When Athena Mori, daughter of actors Jennica Garcia and Alwyn Uytingco, celebrated her first birthday and dedication last July 17, we only saw one family photo taken during the occasion, posted on Instagram by Alwyn. Over a month later, doting mom Jennica has written a post about her daughter’s special day on her blog jennicagarcia.wordpress.com. The celebration was held at Jean’s Manila in Quezon City, the restaurant of Jennica’s mom, tv and film actress Jean Garcia.
Jennica, who talked about her parenting style with SmartParenting.com.ph recently (read it here), shared stories and showed photos taken by Image Savvy from the party. While browsing through the photos, Jennica admitted that she couldn’t help but “smile from ear to ear.” She wrote, “Indeed, these are captured memories that we will forever treasure.”
The mom admitted that party planning was not her forte and was grateful for her friends who helped out with the DIY decorations.
“For the banderitas, we used fallen tree branches and colored paper. The blue heirloom table on the left had few photographs of Mori when she was born. Resting on the edges are candles, flowers and an organic birthday cake that I especially made the night before for my bambina,” she wrote.
Here's a closer look at the decorations on the blue heirloom table before the cake was added to the picture. How adorable are the framed photographs and Mori's circle of wooden toys?
Jean, whom Jennica addresses as Mama, provided the Mason jar centerpieces on each of the tables, which were filled with sand, twigs and leaves, embellished with twine at the top.
Among the food served were Jean’s specialties, Jennica shared, like bopis, kare-kare, cordon bleu, carbonara and bangus. “We also served fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Jennica.
And what’s a celebration without cake! Mori’s first birthday cake -- made with organic ingredients as Jennica is a wholesome nutrition advocate--was personally baked by Jennica the night before the party. It's frosted with cream cheese and decorated with colorful wooden toys. Cupcakes from Crave and Bake were also served for dessert.
The mom shared that she placed her little one in front of her cake hoping that she would dig her little hands in it and make a mess, making for a super adorable moment to be caught on video. But, little Mori wasn’t quite up for it. “She wasn’t comfortable so we didn’t push her. After all, this is her day.”
Here’s Mori wanting to be “rescued.” Jennica captioned the photo on the right with “This, my friends, is how Mori looks when she needs rescuing.”
Celebrated on the same day was Mori's dedication. Above is a family photo marking the occasion. Did you know that “Mori” means “God is my teacher” in Hebrew? We didn't either until mommy Jennica shared it on her blog.
In photo are Mori's grandparents Jigo Garcia (left) and Jean Garcia; beside Jennica is half-brother, Kotaro, and "Daddy Koji whom I dearly" as Jennica captioned in her blog.
For party entertainment, instead of the usual clowns and magicians, the family went for a puppet show performed by Malou Medrano with a beautiful storyline Jennica had a hand in choosing. “The story that I picked is about God and Mori being together in heaven before she was born. When it was time for Mori to spend her human years in our loving arms, God whispered that He will always, always be with Mori all the days of her life.”
The party giveaways included handcrafted small pots, figurines of tree spirits (handmade by Adlesirc's Crafts) and a bag of seeds inside a Peter Rabbit canvas bag (from Arteegram Manila)