Friday, 25 April 2014

30 Questions to Ask Your Potential Event Caterers

Is it your first time to organize or plan your own event? When planning for your event preferably for your wedding, it is vital to ask the right questions  to your supplier/caterer. Make sure you have written down all your concerns so you will be prepared with your first meeting.

Your questions will set the mood on your meeting with the caterer. They should be able to assess the kind of event you want to have. The success of your wedding reception is riding on it, so it's no time to be shy.

Glam Wedding Set-up by M Fine Foods and Catering

Here's a sampling of the questions that you'll want to ask to your caterer :

1. Are you a full - service caterer?

2. Can I see photos of other wedding receptions at the site?

3. What's the cancellation policy? Is the deposit refundable?

4. Can I ask for an official receipt?

5. Are the taxes included in the contract?

6. If we provide our own cake, do I need to pay the servers an additional fee for cutting and serving the cake?

7. Do you have free food tasting event? When? If yes, up to how many pax is entitled for the free food tasting?

8. Do you provide children's meal?

9. Do you provide supplier's meal?

10. Can you provide free bartender?

Rustic Theme Set-up by M Fine Foods and Catering

11. Will the catering manager be on site during the reception?

12. Is there an additional fee for staff overtime?

13. What's the ratio or servers to guests?

14. How many events you have on the same day, same time as my wedding?

15. Who is the main contact during the wedding? The head waiter or the Account Executive?

16. Do you specialize in certain types of food?

17. Do you provide the sound system?

18. Do you require minimum number of guests?

19. When will I need to finalize the menu?

20. Do you work with frozen or fresh food?

Iberian Chicken from M Fine Foods and Catering

21. Are you familiar with the reception site? If no, are you going to conduct an ocular inspection?

22. Can we review the standard contract?

23. 1 round of drinks or unlimited drinks?

23. Is there a corkage fee if I'll bring some beer/alcohol drinks?

24. Can I have some freebies or upgrades?

25. Mono block or tiffany or ghost chairs?

26. How much advance time you need for the set-up?

27. Will you provide containers for the left overs?

28. When I must provide the final head count?

29. Do you provide the name cards for the VIP tables and table numbers for the guest tables?

30. What is your policy on tips / gratuity fee?

When choosing your caterer, it also a plus that the caterer is highly recommended, with a good reputation in the industry and a good track record. is highly recommending M Catering and Fine Foods .

Sarah and John Lloyd's movie-inspired mouth-watering creations courtesy of M Catering

About M Catering and Fine Foods

M Catering and Fine Foods is  a catering specialist providing food and beverage services to corporate clientele and the private individual.

They cater from Fiesta to Fine Dining - from a casual get together, to corporate luncheon, to a cocktail reception or a formal dinner party. They will handle all of the preparations leading to your event including creative menu development, budget flexibility and logistical planning.

Their experience team of chefs and service personnel is committed in bringing you exceptional cuisine and impeccable service every time so whether you are hosting an intimate dinner for two or a corporate gala for two hundred, you may rest assured that any event with M Catering and Fine Foods is truly memorable.

For inquiries, please call 4704812, 6237199 or 09175290835 or email them at or 

To get freebies and discounts, use the code "JLofied" and tell them you were referred by Jennifer Lopez - Gana


Sunday, 20 April 2014

5 Reasons Why We Should Support Kammerchor Manila's 3rd European Tour

I stepped into the world of music as early as 6 years old when I played the role of an angel during "Pasko ng Pagkabuhay" singing "Regina Coeli". Little did I know that it would be life-changing. I was able to finish College because of my scholarship with the PUP Bagong Himig and spent only 20 pesos for my tuition fee every semester. From then, my passion for chorale singing keeps on growing in each and every performance.

Now that I am an active member of the Pag-IBIG Fund Chorale, it is an honor for me to have met and have known some members of the Philippines best chorale groups like the Madrigal Singers, UP Singing Ambassadors and Kammerchor Manila.

I have also worked with Kammerchor Manila several times already in some of the weddings I coordinated and I can really vouch for its great talent.

