For Gabby Leyson, 75 was the right age to get married to his devoted, longtime partner Tina Jordana. They had an elegant Saturday morning civil wedding ceremony at Salon Granada of Casino Español de Cebu, officiated by Judge Ester Veloso.
Gabby’s nephew, Fr. Raffy Catane, was on hand to give the newlyweds a blessing filled with good wishes. A religious ceremony, maybe grander, is forthcoming.
Special sponsors were Dr. Ishmael Limkakeng Jr., Tina’s sister Anna Jordana Quisumbing, Susan Villanueva Rodriguez, Jose Mari Antunez, Justice Isaias Dicdican and Teresita Diez Catane.
Gabby’s sister Dr. Pina Leyson Poblete was present, and so were Tina’s two children, Manu Jordana and Miren Jordana. Close friends and relations filled the hall and partook of the excellent luncheon buffet.
Best of all were the huge ears of tender corn which Gabby and Tina grow in the hills of Busay, overlooking Cebu. The farm and weekend retreat is called “Las Nubes,” as it is up high among the clouds.
Last of her generation
Carmen Rodriguez de Martinez turned 98, and remains agile, sharp and beautiful. She lives in her mansion on Ranudo Street, and, though she moves about on a wheelchair, she goes up and down the stairway to her ample, airy and well-furnished room.
She is the last of her generation, the daughter of Cebu Senator Pedro Rodriguez and first cousin of Cebu’s legendary Governor Buenaventura Rodriguez, celebrated poet and playwright in three languages.
Doña Carmen is not home most of the time as she moves around Cebu in her sleek van, which accommodates her wheelchair and is equipped with a comfortable bucket seat.
She converses on all topics with persons of varied age levels. A niece once said that she knew the intricacies of Cebu’s complicated politics.
Being 98 was cause for a grand celebration held at the ballroom of the Cebu Country Club. There was a Mass followed by dinner with a program put together by Lianne Sala where her mother, Josie Sala, sang divinely.
Seated with Carmen was her next-door neighbor Milagros “Millie” Sembrano who is also a livewire. A few days before, she had arrived from the US and called her friends.
“I just got back,” she said over the phone. “And I’m giving myself a welcome home party tomorrow. I have three lechons and my homemade specialties.
“This is just a small party,” she said. A second one was planned a few weeks later by her daughter Lennie, who came with husband Chuck Granthom to spend a few days in Cebu.
This time the party was at Manoling Agustines’ property in Cebu’s posh Maria Luisa Estate Park.
It had a double purpose as it was also the birthday celebration of Manoling’s brother Carlitos Agustines.
Millie was the evening’s diva, clad in red French lace and twinkling with her best diamonds. Sure enough, at her table and seated beside her was Carmen Martinez. Also in the same table were Benny Unchuan, Lolly Diez, Pina Poblete, Margot Larrañaga and Myra Gonzalez who, as president of Amigos de España en Cebu, said the next meeting would serve as a birthday celebration of president emeritus Amparito Lhuillier.
Also to celebrate Amparito’s birthday, there will be a party at the home of Michael and Joanna Lhuillier who are taking Amparito on a trip abroad next month.