Friday, February 5, 2010

Dade's Baptism Supplier Ratings Part 1

Almost two months after the baptism of Dade, my supplier ratings are finally ready. First off, let me share with you why I chose my son’s celebration theme. You see, even before I gave birth, I’ve already picked out the theme for our son’s baptism celebration: teddy bears and alphabet blocks. Why not when they’re classic and very much fitting for a baby boy? For the motif, I decided to choose not just the common powder blue for boys. I also picked out apple green & yellow to add more fun.

Being based overseas did not deter me from arranging a party for my son. After all, his baptism celebration also served as his meet-and-greet party so I wanted it to be extra special.

For my ratings, I’m using a scale of 1 star to 5 stars. I’m also providing the fees for some of the suppliers, and I’ll be as detailed as I can so that this rating will prove useful to you.

Santuario de San Antonio Parish
Mc Kinley Road, Forbes Park,
Makati City
Contact Person: Ms. Joan
Phone: +63 2 843 8830
Slot: 3:45 pm
Requirements: birth certificate, list of names of Godparents (strictly 5 pairs only) & no objection letter from your own parish if SSA non-parishioner
Peso Power: P3,000 (inclusive of 1 St. Anthony Candle)
Rating: 5*** (highly recommended)

the baptistry

I chose to have our son baptized in this church mainly because they only hold special baptisms. Location-wise, it’s also convenient for both sides of our families who hail from the north and south sides of the Metro.

My son’s baptism was on a Monday so I had to consider proximity to commercial business district so that more people coming from work could attend. I also liked the church because it has a baptistry, has lots of space for parking, and the contact person in charge for the baptism was very easy to deal with. We only spoke on the phone last August, and had my FIL pay for the fees. In fact, even if our baptism was on a weekday, she still confirmed the attendance of their priest, despite their rule that for weekday baptisms, they will not provide a celebrant.

The only comment I have is that it takes them so long to prepare a baptismal certificate. My son was baptized on the 14th Dec, and when we came back on the 4th Jan to pick it up (along with the refund of the bond for the rental of their social hall), it still wasn’t ready. Blame it on the holidays, I suppose.

Reception venue
Santuario de San Antonio Social Hall Bays 2 & 3
Mc Kinley Road, Forbes Park,
Makati City
Contact Person: Ms. Alice
Phone: +63 2 843 8831
Requirements: None
Peso Power: P9,000 for 3 hours / P12,500 for security deposit & bond
P1,500 sound system (microphone & speakers only)
Rating: 3***

Ryan & I chose to hold the celebration at the SSA Hall within the church’s compound for obvious reasons. (I swear, getting in and out of the car with a baby takes at least 10 minutes!)
the reception hall

The place is nothing fancy, to be honest. but I liked it because it has French doors on both sides so there’s natural light coming in which is really important to me. The bay 3 is also adjacent to the kitchen so the caterers were able to prep conveniently and bring in the food quite discreetly.

Things I didn’t like about the venue:
1.) lighting of the room – I personally think the lighting is not enough for a hall that big
2.) sound system – I didn’t mind paying for this separately but we had to bring our own CD player. Isn't the player supposed to be part of the package?

3.) security deposit and bond - it's more than the amount of the venue's rental. Seriously, do they really think their clients would create that much damage to ask for such bond?
4.) contact person – hard to deal with not because she’s rude or anything but because she’s so disorganized! Just like with the church contact person, I also dealt with her over the phone, and had my FIL pay for the fees. She’s nice & friendly especially in person. However, when my FIL came to their offices to pay she was spaced out and spoke as if she didn’t know what my FIL was talking about. This still happened despite the fact that I had already called her earlier to advise about my FIL’s arrival to pay for the fees. She wasn’t sure if she had written down the date & time we chose, and the number of bays we’re booking. In my humble opinion, if your duty is to book your venue for events, you have to have at least the basic skills of method to avoid making major mistakes, like double booking for instance. Another thing I didn’t like was her failure to mention about the security deposit & bond ahead of time. We just found out after we had paid for the balance for the hall’s rental. hence, we had to make another trip to Makati, and spend on gas and toll.