Let me tell you about Kammerchor Manila and why we should support them to their 3rd European Tour.

1. Kammerchor Manila (KM) is committed to excellence in choral music, friendship and service to God

Since its humble beginnings in 1992, KM has evolved to be the Philippines' premier chamber choir as it is today by sharing its long tradition of excellent choral music and continued commitment of service to God. Founded by one of the country's music pedagogues and visionaries, Prof. Fidel G. Calalang, KM was originally formed as a venue for former members of the world-renowned University of Santo Tomas (UST) Action Singers (now UST Singers) to continue their passion for music. Through the years, its membership grew to accommodate everyone from all walks of life who wishes to share their talent and expertise while strengthening their ties with God.

2. Kammerchor Manila (KM) is versatile

With a vast repertoire of different musical disciplines and genres ranging from madrigals to unconventional contemporary music, from folkloric to modern OPM, from musica sacra to pop, KM's musical artistry and versatility has earned them local and international accolades and recognition bringing continuous pride to the country.

3. Kammerchor Manila (KM) is world class

KM has engaged itself in music festival, distinguished occasions, and goodwill tours in Hongkong, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, the Vatican, and France; as well as participating in prestigious choral competitions the world over :

        Voices of the World in Vienna, Austria
        Anton Bruckner Choir Competition in Linz, Austria
        World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China
        MBC National Choral Competition, Manila
        Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival, Manila

4. Kammerchor Manila (KM) is the Philippines' lone representative to the 2014 Ave Verum International Chorale Competition in Baden, Austria & the 42nd International Choral Festival in Olomouc, Czech Republic

The International Choral Competition will take place in Baden near Vienna from May 22 to 25, 2014. Every competing choir will also take part at one of the partner concerts during the Long Night of Choral Music.

The Participants of the ICC AV 2014 :
  1. Városminor Chamber Choir (HU)
  2. Academic Choir "Sonyachny Strum" (UA)
  3. Kammerchor Manila (PHIL)
  4. University of Georgia Hodgson Singers (USA)
  5. Bodeca Neza (IT)
  6. Samford University (USA)
  7. Landesjugendchor Wien (AT)
  8. Prazska Kantilena (CZ)
  9. Coro Siamo (AT)

5. Kammerchor Manila (KM) will make you proud to be Pinoy

Aside from the competitions in Austria and Czech Replublic, KM will also be staging concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, Austia (Vienna), Czech Republic, and Switzerland from May 16 to June 14, 2014.

The Send-Off Concert

As a way of expressing their gratitude to your support, KM is cordially inviting everyone to a FREE send-off concert, "As It Blooms, the Journey Continues" on 3 May 2014 at 7pm.

To RSVP and/or for pledges, please send complete name to Joel Nalda 0905-3199398 or Toni Martinez 0917-5966553 by April 30.

Likewise, they humbly seek for your support for their upcoming tour by donating any amount to help them in their fund-raising efforts. 

Monday, 14 April 2014

How to Celebrate Family Homecomings Pinoy Style

My Ninang Dely who stood as my second mother when I was young, was here in the Philippines for a short vacation. I was like adopted by her for a year when I was 3 years old. My Nanay was fighting for her life that time because of pregnancy complications with our supposedly 4th sibling.

I guess it is a Pinoy way of celebrating like a fiesta when a relative or a loved one returns home especially during the most loved Pinoy events like Christmas and Holy Week. With my Ninang's homecoming, I did not invite the entire Barangay for a fiesta to celebrate with us, instead, I organized an  out of town Holy Week tour for her.

This is also my way of saying "Thank You" for all the things she did for me when I was young. 

JLo with Ninang Dely
Ninang Dely who is in her 70's has a strong Catholic faith and really keeps her "panata". I guess  the itinerary that I prepared for this tour really suits her.

Looks like a scene from "Tanging Yaman" the Movie
If ever you will choose Quezon Province as your destination, here are some of the activities that you might consider whenever you are thinking of hosting a family homecoming celebration.

