December: A season of birthdays | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Hazel Graham Gonzalez turned 90 and was feted with a grand family gathering at Salon Madrid of the Casino Español de Cebu. Children, grandchildren and great grandchildren filled the place along with a sprinkling of close friends, among them a group of Assumption Convent “old girls.”


Also at Salon de Madrid was the 95th birthday celebration of Caring Blanco Fernandez who likewise gathered a large group of offsprings and descendants. This was after the regular Saturday evening Mass at the Casino officiated by Msgr. Achilles Dakay.


Angie Mathieu was all of 80 years on Dec. 6, and her son Mickey Paulson organized an intimate dinner for her at Pino restaurant. Angie’s grandson Van was present as were her brother Michel Lhuillier with Amparito, and sister Marguerite Lhuillier with son Chris Darza, and daughter Claudine with husband Mikel Ugarte.


A video of Angie’s life was put together by Mickey and shown, consisting of rare photographs, many of them with Angie’s mom Angelita Jones Lhuillier and stepfather Henry Lhuillier. When pictures of Angie’s debut was flashed, Teresin Mendezona waxed nostalgic: “I remember it well.”


Kingsley Medalla also chose Pino for his 32nd birthday bash. He had so many guests he booked a special function room, and asked general manager Joel del Prado to prepare a gourmet menu.


His mom Pacita Sode Medalla led the well wishers along with Queenie Ann Medalla Daban, cousin Alvin Pugoy, who did the floral centerpieces, uncle Trifon Sode, who is with the Cebu City cultural and historical affairs office, and dear friend Pepit Revilles.


Towards the end of the party, dance music was played. Kingsley struck a pose with Margie Lhuillier and Tessie Javier. Amparito and Michel got into the fray and wowed everyone with their stamina and joie de vivre.


Zelia Borromeo did not celebrate on her actual birthday but a week later, she asked friends to view her latest involvement, the Zerenity Hotel and Suites, a block away from Ayala Land’s IT Park in the Lahug district.


Zelia conceptualized the hotel from an idea of her late brother Francisco “Paquito” Borromeo. Both Zelia and Paquito in their time held the position of general manager in the sprawling family-owned Montebello Villa Hotel.


Zerenity’s general manager is Paquito’s son Fabby Borromeo, with the help and guidance of Zelia, of course, his mother Norma Songfo Borromeo, wife Christine and their young children, Paqui and Kirsten.


They were all there at Zelia’s merienda on the hotel’s 8th floor roof deck garden. Zerenity’s tag line is “Zen living and affordable luxury.” On its ground floor, there is a Zen garden designed by Zelia with white sand, rocks, and strategically placed greenery.


The space is small but a large measure of serenity has been achieved, Zelia commented. Serenity is what the hotel should have been called, but the Zen element led to Zerenity.


It rained the whole day on Dec. 17 but it cleared by nighttime, perfect for the birthday wingding of Vivina Chiu Yrastorza. It happens every year but it never dampens the dinner party, and Vivina covers her terrace garden with ample tents.


Helping her entertain guests was her son Pocholo Yrastorza for whom Vivina has fitted out a dental clinic with the most sophisticated state-of-the-art equipment.


Christmas baby


Teresin Mendezona is called a Christmas baby for the simple reason that she was born on Dec. 24. She invariably celebrates it at her home in Beverly Hills with a gathering of close friends and associates on Dec. 23.


The setup this year was glowing with lanterns made of colorful batik cloth. Guests feasted on her home specialties, and many waited for midnight to sing the birthday song once more.


Next evening, on her actual birthday Teresin was among the guests for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner hosted by Michel and Amparito Lhuillier at their hilltop home in Maria Luisa Estate Park.


Amparito made sure everyone gathered around Teresin to sing her the birthday song, applaud as she blew the candle on a cake, and partake of the pastry. It was quite a family gathering.


From Manila had come eldest son Charles Lhuillier. A few days earlier had come, from California, Michael and Joanna Lhuillier with their strapping sons Michael James, Matthew and Myles.


From Paris were daughter Yvette with husband Franck Warnod, his mother Madame Nadya, and their children, Maxim and Bianca.


Youngest of the brood Monique and Tom Bugbee flew in, also from California, with their Jack and Sophia.


Among those present were Amparito’s sister Anna Marie with husband Johnny Dizon, Michel’s sister Angie Mathieu with son Mickey Paulson, Teresin’s sister Carmen Campbell, aunt Rosebud Sala with pretty granddaughter Alya, and Alliance Francaise de Cebu director Louis Thevenin with wife Honeylet and their son Augustine.


Massimo La Magna was congratulated for the special pizzas he prepared, while Joel and Carla del Prado received compliments for the extensive buffet spread. One special table held tempting French cheeses that rated sighs of high praise.


A few days after Christmas, Michel and Amparito left with the whole family for Vietnam to spend the New Year.


They had special interest in visiting Hue, the old imperial capital, where Michel was born at the height of World War II. He was back for his birthday on Jan. 8.



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