For the past 18 years I’ve been celebrating my birthday every Dec. 22 with more than a hundred invitees.
The only exceptions were during my parties at Makati Shangri-La, which honored me with three fantastic gatherings for 85 of my friends at the hotel’s Red Restaurant.
The next year saw a lavish buffet, cocktails and dinner treat at Makati Shang’s Pasay Room which had a huge balcony overlooking Ayala Avenue. There was an open bar and music by DJ Moise who got the guests dancing till past 4 a.m.
Thanks to Makati Shang’s former director of communications Joy Wassmer and its manager at the time Jarlath Lynch with vice president and GM Greg Dogan, now CEO of Shangri-La Hotel International.
In 2013 my birthday bash was held at Makati Shang’s newly launched Isabela Ballroom at the lower lobby. My fab hostess was Lesley Tan with new GM Alain Borgers, formerly of Paris Shangri-La.
And also every year, my pals Anton Mendoza and Carla Reyes Tengco would organize a salubong at exactly 12 a.m. with finger food and cocktails of my big day for less than 10 guests.
I remember two occasions when Anton invited 15 of my closest friends to dinner catered by Kai, and then 34 friends to dinner at his fabulously designed residence.
But last year I said no more birthday celebrations; all I wanted was simply to have friends wishing me a longer, healthy and happy life.
Without my knowledge
Apparently I couldn’t have my way, because somebody planned a bash again at Anton’s place without my knowledge.
The organizer contacted some of my super close friends like Anton San Diego, Carla and Al Tengco, Linda Oledan, Vicky Zubiri, Jojie Dingcong, Choy and Marissa Cojuangco, and Pepito Albert, and asked each of them to invite 10 more friends for the surprise party.
What a surprise, indeed, dahlings! Entering the living room with Carla, who was dragging me as she carried my birthday cake, I was shocked to see many friends all singing “Happy Birthday” to moi.
For once, this jaded heart of mine melted like ice cream, palangga.
Among the guests were my brilliant lawyer and former ambassador to Geneva Dondi Teehankee, Samantha Eduque, Veana Fores, Tim Yap, Noel Oñate, Lorrie and Cecile Reynoso, Mike Toledo, Cristalle Henares, Karen Santos, Lizette and Mikey Cojuangco, Menchu Menchaca Soriano, Bambina Olivares and Cris Albert.
As usual the guests had fun till dawn.
Many thanks to everyone who showed up! Love you all dearly!