Scion of Hong Kong tycoon and Brazilian fiancée exchange ‘I do’s’ at Cebu Cathedral
A series of celebrations marked the wedding of Martin Yeung to Claudia de Souza, the beautiful Brazilian girl who has made his heart’s strings sing for a number of years. Martin is the only son of Hong Kong tycoon Carlos Yeung and his lovely Cebuana wife, Mariquita Salimbangon Yeung.
Claudia is the daughter of Maria Vilany Bezerra and the late Joao de Deus de Souza of Brazil. The romance first sparked in Hong Kong where Martin met Claudia. It blossomed with their frequent visits to Cebu where Martin has loads of relations and where lately his parents have set up real estate ventures.
Family and friends of Martin and Claudia converged in Cebu from various points of the globe. They filled up every hotel and resort, and attended the various festivities to mark so happy an occasion.
First was a white night held at the Cowrie Cove of the Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa. Everyone came in white togs. Most dazzling of all was Mariquita Yeung in diaphanous gossamer and a ribbon of diamonds flickering icy fire from her neck.
She and Carlos were incessantly asked where Martin and Claudia were. In the sea, they replied, and sure enough, a motor boat soon materialized bearing Martin and Claudia. They got off at the lit-up jetty as everyone applauded.
Livening up the evening was Jake Joules with his electric violin. Pol Roger champagne from Carlos Yeung’s cellar flowed all night, as did excellent red and white wine. A carving station served juicy diced roast beef.
Next evening the theme was Brazilian, this time at the Villa Mariquita, home to the Yeung family in Nivel Hills. Statuesque girls in costumes reminiscent of Carnival in Rio lined the stairs leading down to the poolside.
Sambas and Carioca music pervaded and many did swing and sway to the bouncy tunes. Most amused from her vantage point was Martin’s grandmother Doña Gepilano.
Cheers greeted Martin and Claudia as they descended down the stairs and took the path to the large garden area. Dinner tables were set up in the terrace, covered by a tent and lit by myriad crystal chandeliers.
A Brazilian menu had been prepared by Café Laguna and there was Julita Urbina collecting praise for some of the outstanding dishes: bacalao croquettes, callos and lamb chops grilled to a juicy crisp.
Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Palma
The wedding took place on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Cebu Cathedral with the ceremonies set for 1:30 p.m. Most of everyone was there by 1 p.m., with Carlos and Mariquita greeting their numerous friends and relatives.
Asked to officiate the nuptial Mass were His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and Msgr. Roberto Alesna, who delivered the homily.
Principal sponsors were led by Vice President Jejomar Binay and Elenita Binay; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, former President Joseph Estrada and Edna Diago Lhuillier; Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and Amparito Llamas Lhuillier;
Ambassador Philippe Lhuillier and Angela Reyes; Rep. Ben Hur Salimbangon and Laarni Enriquez; Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and Marguerite Lhuillier; Consul Michel Lhuillier and Cissy Lee; Ramon Ang and Elizabeth Gan Go;
Andrew Tan and Felicia Salimbangon; Jack Ng and Janice Salimbangon; William Gatchalian and Raimunda Bezerra Souto; Dr. Jose Barba and Maria de Fatima Bezerra Souto; Cesar Salimbangon and Kathleen Magee;
Dr. Pratap Sondhi and Renu Sondhi; Amratlal Mohanlal Shah and Chhayaben Amratlal Shah; Leung King Bong and Sylvia Fu; Dr. Francis and Carol Chiu.
The congregation cheered the sponsors as they progressed to the altar. They did the same with the rest of the bridal entourage: maids of honor Jewelle Yeung and Savigne Barbosa; best men Toto Chan and Karam Sondhi; and the 15 bridesmaids:
Aline Tenorio, Bianca Reichle, Pollyanna Franco, Larrisa Thome, Marcela Brazao, Lauren Salimbangon, Gizela Salimbangon, Lorena Bruno, Rosemary Vanderbrouke, Suellen Ribeiro, Susan Wong, Grazielle Mariano, Marie Jerika Larize Ejercito, Sarah Joan Quitevis and Jessica Harkiewicz.
There were 15 groomsmen as well: Harold Salimbangon, Francis Edward Salimbangon, Phil Shin, Benedict Ku, John Paul Salimbangon, Jimmy Yang, Jeremy Ostereich, Taka Yarita, Jason Fung, Justin Yang, Elton Salimbangon, Jimmy Wong, Marcus Savage, Teddy Lo and Francis Chad Salimbangon.
The little attendants were flower girls Tannyra Salimbangon, Audrey Salimbangon and Dominique Lhuillier; while the pages were Nathan Salimbangon, Cesar Christopher Salimbangon and little Harrison Ryder McKowen in his pram. Nearby were his parents, Martin’s sister Carla and Chris McKowen, among the secondary sponsors, as were Liloan Mayor Duke Frasco and his wife Christina.
Claudia went up the aisle accompanied by her mother Maria Vilany Bezerra and her brother Wisman Bezerra de Souza. Beautiful Haydn music was played on the cathedral’s organ, giving a great feeling of solemnity.
The reception was set for 6:30 p.m. at the grand ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, turned by magical art into a setting right out from “Lord of the Rings,” with huge trees, shrubs and all the elements of grandeur mustered by Teresin Mendezona.
Martin and Claudia’s entrance into this regal ambience was marked by a shower of petals and enthusiastic applause. Guests sat on long tables draped with burgundy silk and centered by heaps of fruits.
Martin Nievera performed to the delight of all, his special brand of entertainment. And the evening went on till the wee hours of the next morn.