Rock and Roll Bash Like No Other to Celebrate Louie Ablaza’s 80th
In the present-day world of octogenarians Consul Louie Ablaza stands apart, encapsulating the charm of the quintessential gentleman of the Old World. Inspired by a novelty invitation of a jukebox with a 45 RPM copy where the song “Rock Around the Clock” could actually be played, partygoers came in funky rock and roll attire; and in spite of the weather prediction of a super storm, loyal friends trooped all the way to grandiose Amelia to celebrate his 80th birthday in rockin’ style. Together with the always-fashionable wife, Consul to Guatemala Mellie, they continue to fascinate their guests with their love for the new, creative and challenging party themes; and that the season is not complete without an impressive Ablaza fete.
In the happiest of mood, Louie’s welcome speech was witty and clever, with lines borrowed from Beatle songs: “When I was younger, so much younger than today”, that was in 1955, I first heard “Rock Around the Clock.” To most of us, dancing to rock and roll music gives us a freestyle, more upbeat, open way of expressing our joy for life. Let’s make today an ‘Afternoon Delight’. Joy for life – that’s really what we celebrate today. To people who have reached their 40th year, when as they say, life begins, and to people who have reached their diamond 75th year and beyond, like me, we no longer celebrate our birthdays. Join me as we celebrate in thanksgiving that we are alive; that God has extended our lives from year to year.” Louie beamed with a smile: “Our joy as a family is now complete since you, our friends are here to celebrate with us. That’s what friends are for”.
After Mass, the guests sampled food from a diner truck with Chef Jessie herself supervising. There were mini burgers, old fashioned hot dogs, not to mention their de rigueur hors d’oeuvre of roast calf. Guests went wild taking photos with the sixties era memento, like one of the vintage sports cars of Louie. Stepping inside the ballroom, we got lost in the instant atmosphere of rock and roll, with sixties music and ambience. Arbiter of design, Jun Jun Ablaza pulled off another coup with his flamboyant and ultra cool decorative scheme: lavish use of preserved vinyl records and shiny colorful paper accessories which hung from the ceiling. Featured performers were Elvis Presley’s look a likes, which started a dance party. Dr. George Sarakinis, who has been tagged the Elvis Presley of Greece, opened the program with his Elvis songs, as the ladies rushed to the dance floor. Filipino Elvis, Nonie Yambao sang a medley that the revellers boogied to the beat as Louie’s speech still hummed in my ears: “Let’s once more be “On Top of the World,” and recall “Moments made of these Golden memories”, because “Betcha by golly wow”, “that’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it.”