It could have been a simple civil wedding for my brother and his fiancée. However, given both parties’ will to make this day extra special, a little dash of collective specialties within the family and an established budget hotel for a venue made a big difference.
After months of planning and deciding on a date in May and on a small limit in the number of invitees (given this would be an intimate wedding), the couple agreed to book a decent event space in Hotel Del Rio.
Hotel Del Rio is one of the loyal boutique hotels in the heart of Iloilo. Established since 1965, this local brand has not only witnessed but also survived a number o f discerning generations, servicing guests with unique Ilonggo hospitality.
It was a pleasant coincidence that the hotel is celebrating its 50th anniversary of hospitality service this year, making the couple’s special year all the more exceptional. The ceremony included the traditional exercises such as bridal march, first dance and a master of ceremonies, which may not be present in a normal civil wedding.
With the attendees limited to direct family members and close friends, the room was spacious enough, at the same time, provided intimacy for them to mingle and socialize in between the program.
Being a budget hotel though, there was one thing that the Del Rio staff lacked: anticipation. They failed to anticipate a few of our needs, including a technician to dedicate himself to occasional servicing of microphones when needed by either the judge or the emcee. On the other hand, taking the extra mile would not hurt, rather, would have minimized technical interruptions.
Overall, the event was a success, and we partly owed it to the hotel’s team, guiding the couple from the day they stepped into the hotel to enquire up to its scheduled conclusion.
True, budget hotels such as Del Rio may not measure up to the standards of a five-star hotel; but they cannot be underestimated either, especially when they have been established over the decades – having defined the genuine Ilonggo hospitality, which the forthcoming international brands should take note to emulate and infuse into their cultures.
The Iloilo versions of Richmonde and JW Marriott brands will soon rise and are expected to redefine the conventional hospitality in the town, however, the patrons of Del Rio and its rivals will likely remain loyal for a couple of reasons: first, practical budgeting; second – and more importantly – the time-honored Ilonggo tradition.