Society Boodle Fight

Celebrating the good life with family and close friends, man of the moment, Consul Louie Ablaza, recently celebrated his 78th birthday with a barrio fiesta boodle fight lunch. Louie realizes the importance of celebrating the milestones in our lives, as well as taking time out to get away from it all. Thus, their castle estate, Amelia, in Cavite was the perfect venue for such a celebration. The festivities kicked off with a Thanksgiving Mass at their chapel, one of the cluster of structures that comprise their vast sprawling estate, stretching out for miles. A two-and-a-half hour drive, Amelia is a luxurious urban escape like no other, and a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of daily living.

Once again the queen of Amelia, Consul Mellie Ablaza, pulled out all the stops for her beloved husband, Louie. Party people love theme parties and the marching band in the driveway had set the tone for the barrio fiesta mood. The guests included diplomats, family, and close friends. After the mass, barong-clad models escorted the Filipiniana-attired guests to the open area beside the chapel for appetizers of roasted calf, lechon baka, bibingka, dirty ice cream, and more. The guests then proceeded to the Pavilion for the boodle fight lunch. Kudos to their multitalented event designer son, Jun Jun Ablaza, who transformed the Pavillion into a kaleidoscope of whimsical fantasy. Hanging multicolored umbrellas were bundled together creating huge balls in bold colors and horns were grouped together creating a sunburst pattern, which added festive cheer to the occasion.

Emcee TedrickYau spoke on the insights of the chosen theme. Eldest son, Consul Marc, did the welcome speech followed by Louie’s grandson Xavi Ablaza. The Ablaza family, led by lovely Mellie, sang the birthday song while the birthday cake—a miniature version of Amelia with Louie’s favorite automobile, the Hummer, was wheeled out onto the Pavillion. Louie blew out the candle as the guests joined in singing the birthday song. Seated in long communal tables laden with banana leaves, the invitees awaited Chef Jessie Sincioco’s crave-worthy Filipino farm-fresh dishes. One by one, the mouthwatering viands were spread out, among them pako salad, fresh crabs, fresh oysters, barbecues, a whole cochinillo, adobong pusit. Some of the guests ate with their hands, like the Filipino-speaking wife of the Canadian Ambassador Mme. Irene Reeder, while the less adventurous opted for silverware. The setting was indeed of provincial-style hospitality.

As in most barrio fiestas, musical numbers by townsfolk is a tradition. Similarly, with other Ablaza celebrations, the program started off with the grandchildren. Performing alayor, the offering of gifts were the talented Xavi, Santi, and Rocio Ablaza, children of Consul Marc. To Louie’s surprise, the rest of his grandchildren, Alfonso, Agu, Amanu, Azi, and Azia, children of Dr. Jofe and Czarina Ablaza Syquia, danced while performing a putong or the offering of flowers. The globally renowned Bayanihan Dance Company entertained everyone with Pandanggo sa Ilaw and the foreign guests were invited to dance the Tinikling. Closing remarks were done by Santi, who extended a heartwarming message to the beloved Louie. Before heading for the long trip home, guests indulged in a buffet of native delicacies and fruits.; Facebook/tinahidalgojacinto


The Barrio Fiesta all decked with banderitas started with appetizers at the Tent beside the chapel
The fabulous décor done by Jun Jun Ablaza at the Pavillion
The grandchildren perform a dance number in front of the birthday celebrator Consul Louie Ablaza
Consul Louie Ablaza blows the candle of his birthday cake, a miniature of the Amelia Estate
Consul’s Mellie and Louie Ablaza with Jun Jun Ablaza and Czarina Ablaza Syquia with the models
Rupert Jacinto, Consul Mellie Ablaza and the author
Nympha Valencia, Glecy Mojares, Alice Samson, Marivic Vazquez, Rupert Jacinto, Consul Mellie Ablaza, the author, Duday Tuason and Patty Jalbuena
Ambassador Josef Mullner, Stephanie Mullner, Marilou Alejandro, Ambassador Massimo Roscigno, Agnes Roscigno and Consul Gen. Fortune Ledesma
Sheree Chua, Consul Helen Ong, Consul Agnes Huibonhua, Chua and the author
Ambassador Roberto Mayorga, Paulina Mayorga, Eloisa Klecheski, Evie Costa and Alice Guerrero
Minerva Tanseco, Lydia Reyes, Nora Robles, Alice Briones and Letty Syquia
Consul Jose Periquet Jr. Maribel Calma, Beth Periquet, Pabling Calma, Tina Carlos, Joe Rosario and Consul Gen Vince Carlos
Susan Joven, Criselda Lontok, Nena Casimiro and Ching Montinola
Seated: Lolette Carrillo, Linda Cuan and Ofelia Trinidad, Standing: Gigi Trinidad and Bujing Danao
Jullie Yap Daza, Danny Dolor and Charisse Chuidian
Mme. Irene Reeder, Nonie Basilio and Bert Basilio
Criselda Lontok, Jun Leonor, Nene Leonor and Karen Macasaet. Standing are Ado Escudero and Boysie Villavicencio
Michele Sison, Greggy Vera Cruz and Jun Jun Ablaza
Milania Yau, Tedrick Yau and Nene Pe Lim
Frank Evaristo, Anne Josephine Borromeo, Consul Federico Borromeo, Marivic Vazquez and Vicky Assad
Baby Ortiz, Consul Louie Ablaza, Minerva Tanseco, Nena Casimiro and Beng Fores
Dr. Jaime Laya and Consul Helen Ong
Marilou Alejandro and Jose Alejandro boodle fight lunch on banana leaves
Mike Toledo and Ambassador Effie Matityau
Ambassador L.D. Ralte and Ambassador Neil Reeder


Ambassador Rolando Guevara Alvarado
Czarina Ong Camus, Bernie Benedicto and Marilou Benedicto
Lilibeth Campos, Paqui Campos and Marivic Vazquez
Marian Ong Nuguid, Becky Garcia, Jun Jun Ablaza and Francis de Leon
Enjoying the champagne are Alice Samson, Paqui Campos, Lilibeth Campos, Nympha Valencia, Marivic Vazquez and Glecy Mojares.
Mellie Ablaza in a happy dancing mood
Tinikling Dance with Mme. Irene Reeder