Saturday, September 29, 2007

WSI 50TH ANNIVERSARY, THE PENINSULA MANILA



And so it's come to pass. One month of stressful worrying has come to a wonderful end. I wish to write about lot of things, but I'm just relieved it's finally over.

Our first setup in a hotel setting has taught us several lessons. For The Peninsula, we learned 'patience' above all things. Were it not for the nice people we met here, I would have sworn never to work here ever again because of the heightened paranoia of the security. Since we had to do the arrangements in the garden area, this means we had to call security to open the gate whenever we need to deliver the centerpieces to the ballroom (and it takes what, 30 minutes before a guard actually makes an appearance?). All that waiting meant delays and we finished in the nick of time - around 40 minutes before the doors were opened to receive the early birds. Eventually, we stopped calling security and simply passed the centerpieces over the gate to a waiting crew. So stressful.

Another souce of stress was a certain supplier who couldn't deliver my flowers on time even though I made the order - and paid - for them early on. I totally didn't expect it to happen because they are very well known among florists and stylists and have supplied Manila with the most beautiful and unsual flowers ever seen in years. Oh, well. I guess s*** happens even to the best ones. Anyway, everything that was used for this event was new - from the mini-goblet candle holders to the tablecloth. Looks like we will be needing more storage space after this, he he!


Detail. An 12-seater arrangement using silk shantung. We alternated this material with Rochelle Red organza which has vines and flower detailing. We received wonderful feedback for the arrangement and materials used for this event, but the ultimate compliment came from the guests themselves - they brought home everything! No centerpiece was left for us to clean up.

A view of the stage. The reason why we chose to employ low arrangements for this event is because of the performances onstage. First, this being a dinner for the company's industry friends and business partners, the guests should be able to see and talk to each other without the centerpiece getting in the way. Second, the guests (250 heads or thereabouts) should be able to see what's going on the stage. You know the flowers are there, but they remain unobtrusive throughout.

Detail. The house lights enhanced the burgundy sheen of the silk shantung tablecloths.

We made four of these willow-type arrangements for the foyer area where cocktails was held. Each was placed on top of a cocktail table which was draped using either of the two tablecloths we likewise used for the dining tables. We used this concept to reflect the true-to-life attributes of a willow tree - toughness, size, and tenacity of life. We wish the same for WSI as they move on to their next 25 years. (Trivia: Salicylic acid is derived from the willow tree.)

Detail. Each arrangement also sported glass drops.


Huge thanks go to Tina Victoria of The Peninsula (we hope to work with you again in the future!), our sastre, Aling Auring, for the fast and excellent work on the organza tablecloths, our florists Vio and Magno, and Crew Chief Tony. Special thanks to Mike of The Mango Farm for the cash advances, and to the nice people at WSI (Jon and Jimma).

Thank you, WSI, for the chance to be of service. Happy anniversary!

Friday, September 21, 2007

FLORIST OR STYLIST?



That's the major question that's been bugging us lately. It can get quite tricky to introduce ourselves as a florist when we seldom do the actual arranging. To be honest, we do most of the conceptualizing - and we actually draw it on paper - and leave it to our team of florists to execute.

Stylist? Maybe. We usually make sure that we take control of the entire look and feel of an event. In a wedding, for example, we take care of everything from flowers to guest seating down to the carpet. Sometimes we even take over some of the work of inept on-the-day event coordinators just to save an event from becoming a total disaster.

What's in a name anyway? There are so many florists and stylists in Manila who are trying very hard to outdo each other. In the end, it all boils down to the service cost and how well you do your work.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

WSI's 25TH ANNIVERSARY (MOCK SET UP)



Had my mock setup yesterday, September 19, at Nillado Room of The Peninsula. This is for the 25th Anniversary of Wordtext Systems, Inc. on the 28th to be held at the Rigodon Ballroom. The mock setup also coincided with the food tasting so the company's representatives had a closer look at the things to come on D Day.

Special thanks to Ms. Tina Victoria, A.E., for helping make the setup as seamless as possible.
Clean and crisp with just the right blend of color. The centerpiece is an attempt at recreating the three-levels-of-life arrangement symbolizing heaven, man, and earth. I however think that this is not very faithful to that philosophy.

A collection of the unusual. I gathered several unusual flowers, leaves, and palm fruits to make one unusual centerpiece. For florists and stylists, these are already common, but these are not seen by guests on a daily basis. I loved the pink chrysanthemums from China. They are definitely not very common these past two years. Do I sense genetic manipulation?

I hope to get better hydrangeas next week. A delivery has just arrived from Bangkok. Also, I look forward to employing Queen Anne's Lace to replace the faux crystal flowers I used yesterday to make up for its non-availability due to bad weather.


Detail. Large silver-colored sequins add glitter - quite literally - to the anniversary's theme of "a night of magic." Magician Eric Mana will be performing. The sequins were also used to reflect the company's birth during the '80s.


Detail. Main course of Cajun Roasted Chicken Roulade on the setup courtesy of The Peninsula. The menu was chosen to reflect the color motifs silver and burgundy, but more on the latter. Why, even the sorbet which was strawberry flavored, was a perfect fit!

See you on the 28th!



25th Anniversary
Wordtext Systems, Inc.

Rigodon Ballroom
The Peninsula Manila
Makati City

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

CONNECTIONS



One thing I like about working in the wedding industry is that I get to bump into a member of the family. Guys, meet Lambert Wilson Yap Uy, my first cousin, currently Pastry Chef of Hizon's Catering. Here he is photographed preparing me a mango crepe. Sorry for the bull cap, but he was on a break when he was doing this and he just couldn't refuse his Kuya, he he!

He used to live with us when he was still attending culinary school, but he is now staying in-house with Hizon's. He wakes up at dawn when there's loads of things to do (desserts for 300 guests? Bring it on!). He will be enrolling in pastry class soon and in terrine class after that.

Way to go, cousin! See yah around!

Some of the hard-working crew from Hizon's Catering! They were at The Mango Farm lately for the now almost-annual grand food tasting.
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