Visit Kamay ni Hesus in Lucban, Quezon
Faith will recharge a weak body. I've seen a lot of "oldies" in their 60s-70s and was able to finish the 14 stations leading to a 50-foot statute of the Ascending Christ. Who am I to complain?

Rev. Father Joey Faller, founder of the Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church visualized the church to give the sick and the spiritually weak a haven where they could feel and experience the presence of God.
At the church’s backdrop is a steep hill transformed into a picturesque Via Dolorosa Grotto of Healing and Purification, all of 310 steps, including the life-size statues of the 14 Stations of the Cross is leading to a 50-foot statue of the Ascending Christ —the third biggest in the world than can be seen miles away.

In honor of the Virgin Mary, the Luklukan ni Maria features life-size statues and scenes depicting the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.  Life-size statues of saints are also scattered in the church compound.  Scenes from the Holy Bible are also brought to life, from Adam and Eve at the Garden of Eden and the Noah's Ark complete with life-size animals.

For inquiries and other information, e-mail Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church at or call the church office at (042) 540-2206.

50-foot statue of the Ascending Christ

Serve her favorite Pinoy Food
"I've waited 20 long years to have a taste of this tinuto again!", she said after seeing a generous serving of tinuto or laing on the table. Laing is a spicy dish that is coconut milk based with dried taro leaves and is popular in the region. It has become a favorite among Pinoys like her who was craving for authentic Pinoy food.

And when you are in Quezon, do not forget to dine in at "Kamayan sa Palasidaan" Restaurant.
About Kamayan sa Palaisdaan 
Located in Tayabas, Quezon, Kamayan sa Palaisdaan is an ideal getaway restaurant for seafood lovers. The restaurant is a little hard to find - save for a sign that is lit up in neon lights at night - but has charming feel to it, with quaint nipa huts propped above a huge pond. 
The menu consists mostly of fish, since Tayabas is known for their light and delectable seafood compared to Lucban's meat fest. Big winnders are the Inihaw na Pla-pla and Inihaw na Hito. All the cooks are native from the province, so once can expect an authentic taste of Tayabas in their dishes. Other dishes, worthy of praise are the Inihaw na Spare Ribs, Squid in Oyster Sauce, and their own version of Salpicao (mixed vegetables and seafoods).
Native designed functions rooms for Cocktail parties, Conference, Wedding, Birthday and other Private occasions. Formal and informal dining with lush appurtenances and grand artistically rendered interior furnishings and decor. When enjoying a banquet the surroundings and ambiance of the place transports one to the heady confines of the sophisticate and formal and good graces inclined. 
Address : Brgy. Dapdap, Tayabas, Quezon  (042) 793-3654 or (042) 793-3655 or email :

Give him/her the gift of time and relaxation
Spending a little quality time with them makes a difference. Let them feel relaxed by bringing them to a place that is serene and let them enjoy the fresh air of the country side.
And whether you are an individual searching for some quality personal time,  a couple yearning to share magical moments together, or a family or group looking for an array of fun activities that build relationship and leave lasting memories, then visit Graceland Estate and Country Club.
Graceland Estates and Country Club, Tayabas, Quezon (042) 793 28567

Familia Gana Lakwatsera
Do you have any suggestions? I love to hear from you.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

How to Clean Your Bridal Gown After a Trash the Dress Session

I am blessed to have photographer friends in my network which gives me a lot of opportunities working with them. In 2007, I had a chance to work on a project "Wedding Trashers Philippines". It is a project of a group of wedding photographers who do this kind of photography.

For those of you who do not have any idea, "Trash the Dress" is a style of wedding photography that contrast elegant clothing with an environment in which it is out of place. It is generally shot in the style of fashion or glamour photography."

In the photo session, the bride wears their bridal dresses and do various things where the dress, almost every time gets muddy and soiled or most of the times gets ruined. 

And so did I :-)

The Bride in the Rain

I'm glad that after 6 years, my bridal gown still fits me with the help of a little magic :-)
It's ok! Get muddy and dirty.

