Most people think of coconuts and beautiful beaches when they think of the Philippines. I wanted to emphasize the more glamorous side of our culture. We're also known for our amazing hand crafted goods, natural resources, and (thanks to over 300 years of Spanish occupation) we have a very rich eclectic style that's evident in architecture, fashion, and art. I tried to translate this style with the use of gilded embossed paper that evokes meticulously carved art and furniture, wood grain card stock, crocheted lace, intricate "doily" edging, and some "capiz" accents.
View my previous post on these print goods
I love the capiz chandelier and vintage mirrors at Intramuros! The Filipino restaurant lent the perfect backdrop to our theme.
I kept the flowers modern and understated - I used bougainvillea in a burnt orange hue, set in crystal cubes. It was unexpected and fresh! Popular local flowers in the Philippines are orchids, hibiscus, and jasmine. But for some reason I always think of home when I see Bougainvillea - lots of Filipino homes have large trellises or walls fully cloaked in them.
Chef Cocoy whipped up some ahh-mazing dishes for the party! For starters, everyone was served a refreshing summer salad of mangoes, shrimp, and tomatoes. Dinner consisted of hearty traditional Filipino "comfort food" dishes. And for the grande finale - dessert, we had "Bibingka" souffle (a more fancy version of a popular rice cake), "turon ala mode" (deep fried phyllo-wrapped bananas), and a little buffet of cupcakes (tropical flavors), mango bars, and silvanas (a buttercream and cashew wafer pastry).
I had a blast putting this event together and designing the details! It was great digging back into my roots and learning how to translate my heritage into something chic, fresh, and inspiring.