The Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu celebrated its first anniversary with one of the grandest parties of the season. The occasion also served to celebrate Christmas. Quite a crowd had gathered at the spacious lobby by 6 p.m.
Receiving the guests was general manager Lyle Lewis, who is also vice president for the Philippines and Japan of the Carlson Hotels. With him was Rey Villar, executive VP of SM Hotels and Conventions, accompanied by his lovely wife, Carol.
Lighting up the 20-ft blue tree were Hans Sy, president of SM Investments Corp., and his sister Elizabeth Sy, president of SM Hotels and Conventions, of which the Radisson Blu is a part of.
Close by were Elizabeth’s right-hand person Christina Bautista, and Lourdes Macalindong, VP for sales and marketing of SM Hotels and Conventions.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama was present, as were Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s South district, with his wife Councilor Margot Osmeña, Traffic chief Sylvan Jakosalem, former Undersecretary of Tourism Eduardo Jarque and Marissa Fernan, VP for Visayas and Mindanao of SM Prime Holdings.
Beautiful music from a string ensemble wafted from the mezzanine, and there were Christmas carols sung by a choir from the Radisson staff. A grand fireworks display capped the first part of the celebration.
After that, Elizabeth and Hans led the elegant crowd up the staircase to the Santa Maria ballroom for a grand bash that evoked New York’s famous Cotton Club of the roaring ’20s.
Glimpsed were VIPs from the Carlson Hotels and Asia Pacific like Xerxes Mehrer Homji, assistant VP and chief development officer; Vasso Zographou, chief finance officer; Lucinda Semark, executive VP for revenue generation; Rosie Hollis; and Simon Barlow, president of Asia Pacific.
Tessa Prieto Valdes, in a sweeping gown by top Cebu designer Ronald Enrico, was the evening’s lively and scintillating host.
Junjet Primor’s dancers rendered several numbers to Charleston music, and that set the mood. Top performers Lynn Sherman and Richard Poon were very much applauded, and the Brass Munkeys blared their brand of earsplitting music (!).
Among the prominent guests were Rep. Cutie del Mar of Cebu City’s North district, with her father Raul del Mar; Elvira Luym with daughter Kaye, Teresin Mendezona with sister Carmen Campbell; Alice Plaza with Rafaelita Pelaez.
More: Arcy Gayatin with daughter Cybill; Paquito and Marissa Unchuan with daughter Marian; Susie Oliver; Josephine Aboitiz Booth; UK Honorary Consul Moya Jackson with husband Antony and daughter Tamsin Booth, and many more.
Top prize in the raffle was won by Eduardo Alegrado who got an overnight stay at the Radisson Blu’s presidential suite for two, plus other amenities, including spa treatment. There were prizes for the best costumes harking back to the 1920s.
Tessa was looking for Amparito Lhuillier who had come in an all-white outfit, complete with jeweled headband holding a luminous white ostrich plume. But Amparito had left early.
The search continued and the winners were Yvette Vass and Bong Deiparine of Amazing TV show. The party went on, and GM Lyle Lewis was repeatedly congratulated for the tremendous success of the celebration.
Also collecting kudos were the Radisson’s top people in Cebu like Zenaida Alcantara, executive assistant general manager; Carmela Cabasisi, director of finance; Laurie Cardeño, the Manila-based sales director; Mina Gervacio, marketing and communications director; and Liza Roa, public relations coordinator.
Special plaudits go to Ho Kok Fai, the Food/Beverage director, and executive chef Marco Amarone. There were several buffet tables groaning with the very best cuisine the Radisson Blu offers, from the crispy-skinned Peking duck to the array of scrumptious desserts.
On the days that followed there was much activity at the Radisson. One of the grandest was the employees bash of the M. Lhuillier group of companies. It had a Masquerade theme based on the musical “Phantom of the Opera.” Most of everyone, specially the ladies, came in sumptuous costumes.
Dance numbers were fantastic, worthy of a Ziegfield revue, and the singers doing the “Phantom” duets were much applauded. Presiding it all were Michel Lhuillier and his wife Amparito Lhuillier, who sat with Michel’s sister Angie L. Mathieu and grandson Van, and Amparito’s sis Anna Marie Llamas Dizon.
Applause greeted Michel and Amparito’s children who were here for the holidays, as they came in. First were Yvette and Franck Warnod, from Paris, with children Maxim and Bianca. Then came Monique and Tom Bugbee.
Making a dash from airport to home and on to the party were California-based Michael and Joanna Lhuillier with their three strapping sons—Michael James, Miles and Matthew.