The Joy of Hosting

The Joy of Hosting

Feb 01, 2023

Last weekend my husband, Marvin, and I hosted a small party in our home. When our guests asked what the occasion was, this was my answer, “It’s a simple thanksgiving, and fulfills a 2023 and beyond resolve to have meaningful conversations by hosting small gatherings as we enter our “Third Act,” the definition of which, according to Jane Fonda, can be found here – Life’s Third Act.

Our family has always been fond of celebrations – birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, Christmas, and many more. My sons’ birthdays were always marked with parties with their friends, complete with themes and activities such as sports fest, Pokémon, t-shirt making, Ragnarok mini tournament, art exhibit, Spiderman, Matrix, etc. Our annual Christmas parties on both the Fres and Fausto sides are always with a theme as well. Some of my favorites are Chinese, Winterland while in a hot place, Korean, Greek, Barbie & Ken, Coachella, Hollywood. Oh, and if you have been reading my articles, you know that I’m a serial bride, having said “I do!” not once or twice or thrice, but an unbelievable six times!

During the early years of our marriage when the budget was still tight, I learned to master the art of throwing parties the high FQ way, meaning “Ilocano-frugal” style but definitely fun. All concepts, invitations, giveaways, activity materials, etc. were prepared by yours truly, usually with the help of the boys. If the number of guests was big (my sons are all very sociable and had long guest lists), I found the preparation and serving of food too taxing because I am not a good cook. I was lucky to have found a budget-friendly caterer. I always got the minimum package then added more dishes prepared from our kitchen. This way, we had the benefit of having waiters, tables and chairs, and other catering amenities.

Once the boys graduated from college, their financial umbilical cords were cut, and so they had to fund their own parties. It’s always interesting to see how they would throw their sariling sikap parties, minimizing on cost and maximizing on fun.

The joy of connection

The biggest benefit of hosting a party is the gift of connection you give your guests and yourself. These days when we normally communicate through online channels, face-to-face encounters have become so precious and rare.

I love conversations. I always learn a lot from sitting down and talking to someone. It’s also great to introduce your friends to one another. Don’t be afraid to mix friends from different groups in your guest list. You are widening your friends ‘networks by doing this. Who knows, you may be making way for great partnerships and investments? In the same way, do not hesitate to attend parties even if you don’t know the people in the guest list. This will force you to talk to people you will meet at the party and possibly make new friends and connections.

The joy of preparation

To those who want to host parties but don’t want the hassle of preparing for one, bear this in mind: The party preparation is already part of the event, so try to enjoy it.

Just like a trip, the journey should not only start when you get to your destination; otherwise, you will not maximize your utility (the total benefit and satisfaction derived from consuming goods and services) of your trip. Start counting your enjoyment once you start planning. Accept the fact that sometimes the enjoyment you derive from imagining your trip (or your party) may actually end up greater than what you will get from the actual experience, and that is fine. Once you embrace this, you can consciously include this pre-party/pre-trip joy in your “utility meter.” If you don’t do this, you will always feel shortchanged in your preparations, or at best break-even.

The joy of a clean home

Because we want our guests to arrive in a clean and beautiful home, we are motivated to really clean our house. I have always welcomed the pre-party cleaning efforts as a way to bring back our house to its best shape, but I’ll be honest, it doesn’t always come with joy to clean our house, but more with, “Bakit ang dumi-dumi na dito? Di ba bilin ko lilinisin ito every…?” Nonetheless, parties serve as our regular check-up to determine what’s happening in our homes.

The joy of learning

Aside from learning what needs to be cleaned/repaired in your house, we will also learn some new skills that we may need or want to learn for the party. During our last party, I learned a bit on floral arrangement. My floral arrangement skills are limited to putting in vases the flowers I receive from the four men in my life regularly – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and sometimes even birthday and other occasions.

Last weekend, I ventured into floral arrangement for our dining table and another table in our terraza. It was not easy, especially because I made use of thorny roses and I didn’t have the proper tools. Nonetheless, I mindfully enjoyed it and took mental notes on what to do next time to cut on preparation time. I was lucky that my laundry lady is such a creative soul and a joy to work with. One of Marvin’s pet peeves is sitting at a dining table with tall floral arrangements making it difficult to converse with each other, so I made sure we only had low floral arrangements at the dining table. The tall arrangement was used at the terraza. Here’s what we came up with.

I’ve also learned that for some items, I am better off ordering than making them myself. Find good suppliers and have a relationship with them. They will be a big help in reducing stress in your parties. Of course, adding your home-prepared dishes is always better to add some personal touch. For last weekend, we added our helper’s pumpkin soup together with Marvin’s freshly home-baked bread, our driver’s steamed pampano (the recipe of which is being requested by a guest), and Marvin’s ice cream to the dishes ordered.

Home-prepared dishes of pumpkin soup, steamed pompano, Marvin’s bread and ice cream were added to the dishes I ordered from Brewing Point. Charcuterie from Charcuterie Box Manila. Personalized gifts and nameplates from Colarati Personalized Gifts.

The joy of learning was also experienced by our staff. I only have one full-time stay-in helper and a driver plus two who come once a week to do our laundry and other chores, but they were all present during last week’s party. I gave them a short crash course on how to serve water, etc. at the dining table. A tip on making sure your helpers will cheerfully serve is to make them eat something heavy ahead of time. Instead of just saying, “Kumain na kayo bago dumating ang bisita” I ordered Jollibee meals (something they like as a treat). This helped them serve better as they were serving on full stomachs.

A few days after the party, I notice our helper applying her new skills even during our simple meals at home. So, it’s safe to say that hosting parties elevates the skills of our helpers and the overall standard of our home living.

The joy of reminiscing

Back in 2007, my friend Regina gifted me with a scrap book with a cover saying, “Fausto Home.” I used it as my guestbook. I asked our guests to sign on it towards the end of a party. A few days after, I would print some photos taken from the party and paste them on the scrapbook. Unfortunately, when I finished the pages of that scrap book and failed to buy new ones, this tradition was discontinued. It also didn’t help that with the advent of digital cameras, I have stopped printing our photos.

Recently, Marvin gifted me with a Canon Selphy printer. I just took one of my blank scrapbooks (no more Fausto Home cover) and resumed the tradition. I can now print photos straight from my phone and paste them on the guest book during the party. It amazes our guests when I ask them to sign and they see their photos already there.

This gives me the joy of reminiscing the events we’ve hosted. This is another way to add to my “party utility meter” as I can choose to go back to the scrapbook again and again.

Last Weekend’s Party

We were honored to have such wonderful guests last weekend. When I saw them comfortable, enjoying the conversations, laughing, complimenting the meal, and my husband smiling back at me, my heart was full. Let me share with you some shots taken during the party.

With our guests former BSP Governor Say Tetangco, former ADMU president Fr. Jett Villarin, S.J., former SunLife CEO Riza Mantaring, COL Chairman Edward Lee, COL President Dino Bate, COL Chief Equity Strategist April Tan, former CEO of ALLHC Rowena Tomeldan, and of course my wonderful sons Martin, Enrique, Anton, and my new daughter-in-law Sam.

I hope you got insights and tips from the above on how you can maximize your “party utility” so you can reap the benefits and joy of hosting parties.


1. Start by checking where you are in your High FQ Journey. Take the FQ Test now. Share the link with your loved ones.

2. To have in-depth understanding of FQ and improve your life in general, grab your copy of the FQ Books.

This article is also published in Philstar.