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A sheer delight of an Arts Council evening

The Arts Council needed cash, and fast. “What to do?” asked president Petite Garcia with optimistic exasperation.

“I’ll take care of it,” said vice president Dr. Vivina Chiu Yrastorza.

The concerted effort was dubbed “A Black & White Evening,” held at the ballroom of the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel, with enough funds raised to cover the exposure. More than 70 attended, many of them top executives of Unilab, led by Joy Santillan.

A long table was draped in black linen, and down that whole stretch were cream-colored roses in low crystal vases. The invitations said the dress code was smart casual; many turned out more smart than casual.

There was much white lace and black satin. Jewels, too. Dominique Riegel wore a bib of Swarovski crystals in dark green, gray and blue that bore the signature of Miranda Constantinidou.

From her own collection was Amparito Lhuillier’s gold choker garnished with South Sea pearls. Someone asked if he could borrow it for the evening, promising to return it before the night was through. Without a spare in Amparito’s clutch bag, the proposal fell on deaf ears.

Music emanating from the ballroom attracted the happy group at the foyer. Mark Hamlet Mercado was playing his violin ever so divinely, alternating with Maria Socorro Rafols on a grand piano.

A gourmet dinner was specially created for the occasion, with Tess Catipay and Joward Tongco cueing the efficient service brigade to bring up those artistically prepared plates and pour fine wines, red or white, courtesy of Dondi Joseph’s wine shop.

The tiger prawn and king scallop were followed by a cream of pumpkin infused with lemongrass and spiced yogurt. The refreshing guyabano sorbet cleansed the palate for the grilled beef tenderloin doused with black olive sauce. The walnut mashed potato was supreme.

Dessert was bitter chocolate molten lava cake with dollops of dulce de leche, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream that was the perfect digestive.

Guests lingered over coffee or tea, plus more violin and piano music. The general consensus of the evening was that it was sheer delight. No speeches, no program, no jarring irritant sounds.

Vivina received heaps of congratulations for organizing the event. Petite quipped that we should have evenings like this one more often.

The Arts Council officers, directors, members and their friends were well represented. A random enumeration gives us Maia France, Mariter Klepp with Gemma Buxton, Elvira Luym, Marissa Fernan, Teresin Mendezona, Dr. Pocholo Yrastorza, Annie Aboitiz, Mayen Tan with niece Leahliz Sia and Bert Rojas, who flew in from Manila just to attend the dinner.

Also present were Clint Escaño, Stephan Garcia, Elena Yeung, Dading Perez, Margie Taylor, Rosebud Sala, Carmen Campbell, Marie Booth, Fr. Ernesto Javier, SJ, Garrison Rosseau, Victoria Hermosisima, Lisa Young, Honey Loop, Nonie Uy, Garry and Pamela Montanus, Michael and Rose Hennessy, Mariz Rallos and Honey Cenarlo from the Arts Council office.

The Arts Council of Cebu was founded on Jan. 1, 1960, by Fe Sala Villarica. In a couple of years, it will be celebrating its 60th anniversary. Special committees will be drawn up to make that a memorable occasion.

Rustan’s 65th in Cebu

The 65th anniversary of Rustan’s was celebrated in Cebu with a grand party-cum-fashion show at the department store in Ayala Center Cebu.

It brought down SSI Group president Anton Huang, Rustan’s marketing communications manager Dina Tantoco, administration manager Paolo Tantoco and Michael Huang, vice president for store planning and expansion.

From the Cebu end, there was Rustan’s store manager Pepet Macachor. On the fashion ramp were Rustan’s exclusive brands available in Cebu—
Ricardo Preto, U by Ricardo Preto, Criselda Lontok, Jill by Jojie Lloren, Lady Rustan, Oleg Cassini, Rustanette, Kiddos and Rustan Jr.

Champagne flowed throughout the party, and guests milled around the substantial canapes served. It was a most successful event, considering it was a Saturday night. Congratulated for it was Jaja Chiongbian Rama of BigSeed.

Jaja was busy with the beauty pageant Binibining Cebu last Oct. 28, another Saturday night, at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. There were 54 pretty candidates from as many cities and municipalities in the province of Cebu.

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