this is a real lechon. It is actually Cady’s birthday cake! Isn’t that something!
Cady’s birthday cake isn’t of the normal variety: it looks like a lechon! The ones who made it? None other than Tazzy Cakes!
Cady’s stage was set up with Cady’s Jeepney:
A key factor in making this theme a success are the details. I had to come up with a lot of graphic work and posters, such as the Coca-Cola banner and the Sangguniang Kabataan signage in the photo below:
Are you in the mood for a joke? Read the names in the SK signage above!
Guests were greeted with this entrance setup, filled with a variety of posters (take a look at the tubero ad!). I love that wooden post too, where Filipinos usually plaster their various announcements and posters.
Speaking of details, Cady’s party was true to the theme all the way to the giveaway:
The photo-op area was nothing else but Ate Cady’s Sari-Sari Store, complete with the Coca-Cola banner ad on top, various posters (“load here”), and of course, all the local-brand chips and candies! This is my personal favorite section of the party!
The dessert section was equally fascinating. It was a celebration of Filipino-specific foods:
Isaw-shaped pastries, anyone? (once you get past how it looks, they really are yummy dessert treats!)
Sapin-sapin themed cookies, topped with tsinelas and bayong:
All of these works of art were made with love by Cat and J of Tazzy Cakes!
CADY’S FIESTA: A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE
Cady is truly blessed to be with loved ones who are uncannily self-aware and are proud to be Filipino. To be honest, styling Cady’s party made me step back and appreciate the things I have even more.
To Giselle: thank you for trusting me and the Party Magic team to create this memory for you and your family!
The happiest of birthdays to you, sweet Cady!