ANJELIKA Rose Ang Gentugaya's first birthday party was a dazzling celebration fit for a darling princess!

Named after her two doting grandmothers, Angelita and Rose, Anjelika or "Ika" is the first-born child of Compostela Valley Vice Governor Ramil Gentugaya and businesswoman Joanna Ang-Gentugaya.

Ramil, who is serving his 3rd and last term as Vice Governor of his province, has been involved in the political arena since 1996. He started out as President of the Sangguniang Kabataan of the previously undivided Davao del Norte and became a Board Member of Compostela Valley in 2001. The 34-year old public servant consequently became one of the youngest vice governors in 2004 at the age of 28.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

On the other hand, Mommy Joanna is the former Operations Manager of their family-owned business, Five Jewels Corporation, which is the exclusive distributor of Unilab in Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley province. She recently moved to Monkayo, the hometown of her husband last June, to start a business of their own.

Personal favorite

"The Arabian Nights - Princess Jasmine theme party was a suggestion from Joy Inocencio of Party Fanatics. I easily agreed to her idea because, for me, it is the most unique of all Disney princess-themed kiddie parties. I immediately imagined the colors associated with the theme -- fuchsia, violet and gold! Aside from that, the movie Aladdin is my personal favorite of all Walt Disney movies made," reveals Joanna.

The young mom began preparations as early as January after finalizing the desired ambiance and decorations with Party Fanatics.

"I also asked the help of my designer and good friend Mr. Rodel Macatangay of Chardin to help me conceptualize Ika's Princess Jasmine costume as early as February since the materials aren't always available here in Davao," said the Ateneo de Manila graduate.

Shining, shimmering, splendid

Upon entering the Marco Polo grand ballroom, guests felt that they were transported on a magic carpet ride to Agrabah, the fantasy kingdom where "Alladin's" story took place. A wide screen showing the "Aladdin" movie greeted them as they found their way inside the "castle."

The giant styrofoam backdrop accentuated with lights was a 3-D version of Princess Jasmine's castle. Balloon pillars with `styro' toppers as well as Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and Genie standees completed the look of the stage.

The ballroom ceiling was dramatically covered with violet and fuchsia tulles with gold accent. Floating giant mylar star-shaped balloons and crystals were creatively distributed all throughout the ballroom.

Whimsical genie-shaped mylar balloons and a genie lamp served as table centerpieces for adult tables while coloring books and crayons placed inside a goblet were utilized as table centerpieces for the kiddie tables. The genie lamps, goblets and some of the balloons were especially ordered by Joanna from the U.S. with the help of her sister-in-law, Rosalie Belen.

Arabian Nights

"Since our backdrop was that of Princess Jasmine's castle, chef extraordinaire Booboo Maramba and I agreed to veer away from making the usual cake with a castle design. Instead, we imagined the cake to feature the treasure box overflowing with jewels, gold coins and crowns which Aladdin found inside the cave. And, at the center was of course, the very famous magic lamp. It blended perfectly with the stage backdrop!" enthuses Joanna.

The general program of the party was magnificently planned and carried out by Bonjee Entertainment Services. The indefatigable James Infiesto who was dressed as Alladin, together with the charming Jymmes Infiesto as Princess Jasmine, acted as the party hosts.

James masterfully performed his well-loved kiddie magic show and as an added attraction to the guests, he also skillfully presented his world-class "Illusion" repertoire which he has shown in various national and international events. Soundtracks from the movie "Aladdin" and Arabian mood music were played throughout the party.

The action-packed party games included "Match the Aladdin Characters Relay", "Magic Carpet Trip", "Aladdin Spelling Game", and "Alladin Treasure Relay."

A stilt walker, balloon artist and glitter tattoo artist were also around to keep the 250 guests entertained.

A whole new world

While the adult guests enjoyed the "royal" feast prepared by the hotel's Lotus Court, the kids were served their must-have pasta, chicken and pizza meal. In addition, everybody had their fill of tempting snacks, desserts and drinks from Potato Corner, All That Juice, Dunkin' Donuts, Fiorgellato, Basti's Brew Pizza and Waffle Time.

After dinner time, "Princess" Ika changed into a playful "girly girl" red ruffle top and petit skirt from Kaiya Eve, an exclusive line by Los Angeles-based designer Kandi Lightner.

For giveaways, the kids were given personalized Alladin, Genie and Princess Jasmine-themed backpacks filled with yummy goodies and exciting treats. Imagine Fotofun Digital Express also set up a party booth with Princess Jasmine picture cards as memorable souvenirs.

Joanna considers the showing of Ika's audio-visual presentation containing photos of her from birth accompanied by "A Whole New World" as background music as among the main highlights of the party. "This was the part where our guests got to know our daughter better, who is the main reason for the celebration," smiles the proud mom.

Definitely, with Ika at the center of their lives, Ramil and Joanna's whole new world has become a more "wondrous place with every moment red-letter!"

We share photos of Ika's `shining, shimmering, splendid' celebration by Imagine Digital Fotofun.

E-mail the author at Visit