Many eagerly awaited the golden wedding anniversary of Honorary Consul to Zambia Luis Ablaza Jr. and Honorary Consul to Guatemala Amelia Romero Ablaza. Heightening the excitement was the chance to finally set foot in Amelia—the vast hacienda of the family in Alfonso, Cavite—where the celebration was held.
Taking Louie seven years to build, Amelia was completed just in time for the 50th anniversary as his gift to Mellie. The property was medieval inspired, standing like a fortress with crenellated towers protecting a castle in the center. The interiors have considerable ornamentation that initiated the theme of Louie and Mellie’s royal fairytale anniversary.
Four hundred fifty guests made it to the final list, each receiving a keepsake boxes with an invitation and a gilt baroque picture frame carefully handcrafted by Excel Frames and Decors from Mt. Pinatubo ashes.
Stated in the invitation that in lieu of gifts, guests were requested to donate instead to either Ina ng Laging Saklolo Parish in Tagaytay City, Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism, or the Alagad ni Maria.
At 4 p.m. on June 6, Mellie rode a gold painted wooden carriage decked with flowers to the chapel in Amelia from the main house. Louie waited patiently as guests waived to Mellie, anxiously waiting for the renewal of vows to begin.
The attire worn by Mellie, as well as her children Jun-Jun and Czarina, and granddaughters Rocio and Azia at the chapel ceremony were all by Steve de Leon. Mellie’s spectacular gown had fifty pieces of eighteen karat gold buttons in front to signify the fifty golden years. The ninety inch long burda de oro was stitched with three kinds of gold thread. The middle portion of the dress had embroidered letters A and R to represent the union of Romero and Ablaza.
After the renewal of vows, guests were ushered to the Dining Hall decorated by the couple’s second son, Jun-Jun Ablaza. Tables were draped with custom-made jewel tones and gold damask fabric underlay, topped with patterned organza fabric. The setting was made more stunning with hundreds of lighted candles.
The dinner program was organized and overseen by Raymond Villanueva and Jett Carpio. Johnny Litton was the master of ceremonies, providing a very amusing evening that the guests enjoyed. While enjoying the dinner prepared by Chef Jesse Sincioco, entertainment was provided by the Daloy Dance Co.
Mellie’s gown at the dance were designed by Cary Santiago. One of the eye-catchiest details in her final look for the evening was her pièce de résistance Bvlgari diamond and grey gold serpentine necklace.
The grandchildren of the couple each shared their musical talents from little Azia Syquia’s medley of songs from “Cinderella”, Alfonso, Agu, Amanu, and Azi Syquia’s string quintet performance of “Beethoven No. 5”, to Xavier and Santiago Ablaza’s solo piano performances of “Arabesque” and “Spring Song” respectively. The proud grandparents sat on glass thrones, marveling at the musical prowess of their many grandchildren.
Other performances were by George Yang who sang “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing”, and Dr. Raul Sunico who played the piano. The musicians at the pavilion were from the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra.
The highlight of the night was a French quadrille and waltz with friends of the couple and members of the diplomatic corps. It was choreographed by Bujing Danao with the assistance of Dalah Pia and Renato Delgado.
In the background was a 12-foot royal wedding cake placed on top of an antique gilt carozza with calado design. It was lit from the inside, giving off a golden glow. Just beside the cake was a massive Möet and Chandon champagne tower.
In his touching speech, Louie mentioned that she wanted to name the hacienda simply, Amelia in honor of the love of his life.
Quoting Mellie from her pictorial biography, On Being Mellie, “When I was a little girl, I dreamt of a prince who would sweep me off my feet. I imagined a boy who held my hand and led me to the dance floor for a round of waltz.” Indeed, everything came true for the now queen of Louie’s heart.