Stay-at-home mom spends less than PHP1K for her kids' birthday parties

by Romy Peña Cruz
Apr 23, 2021
Stay-at-home mom Aleli Villanueva works with what she has to ensure her kids’ DIY-themed parties are a memorable hit even if they are in the province. Right photo: Her five-year-old daughter Ayla.
PHOTO/S: courtesy of Aleli Villanueva

Stay-at-home mom Aleli Villanueva proves that it's possible to make your kids' birthday celebrations memorable without spending a lot of money.

She tells PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an interview via Facebook Messenger that she started making do-it-yourself (DIY) birthday parties for her kids in 2016, when her husband's work took them to the province.

She explains, “Kadalasan sa mga barrio kami na-a-assign. Walang malls, restaurants, kahit fast food chains. Malayo na kami sa city kaya need umisip at gumawa ng something special para maging special ang araw ng kids.

“Gusto ko sila mabigyan ng beautiful memories at happy childhood kahit paano, nang hindi gumagastos ng malaki. So nag-DIY ako.”

Armed with creativity, love for crafts, and thrifting, Aleli starts preparing for each party months in advance.

The stay-at-home mom who is currently based in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya with her family explains, “Pinapanood ko paulit-ulit iyong movie. Example, Disney movies. Inaaral ko ang theme na gagawin (story, characters at color theme at font) ‘tapos iisip ng food na puwede, iyong nakikita sa animation."

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She is meticulous when it comes to the details as she says, “Paying attention sa details para talagang themed. Tumitingin din ako ideas sa internet 'tapos nilalagyan ko ng sariling touches."

Frozen themed kids birthday party

Aleli also reveals that planning these DIY birthday parties for her kids have become a hobby, giving her a much-needed break from juggling her duties as wife and mother.

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“Naging libangan ko na iyong pagte-theme party at pagde-dessert buffet, pang break sa routinary kong buhay bilang housewife,” she says with a laugh-cry emoji.

“Narerelax ako kapag nagka-crafts at gumugupit-gupit. Hanggang naging tradition na—laging nilo-look forward ng mga bata,” she notes with a smiley with hearts emoji.

Minion themed kids birthday party

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Aleli takes inspiration from her kids' favorite animated movies and TV shows.

Her five-year-old daughter Ayla's parties have been inspired by Brave, Moana, Frozen, and Princess Sofia.

Moana themed kids birthday party

Meanwhile, some of the parties for her 14-year-old son Jayvee were inspired by Captain America, Big Hero 6, Minions, and Cars.

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Captain America party

Captain America themed kids birthday party

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Big Hero 6 themed kids birthday party

Even when it's Aleli's (or her husband's) birthday, the thoughtful mommy does not forget to make it fun and memorable for the kids, especially for Ayla. She holds a photo shoot, prepares a costume for her, and changes the name on the backdrop from hers to Ayla’s.

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SINGGANDA PERO DI SINGMAHAL

How much does Aleli spend on food and decor?

She reveals, “Sa decors, I allot hanggang 50-100 pesos. Sa balloons, may tig-five pesos akong nabibili. Sa food naman, I allot mga 350-500 pesos sa cake, and sa snacks or desserts ay 50-200.”

For her kids' outfits and costumes, Aleli turns to ukay-ukay stores.

“Dalaga pa ko, mahilig na ako mag thrifting,” she reveals. “Nung na-assign na sa province, hindi ko akalain mas maganda ang ukay dito. Mas napasaya ko ng pag-uukay nung nakakita ako ng costumes na pang-kids.”

Aleli tells PEP.ph about her awesome ukay finds: “Eighty pesos ang pinakamahal na nabili. May 25, 35. At ang pinakamura? Ten pesos!

“Panay bago at legit na Disney costumes, kasi may etiketa. Kahit malaki pa noon sa anak ko, binibili ko na kasi magagamit at magagamit din naman, at baka makuha pa ng iba!”

Aleli says her ukay finds make her even more excited to plan her children’s themed parties. “Kasi sayang ang naukay na costumes,” she says with a laugh-cry emoji.

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“Mga t-shirts naman ng son ko, at iyong ilan sa naging costumes ng daughter ko, mga regalo sa kanila. Naka-base sa kung anong meron at kung anong kasya na costume ang magiging theme nila for the year.”

