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The baby shower

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Okay, now I have a few minutes. The two girls are playing "grocery shopping" with their daddy. Stella is beside me, peacefully sleeping. We're on our eighth day and I'm finally settling into a comfortable breastfeeding schedule. For the past seven days, my hands were either holding Stella or expressing milk. With no break. But now things are looking up.

This post is long over due. I've been wanting to share this story but I also stalled a bit because I didn't want to reveal that we're having a girl. It's a little detail we wanted to keep sacred among family and friends only. Last July 10, the Mandarin Oriental Manila (hotel) hosted a lovely baby shower for me.


Cake by Dexter's Bakeshop
Lovely cake by Dexter's Bakeshop. The cake was the biggest hint that we were having a girl with all the pink cuteness. But I'm getting ahead of myself.


The interesting thing about this baby shower is that six years ago during my first pregnancy, the Mandarin Oriental was actually the place where I was supposed to have a surprise baby shower. It was organized by my colleagues in F. With all the bells and whistles. However, I ended up giving birth early - a couple of days before the planned shower. So it never happened. This time it finally pushed through.


My baby shower at the Mandarin Oriental
At Mandarin Oriental's Macopa Room on the 18th floor


Yummy treats from Mandarin Oriental
Yummy afternoon treats


Cake by Dexter's Bakeshop
Full view of the cake and cupcakes by Dexter's Bakeshop


Because this is my third child and its a girl again, I really didn't need too many things because I believe in hand-me-downs. However, I had donated all our newborn things a long time ago. Having a third child was obviously unexpected. My super-generous friends showered me with presents for Stella - newborn things I needed for her layette.

But I wanted the baby shower to take on a different meaning so I also made it a drive for a local orphanage. In addition to my donations, my sponsors and friends generously donated towards the Missionaries of Charity Orphanage in Antipolo, an orphanage run by Mother Teresa's organization. Unfortunately I can't post photos of the orphanage. This is an ongoing advocacy I'd like to continue, shower or no shower - assistance to abandoned children and mothers in need.


Donors
From Procter & Gamble, 8 huge boxes of Pampers newborn diapers


Donors
From Johnson & Johnson, assorted baby care products


And from Gingersnaps, a pledge of various sized baby and toddler clothes.


The games were fun. We had guess the size of my belly, diaper game, matching mother-baby words and a few others. Prizes for the games included a gift certificate to the Oriental Spa of the Mandarin, Olay products, pillow cases from Linens Direct, Origins bath products and a Herve Leger bag from Accessory Lab and Tresorie. Some of my friends were quite competitive. It was fun.


Prize: Herve Chapelier bag from Accessory Lab
Up for grabs was an Herve Chapelier bag - won by Jem Uriarte


Jenny, Jerome and Cecile
Jenny Dizon-Hoschka and Cecile Van Straten "designing" Jerome Gomez' diaper. They won.


Jerome, Mel, Joan
The "babies" Metro Home's Jerome Gomez, Estee Lauder's Mel Lerma, my cousin Joan Barretto


What are we saying?
Ingrid, introducing the next game.


Games
Metro Weddings' Trish Chua, Jerome, Cecile, Jenny and shoe designer Fiona Lucas


Winners of the game
Winners Yes Magazine's Roan Pena, Johnson & Johnson's Jem Abadia-Uriarte, Manila Bulletin publishing executive Melo Esguerra, shipping exec Joan Barretto, Gingersnaps' Sasa Uy.


Trish, Mel, Fiona
Metro Weddings' Creative Director Trish Chua-Juico, Look Magazine's EIC Mel Cuevas and shoe designer Fiona Lucas - we all used to work together in Metro Weddings, together with Ingrid Go. Fiona just delivered her baby, Ignacio, a few days ago. Congrats Fee!


Melo, Charisse and Jenny Dizon
Melo Esguerra, Mandarin's head of PR Charisse Chuidian and Jenny Hoschka


I also wanted to take this opportunity to share "My Favourite Things" with my friends.


Loot bags
The table of loot: Machiavelli chocolates, Olay Total Effects beauty products and pillows from Babies Direct (the same makers of Daphne Linens)


Loot bags had a few of my favourite things
Machiavelli Chocolatier, my favourite chocolates. I love their Purple Yam Yum, Thai Caramel, Ivoire Jack. Just typing this is making me crave. Maybe I'll beg Patrick to get a box in Rustan's Essenses today.


Olay Total Effects
Everyone got a gift pack full of Olay Total Effects products. Yay! Has anyone tried Olay Total Effects Touch of Foundation? I love it...


Babies Direct pillows
Each got a set of Babies Direct pillows. They are available at Baby Company and Rustan's. These are the same manufacturers of my Daphne Linens


Loot
Babies Direct pillows made of 100% Egyptian cotton (400 threadcount). Pure luxury for babies. And since most of my guests don't have babies, they get to enjoy the pillows themselves. These are made by the same company that makes my Daphne Linens. My little Stella uses them. They're so lovely. (I was quite proud of the "packaging." I have this habit of hoarding pretty ribbons on sale. I never get to use them so they pile up in our closet. This time it came in handy.)


Melo Esguerra
Melo Esguerra, who now heads Manila Bulletin's magazine publishing arm. Melo was responsible for creating Proudly Filipina, the show I used to host in QTV.


Ingrid and Jenny
Accessory Lab's Ingrid Go and jewelry designer Jenny Hoschka


Lily was my "assistant"
My then-youngest daughter Lily Paloma handed out the loot bags.


All the guests
Thank you to my lovely friends for your presence, presents and support of Missionaries of Charity Orphanage. Kat, Liza and Imee... we missed you.


Me and my 3 bears
Me and my 3 vintage bears. Two of them are almost 20 years old.


Leaving the Mandarin
Many thanks to the the bag hag for making this day really special. The girls say, "thanks Tita Ingrid!!"


Baby shower hosted by Mandarin Oriental
Thank you, Mandarin Oriental, for making this a special day for our family.





*note, it took me over 24 hours to finish this post - typing with one hand, pausing to express milk, pausing to take care of the two girls... life :) what fun!






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Daphne Osena Paez
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