My dear friend, Willem Van Suijdam—a talented concert organist and conductor and owner of Manila Pianos, the largest one stop store of Pianos and piano rebuilding center in Southeast Asia—celebrated his 60th birthday in an intimate and elegant bash held at their huge showroom gallery in Makati City.
The party was set with Steinway, Yamaha, Grotrian, Bosendorfer, Pearl River, Kawai, Mason Hamlin, Young Chang, Samick, and Harpsichord pianos and content digital organs, in the background. It became a musical haven later with the serving of a sumptuous buffet.
Willam’s lady love and fiancée, Gina Ronquillo welcomed his guests headed by former First Lady and Congresswoman Imelda Marcos, retired Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño, Dutch Ambassador to the Philippines Marion Derckx, Manila Up publisher Sonia Bermejo and beauty queen Vina Nacionales.
Also present were Vanity Magazine’s Joy Fong, People Asia’s Glenn Gale, Images Asia’s Ernest Gonzaga, Rupert and Tina Jacinto, Former Dutch Ambassador Theo Arnold and Beth Victoria, Italian James Freney, actress Jean Saburit, and glam ladies Len Olbes, Jem Gonzales, Rosanna Pena, Nancy Bismonte, Cristina Olbes, Michelle Lee.
Adding merriment to the party were Noel and Mitch Tanada, Dr. Joni Dizon, newly married couple Jack and Angela Noh, and Consul Fortune Ledesma, to name a few.
The surprise of the night was the appearance of Willem’s brother Karl and sister Karen who flew in all the way from the Netherlands just to surprise the celebrant. The meeting was really tearful.
After dinner, good friends of Willem alternately showcased their talents. Dr. George Sarakinis hosted the party and gamely sang some songs. Madame Marcos likewise participated in with several songs and so thus crooner Arthur Manuntag, actor director Ricky Davao, Lilibeth Garcia and Caruso Restaurant’s Emilio Mina who sang Italian songs.
The party lasted until the wee hours of the morning amid endless flow of good wines. Wishing Willem the very best and a wish for longer life. Happy birthday Willem! Cheers!!!