Only George Sison can come up with such a unique invitation to a birthday celebration one cannot resist but say, “Yes, I’m coming!” His promises include serendipitous encounters, lots of songs and laughter, lively exchange of ideas and wonderful reflections of yourself.
He asked his guests to come in semi-formal attire as follows: born in the sign of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, Ladies in red, gentlemen in suit with red shirt or tie; born in the sign of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, ladies in yellow, gentlemen in suit with yellow shirt or tie; born in the sign of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, ladies in blue, gentlemen in suit with blue shirt or tie, born in the sign of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, ladies in green, gentlemen in suit with green shirt or tie.
We were at the Society Lounge 45 minutes later than the appointed time of 7:30 p.m. on Rizal Day (with no objections from the National Hero according to George in his invite). When we arrived and signed in, we saw at the right side of Society Lounge many of the who’s who in Manila society partaking of the champagne and canopies.
Naturally, the champagne had already taken its effect filling the room with laughter, animated conversation and lively exchanges between people from the different sectors of high society.
The debonair Jimmy Laya was exchanging notes with artist Marivic Rufino about their visits to a dooms day astrologer who frightens her clients with dire predictions of the future. Mav was accompanied by her steady beau Brazilian Consul Miguel Realmonte. She looked stunning in her green outfit.
In another corner was businessman Dr. George Sarakinis. I too, was in green so was my good friend Manette Agbayani. Also singer Rafael Centenera who is popular abroad and just came back this year to record and release a CD of Filipino songs. Gemma Cruz-Araneta will always look like the current Miss International no matter how long ago she had won the trophy. Bulgari boss Mario Katigbak told us that he came with Criselda Lontok in her own creation in red.
The lady with velvet voice Virginia Aldea who hosts a radio show in DZRJ weekdays was huddled with insurance man Robert Lim and his wife Helen and former DBP executive Leila Nicasio.
Hong Kong businessman Chito Mabanta, Financier and owner of Angel Kitchen Oscar Ong, Dynamic distributor of energy LED lights Patrick Jacinto who came earlier than Nedy Tantoco were exchanging business tips. Opinion Columnist par excellence Bong Austero in a tête-à-tête with painter Phyllis Zaballero who also invited us to a book launch of her artworks written by Alfredo Roces.
Later on, we spotted young billionaire Joseph Calata who arrived with his lovely partner Nel Salvador in green followed by lawyer and Subic businessman Cyril Means with wife Bernadette. Looking at these two ladies with their model-like figures, one can’t believe that both have just delivered babies and in the case of Bernadette, twins no less.
Well-known broadcaster and columnist Ramon Tulfo who co-host a radio show with the celebrant came with his lovely Jeanny Jinang was in serious conversation with Princess Merriam Kiram, wife of the late 34th Sultan of Sulu Mahakuttah Kiram who in 1981 gave George the title Maharajah Adinda.
We noticed that the pass-arounds were not like the usual that are served in many cocktails we frequent. It was such a delight to discover that the fried tawilis goes fabulously well with champagne; and that deviled eggs can be put together with spicy sardines rather than its own yolk. Also the cracker mozzarella cheese, alfa-alfa concoction was truly unique in many ways and the champagne gets you even higher.
Chef Patrice Freuslon whispered to us that they were actually George’s ideas. We were not surprised because after all, once upon a time, George owned the unforgettable Stars of Giorgio.
The still glamorous Pilita Corrales arrived with hubby Carlos Lopez and joined movie dome iconic movie couple Barbara Perez and Robert Arevalo. The very witty Margarita Sison, icon of beauty Diana Jane Lopez and consistently elegant Tina Jacinto, all of them in red were laughing away about some private joke while fabulous photographer Rupert Jacinto snapped pictures of them to record their laughter for posterity.
The exuberant Marivic Vasquez in red joined Store specialist CEO and Rustan’s President Nedy Tantoco in blue, and Bergamo’s Mel Meer in green. Donnie Ramirez and Glen Gale exchanging pleasantries with Ms. World franchise holder Cory Quirino and popular socialite Virginia Lane.
Super architect Tomas Ng was telling the story of how he built the seven star resort in China to Toll ways big boss Louie Sison, psychologist wife Triccie and the ever social Grace Glory Go. He is currently designing Rustans Cebu and Gateway. The very gregarious Sandie Poblador was in black but highlighted her look with an outstanding green necklace came with her lawyer husband Manoling were chatting with the bubbly Eva Abesamis in yellow.
Peter Jentes was surprised to see how Schwarzwalder metamorphosized into the Society Lounge that it is today. He was explaining this to the most admired hair stylist and make-up artist Jesi Mendez, Dr. Richard Joseph who is a congressman for the OFW representing the Filipinos in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, steel man William Tan, Solar anchor person Amelyn Veloso and sister-in-law in common of the celebrant and Hong Kong businessman Chito Mabanta, Minette Javellana Sison.
Before dinner was served, emcees Medel Templonuevo and I asked everyone to sing the birthday song while George lighted his own birthday candle which he believes should not be blown and just let it burn until it melts away. He asked, why blow away your wishes?
Finally, George did a spiel on why Rizal was his personal hero who inspired him to do all things he did in the many seasons of his life. And concluded “I’m luckier than Jose Rizal because he lived up to 35 and I intend to live until 135” adding, “Please remember I’m only 27!” And with that, received a roaring applause.