Sunday tripping

It was a beautiful and sunny Sunday morning and it was a good reason for a road trip down south! For the members of Volvo Club Iloilo, the Southern Iloilo countryside drive was all about speed, style and safety!

Led by club president BUDDY SILVA and VP PETER PAUL YAP, ten high-end models of classy Swedish-made Volvo cars made their way through Oton, Tigbauan, Guimbal, Miag-ao and San Joaquin! Along the way, we enjoyed the scenic and historic spots each town offers.

We made it in time for a sumptuous brunch at Assemblage Point, a plush resort in Lawigan, San Joaquin. Amid fun conversation on weather and life sense, we also took pleasure in the cool breeze, the tropical landscape, rocky marine sanctuary and the picturesque view of Panay Gulf and Sulu Sea! We were 30 minutes away from one of the best diving and snorkeling spots in the country.

On the way back to Metro-Iloilo, a photoshoot was conducted by leading society photographer RAY TABAFUNDA for each participating member and his Volvo at scenic and historic spots.

Indeed, it was one of the most enjoyable road trips yours truly took! (Photos by Ray Tabafunda)


Happy birthday, Nonoi!

Closest friends took a leisurely trip to Calinog for NONOI YBIERNAS’ birthday lunch. Held at his family residence, the get-together was simple and intimate.

A talented cook, the celebrator prepared some of his and our favorite dishes – old recipes with new twists and touches! We oohed and aahed on Sweet and Sour Fish, Arroz de Valenciana, Pancit Palabok, Patotem, Kare-Kare with homemade shrimp paste, and Linabog!

After lunch coffee and snack of buns and rolls, the conversations on current events, wellness and future plans alternately turned fun to serious but always interesting and intelligent!

The gathering continued till early evening when pika-pika and beveragic delights were served! Oh, well, before we knew it, it was late and time to go home. We said our adieus with promises of sooner-than-soon meet-ups!

NONOI Y. is the Iloilo correspondent of Philippine Tatler, the numero uno society, lifestyle and sporting magazine in the country!

Happy Birthday, Jet!

It was supposed to be a simple celebration. However, muy simpatica JET JIZ-YAP’s birthday bash at Happy Kitchen on the 3rd floor terrace of Amigo Hotel was anything but plain! Guests and well-wishers from politics, business, profession and society came, stayed and enjoyed the good food, fine wine, entertainment and each other’s company!

A hardworking businesswoman, JET JIZ-YAP was one of the accredited caterers for APEC Iloilo 2015.


And the partying continues…

The next day after the grand celebration of Dr. PACITA TRINIDAD-GONZALEZ at Manila Polo Club, our hostess with the mostest took us to Tagaytay Highlands Country Club for a fun lunch and a tour of her properties in Tagaytay City. Along the way we engaged in very interesting conversations on current events and politics.

We later joined couple ROMMEL and KATHLEEN for snacks and coffee at Café Romulo of Azumi Boutique Hotel in Alabang. Amid noteworthy talk on business and organic farming, the get-together led to early dinner!

We made it just in time for our flight to Metro-Iloilo! Our friends called us crazy for taking it because of the bad weather. Needless to say, it was a bumpy ride all the way but the pilot made it up with a very smooth landing on the tarmac of Iloilo International Airport! Praise God!

As if not enough, Dr. PACITA TRINIDAD-GONZALEZ hosted another dinner party at the Ballroom of Summer House in Iloilo Midtown Hotel to celebrate her birthday.

In attendance were an eclectic mix of friends and well-wishers from politics, business, media and profession, and loads of loyalists!

The event was spiced up by song and dance numbers. Potted orchids were given away as party favors! (Photos by Pinoy Gonzales)

The Diamond Lady celebrates

Turning 75 is a great reason to celebrate. And the children of former Representative of the 2nd District of Zambales, cosmetic surgeon PACITA TRINIDAD-GONZALEZ, did just that for her! The epicenter of the celebration was the ballroom of tres exclusive Manila Polo Club on McKinley Road in Forbes Park!

In attendance at the tie and gown affair were who’s who in politics, business and society! They all enjoyed the good food, fine wine, each other’s company, fun conversation, dance band and special song numbers from balladeer COCOY LAUREL.

Dr. MARIGOLD T. GONZALEZ brought the house down with funny anecdotes about her mom. She also prepared an AVP that chronicled the life and times of her mom with surprise greeting and well-wishes from classmates, friends and staff.

The partying went in crescendo with ballroom dancing.

Also a successful businesswoman, Dr. PACITA TRINIDAD-GONZALEZ is the widow of the late Justice Secretary and former Representative of the Lone District of Iloilo City RAUL M. GONZALEZ.

Central Spirit

Rightfully so, the week-long 110th University Day celebration of Central Philippine University was highlighted by the Alumni Night at Ann Margaret Ballroom of Diversion 21 Hotel. It gathered distinguished alumni from here, there and abroad, local movers, shakers and achievers, and the top brass of CPU!

The partying kicked off with a sumptuous dinner. Moving around, CPU President Dr. TEODORO ROBLES welcomed everyone with warm smile and firm handshake!

The fun-filled program included the induction of officers and directors of Centralians in Mass Media, introduction of the Board of Trustees, song and dance production numbers and raffles of prizes.

