Sunday, April 26, 2015

My son's first birthday celebration: not the usual kiddie party

It was an extremely exciting time for me and my husband when our baby boy's first birthday is fast approaching.

He was born on January (2014), and we thought that celebrating his birthday is the best way to start the year with a bang!

You might think that we celebrated it with a usual grand party - complete with a theme, a hilariously huge birthday cake decorated with popular cartoon characters, a compulsory costume for invited kids, party hosts and clowns, balloons, party hats, and loot bags, and all that you can think of for the precious little one's first birthday celebration.

But, no.

Yes, this is a milestone that deserves to have a grand party. But, it never really occured to us to have this kind of celebration for Kodee.

Here are the major factors which made us decide to have a different kind of celebration instead:

  • Budget. We can give Kodee the usual themed party, but we decided to shell out a smaller budget since we wanted to keep our money for bigger future purchases instead (such as a house). We also thought that he will not remember this event when he grows up anyway, so we will just reserve this kind of party when he's old enough to remember it. We believe it was better this way at this stage (and it meant more savings).
  • We wanted it to be an intimate celebration as much as possible, celebrating it with the immediate family. Yes, we do recognize the value and roles our friends and other people play in our lives. But for this one, we would like to keep it that way. For Kodee's future parties, they're invited for sure!
  • We wanted to keep away from the hassle of preparing the food. Instead of spending so much time buying the ingredients and cooking, we just want to spend those times bonding with the family instead. Yes, we can hire a caterer but it can eat up the budget we have for this event.

Once we've decided to have a unique celebration, we set our estimated budget. We then thought of these several activities that we could do:

  • Overnight stay at a beach resort in Cebu
  • Go to an adventure park (choices: Danasan Eco Park in Danao, Cebu or in Danao, Bohol)
  • Buffet restaurant all-you-can-eat dinner

I browsed the internet for information, but the first two could cost us more. For these, you have to consider the entrance fee, the room fee, the food, the transportation, the water rides, and the adventure rides.

So, we opted to have a buffet restaurant all-you-can-eat dinner instead. It eliminates the other cost and will just boil down to spending on the food and the transportation. I myself is an avid fan of all-you-can-eat because I'm very fond of eating. I also wanted my family to experience this as they haven't tried dining in a buffet restaurant before. It's very hard to find one in Iligan.

After me and my husband agreed, we then moved on to the next step. Here's how we did it.

1) Set the budget
2) Browsed the internet for different hotels and restaurants here in Cebu which offer buffet dinner. These were the top three things we had in mind while we were looking:
  • Good food
  • Best price, definitely one that is within our budget
  • A room to accommodate us (19 people)
As a work at home mother, who stays most of the time in the house (at least 5 days a week) and faces the computer a lot of time (at least 4 hours a day), I felt very relieved that we are in a tech world now and almost all (i mean if there's one) businesses have websites and email addresses. I was still able to plan this all and conveniently contact potential options. So, after sending several emails and talking to the people in charge, we have found our gem. Quest Hotel And Conference Center - Cebu!

3) I sent them an email at email address CebuInfo@Quest-Hotels.Com. They promptly replied and directed me to a staff of their restaurant - the Puso restaurant (a quiet catchy name). The one who accommodated me throughout was Joan Dangca. I'm not sure if she's still with them but she was definitely very helpful to me. After several exchanges of emails (which include asking for the price and inclusion, if they have a room to accommodate us, terms of payment, and other concerns) the plan now came to life! They actually allowed us to set up a tarpaulin, balloons and other light decoration. But, we just opted not to.

The celebration, with the food and more
While waiting for my husband's family, we had a brief photo shoot. Haha. I must say the hotel has a very gorgeous lobby.

because Kodee wants to play around, hence the face
because our dad deserves to relax. chillin'!

The following food pictures were taken by my sister-in-law Anne Tigol.

that's right, a chocolate fountain!

The restaurant staff even surprised Kodee with a birthday song and a birthday cake!

Kodee blowing his cakes.

And we're happy eating.

Another round of photo shoot after eating.

It was indeed a very memorable night for all of us.

two families united

From a 7 lb healthy baby boy, he's now slowly transforming into a man, ready to embark on the journey God has planned for him to take. And we're excited and proud parents!

Here are other details of the event you can find useful.

Quest Hotel And Conference Center - Cebu. Here's why we chose it:
  • Affordable and valuable price
  • A wide variety of food: Japanese and Filipino food, pasta dishes, vegetable salads, several desserts (such as ice cream, cakes, Filipino pastries) 
  • Beautiful ambiance, perfect for an intimate celebration such as this
  • They have available rooms for large gathering with at least 15 people, which they can let you use for free within the restaurant's opening times (6pm - 10pm)

  • Php 650 per head, inclusive of a complimentary coffee or tea
  • We ordered a glass of drink for Php 50 per person (choice: softdrinks or iced tea)
To be able to book the room and secure your spot for your scheduled date and time, you have to pay a reservation fee of 50% of the total amount due. You can make a deposit at their official bank account or you can go directly at the restaurant and pay the reservation there.

Note: All information stated herein are true as of January 2, 2015, the time of the event. This post is for information purposes only and is based on my own experience. I do not represent any of the companies / products / individuals stated herein.