Exclusive Photos for StarStudio by Niceprint
In a girl’s lifetime, there’s one special moment that truly stands out, and that’s when she turns 18.
Reaching that age of majority and onset of adulthood is traditionally celebrated with a coming-out party to introduce the debutante to society.
#LIVINLAVIDAKIRA. At 18, Kira Balinger is living her life to the fullest.
Kira Balinger’s turn came on the night of her actual birthday, August 3. She had a Tropical Havana-themed party at the Discovery Primea, a luxury hotel in Makati City, that was attended by close family and friends. The gathering turned out to be an unforgettable experience for one of showbiz’s most promising young stars.
THE ENTRANCE. All eyes and cameras were on the debutante as she sang 'Havana' to welcome her guests to her party.
Donning a white Mark Bumgarner flowy gown with floral accents, the debutante made her grand entrance in the ballroom filled with pink drapes and tropical flora by singing and dancing to the tune of Camila Cabello’s hit upbeat tune, Havana.
Kira then had her 18 Roses Dance as Darren Espanto performed his version of Ed Sheeran’s love ballad, Perfect. But instead of roses, she received tropical flowers from the 18 significant male figures in her life, led by her father, Tony Balinger, whom she called her “first love.” The others, who were either her relatives, friends, or fellow artists, followed suit: Lorenz Santiago Tan, Darren Espanto, Jimboy Martin, Luke Conde, Dennis Aguirre, Karl Gabriel, Phoer Louie Mona, Justin Lee, Simon Matthew Gan, Markus Paterson, Earl Abacan, Grae Fernandez, Ernest Lingad, Drew Lacia, Arlie Salagantin, and Alan Real, who’s Kira’s manager at Star Magic.
THE LAST DANCE. Kira’s close friend, Hashtag Ryle Paolo Santiago, serenaded her with his version of 'You to Me Are Everything' before they took to the dance floor.
Before Kira and her last dance partner, Ryle Paolo Santiago, ended this segment in the party, she was serenaded by him singing the ’70s ditty You to Me Are Everything. This sweet gesture by the young actor and Hashtag member made the birthday girl glow even more.
SHOWBIZ BESTIE. Ylona Garcia (standing) held Kira’s hand as she gave her message to the debutante. “I love you so much,” she said. “You are my best friend. I’m here for you any time.”
By the time Kira shared the stage with the 18 closest ladies in her life, she had already changed into a Martin Bautista flowy pink dress. The ladies took turns in giving her a symbolic lantern and a message. First off was Ylona Garcia, whom Kira considers her best friend in showbiz for the last three years. Came next her other friends both in and out of showbiz: Ashley Colet, Antonette Limpin, Heaven Peralejo, Melizza Jimenez, Mica Javier, twin sisters Joj and Jai Agpangan, Alexa Ilacad, Isabela Vinzon, Raine Salamante, Elisse Joson, Ysabel Ortega, Ryle Paolo Santiago’s mother Sherilyn Tan, Maika Rivera, Chantal Vida, and Abby Niesta, who’s Kira’s discoverer. The debutante’s sister Charlotte Santarin came in last but definitely not the least.
STAR MAGIC FRIENDS. Kira giggled as she had a photo op with her fellow young stars (L-R): Krissha Viaje, Raine Salamante, Ylona Garcia, Elisse Joson, Mica Javier, Alexa Ilacad and Alexa Macanan.
Like Kira, her guests were all glammed up, and two stood out among the rest: Markus Paterson and Melizza Jimenez. As announced by the event’s host Robi Domingo, Markus and Melizza won special prizes for being chosen, respectively, the “Hottest Chico” and the “Sassiest Nina.”
For dinner, Kira’s friend Antonette Limpin led the prayer before everybody partook of the sumptuous Spanish buffet spread. The menu included Iberian Chicken, Callos a la Madrileña, and Pescado En Salsa Verde, while the entertainment, in the form of a song number, was provided by another friend of the birthday girl, Lala Vinzon.
BIRTHDAY WISH. The debutante closed her eyes while making a wish, with her family standing behind her: (L-R) Mommy Vicky (partly seen), Daddy Tony, and Ate Charlotte
"Honestly, it was not my first choice to have a debut to celebrate my birthday," Kira said in her thank-you speech, adding that she originally wanted to visit an aquarium. "I wouldn't really ask for much to celebrate my birthday, but after tonight that I have experienced what it's like to have a debut, I have no regrets. I realized that it truly is the best way to celebrate my 18 birthday, by having all my family, my closest friends, my workmates all together in one room."
As the evening wore on, the guests continued partying while sipping watermelon and margarita slushies, and cheering on the debutante, their dear Kira Balinger, who deserves the best and nothing less.
Next up below: the full debut gallery of exclusive photos!