Saturday, March 3, 2012

All aboard Nikki's party boat

“All aboard Nikki’s party boat"
Sun.Star Davao, March 3, 2012

You could say that Katherine Nicole Uy Calixto’s journey in her teen life has been a smooth sailing one so far.

Nikki, as she is fondly called by her family and friends, graduated as valedictorian in both her elementary and high school years at the 
Stella Maris Academy of Davao.

Living a well-balanced life, Nikki also held the important position of Girl Scout Representative and Council Member, and consistently served the Student Council all throughout high school and was in fact elected President in her graduating year. Not to lack in spiritual enhancement, Nikki was also deeply enriched by her active involvement in the 
Filipino-Chinese Catholic Youth (FCCY).

Besides these academic competitions and trainings, Nikki found fulfilment in doing other worthwhile hobbies such as being part of the swimming and basketball varsity team of her school.

Moreover, writing is also one of Nikki’s strongest passions. She joined and placed in a number of regional and national press conferences in and out of Davao and was chosen as the Editor-in-Chief of their school paper.

“I’ve always kept myself busy with activities that did not only hone my academic skills but, more importantly, made me a better person”, shares Nikki who is currently an Ateneo de Manila University freshman studying for a degree in BS Management Engineering

Nautical preppy

Nikki recently celebrated her 18th birthday party in a very novel way—on board LCT The Venue Party Boat.

“Growing up in this beautiful city of Davao and loving and missing everything about it, I decided to spend my most significant birthday here---where my home and heart is!”, smiles Nikki.

With only two weeks to prepare, Nikki’s very supportive Davao-based family: dad, Coca-Cola executive Jiggs Calixto; businesswoman-mom Irene; and younger siblings Issa and Gian, worked doubly hard to make sure that Nikki’s coming of age party reflected a stylish nautical preppy theme.

“Issa, together with my Mama, created nautical-inspired invitations patterned after a real boarding pass. From the abaca rope down to the life preserver details, the invites truly depicted the party theme”, gushes Nikki. “I’m truly blessed to have such an artistically endowed sister!”, she exclaims.

MV Nikki

At the Samal Ferry Wharf, fire dancers, with their heart-pumping moves, thrilled the guests as they excitedly boarded the boat expecting a magical and unforgettable evening.

Donning their chic nautical preppy-themed attires, Nikki’s family and friends gamely posed at the photo booth brought on board by Davao’s top photographer Bob Mata. Blue and red Nikki lifesavers were the souvenir pictures’ background theme.

The boat’s air-conditioned first deck, which served as the main dining area, was bedecked with white, royal and aqua blue-colored balloons, table centerpiece, flower arrangements and backdrop.

The debutante’s elegant four-layer fondant cake and cupcakes carried the nautical theme as well with shell and starfish accents, and lifesavers.

“Our party host Don Gonzales took charge of the songs to be played for the 18 roses and instead of the usual waltz music, he changed it to 18 different modern songs for a more youthful vibe”, Nikki says.

Participants in the traditional 18 Roses were Darren Lester Pedronio, Kyru Cabading, Moses Cam, Jeremy John Lu, Gio Maniwan, Ray Calope, Harry Bolingot, Jann Mason Chan, James Laurence Yap, Jose Angelo Ostique, Ralph Lu, Kenn Kelvin Te, Jance Go, Aldrin Fernandez, Cedie Batu, Aleandre Racillo, Gian Carlo Calixto and Miguel Mempin. Dad Jiggs Calixto was Nikki’s final dance.

On the other hand, the 18 Candles was composed of Sandreana Laraine Chan, Alyssa Lim, Mariejan May Acosta, Mariel Baruis, Rem Almira Liu, Hannah Stephanie Tiu, Angeli Lupase, Tiara Beatriz Samson, Seline Katrina Co, Herica Samantha Tiu, Erika Joyce Rollo, Carla Manajero, Pia Isabella Bernardo, Maria Luisa Adriatico, Camila Noelle Yamas and Isabella Camille Calixto.

Good friends Katrina Robyn Bangayan and Ana Batiller who are studying in Manila, but were also part of the 18 Candles sent their birthday greetings via video for their beloved schoolmate.

Lighting the unity candle, which symbolized lighting Nikki’s way to life and adulthood, was mom Irene. In her speech, the hands-on mom said that “she couldn’t ask for anything more but be especially proud of her daughter who has grown up to be good-hearted, beautiful and intelligent”. She wished Nikki all good things and ardently hoped that she reached her dreams.

New voyage

After the sumptuous dinner, the party guests moved to the second and third decks of the boat for a special treat on a special night with overflowing drinks and live band entertainment.

As the boat cruised along Davao Gulf, everyone marveled at the magnificent view of distant city lights while enjoying the cool and relaxing sea breeze and star-filled sky.

Nikki’s friends had a grand time serenading the darling debutante with their favorite songs while the dynamic FCCY group presented a medley of fast-paced dance moves from various eras.

Leading the well-applauded toast and speech for the celebrant was Joey Mempin, a longtime family friend of the Calixtos. Joey said that the boat venue was quite fitting for 

Nikki’s 18th birthday as she was also embarking on “a new voyage of sorts into adulthood”.

Now the captain or skipper of the boat will no longer be your parents but you; although, you are not in total control just yet until you’re fully independent”, reminded Joey.

In an equally touching speech, dad Jiggs advised his eldest daughter not to worry too much about what other people say. “As long as you know deep in your heart what you’re doing is right, in the end, it’s always between you and God”.

Capping the enchanting night was the send-off of 50 multi-hued floating lanterns, an Asian tradition commemorating milestones as well as “hopes for a peaceful and harmonious future”.

With Nikki starting to chart her own course and the constant support of family and friends, the future undoubtedly looks bright and promising for this young achiever.

Bon voyage, Nikki!

My sincerest thanks to Bob Mata for the fabulous party photos.

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