Thursday, January 19, 2006


Vatel Manila has been busy the past year with some projects at the Mango Farm. Year 2006 also opened with a project in a farm in Dasmariñas, Cavite. This is the first time (and hopefully not the last) that I did a project outside my home base of Antipolo.

The event was the 50th wedding anniversary of the Ledesma-Osias couple and we were tasked to design the stage as well as to decorate the concrete chapel's facade with tropical colors. We also did the planning for the physical setup (where to put the tents, tables, etc.) Work was started a week before the event with me taking the 45-minute drive to The Farm (yes, that's what it is called). I took photos of the space before me, enlarged these for sketching purposes, worked on them overnight, and handed the draft plans to the farm engineers for execution.

Here are some before and after photos. MANY THANKS to the several Southville International School-based drivers assigned to me (Kuyas Bernard, Fernie, and Atel!), Chief Driver Sir J, Engrs Lawrence and Gerry, The Farm Manager Ma'am Siona and staff (kanamit guid sa pagkaon!), and to Stephen for accompanying me to the Farm and to Dangwa. Cheers!

A Farm staff picks dalandan to be made into nice, cold fruit juice later in the day
An Ifugao house, made according to the exact specifications of the real thing
A faux chapel on the farm grounds
View of the Ifugao house from inside the chapel

The covered walkway days before the wedding. I can almost hear Imelda Marcos barking orders to put the plants there, here, and here!
Engr. Bong Dulawan, the Farm's resident Engr (in buri hat), and some staff of the farm and Southville International School awaiting the arrival of Barbara's catering to do the reception setup. They didn't arrive until dawn the next day while people waited all night.

The anniversary couple arrived in a 25K-rented mini-chariot. They only get to use it for a mere 10 minutes. Sigh.
Behind the scene

The setup of Barbara's is wonderful! There has been a mistake in the fabric arrangements but it was too late to change. Not my fault though.

A closeup of the be-ribboned bamboo torches

The altar. The choice to use heliconias was made because the whole thing has to hang only on 3 concrete nails. The concrete was very very hard to penetrate, even with heavy duty nails. If we used larger tropicals, the whole arrangement would have fallen on top the couple in no time. Also, the use of tropical motifs was made because the couple is currently living in Hawaii. As usual, we made use of materials available in the farm like the jars, the potted plants, the tribal fabric. Our knowledge of tribal fabrics came to good use because otherwise, someone else would have made the singular mistake of choosing this large, wide fabric I saw in the stockroom, which is used to wrap the dead of the Ifugaos, as a cover for the altar table. Whew! Imagine the major faux pas if ever!

Another view of the altar

The pathway before adding the yellow bunting, yellow being the color scheme of choice. I used cream organza for ribbons to temper the loudness of yellow. Besides, it looked good on the bamboo. Thanks to Aunt Rosie for the rushed sewing of the fabric!

The pathway's look has changed!

The perils of the business: waiters do last-minute adjustments to the floral arrangements in the couple's gazebo

The stage I designed. The top photo was taken in the afternoon. The one immediately below was taken prior to the start of the program. All materials were sourced from the Farm's stockroom. I didn't want to spend more on things so resourcefulness and a lot of imagination were the order of the day.

My first cousin, Josephine Yap-Leitgeb, flew in from Singapore to attend the wedding anniversary. Here shown wearing a nice, green gown she found in Vietnam during one of her trips. The tied mini-bouquets are by Vatel Manila (orange and white roses).

Night starts to creep in. Thanks, Lord, for this chance to be of service.

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