Center Table Catering
60 Madrid St. corner Amsterdam,
Merville Park Subdivision, Paranaque City
Phone No: +63 2 824 5179

Contact Person: Rina
Peso Power: P420/pax – (adults) inclusive of VAT
P330/pax – (child) inclusive of VAT
P5,000 – photo corner (mini-stage with teddy bears)
Rating: food – 4*** set-up – 5*** service – 2***

Adults menu:
Appetizer - Cheese sticks with dip (spot cooking)
Salad - Potato Salad
Mains - Mashed potatoes & buttered vegetables, beef lasagna, pork salpicao (spot cooking), chicken pastel, cream dory fillet with tartar sauce (spot cooking), rice & soft pan rolls

Dessert - crème puff, tiramisu, chocolate éclair & peach jello
Free flowing juice & red iced tea

Kiddie menu:
Chicken lollipop with tartar sauce, Baked Spaghetti, hotdog on sticks, mini burgers & chocolate beehive for dessert
buffet table set up 
centerpiece with Dade's name on it :)
yummy cheesesticks
smashing potato salad
scrumptious pork salpicao
an assortment of pastries
chocolate beehive & mini-burgers for kids

I got this caterer because of their good reviews from the forum where I belong to, n@w, and saw how they decorated a fellow n@wies’ event. I thought their concept was perfect for my theme. They have other themes available but I opted to stick with what I originally have in mind. I only dealt with them through overseas calls and emails, and had my FIL come to their office to pay the dp. Very easy to talk to.

We were hoping to have a food tasting when we scheduled to come and pay the balance a week prior to the event. Unfortunately, we were told that because of their very busy schedule that month, they cannot offer food tasting anymore. Given no other option, we asked our AE, Rina, which ones are their bestsellers, and hoped we made the right choice. and I say yes we did! Food is great, and most of our guests raved about the dishes served. The cream dory was a hit, as well as the cheese sticks & potato salad. I personally loved the pork salpicao – it was too delicious they almost ran out. However, we were not too thrilled about the chicken pastel & beef lasagna. The pastries & peach jelly were delightfully good, too, and the kid’s buffet was as I had hoped for – real yummy!

Set-up is fantastic! They were able to deliver according to my requirements – from the bows of the chairs (sorry, not in pic), to the table linens, to the kids’ buffet table. I love how they personalized the bibs of the teddy bears – even those that were in the centerpieces. So cute!

For service, I only gave them 2*** because they were LATE – as in fashionably late! At 3:20 pm, on the way from the parking to the baptistry, I saw their delivery truck just pull in. I was worried because I told Rina that the reception will start at 4:30 pm, and yet I see their crew come in an hour & 10 minutes before the reception itself. I know by the time we finish with the ceremony and picture taking they’ll only be half done. And I was right! When we arrived at the social hall at 4:20 pm, they were still setting up the buffet table, and tables & chairs. It was so embarrassing! We had to ask our guests to stay outside while they finish setting up. What's worse, it took the waiters forever to serve drinks to these waiting guests because they were busy fixing the place.

I have no complaints though about the courtesy of the waiters. They were very professional. Once everyone was settled in the hall, they were quick to serve, and were very much polite. After the reception, they also packed every bit of food left for us to take home, including the cake.

Despite the disappointing tardiness of Center Table Catering, which I hope was an isolated case I suppose, I would probably still get them in the future. I have to admit I did save a lot of money from the decors they provided, and they allowed us to mix and match the food to create our own menu that’s within our package.

Hearts & Bells
928 Alvarado St. Binondo, Manila
Phone No: 244-0258
Peso Power: P5,000 – 3 layered topsy-turvy cake (bottom layer edible – flavor: carrot pineapple)
P200 – mini-cakes for Godparents
Rating: 5***

love, love, love the cake!

For its price, it’s super sulit! I originally wanted a two-layered cake only but when I learned that the difference is just a few hundred bucks, I decided to get the three-layer instead. I had a specific design in mind that I wanted, and I was so thankful they were able to execute albeit the funny-looking buttons on the edges of the layers. The cake’s flavor is carrot pineapple. I didn’t care much about the taste because it wasn’t served during the reception. For the Godparents mini-cakes, we got the chocolate flavored ones.

Dealt with them via email, paid through bank deposit, visited their offices for cake tasting on the way to Divisoria, and then found the cake ready at the venue on the 14th. Swift and easy!

