Did anybody know that we've already gotten our son baptized? Ahehe.
We originally thought of just having him christened on his first birthday.... since it'd be more practical in terms of expense, esply since Yakee's birth kinda cost us. But my Mom went home from the US and most elders were superstitious and conservative, so we decided to dip some more into our savings and hold the christening, so that come Christmastime, we can take Yakee anywhere without anyone batting an eyelash.
(and it goes without saying that for this Christmas, nobody is getting gifts from us, we'd just give away loot bags of candies for the kids, and aguinaldo to godchildren but that's it... we've spent on others for years already, it's our child's turn na)
Mommy made, of course. Sometimes I wonder if it's tacky to have the invitation printed like a picture (we had it printed at Fujifilm) but it's personalized and saves us money. Unfortunately, we failed to remember that most of our friends can be contacted via web/text so a lot of the invites didn't get distributed.
So yeah, we wasted money too. Hehe.
Our Lady of Remedies, Nuestra Señora de Remedios, or Malate Church (2000 MH del Pilar, Malate, Manila, 400.5876; 523.2593; 524.6866, feast day: November 20) as it is most widely-known is where hubs was baptized around three decades ago. So it's only fitting that our son also gets baptized there. Anyway, registration for baptisms is only on Fridays and Saturdays (baptisms only on Sundays) at 4:00 PM. And you can only register a week before or several days before your intended baptismal date. And unless you're a single Mom, both parents should register because after you register, the seminar is held for the parents at 5:00 PM (around one hour).
And if you list all Ninongs and Ninangs, you pay P50 ea for them, hehe. I guess that's why the other parents there weren't listing all of them, just the principal godparent pair.
I still have to get a copy of the Baptismal certificate though... they're unlike San Miguel (the one in Malacañang) where you can get the certificate right after the ceremony.
Part of the fee you pay at the Church covers the white cloth (bib-looking) and big candle which will be used for the rites. Sometime during the ceremony, fathers will be asked to light the candle from the Easter candle in front of the altar... then the father passes the candle to the godparents (who will each hold the candle in turn). Also sometime during the ceremony, the principal godmother will put the bib onto the child.
They suggested that every birthday, the baptismal candle be lighted so the family will be reminded of how we offered our child, and our family, to God. Isn't that a nice tradition? Unfortunately though, we lost the candle (the Ninong holding it last left it in his seat and I was too busy getting pictures taken, my bad). The bib hangs from my son's hammock though.
Yakee didn't cry :) I thought i'd cry but I didn't either. And heaven bless us for arriving early, we got seated in front.
The Chosen Godparents (yes, there are more women because we made all our sisters godmommies and two of the godfathers weren't able to attend)
And nope, we didn't run to the Church door...
The Church doesn't require a certain type of outfit for the child since they really want to discourage spending for new clothes... but of course, most parents couldn't help but adorn their babies in the cutest outfits. Baby Jojo braved the pre-Christmas crowd in Divi to buy Yakee his barong while I bought him a polo at Rob.
His only accessory is this black and red bracelet which I lost later that day. I don't really believe it wards off USOG but it's one of those baby traditions i'm keeping. My Mom explained how it works: it absorbs the negative vibes from people when they notice it and comment on it/acknowledge it, thus, sparing the baby. And well, it's true, people do notice it.
Jade Vine Restaurant (537 U. N. Avenue, Ermita, Metro Manila, (02)524.8601; 523.7056... look for Sir Joel or Mrs. Lumawig) is a restaurant i've always known was in U.N. but never got to really eat in. Hubs and I actually spent one Saturday combing the area for possible reception venues. Of course, Max's restaurant offered the cheapest packages but we weren't really enticed by it since most christenings we've attended held their reception there (so we have around 5 or 6 of the same souvenir already). We couldn't afford Barrio Fiesta. It was a toss really between Jade Vine, Ibarra's Garden and Aristocrat. Jade Vine was the cheapest although it didn't offer other amenities like Ibarra's and Aristocrat. But since I wanted to be the one to make the invitation and I didn't want a generic souvenir, it was a good choice pa din.
We just weren't sure of the food since we didn't go for food tasting anymore. At worst, we prayed that the food will be okay, if not great... and just banked on Jade Vine's reputation as one of THE restaurants to go to in the 60s (till the 80s).
The package they offered included the venue, food (rice, chicken, pork, fish, salad, noodles, three desserts and a round of drinks), balloons, flower centerpieces and cake. The food was good... with the chicken and eclairs actually great. Their pancit canton tasted really good too, however, the noodles were a tad overcooked. But overall, I would highly recommend them.
The waiters/staff were nothing but attentive and gracious and courteous. As in! I'd get them for the service alone. One time I was comforting someone who cried over something during the reception, the head waiter even approached to ask if anything was wrong with their service. I swear, everybody who attended loved them!