USING WHAT YOU HAVE

Since their celebrations are limited to only Aleli, her husband, and their two kids, Aleli doesn't spend much on food and decor for her dessert buffet. She also makes sure to find ways to repurpose items she has at home before buying materials for the party.

She says, “May nagawa ako na worth 50 pesos lang nagastos ko sa decors kasi ang ginamit kong backdrop at table cloth ay curtains ko na nasa bahay na. Minsan bed sheets din.

“Mga colored paper na tigpi-piso, colored glittery tapes na tigpa-five pesos, old or used folders. Kung walang kulay iyong folder para umakma sa theme, pini-paint ko using acrylic paints na gamit din ng kids sa school.”

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Her tip: “I work with what I have. Kahit papel, gift wraps from presents, box o karton na may kulay, tali ng cake at regalo, invitations sa wedding at debut, kahit wrapper ng Ferrero chocolates. Itinatabi ko kasi nagagamit at nagagamit sa food labels at bilang decors.”

Cars themed kids birthday party

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This is especially important in this time of quarantine.

She underscores, “Always work with what you have or kung ano lang ang available, lalo ngayon pandemic, bawal lumabas.”

What's her secret technique to making her food and decor look cohesive?

She reveals, “Color coordination: terno-terno ang kulay based sa theme. Dun lang naglalaro sa color scheme. Hindi baleng hindi eksakto basta under ng color theme iyong shade na gagamitin, puwede na.”

Aleli is also a fan of reusing, reducing, and recycling waste. “Hindi ko itinatapon ang decors after, itinatabi ko kasi magagamit, at nagamit ko na nga para sa iba pang theme.

“Na-try ko na din gumawa ng no-bake cake (Hindi pa ko marunong magbake kasi) nung walang mabilhan nung nagsisimula ang pandemic.”

To avoid getting overwhelmed by what needs to be done, Aleli prepares for her kids’ parties bit by bit.

She explains, “Unti-unti ginagawa pag may time. Mas maganda naka-plan na siya ahead of time. Magkaka-time ka pa para makapag-ipon ng materials from simple things.”

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The Princess and the Frog themed kids birthday party

DIY PARTIES FEED THE IMAGINATION

Aside from making beautiful creations, Aleli lists other advantages her DIY parties have had on her kids.

She tells PEP.ph, “Ilan sa mga naging benefit ng pagdi-DIY theme party, nae-engganyo mga kids ko na magbasa. Kasi may arte at color ang words at mas napapalawak vocabulary nila.”

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She adds, “Napapalawak din ang imagination nila kasi out of simple foods, puwede palang maging ibang bagay pa depende sa presentation."

DIY kids birthday parties

Aleli says her DIY parties have been worth all the efforts.

“At the end of the day what matters most is iyong happiness ng kids. Iyong makita mo iyong excitement nila dahil alam nilang para sa kanila iyong ginagawa mo, at iyong makita mo iyong mga ngiti nila pagkatapos. Priceless iyon! May bonus pang hugs and kisses.

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"Hindi man nila masabi, alam at kita mong naappreciate nila iyong efforts mo para sa kanila. Made with love, e.”

There's no need for a big budget. Creativity and effort can create priceless memories.

“It doesn't matter sa mga mata ng kids kahit dalawang pirasong balloons lang iyan o cupcakes lang at snacks lang na nabibili sa tindahan ang handa nila. Samahan lang ng creativity at pagiging resourceful, sapat na.

“Iyong maiparamdam na special sila sa mahalagang araw nila… Ang importante naiparamdam natin sa kanila na special sila sa important na araw nila.

“Bukod sa happiness nila, iyong memories ng mga bata na nabubuo, iyon ang mahalaga. Ang mabigyan sila ng masayang childhood.

“Katunayang hindi kailangan maging expensive ang isang bagay para makapagpasaya. Nakakapagpasaya ka nang hindi nabubutas ang bulsa.”

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Stay-at-home mom Aleli Villanueva works with what she has to ensure her kids’ DIY-themed parties are a memorable hit even if they are in the province. Right photo: Her five-year-old daughter Ayla.
PHOTO/S: courtesy of Aleli Villanueva
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