Teresin’s tropical touch | Inquirer Lifestyle
Teresin’s tropical touch
Cebu’s style arbiter Teresin Mendezona at home

Teresin’s tropical touch

Her fresh setting of yellow orchids and roots running the length of the table makes summer night bearable

Teresin’s tropical touch
Cebu’s style arbiter Teresin Mendezona at home

We’ve been fortunate enough to attend dinners or events styled by Cebu’s style arbiter Teresin Mendezona, but we have yet to see her repeat herself. No two “Tita Teresin’s”—as she is called with fondness by friends and associates—arrangements and stylings are the same, whether they are for weddings or for Cebu’s significant events.

 

For the Asean meet in Cebu about a decade ago, she used hundreds and hundreds of stalks of sampaguita to fill the tent with their white image and sweet scent.

Teresin’s tropical touch
Napkin, plates echo floral theme, and yellow orchid is fastened to transparent napkin holder.
Teresin’s tropical touch
Friends in the cozy patio: From left, Nonie Uy (seated), Arcy Gayatin, Teresin Mendezona, Lily Lim, Philip Rodriguez, Marissa Fernan
Teresin’s tropical touch
It’s tropical summer, with happy blooms, from a centerpiece of yellow orchids and spray of roots to table cloths, napkins, plates with floral prints.

For the golden wedding anniversary of Michel and Amparito Lhuiller, she used orchids to form chandeliers—and after this, we had seen it copied many times.

 

Stylish yet tasteful and classy, never boring, with always an element of surprise. That’s Tita Teresin’s stamp, and she loves decorating with what’s around, literally, like what’s in her garden. And she does it with taste and elan.

Teresin’s tropical touch
Jars contain native fans for the guests.
Teresin’s tropical touch
Steamed fish and purple rice wrapped in banana leaf, with orchid as accent
Teresin’s tropical touch
Salad of “ubud” and pineapple is served in pineapple halves.

That was why when our good friend, Marissa Fernan, VP of SM Prime, said she was setting up an intimate dinner with Tita Teresin on our visit to Cebu over the weekend, we looked forward to it. We knew it’d be a visual and culinary feast in Tita Teresin’s home.

 

She laid out a summery table so refreshing to look at, with a centerpiece of yellow orchids and its roots running the entire length of the table for seven.

 

The yellow orchids were replicated on the tablecloth of yellow and purple blooms.
She served molo soup, salad of “ubud” (heart of palm) and pineapple chunks, which we ate out of fresh pineapples sliced in the center.

Teresin’s tropical touch
“Lechon” Cebu, unripe mangoes and “atchara” make a colorful combination.
Teresin’s tropical touch
Palms, ferns, other ornamentals make Teresin Mendezona’s patio a cool sanctuary in summer.

For main courses, we had steamed parrot fish on a bed of purple rice—wrapped in banana leaf accented with a bloom—and of course, the famous Cebu lechon, with unripe mangoes and atchara on the side.

 

The night was warm with an occasional breeze, and Tita Teresin had her baskets of fans ready.
On a night like this, tropical living is a blessing. —THELMA S. SAN JUAN