Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday, March 01, 2015
Fernbrook Gardens
Newly-weds Ed and Jayla Lozada experiencing the Filipino tradition of money dance



A special occasion bonds souls. It calls people from different walks of life, at least according to the guest list, to come together and share in rare moments of conversations, glances, feasting over delicious food, and drinks. Metro Manila may seem just a speck of dust in the global map, but every week there's always an elaborate wedding, birthday, reunion or product launch being planned and orchestrated all for the sake of memories. With a total number of 16 cities in progressive National Capital Region (NCR), where can one hold a decent event that's enough to be remarkable? did the rounds of attending events recently and for the past years to come up with three highly commendable special event venues to hold your next big one:

Newly-wed Abigail Combalicer Swadling at Fernbrook Gardens

1. Fernbrook Gardens in Las Piñas City

I've been to Fernbrook Gardens twice so far as I've attended a couple of wedding events at the venue for the past decade. The first one was for a fellow University of Santo Tomas graduate's union with another Filipina. The next one -- for Abigail Combalicer, my Filipina cousin's union with James Swadling, a British national -- did not change how I found the place to be ethereal. The interior and exterior designs of the establishment where the church and formal dinner are usually held still looked ornate the first time I saw it more than a decade ago. Everything looked grand like the promise of forever of a groom to his bride.

Fernbrook Gardens' strongest charm is its garden feel which creator Al de Veyra first mastered in another venue that he created elsewhere. The high-ceiling of the Baroque-inspired chapel and the wedding reception areas consistently exude exuberance with elaborate drapery and stunning lighting. The Grand Conservatory alone is breathtaking. The combination of Byzantine and Victorian art is palpable in every nook and cranny. It's the area where guests arrive and are ushered all the way to the church and to the respective dining halls.

Parking is not a problem as the lot right next to the venue is a sprawling space for such a purpose. Getting there, though, will entail traversing the South Super Highway or the Alabang-Zapote Road or the SM Molino Road. All of which head to Daang Hari Road that leads to the venue after a few kilometers.

Marina Pelaez, the birthday celebrator; events display done by Jhoie Balais
Marina Pelaez flanked by her children
With Chef-Restaurateur Nick Pelaez and Adrian Pempena at Le Parc
Partying with Adrian Pempena at Le Parc

2. Le Pavillion & Le Parc in Pasay City

When chef and restaurateur Nick Pelaez of St. Nicholas Restaurant planned with his other grown-up siblings the 70th birthday of their mother, Marina Pelaez, the venue had to be somewhere close to where every loved one was currently residing or holed up at in the bustling center of Metro Manila. Thankfully, Pasay City has the Le Pavillion & Le Parc which caters to more than a thousand guests (Le Pavillion can accommodate up to 1000 guests while Le Parc can fit up to 300 guests) with a great parking space.

Aside from the gathering of all her still living offspring, the highlight of the beloved celebrator's event was probably the clever and fond gift of a bouquet of flowers from her long-departed husband that the latter's financial security savings made possible. As expected during the special event, there was classical music being played to the delight of well-wishers, young and old alike, with a stunning serenade by balladeer and model named Laurence Mossman. By the entrance of the event, a giant lettering of the celebrator's name accentuated area.

Ourdoor venue of Light of Love
Newly-weds Jayla and Ed Lozada (left); the indoor venue of Light of Love (right)
Pineapple-glazed Ham; food catering by Juan Carlo
The couple's entrance at the wedding reception of Light of Love

3. Light of Love Events Place in Quezon City

The secluded garden estate is a wonderful surprise in the middle of Quezon City. I found this to be true when I recently attended the wedding reception of the young newly-wed couple, Ed and Jayla Lozada. The wedding ceremony was held a ride away at Mount Carmel Parish in the same city but I did not expect the same area to be hiding a garden of a getaway such as the Light of Love Events Place.

The events place has indoor and outdoor function areas. Parking, with its two-hectare property, is not a problem at all. The whole place was serene within its premises as it's well manicured and has lush vegetation that's accentuated by an exotic lagoon and a giant oriental statue.

Ongoing outside was another wedding ceremony-cum-dinner while inside, at the center of the main venue, my lovely niece, Jayla, was being showered with love from all directions by well-wishing relatives and friends, and most of all her new husband, Ed.

Light of Love indoor venue
Food catering was elegantly done and prepared by Juan Carlo.

One of the most memorable moments at the event was the interesting toast or message of the bridesmaid to the couple that stated something about other things falling apart so that the newly-weds could fulfill the destiny that they have as a couple.

Metro Manila is a pulsating spot in Luzon that doesn't seem to rest. Not even when planning events. There's always something happening all the time and the event location is key to a successful special occasion.

When's your next big event? Where do you plan to hold it?

Fernbrook Gardens

Official website of Fernbrook Gardens

Address: Portofino South, Vista City, Brgy. Almanza 2, Las Piñas City, Philippines
Phone: (02) 710-8545 or (02) 710 8608 or 0917-564-3159 or 0917-870-3838

Le Pavillion & Le Parc

Address: EDSA cor. Roxas Boulevard, Metropolitan Park, Bay Area CBD, Travel City of Pasay
Phone: (02) 898-8965 or (02) 856-4148

Customized Events Display Contact: Jhoie Balais
Phone: 0927-644-2540

Light of Love Events Place

Official website of Light of Love Events Place

Address: 1163 Santol St, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone: (632) 714-7989 / (632) 714-3871

Food Catering Contact: Juan Carlo

Contact Person: Rachael Gonzales
Phone: (02) 416-5134 or 0925-828-3114

Food catering by Juan Carlo
Light of Love
Abigail Combalicer Swadling at Fernbrook Gardens
Light of Love


  1. The majestic garden features a koi pond, a mini waterfall flowing to the lagoon, which extends up to the driveway leading to the property’s second gate, and a grand Buddist statue made of solid granite all enclosed in a sea of green grass and rare plumerias.

    Come to The Light of Love Events Place and experience its grandiose as you celebrate your life’s momentous event.


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