Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Bollywood birthday bash

“A Bollywood birthday bash”
Sun.Star Davao, Jan. 26, 2013

The charming Lalaine Aportadera Visitacion, now Lalaine Gedal, spent three unforgettable months backpacking in India with her husband Dan in 1997.

“It was a love and hate relationship with India. However, towards my last day prior to leaving Delhi, I was sobbing so hard, I didn’t want to go. India just grows on you!”, Lalaine exclaims.

Fifteen years later, Lalaine still loves anything that is India – the colors, smell, sound and taste. So, naturally, when it was time to celebrate her 50th birthday party, Lalaine excitedly thought of staging an enjoyable and unique affair with a Bollywood theme. Bollywood is India’s equivalent of Hollywood.    

“It took approximately one year of planning; years of collecting decors from India which I utilized in the party; … and two years of savings”, blushed Lalaine, for her dream Bollywood birthday bash to become a reality.

Although Lalaine left Davao in 1984 to pursue further education in the U.S. and become a certified registered Sleep Technologist by the American Association of Sleep Technologists in the U.S., she wanted to spend her significant milestone amidst dearest family and friends in her beloved hometown.

After all, Davao was where she mostly grew up living with her grandmother Josefa Aportadera at D. Suazo Street. Lalaine also has fond memories of her high school life at Rizal Memorial College and Immaculate Conception College.

Since 2004, Lalaine is based in Singapore with her husband and kids where she works as Director for Sales Training in Asia Pacific for Depuy Synthes, a division of Johnson & Johnson.

“I started to coordinate with party planner Annie Paz-Lim in January 2011. Annie immediately got the idea of how I envisioned the room, ambience and theme to look like. I want to have a fun party with my guests feeling like Bollywood stars!”, she happily shares.

For her elegant birthday invitations, which were adorned with Indian black lace, Lalaine had them especially made online from a store in UK.

As guests entered the Kalaw Room of the posh Waterfont Insular Hotel Davao, they were awed by the glam and glitz of Bollywood. Hanging lamps, vibrantly-hued cloths and umbrellas from Rajisthan India were artistically arranged in various parts of the party venue. Lalaine welcomed the guests in a breathtaking green gown which was from an Indian designer shop in Delhi.

Emily Lim-Cimafranca marvellously created the tower of Indian-inspired cupcakes festooned with edible crystals and flowers. Meanwhile, an eye-catching clay art model of Lalaine garbed in traditional Indian attire was imaginatively used as the cake topper. The adorable cake topper was especially flown in from Singapore.

To open up the memorable party, there was a grand parade with drums showcasing all the guests who were gamely dressed in their most beautiful and creative Indian ensembles. The drums and Indian music were arranged by Pankaj House of Sari at Gaisano Mall.

The Bollywood dinner feast was a blend of well-loved Indian and Filipino dishes. The mouth-watering candy buffet and henna tattoo station were also big hits with the guests.

A huge tarpaulin of Lalaine posing ‘ala leading lady’ with her favorite Indian actor Sharu Khan as well as the delightful birthday girl dancing to an upbeat Indian song made the whole Bollywood experience as authentic as it could be!

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