CASINO Español de Cebu held its traditional celebration of Dia de la Hispanidad on Oct. 10, the Saturday closest to Oct. 12, the actual feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, patroness of Spain and all Hispanic nations, including the Philippines. It was on Oct. 12, 1492 that Christopher Columbus discovered America.
The observance started with an anticipated Mass officiated by Msgr. Achilles Dakay as he does every Saturday night at the Casino. On display was a replica of La Pilar as it is venerated in Zaragoza, Spain.
Following the Mass, cocktails and canapés were served at Salon Granada where everyone awaited the arrival of Spanish Ambassador Luis Calvo, who came with his wife Maria José and their son Lain.
Welcoming them were club president Eduardo Gonzalez (also honorary consul of Mexico) and his wife, Therese Bowler Gonzalez.
May Ocaba, general manager of Casino Español de Cebu, led Ambassador Calvo to a huge leg of “Jamon Iberico” for him to slice ceremoniously. At 7:30 p.m. the elegant crowd moved to the Salon de España ballroom for the reception.
With Ambassador Calvo and Ed and Therese were the rest of the Casino’s “Junta directiva” such as secretary Edgar Chiongbian with his wife Cely; treasurer Renato Kintanar with his wife Joy; house chair Paco Jarque with his wife Monique; directors of socials and cultural events Gabriel Leyson and Tina Jordana; sports director Anton Perdices, honorary consul of Spain, with his wife Maripaz.
Gonzalez gave the welcome remarks, and honorary consul Anton introduced Ambassador Calvo, who delivered a special message. Gonzalez then proposed a toast.
A sumptuous buffet dinner was served at Salon Madrid. As usual, it featured the best of the Casino Español’s culinary masterpieces and a wide assortment of desserts.
A highlight of the evening had a quartet of Casino Español members dishing out songs in Spanish, and later more in English.
Other Casino events
This was just the beginning of a series of events at the Casino Español. Set for Dec. 10 at Salon de España ballroom is the club’s traditional Cestas de Navidad raffle with buffet dinner served from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
A total of 500 booklets have been issued, each costing P1,000 which includes 10 tickets plus two additional for free. There’s the chance of win the grand prize of P250,000 cash, or the following: Honda Scoopy motorbike, drone camera (DJI Phantom 2 Standard), laptop, Smart V Trainer, SmartWatch, five baskets of goodies worth P5,000 each and 15 baskets of goodies worth P3,000 each. There’ll also be 10 baskets raffled as door prizes.
Much anticipated by members and their guests is the traditional New Year’s Eve costume ball on Dec. 31. Costumes are required and they can be very imaginative. There’s a parade of costumes, and prizes are given to individuals, couples and groups.
Well into January, the feast of the Three Kings brings the wise men to the club to distribute gifts to members’ children and grandchildren.