Lia's Baptism: Tramway and Other Suppliers

June 26, 2012

Brides and grooms who had been through the dizzying and circus-like process of preparing for their own weddings know how insane preparing for events can get. Especially if the last event you prepared for was three years ago.

With only a month to prepare (in time for the father-in-law's possible return to work abroad) and a limited budget at hand, Jigs and I began to work on a small celebration of Lia's Christening in QC with 50 persons max on the list. Small, for we are a bit allergic to huge events; not only does a bigger event mean bigger expenses, we also don't fancy gatherings where you are forced to mingle and have your pictures taken with people you barely know.

Planning as always, is nerve-wracking, especially that we have a still-adjusting crybaby plus fourteen pets on our hands. With no helper in the house, we had to segregate responsibilities: I do the research, DIYs and preliminary supplier booking, Jigs does the meet-ups for product pickups and final supplier transactions.

Fortunately, we were able to keep our sanity intact. Thanks to friends and relatives who helped us on the day, Lia's Christening turned out to be memorable and awesome.

Here's how, more or less, the whole thing went. I'm no longer doing the usual numerical scoring; less is more (actually, tamad lang ako. haha).

CHURCH: Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish
Address: #28 Scout Ybardolaza St., Kamuning, Quezon City
Contact Number: 929-0419 / 415-4353
Rate: P350 for baptismal fee + P100 per sponsor (inc. candle and booklet)

I was hesitant to book Sacred Heart initially because it looked old (Old, not quaint) in pictures and because they wouldn't allow pre-baptism bookings. I was afraid that there may be too many parents who'll be going for baptism the same day, we would end up not having any slots. Too, they offer only mass/ community baptism, which, based on experience, is total chaos. I liked Twin Hearts exterior and solo baptisms better. Sacred Heart, though, was only a block away from Tramway, which was a big advantage over Twin Hearts.

The Church and its surroundings looked a lot more stunning in person,  if I must say.

However, you will be spending the entire time in their dedicated baptistry anyway, not anywhere near or within the main church, which was a very small, not-so-picturesque room good for about 40 people, albeit air conditioned. For a room that drab, one will be a bit surprised why they charge that much  for baptismal services. Pero ika nga ng lector, many non-parishioners opt for their church kasi it's near Kowloon House and other reception venues, so I guess that explains why.

I liked how the lector and the priest did the orientation and the rite itself. Very humorous, straightforward, yet informative. I learned a lot, lalo na yung dapat di pala sinusuotan muna ng magara yung bata pag baptism, dapat after na! Haha. The rite was quick and not boring. The priest was super cool and kind, and he seemed to like Lia a lot kasi nung huli sabi ng lector, no pictures anymore with Father because he's in a hurry for a mass, but siya mismo nag-ask sa min to come forward and have his picture taken with Lia. We're lucky, I guess.

I suppose the whole rite compensates for the not-so-nice baptistry,  and that's the main purpose of baptisms anyway, so Sacred Heart's a thumbs up for us, still.

RECEPTION VENUE AND FOOD: Tramway Garden Buffet Timog
Address: 65 Timog Avenue, Bgy. South Triangle, Quezon City
Contact Number: 415-2005 / 410-4237
Rate : P2,500/ 3 hours for a function room that's good for 60 pax max + 
P245/ head for eat-all-you-can-buffet with 1 round of iced tea (P215 if without drinks)
Also includes: buffet table, cake table and simple white cloth for all tables

Tramway is a superb choice if you have a restricted budget but want to overfeed your guests. Di ka mapapahiya talaga. I've dined here twice already and on both occassions, food quality remained consistent and above par (Actually, better pa during the baptism). For only P245 per head, our guests were able to enjoy unlimited rounds of about 8 main dishes, excluding rice, soup, sides and dessert. 

The venue also looked nice especially that we had some balloons added to it. Didn't look cheap at all. The space was adequate enough to fit 50 guests as stated in the contract.

