"Under the sea fantasy"
Sun.Star Davao, Oct. 11, 2008
Atty. Karlo Bendigo Nograles and Margarita “Marga” Montemayor-Nograles’ Hawaiian honeymoon was such a special vacation that they couldn’t resist using it as their inspiration during their son, Karlos Mateo’s Under the Sea-themed first birthday party recently.
“We wanted Mateo’s birthday celebration to have the same feel, same look and same beautiful experience”, shares Marga who is president of Martish Marketing Co., the exclusive sub distributor of Havaianas in South East Mindanao.
“The birthday theme likewise fitted perfectly into my wanting to inject a little bit of Havaianas into the affair. Also, Mateo loves fish! He can stare at the fish in our aquarium for hours and smile to himself”, reveals the busy mom.
To help execute her awesome ideas, Marga turned to one of Davao’s premier party organizers Annie Lim. Together, the duo prepared an amazing underwater adventure that little Mateo and his friends won’t surely forget!
Under the sea fantasy
“We had pop up storybook invites that were thoughtfully given by my friends in Manila. The book cover was illustrated with a beach, coconut trees, sand, crabs and with Mateo in his lobster costume crawling on the sand. A Nemo pop up can be seen inside the Under the Sea-inspired book”, describes Marga.
“The first time Mateo saw his birthday set up, his jaw dropped open! No exaggeration. It was so cute”, giggles the breastfeeding advocate.
The Apo View grand ballroom’s ceiling works were a magnificent mix of aqua cloth festooned with whale, dolphin, fish, shark and sea horse inflatable toys. Mylar, pearlized and bubble see-through balloons aided in exuding an Under the Sea ‘feel’. A gigantic orange balloon-designed octopus served as the ceiling’s centerpiece.
Table centerpieces were huge orange seaweeds with fish and other sea creatures popping out of them. Glow-in-the-dark bundled strings inserted into the seaweeds produced an Under the Sea lighting drama.
“Annie Lim completely outdid herself! She totally exceeded our expectations”, exclaims Marga.
Jericho Nograles, younger brother of Karlo, who is one of Mateo’s godfathers graciously picked up the tab on all the balloons at the party.
Adding to the impressive decorations was the colorful and scrumptious three-tiered birthday cake and matching mini cupcakes done by All About Cakes’ Tanya Rabat-Tan which had an Under the Sea theme with fondant sea creatures.
The lip-smacking cocktail spread was displayed on giant round tables in different elevations with fish-bedecked chafing dishes and seaweed centerpieces.
Moreover, there was a wide screen TV that was playing Under the Sea shows from Baby Einstein and “A Day at the Beach with Barney”.
The charming birthday boy had two outfits for his important milestone—the first one was a lobster costume in bright shiny orange especially customized for him via the internet and the second, a matching light blue Hawaiian shirt with his proud dad Karlo who is the chief of staff of the Office of the House Speaker (First Congressional District of Davao City).
Adorable kiddie guests also donned their own underwater-themed costumes. There was the delightful Trent Ong dressed as a sea turtle; cuties Gabbie Limpin, Deni Bangayan, Michelle Lim and the pretty Hao sisters, Amber, Ashley and Allegra as diverse versions of magical mermaids; and the oh-so-cool Mishka Gonzales garbed in a bathing suit, robe, jelly sandals and shades. Others sported the casual Hawaiian look.
Children together with their parents and even grandparents joined the amusing games like “Dress Your Mommy as a Mermaid” where teams were given 10 minutes to dress the mommy models as mermaids using various colors of crepe paper and “Pop the Under the Sea Balloon with Daddy”.
Majority of the party booths were gifts from Mateo’s loving aunts, uncles, godparents, grandparents and friends:
Potato Corner - Yummy barbeque and cheese fries courtesy of Marga’s cousin and Mateo’s ninang Tisha Ang
Super Scoop - Ice cream galore sponsored by ninang Celine Gabriel
Holy Kettle Corn - Endless popcorn for all the guests given by Mateo’s aunt Josie Garcia-Ang and family
Coffee Dream - Drink-all-you-can cold and hot coffee/shakes donated by Rochelle del Rosario and family
Mateo’s Mini Burgers and Island Chill – Burgers and chips on Nemo plates with mini flags; iced tea and lemonade in Mateo cups; and delectable Milo ice cream affectionately created and provided by Mateo’s maternal grandparents ‘Popsie’ Binggoy and ‘Momsie’ Baby Montemayor.
Sticker Me - Kids got to choose from a wide variety of Under the Sea sticker tattoos, body jewelry sticker or nail paint stickers. All stickers were gifts by the Villa Margarita staff for their dear Mateo.
Photo Me – Guests enjoyed posing for the camera and were delighted to receive souvenir picture card keychains that had an Under the Sea theme with the inscription, “Mateo at One”.
In addition, Mateo’s paternal grandfather Speaker of the House of Representatives Prospero ‘Boy’ Nograles and Lola Bebet donated the thrilling prizes for the Shoot the Ball, Dart-a-Balloon, and Fish-o-fish game booths.
Celebration of love
For give-aways, Havaianas Philippines gifted kids 5 and below their personal Havaianas slippers.
On the other hand, children above 5 years old received “Mateo’s Stickos” as treats.
Marga also ingeniously recycled Mateo’s Dr. Edwards’ water bottles and filled it with little mints and candies as tokens for the adult guests.
“We were at a high after the party, most especially Mateo. Karlo and I were thrilled to have created an ‘Under the Sea Fantasy’ for all our guests and relatives. All the text messages we got saying that they all had fun added to the happy high”, says Marga.
The hands-on mom observed that Mateo was still humming to himself the next day. “He was so glad and at awe. It was almost like he knew it was his party and that he appreciated all the hard work and love everyone put into it”, she adds.
“Mateo’s first birthday was a true celebration of life and love and it would not be complete without us thanking everyone who put this incredible party together. We would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to those who generously sponsored the party booths, prizes, decorations and give-aways as well as ‘Nana’ Pat Montemayor for the donation she gave ABS-CBN’s Bantay Bata 163 in Mateo’s name”, Marga acknowledges.
“Above all, we thank the Lord for the gift of Mateo and for the wonderful first year he has given all his loved ones with him. His first year is something that we will always treasure. We wish that Mateo will grow to be a brilliant, caring, hardworking and God-fearing little boy and pray that he will be blessed with many many many more birthdays to come”, ends Marga with a smile.