By Jullie Y. Daza
A new year is built on fond memories—the past left behind, the future beckoning, the two linked by the active, lively present in a chain that will one day determine character and history. As the song goes, ‘should auld acquaintance be forgot . . . we’ll take a cup of kindness yet. . .’
Some memories persist, others evaporate in the wink of an eye. How nice to remember only the most pleasant and pleasurable and write off those that hurt because of their power to persevere, stubborn as a stain that will not be washed or scrubbed away. And yet what would life be if no rain fell in summer, if every dish tasted the same without a touch of the bitter and the salty, if failure could not make success sweet?
On these pages, some winning moments captured in the last weeks of 2016 that represent love and wedded romance, personal and professional achievement, group effort and teamwork resulting in recognition and rewards, and the sheer fun of sharing a good time with friends!
Rizel Ann Lanoria’s Nativity crib is fashioned from Coca-Cola bottles, cans, and caps. Her entry made it to Belenismo’s Hall of Fame, besides winning P70,000 in cash.
‘BELENISMO’ 2016 CHAMPIONS
Rizel Ann Lanoria and the Armed Forces of the Philippines based in Camp Servillano Aquino in San Miguel, Tarlac, are the champion creators of Christmas belen in the ninth edition of Tarlac Heritage Foundation’s Belenismo 2016. Having won three consecutive times in the last three years, they are now in the foundation’s Hall of Fame. Their entries won for Mrs. Lanoria P70,000 in the community category, and P100,000 for the AFP in the grand non-municipal category. Other winners: Grand Municipal Category—San Clemente, first; Capas, second; Anao, third. Community Category – Lanoria, 1st; Jeci Lapus, 2nd; Pura, 3rd. Church Category – St. Joseph Parish, 1st; Sto. Cristo Parish, 2nd; Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, 3rd. Monumental Category— Alice de Vera, 1st; Nay’s House, 2nd; McDonald’s Capas, 3rd. Grand Non-Municipal Category—AFP, 1st; SM Prime Holdings, 2nd; Robinsons Land, 3rd.
President Duterte handed the awards and congratulated Dr. Isabel C. Suntay, co-founder of the foundation: “I like how everyone is connected in their effort to come up with beautiful belens.”
Dr. Milagros How, EVP of Universal Harvester Inc., presents check to Gerardo Esteban, TOFARM Outstanding Farmer of 2016. He is from Brgy. 3, Laur, Nueva Ecija.
“Our farmers have always been our source of sustenance since time immemorial. They till the land and work the fields, harvest the farmlands and the seas, provide us with crops, produce, meat, milk and everything else we need to experience a bountiful existence.”
With those words, Dr. Milagros How explains why she has been searching for outstanding farmers since 2012—to recognize and thank them for feeding a nation of 100 million. Presenting the 2016 TOFARM Outstanding Farmers as chosen nationwide by Universal Harvester Inc.: Gerardo Esteban, Nemia Buhain, Aucena family, Batac City agriculture office, Hermogenes Dingil Sr., Jonathan Domingo, Celestino Mananguit, Brian Belen, Elizabeth Garceron, Villaconzoilo Community Assn., and Camsur Multipurpose Cooperative.
Eric Cruz performs with Pilita Corrales and children from the Shirley Halili School of Dance. Singing and dancing, a night of joy and gratitude, filled Eric’s heart. As a friend told him, ‘You’re a tenor, tonight you showed them and wowed them. Are you going to be an impresario next?’
THANKSGIVING IS A MUSICAL WORD
Contractor Eric Cruz, son of the pioneering F.F. Cruz whose structures mark the Metro Manila skyline and crisscross its streets, invited friends, staff and employees to join him for An Evening with Pilita at The Theater in Solaire in early December. As a co-worker at Eric’s company, Frey-Fil, said, “It’s not his birthday, it’s not really a Christmas party, it’s as he puts it, his way of expressing his gratitude” for a life well-lived and to share his love of singing and music. Besides Pilita Corrales (who changed costumes five times), his guests were Dyords Javier, Basil Valdez, The Company, and dancers from his wife Shirley Halili’s School of Dance.
Mr. and Mrs. Danny Vazquez cut the cake at the reception held at Shangri-la Makati. The bride chose ecru for her wedding dress: ‘I didn’t think white would be appropriate.’ Then she giggled.
A WEDDING OF GRANDPARENTS
So what? Baby Cruz and Danny Vazquez stole a march on their friends, surprising the few (40 only) who were invited and shocking those who were not. The bride’s closest friends might have suspected something was in the air, but it was a secret so tightly kept until the last minute that they didn’t have time to order a new dress or suit to wear to the afternoon wedding at St. Paul’s Chapel. Mr. and Mrs. Vazquez said they were in no hurry to move to the next stage, the honeymoon. Three months later, however, they were off to San Francisco.
Right: Baby Cruz Vazquez’ son-in-law, Comelec Chairman Andy Bautista, with Jacobo and Mateo Bautista, Baby Vazquez, Xavier and Alvaro Bautista.
Do opposites attract? Maybe not opposite likes and dislikes, but opposite body clocks, because as Baby confessed about her 88-year-old Danny, “He goes to sleep at nine and that’s when I’m most wide awake!” True love it is.