ECQ, GCQ, MECQ — with all the changing rules, how did Phoemela Baranda plan a baptism during the pandemic?
When we last hung out with TV Personality Phoem Baranda, she was still expecting and telling us her story of how each of her daughters is a blessing. But as of March 5, 2021, Phoemela proudly presents her second daughter, Illya Samantha, and what better way to celebrate her entry into the world via a baptism? Unfortunately, the pandemic can turn any baptism into a logistical nightmare which is why Phoem is sharing her secrets on how she pulled it off.
1. Secure the church
Baptisms are a religious celebration which is why we have them in a church. But ever since the pandemic, churches have had to limit their guests to prevent the spread especially it’s an enclosed structure. But not all churches have the same rules especially if it’s a well-known church. “The most important is to secure a slot in the church,” says Phoemela. “Check the church rules on how many are allowed inside the Baptism Room and if possible do a health check on the close relatives or godparents who are coming.”
2. Always have a back-up plan
Especially when the rules can change every week or so, having a backup plan or making sure your plan is flexible enough was an important step in Phoemela’s plan for Illya’s baptism. Some of these backup plans can include keeping a list of bakers who can make pretty centrepieces or a list of restaurants that sell party trays. For crazy times like these, your plans for a baptism need to adjust to the pandemic for the sake of everybody’s health and most of all — your child’s.
3. When baptism plans change, adjust immediately.
When ECQ hit, Phoemela had to shift the baptism’s reception from restaurant to home. “We cancelled the restaurant right away and just decided to send the Godparents a care package. Ordered food trays for the household and set up the living room with balloons and a beautiful cake as the centrepiece.” We don’t know when these cancellations can happen so the moment we hear them, it’s best to adjust right away to get the problem out of our hair.
And when we see our kids happy, it shows that our efforts were worth it no matter how simple they were. “That simple set-up made our little Illy so happy,” says Phoemela.
4. Keep it simple and easy
The less we have to worry about, the better! And for Phoemela, that’s exactly what she did. Sticking to a simple color palette of gold, peach, white, pink, and light green for the balloons and cake lit up the white background of their living room as if they found a nice events place. Besides, with fewer people to coordinate in the picture, Phoemela was able to focus on the one who mattered most: her daughter, Illya Samantha.
5. Have a budget for health checks
Health checks are mandatory when reserving spaces like churches, event places, and etc. But the protocols vary depending on what church you plan to go to which is why Phoem couldn’t stress enough to secure the church first. Each church has its own set of protocols especially if it’s as well known as San Antion Parish. Once the church is secured, it’ll be easier for any of us to figure out what kind of COVID-19 tests or health checks our guests of honors need and how much you’ll need to spend.
It’s all about the little one entering the Christian World
Although we have our dreams of what our first baby’s baptism will be like, we need to remember that it’s not about how well we design it. It’s about our little one entering the Christian community. When Phoemela planned Illya’s baptism, she found joy in keeping decor and the guest list to a minimum. Especially in a pandemic, God will always play a big role no matter how big or small the baptism is.
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