One of my main concerns though, was that they're not too accommodating when it comes to small requests. Like they wouldn't help you setup the tarp even if you beg for it. I was also surprised that it was our balloon stylist, Sarah, who set up the cake table itself when I specifically told Tramway na sila na. Walang extra mile kumbaga. 

Also, there's only 1 server per function room and medyo kulang talaga, considering 50 ang guests per room and because the waitress still goes out of the room to serve in the main hall.  So if we need something, there are times we have to look for the server pa.

Lastly, we were charged extra for 1 kiddie buffet when only 42 guests arrived out of 50 (you still pay for 50 persons regardless of the actual number of attendees). I was just too preoccupied during the event that I only noticed the discrepancy when we were already at home.

Still, I reckon Tramway to be the best choice for parties in the QC area, in terms of cost, taste and quantity.

Rate: P2,000 including P300 transpo fee, 6 pieces of upgraded table centerpieces, rainbow cake arch and 5 ceiling balloon clusters (or 20 pieces balloonderitas or 8 pieces flower wall and ceiling decors)
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Jigs actually didn't want balloon decorations for the event because it wasn't a "necessity". Eh tigas ulo ko, I really wanted to dress the venue up a little because it looked too plain. So yun na lang baptismal gift ko kay Lia, and it proved to be a good choice.

Compared to other budget balloon suppliers such as 10k Events, Mr. Balloonatix and Partygiggles, Stephensmom is way more affordable and has more variety. The package I got was the lowest and was supposed to include only 5 ceiling balloon clusters. When we got to Tramway, though, I saw about 8-10 flower decors on the wall and hung on the ceiling, which actually looked a lot nicer and closer to our sugar and spice and everything nice theme.

The decors look much better upfront than in pictures. One of the reasons why I got Sarah for the balloons was because her designs are not the usual stuff you see in other suppliers. Excellent quality, too. Ambait din ni Sarah. They were the ones who arranged the cake table, set up the tarp and put all the cupcake towel souvenirs in place even if those weren't part of their job. Stephensmom really is a gem of a supplier, and I would choose them again for other events in a heartbeat.

TARP: small tarp shop near our place/ Semi-DIY
Tarp measures approximately 4 ft x 3 ft
Rate: P245

Made the design myself using Microsoft Office template then Picasa and Photoshop. Muntik na sumabog ulo ko. Haha. Hindi naman kasi ko techie at hindi ako marunong gumamit ng Photoshop.  Things you do for vanity's sake. 

Rate: P10 for small print outs of Lia's picture on paper

We were supposed to have a guestbook from, which was ordered May pa. Unfortunately, I think it got lost in transit, so the night before the baptism I had to improvise. Cut out a few sheets of pink paper, then pasted a small picture of Lia on the right hand side. Distributed it to guests for signing, and sabi ko yun na lang didikit ko sa guestbook if ever dumating pa. Sa awa naman ng Diyos, hanggang ngayon wala pa yung guestbook. Hehe.

Rate: FREE!

We are blessed with people who have a good heart. Jennie is a photohobbyist who visited my blog after she saw my DIY Maternity Shoot entry. We exchanged emails after that, and one time I asked her if she can render photo services for Lia's baptism for a budgeted fee, as we don't have budget for professional photo services. She wouldn't and didn't charge us any. In fact, siya pa gumastos pagpa-courier nung CD ng raw and edited pics. 

Super bait ni Jennie and to think we only knew each other through the blog and met for the first time during the baptism. She even brought a spotlight and her son to assist, plus she gave my nephew free photography lessons on the side and a ride to Tramway. I couldn't thank her enough for being a life saver! Even the loot bags I gave her wouldn't be enough to express our gratitude for the kindness she has shown us. 

