Mom’s super Filipino card, my debut pictures & tips for planning your own debut dinner dance party!!!

You’re reading my blog at a perfect time! I’m doing a seven-day special! I’m counting down to 20.08.2009 — the day I turn 28! To celebrate, I’ve gone thru the birthday cards and letters I’ve received thruout the years and I chose 7 cards I want to share with everyone. You’ll get to see one each day, plus I wanna show you lots of photos too!

Yesterday I shared the card my dad gave me for my 18th. Today I wanna show you the card my mom gave me! If you know how to speak Filipino, check out the words she used! So cool! If you don’t understand Filipino, don’t worry, there’s an English translation ready for you! I just wanted the Filipino-speakers to check out how she wrote `coz it’s totally  NOT coloquial or slang at all. You’ll rarely hear someone speak this way nowadays!!! I’m so proud of my mommy! 🙂

card2-back card2English translation: Happy 18th Birthday! Now you really are a woman! I hope that all your plans in life will come to pass and I hope you won’t forget to call on the Lord to protect you. Just always remember that I’m always beside you. I love you my dear daughter.

Another card mom gave me, I think a year or two later, said: “Ngayon ay ganap na ganap na ang iyong pagkadalaga” — translated that’s: Now you REALLY REALLY ARE A WOMAN! 🙂

What I love about this card is how she said I was dear to her — 3 times: “owie dear”…”I love you my dear daughter”…”My dearest daughter” — and what I appreciate about it is it’s soooo true! Even if I’ve given her tons of headaches and heartaches, she still makes me feel that I’m so dear to her. *sigh* I thank God that I have such a beautiful picture of what a mother is. 🙂

Now, since I’ve shared two cards I received for my 18th birthday, it’s but natural to show you some photos from the party they gave me. Here in the Philippines, turning 18 is welcomed with a huge, usually  formal dinner-dance party. I’ve always dreamt of wearing a nice gown and have the traditional 18 roses (where I’d dance with 18 guys, with dad as my first dance) and that’s exactly what I got, and more! My mom allowed me to decide on  A LOT of details for the party. And…because she made me ‘the boss’ of that party, I put EVERYTHING and EVERYONE I wanted in the program, not realizing it was way too much, `til now. So, let me show you photos of that beautiful party — AND  a few tips for the debutants out there planning their own party!

With mother dear
With mother dear

I ‘designed’ the gown I wore that night. I wanted a “semi-big” gown (forgive me, I don’t know how else to call it). I also wanted it ‘tube’ style. The problem was — the gown was a bit too heavy, so it kept on ‘dropping’ as I would fit it and walk around in it. So a day or two before the party, the designer attached ‘strings’ to hold my gown up. It worked, but it hurt!
So, tip #1, if you wanna go ahead and ‘design’ your dream gown, show a professional designer (or at least someone who knows more than you do) what you want and the material you want, etc. Ask about comfort, etc. So that you don’t end up pulling up your gown all night! haha!

Yup, that's tequilla!
Yup, that’s tequilla!

I wanted the whole shabang. I had lots of brothers and uncles so if I included them in the line-up of my 18 roses, it would have left little room for my guy friends…so I came up with my  “traditional dance” (I didn’t know what else to call it). As I entered the venue (a really nice club house) I danced with all my guy relatives who were all lined up, and my last dance led me to my seat up front. That solved that problem, and it didn’t really take long. It was just one song, so I’m guessing 3 or 4 minutes.

That’s tip #2, you can do a ‘traditional dance’ if you’ve got way too many guy relatives and they all want to dance with their princess. Now you’ve got enough room for all your guy friends.

BUT…here’s where I went overboard. I had the usual 18 candles, where 18 girl friends said something (nice) about me and told everyone what they wish for me. Then I had list for 18 gifts, where 18 friends got me a gift that best described me or a gift that expressed their wish for me or anything that reminded them of me. Then I also had a list for my 18 shots of tequilla. Again, 18 friends who said something about me and again, shared what their wish for me was. THAT’S A LOT. I didn’t realize it back then, but yikes, what was I thinking?? 54 people saying something about me?! Yikes!!! Apologies to my guests. I’m sure that was way too much!!! Too much talking! Too much about me! eeeewww!!! 😦 So, tip #3, when it comes to the talking part, if you wanna do more than the usual just 18 people saying something about you and wishing you well, just add one more set — but please DO NOT make the mistake I made! Keep it short! Or… with the technology nowadays, have someone make a really cool, short video instead!!!

lotsa pretty mugs...
lotsa pretty mugs…

I wanted my guests to go home with something they could use. This is something I’m proud of, I chose pretty mugs. I just got a whole bunch from a department store. Different designs, similar prices — and because I chose the mugs, you can trust that it IS NOT expensive at all. This way, your money goes to something useful — and if there are any extra give-aways, you can use it at home too! Tip #4, choose a useful giveaway!

18 tiny cakes
18 tiny cakes

I know we all want pretty cakes, but gorgeous cakes don’t always have to be pricey. I think my sister and I found this little bake shop in Manila which made these pretty tiny cakes. I think my concept was to have 18 small cakes so that after I blow out my candles, we can give one cake to each table, or something like that, or give it away to friends. I think it came out a lot cheaper, than buying one big cake at big famouse bake shop. Tip #5, ask your friends who bake or look around and ask little bake shops if they can make small pretty cakes, or maybe lots of cupcakes even! It could come out cheaper than ordering something from the famous bake shops! least guests can just go to the cake table and grab a cupcake or cake!

My first dance...
My first dance…

Make sure you want to dance with every single person on your 18-roses list! Don’t put them on the list – just because! Remember, choose 18 special people you really want to dance with!!! It’ll show if you wanna get it over and done with when you’re dancing with someone you aren’t particularly fond of!!! So tip #6, choose wisely and enjoy every single dance!!!


My mom gave me hints that she wanted me to sing their theme song coz she wanted to dance with dad too! Cheesy, yes. And that’s exactly what I told her!! I told her that I WOULD NOT do it at all! No way! That whole act really went well. She totally believed me. So, she was surprised when I called her and dad to the dance floor and I sang their theme song. She was CRYING!!! Tip #7, be sensitive to what your parents say. They’ll usually give hints! If not, think of a surprise for them. Do something special to let them know that you totally appreciate your party! Remember, that party is already a HUGE GIFT!!!

scan0014Tip #8, mean what you say on your invitation! Don’t just copy what someone else said!, have the grammar checked please. 🙂 Just to be sure! Oh, and it’s always better to have a fresh eye do the grammar check for you!

Oh, and don’t forget to blow out your candles and make a wish!!! 🙂
and….have fun!!!! It’s your PARTY!!!

Speaking of blowing out candles, check out my blog tomorrow!!! Aside from sharing cards I’ve received and crazy stories too, I’m also gonna show you photos of me blowing out my candles since I was 1!!! I found a bunch last night!!! Such a trip!!! You gotta check it out!!! 🙂


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