PARKS&RECREATION

Where memories begin

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Every person wants to have a memorable event—whether it’s a wedding, a debut or simply a party. While there are a hundred and one things to consider when planning this kind of events, one of the first and probably the biggest decisions one has to make is finding a venue.

Choosing a venue is more than just “feeling the right one.” More than just liking a space or not, there are many things to consider. After all, the choice of venue is a precursor to a lot of things—the budget, the suppliers you need, the decorations and motifs, and even the attire.

With the infinite number of venue options in the metro, people planning for events need to take time before selecting the space. Finding a venue that fits your budget, that you like, is convenient to your guests and isn’t already booked might be a daunting task, but not impossible.

Ibarra’s Party Venues & Catering knows this well. Since it was established 17 years ago, Ibarra’s has been providing quality services and whatever party needs to people who want an unforgettable event. This year, it has expanded its business with the opening of its grandest and largest events venue, the Casa Ibarra.


Situated at the MOA Complex in Pasay City, Casa Ibarra embraces modern Filipino architecture style, with interior design elements that speak of Filipino identity. The venue is reminiscent of a four-story Filipino house, with a touch of Spanish influence. The facade has a porte-cochere, where guests can be dropped off safe from the elements, and a balcony, which can host intimate gatherings for approximately 80 guests.

The interior pays homage to Filipino heritage. The walls and doors are all accentuated with capiz, raffia fabric and T’nalak (a traditional Mindanao textile).

“We wanted the interiors of Casa Ibarra to exude a modern Filipino home by using clean lines and local materials. Wood and raffia weave are used in abundance to create warmth while balancing it with light-colored walls for a bright interior. The distinctly Filipino material capiz is used all throughout the venue. Capiz is beautiful and classic. It can transcend generations. We also showcased the beautiful T’nalak weave, which is a traditional handwoven cloth found in Mindanao. Casa Ibarra is a showcase of Filipino talent and culture in a modern setting,” shared Ibarra’s executive vice-president Jeanette Lim Macasieb.

Homage to romance

A mural by Filipino-French artist Olivia d’Aboville, titled “Homage to Monet,” welcomes the guests. Inspired by Monet’s famous Water Lily series, “Homage to Monet” exudes the depth of romance, with blushes of color, and inspires serenity.

The commissioned artwork consists of eight panels made of Philippine silk textile hand woven in Palawan and Aklan for over three months. The fabrics were then custom-dyed using the Shibori technique, one of Olivia’s signature textile techniques.

Located on the first floor are two function rooms—the Alegria and Hermosa. Each can accommodate as much as 140 guests, depending on the table set-up. For larger party, the two function rooms can be combined and can accommodate about 280 guests.

Meanwhile, the Sala de Amor, the casa’s Grand Ballroom located on the second floor, can accommodate up to 350 persons. It has a grand staircase with steps that dramatically light up as the debutante, the bride and groom, the birthday celebrant or the special guest makes their entrance. Other features of the room include the gorgeous capiz chandeliers, made up of approximately 20,000 pieces of capiz shells, and the majestic lighted onyx pillars.

Jeanette shared that it took one and a half years to complete the Grand Ballroom, with approximately 200 workers making sure that every detail was in place.

Casa Ibarra is the fifth property managed by Ibarra’s. Ibarra’s Garden, located in Padre Faura Street in Manila, was their first property to offer complete wedding packages, and became the forerunner in the event management industry.

“Back in the early 2000s, we felt the demand for venue and catering services. During that time, there was really no one catering to the complete needs of the bride-to-be. Event coordinators were not yet popular. The bride had to handle everything – from the venue, food and other aspects of the wedding herself. To alleviate this problem, we started offering wedding packages that included everything, a “one- stop shop” full service wedding party package. From there, we expanded and started to offer other packages for birthdays, debuts, baptismal, and other occasions,” says Macasieb.

With increasing demand, Ibarra’s expanded its operations and established Plaza Ibarra in Timog Avenue in Quezon City, followed by Bella Ibarra in Quezon Avenue in 2010, and Villa Ibarra in Tagaytay in 2011.
Each property has its own unique features. Garden Ibarra is a classic antique house built in the 1920’s, with a quaint garden inspired by American Art Deco architecture. Plaza Ibarra has a Mediterranean-themed garden set-up, combined with elegantly styled ballrooms. Villa Ibarra is the hotel on the ridge of Tagaytay, with a picture-perfect view of Taal Lake. Bella Ibarra is a classic venue, with charming function rooms.

“While there is no particular design theme that binds all our venues (except perhaps that they are named after Crisostomo Ibarra, the main protagonist in Jose Rizal’s famous novel Noli Me Tangere), we put a lot of thought on the location of the properties. We want our clients and their guests to experience a hassle-free celebration, so transportation and accessibility played a big part in choosing the location. Ibarra’s venues were selected based on strategic locations along main streets and avenues for better accessibility. We also make sure there is ample parking space. We have 11 parking slots in front of Casa Ibarra, allotted for the couple and their families. Other guests may use the parking area beside Casa Ibarra, for a minimal fee,” Macasieb shares.
As numerous venues and catering suppliers continue to saturate the market, Ibarra’s has been exerting tremendous effort to keep on innovating and creating packages that suit the needs of their clients.

“We want to be a one-stop shop, offering event packages where clients see and experience true value for their money. Wedding packages, for example, can go for as low as P133,000, inclusive of venue, food and beverage, sound system, venue styling and other amenities. It really depends on the client’s food preference, the size of their event, and the inclusions that they want. We offer reasonable packages because we believe that every client should be able to get the maximum value from their money,” says Grizelle Lim, operations manager of Ibarra’s.

Aside from its sophisticated setting, Casa Ibarra has its own catering services. Ibarra’s catering menu offers selections of Western, Mediterranean, Oriental, Spanish, and Filipino cuisine, depending on food preferences, budget, nationality or religious background. But Ibarra’s is known for their braised beef shank, seafood paella and Hickory pork spare ribs, so don’t miss out on those dishes.

“Competition is tight in the MOA

Complex. There are a lot of good venues but Casa Ibarra holds several advantages. We have a 17-year track record in mounting memorable events and multiple generations of clients that attest to our service. We know our clients and they appreciate getting great value for their money. But we have to continuously improve to stay on top. We have made tremendous effort in innovating the menu and packages that we offer, including the themes and decorations. Most of our clients are repeat customers who have celebrated with us from one generation to the next. We want to ensure that we deliver the same quality service to them, to maintain our credibility and reputation,” Macasieb concludes.

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