Make Up by : Jesse Alto
Hair by : Steve Pagsanjan
Accessories by : Matzang
Flowers by : April of Giordino De Manila
Photography by : Ems Chua of Van Goth Photography Studio
Location : Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife

After your trash the dress session, there is one thing that will come to your mind, will you keep your wedding dress or will you trash it?

If you decide to keep your dress like I did, another question will arise. How are you going to wash your dress and turn it back to its original immaculate white glory?

Here are some tips on how to clean your bridal gown after a trash the dress session :

Inspect your dress
Before the start of the session, I already made up my mind to keep my dress. So I made it sure that I will very careful with it. Check out for stains and what does the stain consist of. Check also for grayish/yellowish spots on your dress. In my case, storing the dress for 6 years turned my dress to grayish/yellowish white.

Prepare for the battle
If your dress is as simple as mine, you should easily be able to clean your own wedding dress by hand-washing it. With the right tool (your hand) and detergent, you can turn your wedding dress to its original immaculate white glory.

I suggest you use Perwoll Brilliant White liquid detergent with "fiber rebonding technology". Your grayish/yellowish white clothes can get white again with this product. It has optical brighteners that re-new white colors. It also has a fiber rebonding technology that prevents colors from fading and remove the grey appearing fabrics. The Perwoll Brilliant White liquid detergent is for white clothes only, if you want to use this brand for your colored clothes, then use the Perwoll Black instead. I recommend this product because it is environmental friendly, made by Henkel from Germany.

To prove my point, I made a little experiment with my favorite "glamorous white" costume of the Pag-IBIG Fund Chorale.

The Pag-IBIG Fund Chorale in their "glamorous white" attire
My Mama Neng who regularly do the laundry for us washed my fave white attire with our newly discovered product and we were amazed with the results. She totally loved it! What I also loved about this product is that it is gentle on the hands and it is safe on sensitive skin.

Now, I am ready to step foot on the stage again with my "performance ready" glamorous white attire.

At last!  We can now make sure your wedding dress and your favorite white clothes will last and will always looks new with Perwoll Brilliant White liquid detergent. Try it and be ready for your next  Trash the Dress session.

To know more about this product, visit the following pages :
Official website : 

or simply watch this video

Sunday, 6 April 2014

How to Organize a Surprise Birthday Party for your Mom or Dad

It is hard to organize a surprise party especially if you have difficulties in keeping secrets. And what makes it more difficult is that, if the surprise party is for your mother's birthday, more harder it gets if your Mom is living with you.

When my Nanay turned 65 years old last January 2012, we throw a surprise birthday party for her. It was a double surprise, why? I have an Architect brother who's been working in Qatar and he decided to go home for a vacation without my mother knowing about it. It was the night before her birthday, and all the while she thought that's it, that was the surprise already. 

"The unico hijo has just arrived, and she was in tears."

But there's more to come! A Surprise Birthday Party and an instant Family Reunion all-in-one on her birthday.

If you want to do the same for your Mom or Dad this year, then you've come to right place. Here are the steps on How to Organize a Surprise Birthday Party for Your Mom or Dad.

Get an "accomplice"
Forgive me for the wrong use of the word 'accomplice', but you simply cannot do it alone. You need someone to help you plan and be your "look out". 

Plan the perfect guest list
This is not your party, so it is better to invite only those whom the celebrant would really love to see on his/her special day. It can be her siblings and some relatives living in the provinces. 

Keep it a secret
Tell your invited guests that the guest of honor should not find out about the surprise. Advice them not to send any birthday messages even through SMS. Make sure that the he/she doesn't see any decorations or party supplies before hand. Keep it all top secret!

Pick a location where she/he shouldn't expect it to be
Choose a restaurant or a venue where you can easily make an "alibi" why do you need to go there. It should be accessible and near to your house  to avoid any problems on logistics.

Choose decorations and theme if you want
The theme should reflect the personality of the celebrant. If you decide to have a color motif, make sure to buy him/her clothes that she will wear on her birthday. And don't forget  to have a ready "alibi" if she will ask you "why are we all wearing red?". Tip : You can say that, "I have arranged a family photo shoot for us and this is our concept, red and black.Let's have lunch first."

