The Cebu City Marriott Hotel recently held a bridal fair titled “A Whimsical Affair.” Its opening day proved to be a smashing success, attended by a large and appreciative crowd.
General manager Patrick Carroll stood at the foyer welcoming the steady flow of fashionistas who came to applaud an impressive fashion parade.
Guests went through a tunnel of white linen adorned with masses of flowers, strings of crystal beads dripping from the ceiling, and a tinkling fountain.
Little girls from Balletcenter, supervised by Nicolas Pacaña and Greg Aaron, led everyone to the Sampaguita ballroom where more flowers bloomed.
The program started with eloquent words from Carroll and from Cleofe Albiso, the hotel’s director for sales and marketing.
Opening the fashion parade was international model Joe Vince Cañizares, who is from Cebu, and Binibining Pilipinas Supranational 2015 Rogelie Catacutan, wearing a white ball gown by Francis Libiran.
Next on the ramp were the creations of Jun Escario, who has a well-patronized shop at the Cebu Marriott lobby. Wearing them were jeweler Gladys Young, who has quite a display in Jun’s shop; Maitina Borromeo with her little Andrea Rocio; and Kate Dychangco Anzani escorted by husband Marco, with their little Ambra as flower girl.
Monique del Gallego Jarque modeled for Edwin Alba. Dr. Christine Fernandez and Tasha Dixon were gowned by Wendell Quisido. Laurise Chiongbian wore an item by Protacio Empaces.
The regnant Miss Cebu 2016 Raine Baljak came with her court—Tracy Perez, Shaila Mae Rebortera, Merl Gayo and Felina Lim, garbed by Dino Lloren; Roni Yu, Mary Ty, Rei Escario and Marichu Tan.
Miss Mandaue City 2014 Steffi Aberasturi wore a gown by Rey Umberto Villegas. Raine’s beautiful mom Merce Abellana was in a number by Lord Maturan.
Lana Osmeña was dressed by Hans Coquilla, while Mandaue City treasurer Regal Oliva wore a creation by Jul Oliva. With her was her niece Khristen Olvido.
The parade continued with couple Santi Osmeña and Renske Bijl, by Dexter Alazas; Tessie Javier, by Harley Ruedas; Julia Paula Alcantara and Nico Dotillos, also by Ruedas.
Cebu’s chocolate queen Raquel Choa asked Philipp Tampus to recreate her wedding gown in rich lace, which she herself dyed in the lightest of browns. It was quite stunning. Her escort was son Anthony Choa, in a tuxedo also by Tampus.
For the climax, Marguerite Lhuillier wore the only Philippine terno in the show, created by Arcy Gayatin. Peinetas of gold filigree completed the ensemble.
Philip Rodriguez did the sleek barong worn by Alan Ong, and the starkly simple white number modeled by Fiona King.
The grand finale had Amparito Llamas Lhuillier in a white-and-gold masterpiece by her daughter Monique. It had been created for Amparito and Michel’s wedding anniversary. The lace floating panels that served as train were from the original gown made 52 years ago.
Designers and models were on stage with Carroll for countless photo-ops, while champagne and canapés were being served to the dressy crowd. Then came the rush of congratulatory friends and family members. It was fun.
Getting their share of acknowledgments were Cebu Marriott’s communications manager Frances Alfafara and public relations officer Nico Velasquez.