Guide to Splurging VS. Saving

1. For the laid-back chick [aka The Tight-Knit Party Theme]

Guest List: Only your true blue barkada plus your family

Invites: By word-of-mouth


Venue: Treat your closest girlfriends to a sleepover in a hotel (or out-of-town resort). Want something meaningful and worthwhile? Spend it with orphaned/disabled children, or your favorite charity.

Entertainment: In a hotel you can chill by a Jacuzzi. In a resort, you can swim, kayak, water cycle, ride a boat

Estimated cost: 5000 up, depending on where you go


Venue: your house

Entertainment: parlor games [“I Have Never,” Truth or Dare, etc.] food: tea and crumpets on your candlelit dining table
Estimated cost: 2000 up

2. New Age Boho [for the Unique Chick]

[i.e. Hawaiian Luau theme, everyone in sarongs and Hawaiian shirts, 18 leis instead of 18 roses, etc.]

Guest List: All the friends you can cram in a room!

Invites and décor: handmade an personalized

Your outfit: whatever fits the theme for your night.


Venue: Rent your favorite club for the night, and they’ll probably take care of the nitty gritty like the music and drinks. If you want to set it in a more exotic location, check if your favorite resto caters.

Entertainment: reinvent the 18 roses and 18 candles your way. Ask your favorite band to play.

Estimated cost: anything from 5000 [for a McDo Kiddie Party] to 80 thou [if you rent a club]


Venue: Ask your lolo if you can have your party in your ancestral home, or maybe rent the village clubhouse or someone’s roof deck.

[Be extra creative: Get your favorite sorbetero to scoop out dirty ice cream to serve with your fishballs and have a street-food party.]

Entertainment: Have your talented buddies [friends in bands!] sing and dance the night away with a program made just for you.
Estimated cost: 3000-7000, depending on your guest list.

3. Sweet and Classy


Venue: 5-star hotel ballroom. Reserve at least 6 months ahead
[they usually get booked early].

Gown: depends on the couturier

Estimated cost: Php 80,000 and above


Venue: 3-star hotel or restaurant function room

Gown: have your dressmaker execute a design you picked our from a mag.

Décor: ask a florist to give you a reasonable package

Estimated cost: 20,000 – 30,000

( Source: Seventeen Philippines, July 2001)

4 thoughts on “Guide to Splurging VS. Saving

  1. Hey, Debut Ideas! I’m celebrating my 18th birthday next year. My parents talked to me about my debut, and they’re really excited about it. I am too, I have been researching on venues and catering services for the debut, without my parents’ knowledge. I would want to check out the prices before they do. So, I could help them pay for it or something. I’ve seen breath taking venues, caterers, etc.. And, right now, I’m not quite sure if I would still want to continue. They’re really expensive. Like 80,000 just for the venue. Anyway, my parents are planning on a very traditional debut, like a Santacruzan theme. I also like the idea, but I would like it to be a bit modern. Like I also want my debut to have dancing. Sort of a prom dance for my friends and relatives to be able to enjoy the party as well. I like something a little bit more traditional and at the same time modern. Most especially, I want it to be unique! How will I go about this? Any ideas on the theme? Also, venues and their rates? I really need help! Thanks!

  2. Hi Kobi,

    It is good to plan way ahead of your birthday. There are venues that are really expensive but really breathtakingly beautiful, but there are also those venues that are beautiful and affordable. You may want to read on this article to help you in looking for the perfect venue for you. Budget is always a prime consideration so ask your parents about this so that you can narrow down your search to venues that is within your budget. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get the venue of your dreams. It should not hinder you from planning and celebrating your debut in a big way. As I’ve said, there are many fish (venues) in the sea.

    The Santacruzan theme is a nice one. Dressing up in style and becoming a princess for that one night is surely every debutante’s dream. Modernizing the Santacruzan is easy because you just have to pick a gown design that is modern or have an old style, like the Maria Clara terno and modernize it. You may want to read on our article which closely resembles the theme that you are aiming for Hope this helps and happy planning.

  3. hello there! uhm, I was just wondering about your estimated budgets stated above….. I can say that they are really cheap.. compared to my estimates… can you give me a detailed budget list? 🙂 haha I really want a glam party but still I don’t want to ask my parents to spend a lot…. so there.. thanks

  4. Hi Escie!

    Thanks for pointing that out! Actually, this article was published years ago by Seventeen Philippines in July 2001. If we can, we’ll post an updated article about spending estimates. 🙂


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