Latest Stories

Without Batting An Eyelash

Mama Mia! Mely Hechanova throws a party and gives away diamond-looking pendants!


LINDA Oledan, Vina Mercado, Baby Gloria, Lucille Locsin, Frannie Jacinto, Tina Jacinto; seated, LidingOledan, Mely Hechanova,
Cristina Ponce Enrile and Bettina Osmeña

When high-society figure Mely Concepcion Hechanova calls for a party, everyone shows up, dahlings. And it was no exception when our woman of the hour celebrated her 80th dazzling birthday.

Since she’s ever wanting to celebrate life and many more tomorrows, it was not surprising that she insisted on a vivid color palette of orange and chartreuse.

Cosmo Manille’s 800 or so had not seen the likes of her invitation, which came in a chartreuse box embroidered with an “M,” and a chartreuse organza ribbon holding down the invitation inside.

Hanging on the ribbon was a flower or round bling-bling pendant that looked so much like real diamond. Some invitees, led by Ambassador Isabel Wilson, even dared to wear the pendant as a brooch or hanging from a necklace on the night of Mely’s party. That’s how incredibly real it looked, dahlings.

MOI with celebrator Mely Hechanova

The color palette was reflected everywhere—at the greeting area where a huge “M” made of oranges was set amid a backdrop of Buddha corpus leaves.

Meanwhile, the Makati Shangri-La Rizal grand ballroom was decorated like an orangerie with gigantic orange trees (actually they were ficus trees), with real oranges hanging from its branches, silk chartreuse tablecloths and the floral décor on each table was superbly executed by Rustan’s Flower Shop, no less.

Singing and food

During dinner, Mely’s guests from our town’s alta sociedad were serenaded by the female duo Sopranos and the male trio Angelos.

Their singing matched each serving of the international menu. As the Salade Niçoise was rolled out, the classical-pop singers belted out “La Vie En Rose” and “Hymne à L’Amour.”

BETSY Westendorp, Marybeth de Leon, Marilou Senn, Carmen Campbell, Miguel de Leon; seated,Mely Hechanova, MilaWales and
Conchita Toda

As the Chinese soup and Japanese teriyaki gindara were served, the performers sang “Amor, Amor, Amor” and “Amigos Para Siempre.”

The Italian main course, Braised Beef Cheeks in Risotto, was served with “Volare,” Il Divo’s Italian version of “Unchained Melody, Senza Catane” and “Luna,” as background music.

Cognizant of Mely’s favorite movie “Mama Mia,” which she, would you believe, has watched seven times in the movie house, a cacophony of Mediterranean desserts was matched with a medley of songs from the movie, wow!

The finale saw the Hechanova children—Renna, Raffy, Raissa and Riana and their respective spouses and children—singing “Thank You for the Music.”

And as if this was not enough—to the total delight of Mely, Mr. Pure Energy himself, Gary Valenciano, made a surprise appearance and had the chic upper set applauding and screaming like they were in a concert hall, palanggas.

Orange pickers

Afterward, there was dancing that rocked to intensity 9. I saw some ladies removing their Jimmy Choos, Louboutins and Chanels while they held on to their bling-bling, making sure they were still on their earlobes, necks, wrists and fingers.

MARIXI Prieto, Tessa Prieto Valdes, Alex Prieto

Another surprise for Mely was the launching of her book, “Mely: Common Sense and Fine Sensibilities.”

Equally a surprise was a cha-cha and a waltz dance number by 16 of Mely’s close pals led by Nene Leonor and Fortune Ledesma. The entire show was masterfully directed by theater extraordinaire Freddie Santos, who also emceed the evening.

Namedroppables spotted included Vice President Jejomar and Dr. Ellen Sombillo Binay; former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada and wife, former Senator Loi; Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario; Washington SyCip; Oscar and Connie Lopez; Presy Lopez Psinakis; Cristina Ponce Enrile; Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia; adorable Tessie Siy; my palangga Nenita Floirendo and her daughters; Doña Liding Oledan on a très rare night out with her daughter and heir to her jewelry throne, Linda O. Coscolluela.

Seen as well were Doris Ho, Trade Secretary Greg Domingo, Tatler publisher Irene Martel Francisco, Chuchu Madrigal Eduque and Inno Sotto, who made Mely’s gorgeous white satin gown, natch.

VICE President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada, Paing Hechanova

The elegant dinner bore all the markings of a celebration typical of a “Hechanova party,” tempered with simple elegance. While enjoying the awesome dinner and music, and basking in the orangerie setting, many remarked, “No one entertains anymore like Mely.”

Many grabbed oranges from the table as centerpieces to take home. Some even had waiters with plastic bags beside them as they rampaged for the different oranges.

I even told one guest in a table jokingly, “Hey, you can buy one orange and take two free from Rustan’s Supermarket. So why are you hoarding all those oranges?”

To which the guest answered, “I’ll make fresh orange for my breakfast tomorrow.”

GARY Valenciano

Another even insisted on taking a whole tree with oranges hanging from it, till the guest was politely told, “No! You can’t take the tree.”

I’ve always said, “You can make tons of money or get a college degree, but breeding, dahlings, is an inborn thing.” Di bala, palanggas?

Whatever, it was still an awesome celebration of 80 years of the reigning queen of the country’s alta sociedad, Mely Concepcion Hechanova. Cheers, palangga.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: birthdays , Mely Concepcion Hechanova , Parties , People , society

  • piggywig70

    Such crass extravagance. Too bad the celebrant’s daughter are all morbidly obese that not all the designer gowns, expensive jewels and Jimmy Choos can camouflage their poverty of physical comeliness.

  • andrew nicko ureta

    yuck. yuck yuck.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. World bids Gabriel Garcia Marquez ‘Adios’
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  5. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  8. Garcia Marquez left unpublished manuscript
  9. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  10. Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer


  • PNP chief on plunder raps: ‘Amateurish’
  • Makati readies 12-month traffic plan for Skyway 3
  • Heard on Radyo Inquirer 990AM
  • Did you know
  • HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces, force do-or-die tiff
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Honda upgrades PH plant
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted