Friday, November 9, 2012

How to Organize a Simple Birthday Party in Singapore

We celebrated the Little One's 1st birthday last July here in Singapore.  And although we found ourselves away from our loved ones in the Philippines, we decided that a simple celebration to commemorate her special day was in order.

But how exactly do you throw birthday parties at a ridiculously expensive city?  Simplify is the key, plus the use of a few DIY projects, of course!

Happy birthday to you...

So without further adieu, I present some simple party tips for those who, like us, find themselves celebrating away from home, too:

1. Daiso: the DIY-er's BFF.  

Yes, even here in the Lion City, Daiso is still the well-stocked, magnificent specimen of a store as it is in the Philippines.  When one finds oneself a ways from Divisoria, this shop is the next best thing.  And at S$2 (Php66*) an item, it definitely fits our budget.

Most of our party decor and necessary accessories, we bought at Daiso, including both picture frames and paper flowers seen in the first picture (above), and these adorable Hello Kitty loot bags.

Hello Kitty loot bags

2. Simplify.

Birthday parties need not be expensive affairs.  It can even be held in your own residence's club house.  If you're lucky enough (like in our case), function rooms in our place are free for use by the residents.  A refundable deposit is all that's need, plus a reservation (on a first come, first served basis.)  You may also ask a friend (close friend, please) who stays in a private estate that has function rooms for rent, to reserve the place on your behalf.  Just cozy up and ask for a favor.

The decor, likewise, need not be too grand to make a party look pleasing and festive enough.  Case in point, aside from decor shopping at Daiso, a lot of the Little One's toys and some of our furniture were served and/or used to liven up the cake, souvenirs and gift tables.

Cake and souvenirs area

As you can see in the photo above, we used a small bookshelf from our flat to double as our makeshift birthday cake and desserts table, and the Little One's IKEA clothes basket (which we actually use as her toy container) to hold all the loot bags in.

Some of the Little One's toys doubling as part of the decor

Imagination goes a long way.

Since most of our guests were adults without kids, we did not find the need to plan for games or activities to keep them entertained.  We just played a few children's movies and cartoons for the sake of our friends who did bring their kids at the party.  Good thing our venue had a flat screen TV.  The kids pretty much plopped in front of the screen and watched to their hearts' content.

3. Balloons make everything spectacular!

Colorful balloons left and right

To say that we overdid it on the balloon decor was an understatement.  Since our party venue does not allow taping any kind of decor on the walls, we went a little overboard on stringing, hooking, and attaching colorful balloons all around the room instead.

Even the table centerpiece used a balloon.  This table decor was made using a balloon, recycled Gerber bottles (good thing the Little One eats a lot of Gerber pureed prunes) to serve as the weighted stand, and some paper flowers from Daiso.

Table centerpiece

4. The internet is A-W-E-S-O-M-E...

I'm not much of a cook, much less could I cater to the 50 guests we were expecting for the party.  Good thing we were able to find an excellent, and affordable, caterer through the internet (also came highly recommended by one of the Husband's co-workers.)

Buffet spread from GoodLah Foods

GoodLah Foods is a small catering company started by a Filipino couple.  They offer Filipino dishes at affordable rates. Very simple home cooked fare.  Tasty, too.

NOTE: Now unlike in the Philippines where caterers also provide servers, here in Singapore, most catering businesses would simply set up the buffet for you and return after a specified number of hours to clear up their area.  No drinks are provided nor dessert options, as well.

5. When in doubt, nothing sure beats reminders of home.

From the food to choice sweets for dessert (Orange Swits, Choc-Nut and Goldilocks' pulvoron straight from Manila), Filipino treats all the way!  It just feels good to be reminded of home.

Doggy keeping watch over a bucket full of Choc-Nut.  Arf!

6. Ask for help.  

The bayanihan spirit is really felt in various Pinoy communities all over the world.  We have been blessed with good friends.  From helping us locate a caterer to helping us clean our venue (there are no cleaners available when renting private venues here.  Place has to be cleaned lest you be fined additional fees) to bringing home the Little One's gifts and other stuff, they were there to lend a hand.

Of course, family also got into the act.  The Paternals (the Madir and Padir) even gifted the Little One a birthday cake (thank you, mamoo and wowo!)

The Little One's Hello Kitty cake c/o mamoo and wowo

In the end, it's great to see the look of the Little One's face as she happily settles back home with fond memories.  J

"Mine.  All mine!!!" (says the happy little birthday girl)


  1. my daughter will also be celebrating her 11th bday in SG. its the day we arrive there for our 4 day visit. we probably be having it just for the 3 of us since we will be arriving late and only know a few friends we can invite.

    belated happy birthday to your little one :)

    1. Thanks! =)

      Advance happy birthday to her! You should go to the SG zoo since they offer free entrance for birthday celebrants. =)

  2. Wow! dami gift ni baby. =) kakaiba caterinb service sa SG.

    1. Yup. Very different. Made me realize that we're spoiled sa PH. Hehehe! =)

  3. Gosh! Hello Kitties are all over the place. aheheh

  4. DIY din kami sa birthday ni Ykaie! Cute ng birthday cake at ang daming na receive na bongacious gifts ng daughter mo! Belated Happy birthday little one!

    1. Thank you! =)

      Saw your post nga about Ykaie's birthday. Ang galing! =)

  5. back in Seoul, parties were all mine to DIY... hehehe.. but i love hosting parties so nothing can stop me... not even sleepless nights and eyebags to match it... hahaha... this year, i'm blessed with an event organizer, though... one of the perks of living here in Pinas.

    1. Hay... planning a party talaga is easier in PH. Although I might not just be used to here pa. =)

  6. Wow, for a DIY wedding, you pulled an impressive party from the looks of your photos!

    1. Uhmmm... actually this is a birthday party. =)

      I did a few DIY projects for the wedding, but that's in another post. =)

  7. Happy Birthday to the pretty girl! :) Wow! You have so many gifts! Have fun! ;)

    Great job! Love the centerpiece and the setup. :) Hello Kitty is just the cutest! :)


SG | An Aerial View of Sentosa Island

Sentosa is a well-known island resort in Singapore. They're quite famous for their expensive luxury landed properties, exquisite hotel...