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Sofia’s first birthday in the time of Corona

Hey there! I've been a busy bee since I last shared a blog last August.

Well, I got caught up in preparation of my daughter's 1st birthday party.

You know, paper flowers and all 😀.

Having worked as an event manager recently, I was already planning my daughter’s first birthday when she was just about two months old (Dec 2019). My side of the family, except for my mom, has not seen her personally yet so I was planning to have the celebration back in the Philippines, and have her baptism and baptism party at the same time, hitting two birds with one stone. I even already started contacting suppliers at that time.

But you know what happened. 😷

All of us needed to adapt to the new normal.

Now, about the first to early second quarter of the year I was still hoping and praying that we can still travel and celebrate with our family back in the Philippines, however when it was starting to stretch to the summer and the pandemic was still getting worse, I know we’ll be having a quarantined 1st birthday celebration.

At the end of the day, it is just better to be safe than sorry.

The theme

I started conceptualizing and planning her birthday party on July, about 3 months before her birthday. Well, as my aunt commented in one of my social media posts before, a lot of babies go through a "Siopao" face and it just indicates that they are healthy.

A Siopao literally meaning "hot bun", is the Philippine cuisine indigenized version of the Cantonese steamed bun called cha siu bao.

To cut the long story short, we or mostly I, started calling her Siopao when she was about 3 months old because she was so rounded, chubby and oh so cute.

The first item I designed which became like the holder or the starter of the theme was her invitation cards. Initially, the tone or over all message of the invite was

“You can come if you want and can. Don't worry, we’ll be celebrating it safely (outdoors)”.

But you know, as I've mentioned, the situation was getting worse as weeks passed by, so I just changed it to “Hey, join us virtually”.

The prep

Since it's gonna be a quarantined event, I would have loved to do everything but hey, first, I cannot bake, even for my life, so I ordered Sofi's custom cake from a local bakery, and I was also the host of the party so I can't really take pictures of myself so I hired a photographer. I would have loved to have hired a videographer but the estimates I got for an hour-long event was just off the roofs, so, no, pictures are enough 🤣

Next, Initially, I was unsure as to how to layout the set up. I just know that I'll be making an 8x8 flower wall and there will be a TV in front of her where she can see her guests (conference call). I was not sure whether we'll be placing her on a high chair or we'll have a table with food in front of us.

Using Sketchup, I brainstormed how the layout would look like. Finally, my years of experience as an exhibition/trade show designer was put to a good use.

Hahahahahaha 🤣

We didn't have anything to hold the cake up for the layout I've came up, and the nice round columns I often saw others use are just pricey so I just used what we have at home (cube storages) as the cake stand/column and also gift stands.

Oct 17

Custom Siopao banners 😁

It’s not the 1st birthday I imagined my daughter to have (Well, I bet no one did) but at the end of the day, I am just thankful that we’re able to celebrate it.

We had our masks on when we greeted the photographer, but since we're just so used to it now... (cont. below)

Our only in-person guests were my in-laws.

We didn't even noticed that we had it on almost the whole duration of the conference call.

My husband and I set up what we needed to have a virtual call with our family and close friends. And you know what? We even had some parlor games!

The guests needed to give me two more answers for the game "Give me"
The cheat sheet 😂

Our "virtual" guests

There was a miscommunication with the bakery where I ordered her cake so we did not have a smash cake. Good thing her aunt from NY sent us a couple of mini Siopao cakes she baked so they surely saved the day!

She loved it!

Opening of gifts!

The set up 😃

The 8 x 8 Paper flower wall 🌼

As an end note, we were quite surprised Sofia was perky and active that time and day of her birthday party. At times, she gets cranky when she doesn't like what she's doing but looks like she enjoyed herself and for us, that is what's important.

So even though this was not the 1st birthday celebration we imagined for her, as long as she's happy and we're together as a family, as cheesy as it may sound, it's all good, and I'm grateful 😊

Lots of love,


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