Watch this space for the part 2! :)


Eper said...

Can you believe I'm already planning Quino's 1st birthday party? Am I OA? :) It's just 4 short months away and we both know how fast that can go by!

Despite your rating of 2 for service, would you recommend your caterer?

Joanne MV said...

The cake is so cute and colorful :)

Gracie said...

hi eper,

that's ok -- 4 months is a good window to plan the party. ako nga i'm scouting for venues na rin & possible suppliers. overseas based kasi ako eh.

anyway, yes, i still recommend my caterer. i think isolated case lang ako 'cos most n@wies who book them never experience any problem naman & they rate them really high.

happy preps!

Gracie said...

hi joanne,

thanks, sis! :) sarap lang tignan no? hehe!

cheche said...

i love your theme! im not good with themes kaya ung bday ni cayden, "bahala na" theme. lovely color combi din.

naku, i know the feeling pag late and caterer. remember hizon's during my wedding. kainis talga! pero at least ang food masarap, hindi mo na masyado maisip na late sila kasi ok naman set up (i mean, yours).

Anonymous said...

hi sis, i love your cake! super nice! and the theme, super love it too! two thumbs up for a very festive and wonderful party!

noreen, n@wie

neva | manilamommy said...

hi gracie!!

i love your supplier ratings :D is it ok if i repost some of your pics at my blog?



Gracie said...

hi che,

thank you! :) natuwa lang ako sa colors 'cos i didn't want to use the usual blue & white motif.

nightmare talaga pag late ang caterer! buti na lang bumawi sila (at masarap ang food!) hehe!

Gracie said...

hi noreen,

thank you, sis! :) favorite ko rin yung cake sa lahat. it looked so pretty to eat :D

Gracie said...

hi neva,

thank you! sure, you can post the pics -- no problem!

princess rojas said...

hi gracie.. =) the baptismal of your son was awesome.. im now planning my daughter's christening. browsing your blog, gave me a great idea specially yung sa russ teddy bears. i also want to have it as my giveaways/souvenirs. i just want to ask where can i buy that stuffs? sana mtulungan mo ko sis. =) its a big help tlaga. thank you so much. godbless. =)

Anonymous said...

how about the ballons and decors?

yme said...

hi there!just want to ask how many months should we book sanctuario for a baptism? do you have a list of available time?

Gracie said...

hi yme,

i don't have their schedule for the baptism. feel free to give them a call. if you want a specific date for the baptism, better call in advance. we called 4 months before the baptism.

missus az said...

Sis, very helpful review =)
Btw, it's Santuario not Sanctuario.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Your son's baptism is so nice. Your blog is very helpful, btw, I also booked SSA for my son's baptism, I only reserved bay3 for 80-100pax, is the space good enough or would it look crowded? How many pax do you have for the 2 bays? tia!! :)

Gracie said...

hi missis az,

thanks, thanks! :)

Gracie said...

hi anonymous 5:31,

i wish you left your name so i could properly address you :)

anyway, we had around 90 guests who came for the baptism but we booked for 2 bays 'cos feeling namin masikip yung 1 bay lang. and we're so glad we did 'cos the place didn't look cramped plus we had enough space for the stage area and the kids' tables. hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the quick reply, grace.. btw, this is diane.. :)

xanne Tolentino - Estremadura said...

hi.. im xane.. id like to ask if there are any addtional fees in the bapstismal rate of santuario de san antopnio parish?or the 3000php fee is fixed price already even if i have the maximum number of sponsors? thanks in advance!

xanne Tolentino - Estremadura said...

hi im xanne. id like to ask if there are any additional fees in santuario de san antonio? like if there is an additional payment for every succeeding nos. of sponsor or is it fixed price even if i have the maximum number of sponsors? thank you in advance

Gracie said...

hi xanne,

it's fixed price whether you have a pair of godparents or if you have reached the max number, which is 10. you're welcome! :)

xanne Tolentino - Estremadura said...

thank you for the reply! may i ask how long was the baptismal rite?

Gracie said...

hi xanne,

the baptismal rite lasted for around 30 minutes.

Zonia Cruz said...

Santuario de San Antonio is also a perfect church for a wedding it is air-conditioned so you won't have to worry about getting married during summer days. :)