The Story of Three Sisters and A Thousand Cranes - Lifestyle Asia
November 13, 2018

A Japanese legend inspires three sisters to establish a ballroom that offers gourmet food and top-notch services

Laura Lim-Rodrigo, Lorraine Lim-Aguila and Lorlyn Lim-Almazora have more in common than just being sisters. They share a passion to make the newly-opened Marquis Events Place a preferred venue for milestone celebrations. “We provide five-star facilities, distinctive culinary artistry and bespoke banquet service,” company president Laura Lim-Rodrigo says. “I think every aspect—every detail of Marquis, from its inception to its operations, have been well thought out.”

The sisters of Marquis Events Place: Laura Lim-Rodrigo, Lorraine Lim-Aguila and Lorlyn Lim-Almazora (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)
The sisters of Marquis Events Place: Laura Lim-Rodrigo, Lorraine Lim-Aguila and Lorlyn Lim-Almazora (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)

Suckling Pig Specialty

Since launching late last year, the 1,200-square-meter, pillar-less grand ballroom at Bonifacio Global City has hosted numerous exclusive events such as weddings, balls, birthday bashes and private functions. Marquis Events Place fits up to 1,200 guests, and can be configured to preferred set-ups arranged by the company’s team of stylists. The ballroom can be divided into seven smaller function rooms for more intimate gatherings. There is a kitchen facility with a large staff who can prepare culinary delights like cochinillo stuffed with Ifugao rice, served by a carver on demand, and sea bass on a bed of natural pearl couscous with Capsicum Diamantes. The Lim sisters oversee the operations and services to ensure guest satisfaction.

“Marquis is unique in a way because we are a Grand Ballroom with hotel-like facilities, competent sales, operations and guest services teams, and our very own first-rate culinary team of chefs whose professional experiences were honed from varied five-star hotels and reputable food and beverage institutions,” shares VP Lorraine Lim-Aguila. “The difference is in the price,” continues youngest sister Loryln Lim-Almazora, the company’s Corporate Secretary. “It is much more affordable and reasonable than hotels, but definitely more luxe and well-appointed than other events places.”

During the conceptualization stage, they made sure that Marquis Events Place only offered premium amenities, including Personalized Service. Every client is assigned a dedicated team meet the particulars and specifications.  Marquis has an extensive list of accredited partners from top event organizers to stylists, florists and AVL system providers to choose from. The space is also fully equipped with WIFI connection, a stage platform, dance floor, LCD projectors, audio-visual-lighting technology, a bridal suite, and VIP and board rooms that can double as dressing rooms, holding rooms, or meeting rooms.

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Cochinillo stuffed with Ifugao rice from Marquis Events Place (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)
Cochinillo stuffed with Ifugao rice from Marquis Events Place (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)
Lorlyn Lim-Almazora, Lorraine Lim-Aguila and Laura Lim-Rodrigo were inspired by grandfather's love for The Story of the Thousand Cranes (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)
Lorlyn Lim-Almazora, Lorraine Lim-Aguila and Laura Lim-Rodrigo were inspired by grandfather’s love for The Story of the Thousand Cranes (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)

An Ode to Grandfather

Before Marquis Events Place came to life, the Lim sisters were already business partners in several enterprises such as Casa Armas Spanish restaurant, Active Fun Children’s Party and Party Centre for Kids. The latter is an indoor playground located in several malls, where children’s birthday parties can be held. The biggest branch with seven functions room is located in BGC. “We had rooms that were being used for kiddie parties on the weekends but were not being used on weekdays.  So we started tapping corporate clients during the weekdays and created a new company for this called The Functionrooms. At this time, we also established a catering company called Connoisseur Catering to maximize our kitchen capacity. There was demand for bigger functions and rooms, which we could not accommodate there. This is how the idea of creating a bigger events venue came about,” shares Laura.

It was only natural for the women entrepreneurs to open an upscale and formal events place after successfully operating Active Fun. They were inspired by their grandfather Dr. Lino Ed Lim’s obsession with the story of a Thousand Cranes. He told them the story of Sadako, a Japanese girl who was diagnosed with leukemia. A friend told her to fold a thousand origami paper cranes in the hope of that one wish would be granted by the gods. Laura, Lorraine and Loryln decided that Marquis would be a place where dreams come true. They chose a crane motif for most of their interiors, hiring Hirsch Bedner Associates, a global leader in interior design for the hospitality industry, to bring their vision to life.

“The interior design facets throughout the venue represents the folds of the paper cranes. This texture is felt throughout the entire space, from the carpets to the walls and to the chandeliers. Just like the paper cranes, the Marquis experience is an unfolding series of moments, from the flavors born from culinary expertise to the bespoke service from the minute you step in our door to the banquet itself,” says Laura. The seven meters high ceiling holds a specially made chandelier of 1,000 crystal cranes, inspired by the story of a Thousand Cranes.

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Live cooking stations at available at your events at Marquis Events Place by request (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)
Live cooking stations at available at your events at Marquis Events Place by request (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)
Tailor your events to your exact preference with Marquis Events Place highly trained specialists and long list of suppliers (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)
Tailor your events to your exact preference with Marquis Events Place highly trained specialists and long list of suppliers (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)

The Power of Three

Having the same work ethics serves the Lim sisters well, especially since they work closely together on a daily basis. “The best thing about working with my sisters is when we reach an impasse on a decision we need to make, we take a vote. Since we are three, whoever gets two votes wins and if you are the only one [who disagrees], you have to abide by the majority. That’s how we decide,” Lorraine laughs. “The other thing I like is even if we have disagreements, at the end of the day, we are sisters who shared a room when we were growing up. We are so used to each other’s company; we were taught early by our dad to always help one another.”

Laura considers herself very hands-on and into the details, but still gives their leadership team leeway to operate in their fields of expertise. Lorraine, who deals with sales, believes in engaging her team to help them make the best decisions. Lorlyn describes herself as a natural born listener, but actively participates in decision making. The youngest of the three, Lorlyn has also recently given birth, and admits she has lately been busy raising her two young children. However, she contributes to the business, doing research and development, and attending food tastings. “Since we grew up close to one another, it is easily predictable what the other is thinking or what she will say about a certain situation.We always have playful exchanges of ideas,” she adds about working with her two older sisters.

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Lorlyn Lim-Almazora, Lorraine Lim-Aguila and Laura Lim-Rodrigo (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)
Lorlyn Lim-Almazora, Lorraine Lim-Aguila and Laura Lim-Rodrigo (Photograph by Hub Pacheco)

Where Dreams Come True

Although Marquis Events Place is relatively new, their popularity is rising, with special mention for the establishment’s food options. Lorraine says her favorite item on the menu is the cochinillo stuffed with paella.

They are looking to expand the business and give patrons even more options for party set-ups. “There are already plans for the outdoor space. It will be a whole different feel compared to the grand ballroom and what we have right now. It will be an oasis in the concrete jungle of BGC,” says Lorlyn about Marquis’ current alfresco area. Within the next few months they will open the Marquis Patisserie, which will sell the company’s signature cakes, pastries and different confections. Other innovations are forthcoming. Their synergy is realizing a shared dream and the entertaining public can only be the better for it.

The Marquies Events Place is located at Marquis Building, Rizal Dr, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

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