Ka Louie Ablaza’s ‘barrio fiesta’

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Becky Garcia

Becky Garcia

Consul Luis “Louie” Ablaza’s 78th birthday was another event we had been looking forward to, so much so that we did not mind the long drive to Amelia, the family’s beautiful home in Cavite, where the patriarch’s celebration was held.

Whenever the Ablazas throw a party, attendees can always expect a fabulously themed celebration and the latest party was no exception. The Ablazas gladly welcomed guests—consisting of women in their Filipiniana and men with their red panuelos—to Amelia where a rich Filipino culture and tradition await.

Event stylist Jun Jun Ablaza fashioned the place to be a colorful and lively barrio fiesta and used artistic installations made of umbrellas and recycled cups to add excitement to the décor.

 Birthday celebrant Louie Ablaza with wife Mellie

Birthday celebrant Louie Ablaza with wife Mellie

The festivities began after the thanksgiving mass, when guests were ushered to the open area beside the chapel. By then, it became a grand gathering of families and friends with sumptuous food and fun activities.

Different booths showcased the many activities of a traditional barrio fiesta, including a calf roasting station for local lechon baka and a marching band that continuously played in the background.

Hosting the event was Tedrick Yau who started the program by giving insights on the theme of the party. Welcoming guests to their family’s celebration were Louie’s eldest son Marc and grandson Xavi Ablaza.

The entire family then gathered on the center to sing the birthday song to Louie. But of course, his interesting cake did not go unnoticed—it was a miniature version of the family’s castle-like home, made more special with a miniature Hummer, Louie’s favorite car. The scene became jollier when guests stood up to join the family in the singing.

Lunch was one of a kind for a society party; instead of formal dining setup, long tables with banana leaves were set for the fun boodle fight—a symbol of camaraderie. It was made extra special with the culinary expertise of the wonderful Chef Jessie Sincioco.

The Ablaza & Syquia Family

The Ablaza & Syquia Family

Every barrio fiesta will not be complete without rituals and performances by the townsfolk. Louie’s grandchildren Xavi, Santi, and Rocio Ablaza performed an alayor or the offering of gifts. As a surprise addition, Louie’s grandchildren Alfonso, Agu, Amanu, Azi, and Azia Ablaza Syquia danced while performing a putong or the offering of flowers. Capping off the traditional dance showcase was Bayanihan Dance Company—the Philippine’s world-renowned national dance company—whose tinikling and pandanggo sa ilaw performances left the audience in awe. Closing the party was Louie’s grandson Santi Ablaza who extended a heartwarming message to his Lolo Louie.

Even after the end of the formalities, guests were still asked to stay as for famous Filipino desserts; delectable sweet endings before we take our ride back to the city.

Indeed, it was another uniquely conceptualized Ablaza party that we will remember for years to come.

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