The bachelors and Feminas Clubs of Cebu (BF) held their annual Innocents Day ball at the Casino Español de Cebu. It was a super elegant affair with a Venetian theme.
Welcoming all at the reception line were Bachelors president Patrick Yared and Feminas president Jennifer Sarmiento with this year’s Papas and Mamas—Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy, Jose Rafael Ferreros, Ellen Climaco and Christine Javier Samonte.
Miss Earth 2008 Carla Hendry, who is a Cebuana, was the program host. Former Cebu City Mayor Alvin Garcia, once a Papa of the BF ball, was asked to say a few words about the clubs, which date back to 1919.
Alvin hailed the revival of the clubs in 2007 after being dormant for a couple of decades, citing their new civic and charitable orientation. “It is also a wonderful opportunity for young people to meet. They say marriages are made in heaven, but they can also be made at BF,” he said.
Like his, he added, his eyes resting on his pretty wife Ninette (nee Neri). They met during BF activities and fell in love at the marriage of his sister Nelia to Julius Neri, Ninette’s brother. Theirs was also a BF romance.
It is quite a dynamic group of young people that lead both clubs. Aside from Patrick, the Bachelors count with such officers as David Jones Cua and Niko Basubas, vice presidents; Esteban Lava, secretary; Glenn Yongco, treasurer; Andrew Sarmiento, auditor; and my son Luis David, PRO.
Jennifer counts with a bevy of Feminas as officers: vice presidents Rizbelle Ostrea and Celeste Rodriguez, who was president last year; secretary Angelique Javier; treasurer Michelle Sy; auditor Mary Paredes; and PRO Nicole Marie Acriche.
As tradition has it, highlight of the ball was the Rigodon de Honor, rehearsed for weeks under the tutelage of Johanna Mangubat of Ballet Center. After the stately dance, there was an added fillip as Mama Ellen Climaco made a quick change to dance the tango and other numbers with partner Ronnie Flores.
The ball was formally opened by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and lawyer Jocelyn Pesquera. Joining in were Edgar and Cely Chiongbian (last year’s Mama), Dave and Betty Young, Tony and Lorna Quisumbing, Ben and Jane Estalilla, and many more.
Glimpsed among those present were Patrick’s mom Elsa Lucero Yared, Helen Misa, Ning-Ning Salcedo, Yvette Alfon Simon, Anita Sanchez, Marietta Malinao, Anita San Jose, Marina Juezan Parado, Anne Marie Uy, Malou Veloso, Ollie and Gie Dychangco, Jane Llaban, Lourdes Garcia and Tony Boy Rodriguez, Celeste’s father.
‘Baile de Disfraces’
Three nights later, there was another grand ball at Salon de España of Casino Español de Cebu, this time for the traditional “Baile de Disfraces,” to ring out the old year and welcome the new.
More than 400 attended, most of them in colorful costumes, to vie for the valuable prizes at stake. Some of the guests posted themselves half an hour before the ballroom doors were opened, the better to get a vantage seat.
The Renaissance and Sold Out bands alternated dishing danceable music until 2 a.m. There was a temporary lull when dinner was served at Salon de Madrid, and when the parade of costumes took place.
Casino Español president Rico Gandionco with his wife Judith and son Jose Rodrigo came in Balinese costumes. At one point, Rico made a special announcement to award plaques of appreciation to two outstanding ladies for their unstinted support to Casino Español activities.
Tina Jordana was cited for her involvement in the medical missions fostered by the club for its employees and their families. Honey Jarque Loop was singled out for her collaboration with the club’s “Boletin Informativo” and all sociocultural events. Honey did the décor for this ball using myriad strips of colored paper draped from the ceiling.
Present on this occasion were the club’s officers: VP Gabby Leyson and Tina in Austin Powers outfits; secretary Edito Tirol and wife Meriam; treasurer Pocholo Bernad with wife Che-che and daughter Ma. Pilar.
House chair Eddie Gonzalez and his wife Therese came as Egyptian royalty with a gold-clad retinue that won one of the major prizes. Sports director Paco Jarque and his wife Monique formed a troupe that delighted all with a performance of “The Evolution of Madonna.”
Cebu is gearing for another grand event—the fundraising Masquerade Ball set for the evening of Feb. 29 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel. Beneficiary will be the Beautiful Cebu Movement Foundation (BCMF) chaired by Mariquita Yeung with Marguerite Lhuillier as co-chair.
The goal is to sell 2,000 tickets and fill up the place with an elegant crowd, the men in black tie, the ladies in long gowns, all with glitzy masks in the Venetian style. In charge of the décor is Mariquita and Carlos Yeung’s son Martin Yeung with his group from Hong Kong.
The Beautiful Cebu Movement was inspired by Mayor Mike Rama’s project of sprucing up the city’s main thoroughfare, Osmeña Boulevard. Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia was quick to respond, taking care of the stretch from the Capitol to Fuente Osmeña.
BCMF is taking charge of the area from Fuente Osmeña to downtown. San Miguel Corporation has sent in a million to the cause. Anyone interested in going to the Masquerade Ball may fork out P2,500 for a ticket, and call Monette Aliño, tel. (032) 2311829.