Events girl Cathy Cabahug finds joy in the happiness of others
By Fiona Patricia S. Escandor
FOR the last 13 years, Cathy Cabahug basked in the limelight of the local showbiz scene. Today, this natural charmer will be spending more time behind-the-scenes as she builds a new career that she’s just as passionate about: staging events.
In September of last year, Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort & Spa welcomed Cathy as the newest member of its socials team as events manager, handling mainly weddings.
“This is my dream job,” she said. “Even when I was young, I have always loved attending weddings, I always wanted to be part of the entourage, and so (when I got the job) I was excited. I know it wouldn’t be hard for me because I was already exposed to it.”
Prior to joining the resort property, Cathy managed a bakeshop enterprise Bakers Queen that ran for more than five years.
“I thought I was built to be an entrepreneur. My parents molded me to be one, and even back in high school, I used to sell bags and accessories to my classmates,” she said. “I guess I was really a neophyte in business, and that I pushed for it to happen until it became something that didn’t make me happy anymore.”
Without delving into details, she said, “It was a humbling experience. I also learned that if something is for you, then it will fall into place. It will run smoothly from the start.”
This holds true for her new career, where despite the long hours, she’s enjoying every minute of it – from making sure the venue setup is in tiptop shape down to the little details like placing the flower stands where it should be. All this she does to make the event memorable for her clients.
“Seeing a happy bride really touches me,” she said.
On making a difference
Coming from a prominent family that is associated with government service, Cathy briefly stood as chief of staff for her mom, an incumbent city councilor.
“I used to do legwork for my mom, like visit urban poor developments,” she said. “And that exposure taught me that one doesn’t have to be a public servant or celebrity to help out and make a difference.”
With her parents and two of her brothers currently in office, Cathy said she has no plans of following suit, preferring to do personal projects on the side. Her benefactors are mainly the Asilo de la Milagrosa orphanage, the Vocational Rehabilitation Center in Labangon, and pupils of the Cesar M. Cabahug Elementary School (named after her grandfather).
“I spend my birthdays in the orphanage or in the shelter, and together with my uncle who’s a dentist, we have dental health lectures for the pupils of the school,” she said. “We can serve in our own ways.”
Cathy is also an active member of Elim Communities.
On planning ahead
To all couples planning to get hitched, Cathy advised that the best way to go about a memorable celebration is to “plan ahead.”
“There’s no replay for it. Give at least six months to plan the entire thing so you won’t miss out on details,” Cathy said. “Planning ahead gives you value for your money as well because you can scout for good suppliers within your budget.”
Just last Saturday, Cathy together with her colleagues and seniors, put together Shangri-la Mactan’s first bridal fair, named Of Veils & Trails.
The event gathered Cebu’s top wedding suppliers, such as planners, florists, designers, makeup artists, cake artists, photographers and videographers. It was a full-scale event that somehow was Cathy’s “baptism of fire,” being the newest member in the team.
But seeing it more as a playground rather than work, Cathy said what keeps her going is her passion for it, and attaining that unparalleled sense of fulfilment of seeing happy brides walk down the aisle and the couples’ priceless smiles after every event.
Photography: Stephen Suico
Production Assistant: Chris Ouano
Make-up Artist: Wenwen Zaspa
Hair Stylist: Abbai Pila
Venue: Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort & Spa