Ludy (my second child) celebrated her debut last Friday, 27-June, at Leslie’s Restaurant near Ayala Alabang Village.
This is just one of those special occasions in my family that I absolutely cannot miss. I’m just very grateful my current boss, Ravi Raman, is very considerate and supportive. I cannot thank him enough for letting me go even though we’re in the midst of an important project.
We prepared for Ludy’s debut party several months back and up to now I still can’t imagine how costly, tiring and time-consuming it is to have one nowadays. I can’t believe it’s so easy to run up to a few hundred thousands pesos for even a simple 3-hour debut party for 100 guests. Imagine how the big guys organize and pay for parties in huge auditoriums for several hundred participants. One million pesos? Two? A batallion of organizers? Easy. (Lo and behold! I’m not one of the big guys. I can only afford to invite a few of our closest friends and relatives in the Philippines. To my friends who aren’t in the Philippines and didn’t get an invite, you know why I can’t but you know that I would have loved to see you there. Same thing to my dear friends in Pinas. You know who you are.)
I realized that a debut party is not very different from a wedding reception. The debutante (or the bride) would have to wear an elegant, glittering gown designed by professional couturiers. The debutante must absolutely look like Cinderella in her gown. (I’m fortunate they don’t make crystal sandals anymore. A pair of Swarovski sandals would likely wipe out my bank account.)
What’s amazing are those several layers of make up women put on their faces. Don’t women suffocate under those layers of powders, cream and whatever else? It could give anybody a pain in the neck carrying several kilos of those on their faces forÂ an hour or so, no? And then there’s the hair-do. Those with jars of gels and glitters they put on their heads and mini-crowns you’d think you’re in a royal party in some far away kingdom. Don’t forget the manicured nails. They have to have some layers of paint and glitters too. You’d be absolutely naive to think that you wouldn’t need a trip to the SM Mall of Asia to purchase several fancy accessories and jewelries and a sparkling brand new treasure chest to put all those in. I wasn’t very surprised my daughter lost several kilos when her party was over.
Don’t forget the grandparents, parents, siblings and close relatives. They need to dress up too and may need to make several trips to a good and expensive dressmaker/tailor or open up their ancient family’s chest to find that long cherished barong tagalog or saya or shoes/sandals. Most people nowadays just head to a super-mega SM or Rustan department store to purchase a new wardrobe to match the theme of the party.
The debutante must have her platoon of beauticians onsite to assist and beautify her as the need arises. Another platoon of photographers, videographer and assistants must keep their cameras clicking and rolling to record every important activity from the start till the end of the party. Then there are the army of chefs, waiters and restaurant managers to serve food and beverage and provide assistance to the entire barangay of guests. The guards are there too to assist guests in parking their cars and be in constant alert for security breaches.
We invited a live band who sang and played wonderful songs for our daughter. We also had a good emcee, Karen Ebina, who did a great job coordinating the program and entertaining the guests. We presented a slide-show of pictures of the debutante when she was a baby up to her current age. Derek (her brother) and Jek (her unassuming boyfriend) did a fantastic job producing, directing, scripting and presenting a video of Ludy’s close friends and classmates who made many funny and inspiring remarks.
A very important element to the success of a debut party, actually any party, is the presence of the invited guests. I never fully realized before that the mere presence of the guest is important to the celebrant and to his/her family. Never mind if some of the family members don’t know you. It’s already an honor to them that you accepted their invitation and supported them by being there on the day which matters most to the celebrant and to her family. I truly appreciated the fact that many of our close friends and relatives came despite of their tight schedule at work, in school or family. Those who came and prayed for the success of Ludy’s debut deserve our sincerest thanks and gratitude. We are also thankful to those who couldn’t come for various reasons.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures of the party. I’ll upload some of the pics here when I get them from our hired photographers.
Here’s the slide-show that was presented during the party.