Saturday, January 10, 2009

Precious moments extravaganza

"Precious Moments extravaganza"
Sun.Star Davao, Jan. 10, 2009

Singapore-based mom Aileen “T-one” Brigole-Abadilla is undoubtedly one of Precious Moments’ most ardent fans.

When she got married to her husband Christian in January 2007, their intimate wedding carried the whimsical Precious Moments theme from the invitations and décor, down to the souvenirs and cake.
And, at their beloved daughter Jamie Ailianne’s first birthday at the Grand Men Seng Hotel recently, guess what their theme was for the important celebration? Why, Precious Moments, of course!

“My husband and I loved the Precious Moments theme because of the inspiration it brings”, shares T-one.

Precious Moments (PM) is a Christian entity created by Sam Butcher, initially as a way of expressing his love and appreciation for family and friends through greeting cards with illustrations of children having distinctive teardrop-shaped eyes. Later on, it also served as Butcher’s way of spreading the Good News.

T-one works as a Corporate Sales Executive at StarHub, Ltd. Interestingly, Christian is employed at StarHub’s number 1 competitor, Singapore Telecoms Inc., where he is one of the Customer Care Representatives in the Salvage Team.

“Both of us have been based in Singapore for almost two years and are now Permanent Residents, including our daughter Jamie”, says T-one.

Endearing effect

“Would you believe, I started planning details for the first birthday party when I was still pregnant with Jamie?!”, T-one chuckles.

“I oversaw every little detail of the party, ensuring that the sweet, endearing effect of Precious Moments were present in the different elements of the party but not overdone”, describes the hands-on mom.

Most of the party ware was from Singapore – from the dinner plates, beverage cups, dessert plates, table napkins, birthday banners, mylar balloons for pillars and table centerpieces, even all the party favors.

The invites were Precious Moments invitation cards from Singapore, with an illustration of five PM children holding up a birthday banner. This design could be seen in all dinner elements of the party – the dinner plates, dessert plates, table napkins, beverage cups and birthday banners.

“The entrance was decorated with a life size Precious Moments girl welcome standee, holding the PM logo. There was likewise a Precious Moments magnetic name frame with Jamie’s name.

Each entrance door was bedecked with a pastel combination of yellow, pink, blue and lavender balloon pillar with a Precious Moments princess mylar head”, illustrates T-one.

Overseas coordination

Bai Lim’s Astrochairs was the decorator and party organizer of the affair.

“I was truly pleased with Astrochairs’ service. I am truly impressed with their customer service, the way they replied immediately to my different requests for proposals, my specific instructions and constantly changing ideas. They responded with patience and they always tried hard to answer my every question --- an experience I truly appreciated since I coordinated everything all the way from Singapore. I could only communicate with them through email, chat and mobile phone. I only met them at the party itself”, discloses T-one.
Astrochairs beautifully decorated the stage as the ballroom’s focal point, with its Precious Moments backdrop, balloon pillars and floating pastel balloons.

On the other hand, elegant fabric treatment of pastel yellow, pink, aqua and lavender comprised the ceiling works. At the center was the balloon burst, and each corner was adorned with metallic pastel balloon clusters with droppings.

The buffet table was accented with a supersize Precious Moments Princess balloon.
“For our table centerpieces, we used different Precious Moments mylar balloons for kiddie tables and another PM design for adult tables. PM plush toys were the base of each adult table centerpiece, surrounded with chocolates and candies as table sprinkles”, describes T-one.

“The booths included Fun Cuts Kiddie Salon open to all kids for hair art, hair styling, hair accessories, nail art, manicure, pedicure, and Precious Moments tattoos; BluGre Onsite Coffee Bar for adult guests with Jamie’s Specials: Brewed Coffee, Latte, Cappuccino, Durian Gatchpuccino, Larcepuccino Mocha and Larcepuccino Cookies and Cream. We also had Superscoop Ice Cream cart and a chocolate fountain corner”, enumerates the meticulous mom.

Precious Moments extravaganza

Kiddie giveaways were Precious Moments loot bags with goodies and toys and PM stickers. Each loot bag had its own metallic take home balloon.

For the female tweens, the Abadillas gave out heart-shaped Precious Moments tin cans with PM fortune cookies and candies; while for the male tweens, blue PM pens.

The adults received pink baby bottle favor boxes with the PM fortune cookies as well as assorted PM favor boxes with different fruit-flavored candies.

The two-tiered fondant birthday choco mud-flavored cake was a masterpiece by Natalie’s Cakes’ Booboo Maramba. The top tier was a sweet pastel yellow color creation with flowers, hearts and leaves as fondant accents, topped by a porcelain Precious Moments figurine stating “God Made Night and Day”. The bottom tier was a 12-inch round pink checkered cake patterned after the tin can giveaways.

In addition, the cake table contained other creations from Booboo---a cupcake tower with fondant toppers of flowers and butterflies, and cookie-lollies with fondant balloons and confetti patterned after the stage backdrop.

“For the entertainment, I was very delighted that my niece and nephews rendered a dance number. Astrochairs provided a clown who did a balloon twisting show, lots of games and a balloon burst. The finale was a bubble show with a dance number from the party hosts”, shares T-one.

Thanksgiving party

“When I was pregnant with Jamie in Singapore, she was actually diagnosed there to have Down syndrome. My husband and the entire family struggled in prayer, believing that since Jamie was a blessing from the Lord then He will give no problems to her (Proverbs 10:22 “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and He adds no trouble to it.”).

True enough, Jamie turned out completely normal and beautiful!”, exclaims T-one who together with husband Christian are both active members of Mosaic Ministries, the Singapore branch of Bread of Life Philippines, their church here in Davao.

The most recent trial occurred in Jamie’s first real birth date, November 18, 2008. The Abadillas had initially booked a birthday party for Jamie at McDonald’s to celebrate with family and friends in their absence.

“Unfortunately, Jamie had dengue fever three days prior to her birthday and so she had to celebrate her very first birthday in San Pedro Hospital, and worse, without us. That’s why my husband and I decided to throw Jamie a nice thanksgiving party which was unique, fun and truly unforgettable, as a way of making up for everything”, divulges T-one.

“In God’s goodness, our daughter recovered fast and our small, young family is now complete and together during the holidays. This is the reason for the very belated birthday party. Christian and I wanted to throw a thanksgiving party in honor of God’s goodness and faithfulness in our family, especially in our daughter’s life”, relates T-one.

After the memorable affair, the proud parents felt happy, relieved and overwhelmed, most especially since Jamie was hyper and in high spirits that night.

“It almost seemed like she understood she was the star of the night. Most of all, I felt very thankful to everyone, especially to our parents for their unending love and support for us and our daughter. I feel blessed that Jamie has them as her grandparents”, expresses T-one.

For the Abadillas, special occasions like these are indeed life’s most precious moments.

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