Saturday, May 24, 2014

Issa's starry, starry night


“Issa’s starry, starry night”
Sun.Star Davao, May 24, 2014

It’s no mystery why people are naturally drawn to Isabella Camille Uy Calixto. Her magnetic personality, jovial nature and charisma could make anyone feel comfortable in an instant.

Currently a BS in Industrial Engineering student at De La Salle University in Taft, Manila, Issa manages to be on the Dean’s List in spite of her involvement in the Engineering Batch Student Government as Vice Chairperson for Creatives and SANTUGON, a socio-political party.

In high school, Issa was a consistent gold honor student at Davao Christian High School. In addition, the charming young lady was formerly the news and feature writer for their school paper; Student Council officer; DCHS Chorale member; and an active Girl Scout who joined international jamborees.

Issa recently celebrated her 18th birthday with an Asteria-themed party at the Northcrest Clubhouse attended by her dearest family and friends.

It was only after the Christmas holidays that Issa realized that she wanted to have a debut in her hometown. With roughly ten weeks of preparation, Issa and the whole family composed of her loving parents Coca-Cola executive Jiggs Calixto and businesswoman-mom Irene; elder sister Nikki and younger brother Gian came up with a fabulous fete fit for a goddess!


“Asteria is the Greek translation of the word stars. I used that word since I originally wanted an outdoor party, where guests could stargaze and just appreciate the spectacular night sky. Aside from that, Asteria is also the name of the Greek goddess of the stars. I wanted to feel like a goddess on that special night”, Issa shares.

“Since Asteria means stars, I stitched the letter I for Issa, using embroidery thread and made it look like a constellation. Moreover, I only played with the colors black, white and gold to keep it simple”, the debutante describes her invitation. Issa has always been the artist in the family and loves to paint, draw and dabble in arts and crafts.

The party’s stage and backdrop by Floral Pink Designs were surreally decorated like an enchanted garden, magnificently surrounded with plants and lamps dangling from the branches of trees. At the center was a dainty swing suspended from a tree adding to the romance of the evening’s gala.

Overall, the party venue looked like an ethereal garden, reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” masterpiece.

Fit for a goddess

The darling moss-inspired birthday cake had three levels. The lower levels were creatively festooned with garden-themed cupcakes, while the topper had a Greek-themed pillar with the letter I in honor of the celebrant’s name.

The delightful giveaways were gaily-decorated potted plants and rock photo holders for the guests’ photo booth pictures. “The giveaways were related to the concept of goddesses inhabiting gardens”, Issa says.

            Issa’s guests for that magical evening included her maternal grandmother Evelyn Uy, aunt Delie Uy and cousin Megan Uy, who flew in from Manila to join in the revelry.

            Honoring Issa during the 18 Heroes (Roses) were her dad Jiggs, brother Gian and friends Kenny Granado, Schuyler Go, Rex Liu, Ian Duy, Lorenzo Regalado, Justin Yap, Aiken Lim,   Tim Camarao, Arie Liston, Alfred Tan, Tien Batu, Renzyl Canonio, Gelo Teola, Stephen Tac-an, Gio Maniwan and Vann Tan.

            On the other hand, touching messages that made Issa tearful at times were delivered by the 18 Heroines (Candles) composed of mom Irene, Pia Bernardo, Steffi Go, Chloey Jimenez, Jassy Cabotaje, Danica Puentespina, Mich Fuentes, Clarissa Sy, Ana Orpina, Princess Chua, Abby Adriatico, Janine Duplito, Megan Uy, Khayzee Asesor, Helen Cerbo, Andri Canete, Taryn Navarro and Nikki Calixto.

            Shortly after, Issa and the 18 Heroines set free 18 adorable butterflies. “It is believed that by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, in gratitude, the wish will be taken to the heavens by the butterfly and be granted by the Great Spirit”, explains Issa.

            Gifts that symbolized the endearing qualities of the birthday girl were given by the 18 Deities (Treasures) Micah Chuim, Pamela Evangelio, Ella Magsakay, Rona Vidallo, K-anne Go, Moselle Tan, Rona Ng, Gabby Facundo, Shara Lim, Herica Tiu, MJ Abdul, Elle Tan, Seline Co,  Poala Sanano, Daryl Ong, Keseree Ng, Colleen Tejada and Andrea Boncato.

Roots and wings

            In her speech, mom Irene emphasized two lasting bequests that mothers can give to their children – roots and wings.

            First, roots mean a strong sense of self and belonging. It is a sense of what home really is and understanding of family and values. “Roots to hold forever to keep us safe and strong, and not to tie us to the ground; roots to guide us to where our fulfillment is found”, mom Irene describes.

            Mommy Irene continued that wings mean instilling in Issa through unconditional love, trust and respect, the confidence to truly spread her wings. “In order to truly give your children wings, you have to give them the freedom to fly the nest, and choose the path they will walk”, points out Irene.

            Irene ended her speech by reminding the debutante that once she spreads her wings and flies with her dreams, it is important to remember where she came from.

            Mommy Irene need not worry as she and cool dad Jiggs have raised Issa with a secure sense of self and more than enough space to grow and glow, just like the star she was born to be!
 Special thanks to Simply Gray for the party and pre-debut photos.

E-mail the author at Visit the

No comments: