Last 6 September 2016, District 3800 and District 3820 of Rotary International hosted a Fellowship Dinner at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, in honor of special guests Rotary International President Elect Ian Riseley and spouse Juliet, who were then in the Philippines. It was a rare opportunity for local Presidents Elect to meet the RI President for their term, and the host clubs expected up to 300 guests to attend. (Surprise, there were almost 400 people in the ballroom!)
My dad, who is District Governor Elect of D3800, asked me to help design some materials and also prepare a dessert table for the guests. Yes, only my third dessert table project since I began styling, and it was for a few hundred people!
A Filipiniana-inspired Dessert Buffet
Initially I wanted to have capiz windows or doors as backdrop, but I quickly realized that at P8,000 (around US$160) for one small panel, these antiques were too expensive for our purpose. I took a mental note of all of our furniture and event props, and I remembered this clothing display module I painted pink for my mom’s Sweet Sixty surprise party (check out the photos here) I decided to make my own!
I searched online for a photo of capiz doors and found a decent photo that I could play with. With the intention of turning it into a stained glass/capiz door backdrop, I prepared the image on Photoshop and had it printed on tarpaulin.
I surmised that if I cut each square, cover the holes with cellophane and parchment paper, then place them on the display module, the pin lights inside would light it up quite nicely. Armed with a paper cutter and a self-healing cutting mat to protect the floor, I sliced each square by hand. Although the tiny squares were already capiz, I cut them anyway because I wanted all of the boxes to be illuminated when I turn the display module’s lights on. I covered the small squares in parchment paper to resemble capiz shells, while the rectangles were transformed into stained glass with the help of red, blue and yellow cellophane.
I’ll be honest with you, I had regrets when I started slicing those tiny squares and my back started to hurt.
Whose genius idea was this again?
Finally, I added this label to cover the top portion of the clothing display module.
Done. Let there be light!
That’s my face after realizing that my crazy plan worked! I was jumping happily on the inside.
How many abaca fans were used in this dessert buffet setup? Look closely!
Capiz shell take-home boxes
As is customary when I prepare dessert tables, take-home boxes were provided for every guest. My mom requested that the container match the Filipiniana theme, so we ordered a few hundred pieces of these 4” x 6” capiz shell boxes. Each capiz shell box was handmade and had to be aired out and cleaned when it arrived. Since this wasn’t a food-grade container, we also pre-cut food-grade paper to line the boxes. You can easily get this kind of paper from the nearest baking supply store.
My, that’s a lot of shell boxes!
Here’s a close-up of that blue sticker label I designed that we attached to each capiz shell box.
I had to match the color scheme of the event, that’s why it’s blue and yellow. See the event ID that I designed:
Oh before you go, take a look at these dolls dressed in Filipiniana attire! These are the same kind being sold in NAIA souvenir shops, and I found them while shopping for props in Manila. Unfortunately I didn’t find any use for them because, well, look at that face!
Here’s proof that guys look attractive (from afar) in Barong Tagalog.