CAKE: Goldilocks (Angel on a crib)
Rate: P1,440 (pero free na lang as a gift from my mom)
Includes 12 x 16 choco cake with boiled icing and topper

Pretty cake with an exquisite taste. Loved the chocolate chip filling in the middle and the soft sponge. And super laki niya! Ilang tao na nabigyan namin at lamon talaga ginawa ko di pa rin nauubos.
The figurine was different from the one posted in the brochure as it got broken during transport daw, but still, the cake looks amazing. Perfect for the theme. Thank you, Mama!

BTW, it costs an additional P300 for Goldilocks cake deliveries kahit one block away lang. Grabe nu?

FAVORS FOR GODPARENTS: Baby Pram Chocolates by Favors 'N Flavors (Michelle Lim-Chan)
Rate: P130 with box and ribbon, customizable choco colors and all edible inside out
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Michelle is also a n@wie although she's not that active. She sells cake toppers and chocolate favors for different occasions, mostly for kiddie events. Her chocolate designs are cute and unique, and she can customize the colors and packaging according to your theme. She's very easy to talk to, replies very quickly and even calls to make reminders on how to maintain the chocolates' freshness. Also gives discounts and freebies for bulk orders.

This particular favor can be opened, parang jewelry box and inside you'll find similarly edible and cute baby stuff like baby bottle, booties, rattle. The chocolates are purely white milk and are very subtle in flavor. If you've a sweet tooth, you might find it bland, but okay siya for me :)

Medyo challenge lang yung meetup as she only does it sa ADB in Ortigas, in Binondo or thru JRS, but other than that, a good find.

SOUVENIRS FOR GUESTS: Towel cupcakes by Heavenly Cake Nappies
Rate: P30 for assorted striped towel cupcakes with cherry in simple plastic packaging; P40 if with box + P150 handling fee for meetup in Megamall or Galleria
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Picked this supplier off I was looking for a towel cupcake supplier who could make towel lollipops, but ended taking the cupcakes; they were simply eye candy!

Of all the towel suppliers I inquired from, si Rhea pinakamabilis sumagot. Also, the price she gave me was for the 10 x 10 towel, although 12 x 12 yung size ng towels. She gave that upgrade for free. The towels also come with free souvenir tags/ stickers and a cutesy butterfly clip. Hers was the cheapest price there is for such a design.

Lootbag for ninangs

The transaction was generally smooth, although there were some kinks during the meetup. Her assistant arrived almost two hours late, which she said was because she boarded the wrong bus and wasn't familiar with Megamall. Fine naman with us, but all throughout the time, dealing with them proved to be everything but hassle-free. Rhea gave me the number of the assistant, but when I text or call, she doesn't answer, so I always have to revert back to Rhea. We also specifically told them both na sa Foodcourt magmeet, but they tried to insist na sa Mcdo para mas convenient sa assistant. I mean, if you're a supplier and you're already late for an appointment, I don't think you should make demands on your client. Pagdating pa, walang panukling dala yung assistant, it was the husband who went around the Foodcourt pa para magpapalit.

lootbag for ninongs

Anyhoo, minor glitch lang naman yun and we're still happy with the quality of the products. Naaliw lahat, akala talaga nila cupcake hehe. It's a steal for P30! Maybe if you're planning on ordering from them, just have it delivered to your place to prevent any hassles. 

LIA'S DRESS: Calvin Klein dress with matching diaper cover
Rate: Free, gift from sister-in-law's husband's aunt
SHOE-LIKE BOOTIES: Gift from my sister
HEADBAND: Mi department store

I didn't want Lia to wear traditional baptismal gown as I was expecting it to be a humid day, and as much as possible, we 'd like her to be comfortable and lessen any factors that may trigger her crankiness.  We were supposed to buy a dress made of cotton, but good thing Tita Monette, the aunt of my sister-in-law's husband gave us this lovely CK dress. It was perfect:)

We can't find a pair of shoes that fits Lia, so we instead had her wear a cute pair of booties that my sister gave us. Bagay naman, kumportable pa si Lia; para siyang nakaschool shoes and socks hehe.The headband I just for bought for P20 in Waltermart.

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