Plan the menu
The guest will be composed of mostly "oldies", so make sure you have something for everyone. An eat-all-you can restaurant is a good choice.

Have the guests arrived secretly, make an early call time
Ask your guests to arrive 30 minutes earlier. If 75% of your guests were already at the venue, ask your "look out" to give you the go signal for the <drum roll> Surprise!!!!!!

Make it a family reunion
Make a program if you want to, but the fact that it will be a mini family reunion is enough to make your mom/dad cry in tears on her birthday.

Less selfies, more groupies
Hire a good photographer who can capture each moments. Have a family portrait afterwards.

Make it special
No need for an explanation, just make it happen!

              West Avenue, Quezon City
              #15 West Ave., Quezon City
              372-8845 / 374-3767


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Four (4) Ways on How To Stand Out When You Have a Famous Namesake

My name is Jennifer Lopez and  I met Regine Velasquez and Ninoy Aquino months ago during the taping of  "What's Up Doods" hosted by Edu Manzano last  October 2013. 

Jennifer Lopez (that's me) with Mr. Edu Manzano
So what is it like to have these 3 personalities in one TV show for the first time? Watch this video and you'll find out.

The novelty of sharing your name with someone like JLo is fun, yet quite annoying. People would ask me as if they're asking  JLo, the celebrity. Pickup lines like "How's your concert?" and "When is your next concert?" is sometimes irritating.

Now that I am into online business, it is advantageous at times because of name recall and it is easier to talk to clients. But let's talk about branding. Google my name Jennifer Lopez and you'll get nothing. You will not find anything about me when I was still single, "None", "Wala", "Nada". So where I have been all my life? 

While researching on the internet about what to do with my branding problem, I found this great article on "How to Stand Out When you Have a Famous Namesake"  by Amy Fowler, who happens to share her name with the character of Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on CBB's The Big Bang Theory.

What can I do now with my namesake stopping me from dominating the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?

Here are some points from Amy Fowler's blog :

Snag your name on a domain 
If you haven’t already, it’s worth securing your name on a domain. Then, get a site built and include as much relevant information about yourself as possible. I.e. who you are, your skills and expertise, and who you work for.

You might also want to include a library of links to your proudest guest posts, and of course, links to your social profiles. Ideally, you’ll probably want to use this domain to blog too.If you haven’t already, it’s worth securing your name on a domain. Then, get a site built and include as much relevant information about yourself as possible. I.e. who you are, your skills and expertise, and who you work for.

I hope that JLo will not sue me for using JLofied, I'm glad that I  was the one who secured it first.

Play around with how you use your name
You could start using your middle name, or the initial of your middle name.
So I started to refer myself online as Jennifer Lopez-Gana which is much  less competitive when you search for them.
Start guest posting
Guest posting isn’t just for businesses and their brands, it’s great for your personal brand too. Secure yourself a spot on some big-name blogs in your industry and write a great guest post that will get you noticed.

I hope to guest post someday. Anyone?

Host a publicity stunt

Celebrities and brands do it all the time and it (mostly) works for them.
Doing something that will get people talking about you will go a long way towards ensuring that it’s your face popping up in Google for your name, not the celebrity who ‘stole’ your name. However, try not to offend anyone or embarrass yourself – you want your stunt to get you positive publicity!
Host or organize an event perhaps?

Look at the wider picture

And think about what you do, not just your name. It’s a big step in the right direction if you can ensure you dominate Google for “your name + your industry”.
Chances are, if someone is trying to find you and they don’t succeed when searching for just your name, they’ll search again with something else that they know about you. Quite possibly the industry you work in.
So it is Jennifer Lopez +  Wooden Kiddie Stools! 

Is having a famous namesake no fun? I think I should invite my friends for a grand eyeball and ask Regine Velasquez, Ninoy Aquino and Vilma Santos if it is not really fun at all. And to you Daniel Padilla, please leave me a message too. See you!