But the piece de resistance of the night was the announcement and crowning of Alumni Queen 2015. The winner was selected through balloting. The fund-raising campaign by different CPU alumni organizations across the archipelago and abroad collected loads of money for the CPU Alumni Association, Inc.

Mrs. Alumni Nursing LYDIA MacDONNELL bested six other candidates to win the CPU Alumni Queen 2015 title. She was crowned by CPU Alumni Queen 2014 ANITA VERIA-OLSSON.

The in-demand TOTONG VILLARUZ Band set the mood for an all-night dancing! The guests, all dressed up according to the fashion of the decade they graduated, burned calories swinging and gyrating con mucho gusto to the music of the yesteryears!

“It certainly brought back memories,” enthused a well-dressed alumna in between dances.


My birthday series (3)

As yours truly celebrated another dynamic year, popular chef PAULINE GORRICETA-BANUSING hosted a fun-filled dinner party for me and closest friends at the famed Steps of Rome in posh Plazuela de Iloilo.

She prepared an array of sumptuous international dishes all complemented by fine wine, iced vodka and scotch whiskey from Henry’s Liquor and Wine!

All in all, the terrific evening was prevalent with rip-roaring laughter and memories of good times that instantly placed big smiles on everyone’s faces!

Certainly, yours truly will forever cherish this celebration as yours truly continues to age gracefully, without batting an eyelash! (Photos by Ray Tabafunda)


Wedding bells, wedding cheers: The Reception

While the religious ceremony for the marriage of JOHN KENNETH WOO and PATRICIA UYTIEPO SERVANDO was solemn, the reception was something else! It was fun, fab and festive!

Event coordinator DENNIS OCHOA of Ewe turned the Ann Margaret Ballroom of Diversion 21 Hotel into a fabulous party place in keeping with the “Around the World” theme. Each table had famous international landmarks as décor. Ours was the Eiffel Tower!

Program host MAX TIU, who alternately spoke in Chinese and English, spiced the night with his wacky jokes and antics. Sumptuous culinary fares, overflowing beveragic delights and fabulous dance music by hotshot DJ RYAN ESPINOSA set the mood for an all-night partying.

When not hobnobbing with each other or hitting the dancefloor, the guests enjoyed on sinfully sweet treats by Dulgie’s.

Moving around snapping photos for posterity were groomsman JR SIO and his team. Lula Films freeze framed the happenings.

Needless to say, the WOO-SERVANDO wedding reception was one of the best parties yours truly attended this year! Congratulations, JOHN KENNETH and PATRICIA!

Bringing Sun to Life

Award-winning actor and matinee idol PIOLO PASCUAL, Sun Life brand ambassador, jetted to Metro-Iloilo to promote #LiveFreePH Movement!

Created by Sun Life, the national campaign aims to rally Filipinos toward financial freedom and to inspire them to believe that a brighter future is possible.

A press conference was held on the 7th Floor of Richemonde Hotel. The window-paneled function room afforded the media personas and invited guests a good view of Megaworld Iloilo. They also enjoyed a 15-dish spread!

The #LiveFreePH Freedom Tour will have pit stops in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Rightfully so, it is to create awareness and encourage community involvement and participation in the provinces.

According to MYLENE LOPA, Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer, “the tour will feature a lineup of activities that will guide participants as they begin their journey towards financial freedom.”  Sun Life Advisors will be on hand to assist the participants.

The “Freedom Celebration” will culminate each pit stop. It is a concert that will feature the musical performances of PIOLO PASCUAL. He will lead the movement and give Filipinos a boost as they strive to reach their financial goals.

After the Iloilo leg, the next stop will be Davao next year.

Sweet Soiree

ANNE CATEDRILLA-SEISA, a successful Ilongga businesswoman based in Los Angeles, California, USA, had a party for well-chosen friends and close relatives at her family private resort in Tiolas, San Joaquin to celebrate her birthday!

Seen toasting away were her husband, muy simpatico LOY SEISA, their goodlooking son TRISTAN SEISA, Vice Mayor VAL SERAG of San Joaquin, JOAQUIN SEISA and Houston-based photojournalist PINOY GONZALES.

The Pavilion’s dancefloor was alive with guests dancing to a band of three sexy ladies. The partying went on till wee hours amid overflowing beveragic delights!


My Birthday Series (2)

It was the turn of the creative force of Robinsons Place Iloilo to surprise me with a birthday lunch at Chikaan!

ROFEL JOHN PARREÑO, STELLA MAE HEMBRA and STEPHEN VON JERUTA gathered my nearest and dearest friends. In connivance with owners WILLY and ROWENA CHIN, they also chose the menu which included some of my favorites!

As if not enough, more surprises came. The Chikaan staff brought a birthday cake and sang a “Happy Birthday” song!

Long time friend PNP Senior Inspector JOJO TABALOC, chief of Police Precinct 1 (PP1) of Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), dropped by in our table to greet yours truly.

With the presence of fashion designers BO PARCON and JET SALCEDO, the fun conversation shifted from current events to fashion and upcoming events.

After the coffee and cake were served, yours truly got a call from another friend. Because she was not able to attend my birthday lunch, she told me she will host a dinner party for me before the week was over. Oh, well, who can say no to that offer? Certainly not yours truly!

The dinner party was another story to tell and which will see print soon!