CASINO ESPAÑOL de Cebu held its traditional costume ball on New Year’s Eve with a large group of revelers filling up Salon de España. Earlier, there had been a Mass officiated by Msgr. Achilles Dakay.
Cocktails at the foyer preceded the ball, an occasion for much well-wishing. Former Rep. Raul del Mar and his wife Melanie were among the crowd. At 7:30 p.m., the doors to the ballroom were thrown open. As there had been no reserved tables, guests streamed in to get a good spot.
Francisco “Paco” Jarque Jr., Casino Español’s director for cultural and social events, gave the welcome remarks. General manager May Ocaba gave the cue to the Purple Notes to strike up the dance music.
First on the dance floor was Jane Young Llaban and her dancing partner, followed by Adelaida Javier who at 90 can outwhirl anyone.
“Sabor a Ti” enticed Carlitos and Edelmira Alvarez to do the rhumba, as did Joe and Rita Suaco. “Spanish Eyes” drew out Nene and Maruja Varela, Ed and Helen Misa, and Tessie Javier, who is so slim and lithe her partner put her through the most graceful dips. Or is it deeps?
Making a grand entrance were Honorary Consul of Spain Anton Perdices and his lovely wife Maripaz. They were right out of “The Great Gatsby.” Maripaz eventually won the citation for Most Elegant in the costume parade.
“You Make Me Feel So Young” was played and dancing to it were Tony and Edwina Veloso, Dave and Betty Young, Del and Marilou Ordoñez, Anna Marie Uy and partner, Garry and Charity Muñoz, Tintoy and Maricar Perdices, Antonio and Lorna Quisumbing, Casino Español treasurer David and Tess Chan.
A swish of ruffled skirts and Spanish shawls marked the entrance of the “Danza Española” group. In it were Glenn and Honey Loop, Consul of Sweden Cheling and Susan Sala, Vic and Toots Torres, US Consul John Domingo and Maria Tagalog, Lisette Garcia, Marisol Michael, Annette Mendezona, and Paquing Serafica.
Alberto and Maritere de Rotaeche were supposed to be in the group but chose to applaud from the sidelines. So did Diana Ledesma, Herbert Kang, Vilma Ouano, Loloy and Angie Unchuan, and Gema Pido, who sat with Pocholo and Cha-Cha Bernad, their daughter May Bernad and niece Pia Mercado.
There were outstanding costumes, like that of the Emperor of China worn by Percy Llaban. Aurora Causing Fernandez had a prize as a fairy godmother. Prize winners, too, were Casino Español secretary Gabby Leyson and Tina Jordana in psychedelic colors, dancing the “Gangnam.”
Chinggay and Joe Utzurrum also rated a prize for their elegant Carnival in Venice attire, complete with masks. “So frail, I hand-carried them all the way from Venice,” said Chinggay.
The younger set formed a group labeled “Bollywood.” They wore silken saris and jeweled turbans dancing to the modern Indian beat. Standing out among them were Paco and Monique Jarque.
Marching to martial music came the “Top Gun” sixsome of Emil and Marisol Montenegro, Carlito and Gigi Alvarez, Jose Juan and Rosario Garcia.
A sumptuous buffet was served at Salon Madrid.
A carver sliced out one “jamón serrano” after another, while a long line formed for the prime rib roast. Turkey, bacalao, paellas and an array of desserts were duly appreciated.
Energies replenished, the dancing crowd got thicker to fill every square inch of the parquet flooring. As the countdown for the new year approached, grapes were distributed to munch “por cada campanada,” meaning the 12 strokes of midnight.
‘Los Reyes Magos’
On the following weekend, Casino Español was once more in a celebratory mood, what with the arrival of the Three Kings to distribute gifts to a whole roomful of excited children. Someone said “los Reyes Magos” looked like Anton Perdices, Paco Jarque and Luis Moro III behind those beards and beneath those satin robes.
And speaking of royalty at the Casino Español de Cebu, Rosebud Sala entertained Princess Ira von Fürstenberg during a ladies’ luncheon. Her Highness is a dear friend of Rosebud and has visited Cebu on other occasions.
Among those present were Rosebud’s daughter Marvi Sala, Teresin Mendezona, Carmen Campbell, Annie Aboitiz, Margie Taylor, Annie Mahrt and Avril Escario.