And the place (which was on the 2nd floor and could accommodate 200 actually) was more than well-ventilated... I seriously had to tinker with the air-conditioners because everybody was cold. Hehe.
And their balloons... those we took home are all still properly filled with air. Jade Vine is cool if you want to bring in more so long as they're on sticks and not the helium-filled kind.
Other nice things about Jade Vine... their corkage for an entire lechon is only P300! But we didn't serve lechon anymore since we were already serving a lot of food. Their corkage for a case of softdrinks or beer is also P300.
Since part of our justification for spending for the Christening is that we're also celebrating Pappie Jojo's 31st birthday, I had to get him a cake too. Due to limited funds, I was really working on a budget. I decided on Kink Cakes and chose this design since hubs is a gadget freak. I was disappointed with how it turned out (the picture of the cake in their gallery looked ok, this one looked old and even funeral-like) but the cake itself tasted good (none of the superb quality I was expecting though, and it's already their Choco Moist cake). I should have stuck with Goldilocks or Red Ribbon, methinks.
But Kink Cakes delivered on time and hubs was extremely pleased that I surprised him with his own cake.
I insisted on getting the services of photographers because I knew I couldn't really both host and document this celebration. Hubs and I are the photographers in parties usually and I wasn't bound to have our son lack photos. Ours was the first christening covered by part-timers Edwin Bejer and company. Sir Edwin texts back :) We met a week before the event at Shang to discuss the details of the event and sort of establish rapport. It helped that Edwin and Rian are both mountaineers and we had common acquaintances.
True to their word, they were at the Church at 10 AM (I think even before pa). The ceremony was at 11 AM. Their baptismal coverage costs P3k with 2 photogs (but they sought permission to let Mark, a friend learning the ropes of photography, tag along with them).
I loved the pictures (which we got 5 days later burned in DVD) but for two things:
1) Slightly too yellow settings (so I kept having to adjust them in Photoshop, and sometimes, not really succeed)
2) Not one of them noticed that the Mommy doesn't have a decent picture with the baby (there were some candid shots but the godparents had better portraits taken with Yakee while I didn't, then again I seldom carried Yakee because he'd only want to nurse, and they respected my space when i'm breastfeeding)
I'd still highly recommend them though. They shot pictures tirelessly and were charming and accommodating. I guess clients can list certain shots they really want captured to guide them. Several times we felt embarrassed and self-conscious especially at the Church because there were these three photographers taking pictures of us. I'm sure some people thought us excessive, hehe.
... something I designed in Photoshop and hubs had printed in Divi for P650. I didn't really thought of the size and just told hubs to have it printed at 3x5 feet so I was surprised at how huge it was. Of course, it didn't look overkill when set up on the stage in Jade Vine.
Next time I think i'd just have a tarp printed in 2x3 though.
We didn't want generic giveaways. Good thing I chanced upon MIchelle's blog and we opted to just give away mugs too. "Edong souvenirs and figurines" (0927-4271127 /407-9236) is located in Tabora (Divisoria), his stall is just in front of Banco de Oro (you can also just ask vendors there to point his stall out). The mugs cost P15 ea and they just asked us to e-mail the picture to them which they printed on a laminate-like sticker and pasted on the mugs.
In fairness to them, the mugs don't look cheap (and they're heavy!). We didn't repackage the mugs anymore but I did insert a note inside that went like this:
RUBEUS Latin for "ruby" it is considered a stone of power and passion, bestowing energy and willpower and counteracting lethargy. Ruby is also associated with health and long life and was adopted by alchemists to symbolize the philosopher's stone (elixir of life). Rubeus is also the perfect name to represent three generations of Arevalos that went before Yakee: Jesus Reuben (father), Ruben (grandfather) and Jesus (great grandfather).
IAKOB Greek name for Jacob (Hebrew) meaning "he who supplants" (supplant meaning 'to supersede another especially by force or treachery; to take the place of and serve as a substitute for especially by reason of superior excellence or power'). The Biblical Jacob, whose firstborn son was named Reuben, was blessed immensely by God.
So please consider this souvenir a lucky mug and use as a COIN-tainer and let us both be blessed!
Hubs also bought these ballpens attached to carabiners which also cost P15. Perfect for men and makukulit kids.
We might not repeat the mug thing though because they're heavy... hubs complained of backpain after getting them. Good thing we only ordered 50 pcs.
I think I was more exhausted hosting this than our wedding... but after the event, we went to MOA for pizza pa :)
Yakee was mostly sleeping the whole time. I felt senti during the prayer about how far Jojo and I have come and how much farther we have to go. Not only are there more responsibilities and challenges and hurdles, there are also these new adventures to look forward to.
And it was really tears-producing to look at your man across the room and reaffirm that you're with the right one. Yakee, in all his cuteness and promise, is just a happy bonus.
The best is yet to come...