In our post-modern society, a particularly interesting fact is that themed events have been trending. There is a limitless appetite for creating alternative re­alities, and it’s no surprise that con­sul to Guatemala Mellie Ablaza had

 transported us once again into a magical universe, recreating multiple dimensions, like Shanghai’s palace of grandeur. Accessories king with a penchant for the ostentatious, son Jun Jun created a one-of-a-kind, fan­tastical Salon de Mellie, decorated with rich tones of red walls ablaze with a dragon, life-size antique Bud­dha statues, and its ceiling decorated with golden lanterns and pink blooms. Together with consul to Zambia Louie Ablaza, they sat like royalty on ornate Chinese thrones at the presidential table with their honorable diplomat­ic guests.

The traditional thanks­giving Mass was followed with cocktails at the tent­ed court, and a delec­table variety of Chinese dim sums and bubbly were served, while being entertained with Chinese dance numbers and Mandarin ballads. A special Chinese-French lunch, prepared by master chef Jessie Sincioco was held at a dimly-lit oriental banquet hall at Amelia, and voila! Suddenly, it was like stepping into a room with an eve­ning ambience. Guests travelled the distance dressed in Chinese theme of cheongsams and headdresses, and one can’t help but be immersed in the grandeur of an era. Jewelry designer Lilibeth Campos and husband Pac­qui won the best dressed couple of the party. There were selfies galore using the multiple fan headdress de­signed by Jun Jun which were used for the photo ops. The celebrated cui­sine showed chef Jessie’s impeccable attention to each element of her six-course menu including her rolls with  her special salsa. I relished the Chi­nese lumpia with scallops in saffron sauce, steamed lapu-lapu with sesame noodles, wa­tercress and champignons, orange-lychee sorbet, and a main course of roast Peking duck in goose liver sauce with Chinese fried rice and kai-lan. The finale was a dessert plate of cream cara­mel money bag, chestnut buchi, and chino macaron. After the program, arroz­caldo was served with all the condiments.

A special Chinese song was sang by Ping Valencia, consul Helen Ong, and yours truly with a dance number by Marian Ong and Edwin Medalla for the beloved Mellie. A Chinese dance troupe and an acoustic band provided the en­tertainment. Mellie’s four grand­sons: Alfonso, Agu, Azi, and Amanu, Czarina, and Dr. Jofe Syquia’s sons performed their violin pieces to the delight of the well-heeled audience. Mellie’s eldest son, Marc, offered a toast after Mellie blew her towering red and gold dragon cake. After the laughter came the dancing. A beautiful lifestyle, limitless energy, and exceptional ingenuity— these describe the fascinating life of one of Manila’s society doyenne, Mel­lie Ablaza, who makes her wildest dreams come true.