In a few more weeks, it’s the “ber” months and (as we all know) the start of Christmas season for us Filipinos once again! Aside from the Christmas rush, the smell of bibingka and puto bumbong in the air, and Jose Mari Chan serenading us to death with his Christmas songs in malls, it’s that time of the year again to plan a family reunion.

Family is one of the (if not the) most important aspects of our lives. But for us Pinoys, when it comes to family, it doesn’t mean just the core members (the father, the mother, the kid/s) of a family, but the really extended one: your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, your cousins, nieces, nephews, the brothers and sisters of your grandparents, your parents’ cousins. Heck, even your dad’s kumpares and your mom’s kababatas are considered family!

So yeah, with how huge our family structure is, planning a family reunion is always going to be tricky. If you’re the designated “planner” of the reunion this year, for sure you’re going to need a family reunion planning checklist as not to forget anything when the day of the reunion comes. Here are some tips to make this huge event one of the most memorable ever.

Early Bird

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You should start planning as early as now. This will give you all the time you need to set up everything you need and to get all event aspects (from the food to the family reunion activities) well organized. Also, planning this early will give you a head-start in reserving the best venue. And lastly, planning early allows you and your family to get ready (from saving money for the trip if they’re coming from the province or abroad to filing a vacation leave from their jobs) for the event.

Help Wanted

man smiling with girl

The “no man is an island” saying definitely holds true with planning a huge event like a Filipino family reunion. So yes, you will definitely need all the help you can get. The good thing about Pinoy extended families is we are usually close-knit and surely family members (especially those who are in the same age group as yours) will be more than willing to help you with the planning. Here’s a great tip: why don’t you ask the one who previously organized the reunion to give you a “how to plan a family reunion step-by-step”? This will give you a lot of ideas on how you can initially set it up. You can also delegate tasks to volunteers. An uncle who owns a restaurant, for instance, would be the perfect one to handle the food and drinks. Or maybe you have a cousin who’s constantly in contact with relatives living in the provinces and/or abroad, you can ask him or her to help you send out the invites and get the confirmations.

Financing and Budgeting

Before you can even roll out anything with the plan, you’re going to need funds. With this, it all boils down to how many donations you’ll be able to collect from willing sponsors. You can either ask donations from rich relatives (in money or in kind) and/or you can plan a fundraising activity to cover some of the expenses at the reunion. Once you have enough funds, one of the most important aspects in planning an annual get-together is budgeting how much you have collected according to your means. It’s best to get help from relatives who have the know-how in finding and getting the best deals for all the things you would need. Lastly, if you plan to set up an out-of-town reunion in Boracay, for example, you can do a bit of research online to know which places in Boracay offer the best deals. Better yet, get Alta Vista de Boracay’s contact number here and get all the details you need.

Activities for Everyone

Make sure the activities you planned are inclusive for everyone — from the lolos and lolas to the apos.. It’s best that you do a bit of background check of the attendees to know their hobbies and inclinations and find a venue that would provide amenities they might need. Alta Vista de Boracay, for instance, has all the things one would need to entertain a wide range of age group. Kids would surely love the playroom and the swimming pool while the teens and the young adults would love to go on an adventure riding ATVs around the beautiful island or maybe hire a boat and spend a fun afternoon at Boracay’s famous Puka Beach. Your titos and titas can have a drink at the bar or maybe enjoy a night of drinking and singing at the hotel’s karaoke room. As for the seniors, you can set up a relaxing afternoon for them as they get a full body massage by the beach while they chat about the good ol’ days.

Location, Location, Location

As mentioned above, finding a venue that not only offers great deals, but can also provide all the facilities for a perfect family reunion is key to your success as this year’s organizer. But aside from that, one should also consider if a location is easily accessible by most (if not all) of your family members. Boracay, for instance, is a perfect location as anyone can easily get to the island wherever you are in the country via quick plane ride to the newly built Caticlan Airport; and from there, a ten to fifteen-minute boat ride to the beautiful island.

The Kick Off

To make the event more exciting for each and every one of the attendees, start the reunion with a bang by setting up a welcoming booth, complete with welcome banners and with volunteers who would greet participants and hand out giveaways as they enter the venue. This also allows you to ask for each relative and family members who came to sign at the registration and fill out a family tree.

Backup Plan

As with all planning, you should always have a backup plan for each and every activity you have set up, especially if some of the activities planned are outdoors in case the weather turned sour. Also, it’s best that the venue you have picked can accommodate emergency requests should the original plan didn’t go well.

Creating Memories

For such a huge family event, it’s best to document everything for future reminiscing. And what better way to do that than to capture precious moments in videos and stills. For this, you can either hire a professional photographer and videographer, or, to cut down costs, you can ask for volunteers to take pictures and/or videos in their cameras or phones. Just gather all the pics after and edit them yourself. Not only will you save money, you’ll also get to add your personal touch on the pics and videos. Once you’re done compiling and editing, you can send copies to the participants via email or upload them on your Facebook and tag away!

Planning a fun, hitch-free, and memorable reunion with the entire clan is definitely challenging, but with these tips, it’s not impossible. Get the most out of this year’s family get-together by doing it in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Boracay. Call Alta Vista de Boracay now and learn more about what the island paradise has to offer.