By TINA HIDALGO JACINTO
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.