A Broadway night in Cebu | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“SISTER ACT” with high heels: Honey Loop, Len Jarque, Susan Sala, Ana Climaco, Lisette Garcia, Marivic Borromeo, Grace Lozada, Toots Torres, Rose Hennessy
“SISTER ACT” with high heels: Honey Loop, Len Jarque, Susan Sala, Ana Climaco, Lisette Garcia, Marivic Borromeo, Grace Lozada, Toots Torres, Rose Hennessy

Granted the success of its Talents Night a year ago, the Casino Español de Cebu had a second exposure of members and their dependents in a variety show which generated much anticipation.


Honey Loop, the driving force behind both events, had decreed a Broadway theme, complied with by those who eagerly signed up. The night of May 15, all tables were taken at the club’s Salon de España. General manager May Ocaba had to increase the number of seats to accommodate spectators.


Casino Español de Cebu president Antonio Veloso Jr. welcomed everyone and asked Honey to give the rationale. VIP guests were Javier Galvan from Instituto Cervantes in Madrid who has many friends in Cebu, and Instituto’s general coordinator in Manila, Carlos Palomo. They sat with Spanish honorary consul Anton Perdices, his wife Maripaz, and his parents Mariano and Maricar Perdices.


The evening’s program opened with a dramatic rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from “Funny Girl,” by Christine Gabucan. It was followed by Tessie Javier dancing “Voulez Vous” by Abba, from “Mamma Mia.”


Eleven-year-old Danielle Go captivated the audience with “On My Own” from “Les Miserables.” Del Ordoñez, in his best tenor voice, rendered “If Ever I Would Leave You” from Camelot.


Quite electrifying was “Grease Lightning” from “Grease,” danced superbly by Casino Español secretary Edgar Chiongbian and his wife Cely.


Most impressive was Aurora Causing Fernandez, who is 87, and who sang “Memory” from “Cats,” reading the lyrics without glasses. She got a standing ovation!


Casino Español director for cultural and social activities Paco Jarque and his wife Monique brought the house down with “Big Spender” from “Sweet Charity.”


A more contemporary “I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from “Dreamgirls” was performed by Leigh Ramos. A South Pacific medley with alternate lyrics from “Bali Ha’i” and “Some Enchanted Evening” was sung by Cheling Sala, Kathie Javellana and Ramon Jarque.


Rousing applause


Rousing applause was earned by Miren Sofia Jordana, Natalia Marie Jordana, Jarrah Veron Jordana, Rory Fernandez and Maria Luisa del Gallego for their rendition of “Can’t Stop the Beat” from “Hairspray.”


There was a surprise number performed by various staff of the Casino Español. It was a colorful, and acrobatic, dance number from “Les Follies.” In the cast were Ivy Fugosa, Mona Maningo, Raphel Batasin-in, Joan Galban, Julie Bato, Jehd Ombos, Gil Maravillas, Rodel Caranoo, Philip Galban and Joselito Occo.


Fourteen-year-old Amanda Gabucan sang the “Don Quixote” song from “Man of La Mancha.” From “Sound of Music” was “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” hilariously performed by Tina Jordana and Casino Español vice president Gabriel Leyson.


Winglip Chang was a revelation singing the theme song from “Starlight Express.” This was the perfect foil for the evening’s finale, “I Will Follow Him” from the smashing “Sister Act.”


Dressed in black habits, white bibs, wimples, and the highest heels ever worn by any nun, were Honey  herself and a bevy of convent girls—Susan Sala, Len Jarque, Lisette Garcia, Ana Climaco, Toots Torres, Marivic Borromeo, Rose Hennessy and Grace Lozada.


The evening closed with everyone in the show receiving trophies for their participation, handed over by Antonio Veloso Jr., May Ocaba and treasurer David Chan. They asked the audience to give Honey “another round of applause.”


That was also for the evening’s program host, the incomparable Bunny Pages, who does the job with characteristic suaveness and elan.


What next year? Can they wait that long for another Talent Night? It could be songs and dances or scenes from movies, or it could be a whole evening of Spanish and Latin American songs. As they say,  “Vamos a ver.”


Meanwhile, and closer, is the opening of the Casino Español’s celebration of Spanish Month on July 22 with the presence of Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq. That starts a whole program of gastronomic events and sports activities, culminating with Dia de Santiago Apostol on July 25.


On July 3, Ambassador Domecq has been invited to open “Sabores de España,” the Spanish food festival at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel. Initiated in 2007, it is one of the most successful “culinary journeys” presented by the hotel annually.