Having been a writer/reporter/editor and now blogger for the past, almost 20 years, I think I’ve attended almost every possible hotel and events venue in Metro Manila (and even some nearby provinces).
Regardless of how the organizers try to redesign it to make it look different for their event, each venue has their unique charm which can make an event even more memorable.
For me, the best events isn’t always because they are newest ones or because of how large-(or small) they are. A good events place has to be accessible especially if you are commuting, has ample parking space, has good food and of course nothing can ever top great service.
Last month I received an invitation to the grand launch of Casa Ibarra, the newest events venue in Metro Manila. Its located near the SM Mall of Asia, so if you are coming from the South, you don’t have to go further North even if its just Makati or BGC for a grand venue.
Since it first opened Ibarra’s Garden in Padre Faura in the early 2000s, the name Ibarra’s has been associated with the best events memories in generations of Filipinos and countless brides, debutantes and other celebrants have found an Ibarra’s location for their special occasions.
Casa Ibarra MOA Complex, Pasay City is the fifth and grandest events venue, of Ibarra’s Party Venues and Catering and the impressive Casa Ibarra stands out from other buildings in this business and commercial district for its modern Filipino design.
Here are 9 Things you should know about Casa Ibarra and why it might just be the perfect venue for your next big celebration.
1. Events experience and expertise: Ibarra’s has over 17 years of experience in the party venue and catering business. Each location is distinctive in design and architecture. Ibarra’s Garden in Manila is a classic home from the 1920’s, with a garden inspired by American Art Deco architecture. Plaza Ibarra along Timog Avenue, Quezon City is a Mediterranean-themed garden with elegant ballrooms and lighted grand staircase. Bella Ibarra in Quezon Avenue was built around a timeless and elegant theme and is suited for both small and large gatherings. Villa Ibarra in Tagaytay is a small hotel offering stunning views of Taal Lake. It has often been booked primarily for weddings. Now, Casa Ibarra offers a modern Filipino take in its design and concept. Wood, capiz, raffia fabric and T’nalak, a special handweave from Mindanao, accentuate a lot of the interiors. The venue exudes quiet sophistication and Filipino pride.
2. Casa Ibarra’s special features and amenities: Casa Ibarra’s grand ballroom, also known as Sala de Amor has a grand staircase with steps that dramatically light up one by one as the celebrant(s) walk down. Other features of the room include the gorgeous capiz chandeliers made up of approximately 20,000 pieces of capiz shells that hang from the ceiling, and the majestic lighted onyx pillars. In the lobby, the Homage to Monet by Olivia d’Aboville will greet visitors with its delicate beauty. And there is an elaborate porte-cochere which is ideal for wedding ceremonies and photo shoots.
3. Modern Filipino ambiance: Casa Ibarra commissioned the highly popular KM+ professional interior design to conceptualize the venue’s look and feel. They aimed for 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. They 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.
4. Lots of Instagram-worthy spots: A specially commissioned work, Homage to Monet by French-Filipino artist Olivia d’Aboville now welcomes visitors to Casa Ibarra. The artwork was inspired by Monet’s famous Water Lily series. Monet depicted his Giverny, Paris flower garden in over 250 paintings in the course of 30 years, with many of them now being exhibited in prestigious museums or private collections.
Homage to Monet perfectly captures what Casa Ibarra offers. This centrepiece radiates romance, blushes of color and inspires serenity. The 11 meter x 3.5 meter artwork consists of eight panels and used 365 meters of Philippine silk textile handwoven in Palawan and Akkan for over three months. The fabric was then custom-dyed using Shibori technique, one of Olivia’s signature textile techniques. This is Olivia’s largest artwork to date.
5. A room for 80 to 300 guests: Putting the grand in “grand” ballroom is Casa Ibarra’s main centerpiece, the 600-sqm. Sala de Amor on the second floor. The grand ballroom accommodates as much as 350 guests and features six majestic capiz chandeliers and lighted onyx pillars. Each chandelier is made of over 20,000 capiz shells. On one side of the room is a grand stairway where steps light up one by one as the celebrant comes down to meet guests from a landing with two facing staircases. If a bride and groom ever wanted to make an entrance ala Beauty and the Beast, this is the way to do it.
For smaller events or parties, Casa Ibarra offers two function rooms on the ground floor, the Alegria and Hermosa rooms. Each room can fit 140 persons or can be combined to become a larger room.
An even more intimate venue would be the porte-cochere’s balcony, offering lively views of the district, or of the moonrise. The area can fit as much as 80 guests for a small wedding set-up or for open air cocktails. It is also often used for photo shoots.
6. Great Food and more cuisine choices: No party would be complete without glorious food and Ibarra’s has become known for offering a wide Filipino and international selection. Casa Ibarra carries Western, Mediterranean, Oriental, Spanish, and Filipino menu choices. Some of their specialties and signature dishes are Ibarra’s hickory pork spare ribs, braised beef shank and seafood paella. Ibarra’s also provides off-site catering services for parties and corporate events. I personally love the Lechon Cebu and the paella!
7. Package starts at P133,000 all in! A typical Ibarra’s package starts at about P133,000 all-in. This already includes numerous amenities but all still customizable to the client’s preferences. The company believes in giving great value for money for a hassle-free and enjoyable client event. Ibarra’s banquet sales associates are also knowledgeable about many fine details like a church schedule or the duration of a ceremony. They assist a client from the preparation stage all the way to the end of an event. Now who wouldn’t want that kind of service?
8. More than just catering and events venue: Aside from banquet service included in their packages, which vary depending on client’s preference, amenities are included in every event that we do. Our banquet sales associates are also there to help our clients with their event preparations which concern the venue and catering. On the day, they can also help our clients with basic coordination for food and beverage, from start to end. As compared to other venues, Ibarra’s are already dressed up, which the clients prefer so that they only have to do minimal venue styling. Unlike in hotels where events could be a bit stiff, Ibarra’s are more intimate and personal.
So the next time you’re planning a baptism, a kiddie birthday, debut, wedding, product launch, graduation or the company’s next big office party, consider Casa Ibarra as your new partner in memory- and merrymaking.