Olorga: Prettier in pink at 80-A A +A
By Mimi Olarga
Saturday, September 7, 2013
PINK. That was the theme color of the night -- from the balloons to the table center pieces, the cakes and cupcakes and other decors prepared by Eye Candy Creative Designs. Cute. And super pretty and cool, too, was the icon of the night that graced almost all nooks and corners of Sugarland Hotel Ballroom -- Hello Kitty.
She came in all sizes. Festive also was the mood. But it was not a kid’s birthday bash, nor a teener’s debut. It was a celebration of life - Tita Nene Gustilo’s 80th birthday. And what better way to celebrate an eight-decade birthday than honoring the celebrant herself?
The frail yet demure Isabelita (Tita Nene) graced the lives of her parents, Cornelio and Cornelia Javellana, as their seventh and the youngest child. Her life, blessed with abundant resources was tempered with outmost simplicity and garnished with plenty of good Christian values. Growing in the quaint and rustic Kabankalan, then, was filled with warm and happy memories of wholesome adventures with friends and relatives.
Moreover, the cathechesis given out by their Catholic education and emphasized at home molded Tita Nene’s strength of character.
Thus, when Tita Nene met and married Tito Terry (Eleuterio A. Gustilo Jr.), her pious character and her devotion to her family strengthened the essence of her being a woman, wife and mother. Committed she is to her family that she made one big, correct choice: to be a faithful wife to Tito Terry and a doting mother to her five children, her greatest treasures: Chuchi, Icoy, Libeth, Mingming and Roel.
Even with her Commerce degree, Tita Nene opted to be doing the 24/7 work of being a homely woman. With her affection and support to her family, Tita Nene truly affirms the verses in Proverbs 31:28, 31, “her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her… Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
So surprised she may be of such wonderful girl-y concept for her birthday party, Tita Nene 80th natal day celebration was made more special with the presence of her family, relatives and friends.
Fr. Dimit Gatia, Tita Nene’s cousin, and Monsignor Vic Rivas came and offered Tita Nene their prayer petitions.
Chuchi, married to Dr. Jake Gustilo, and children Luigi, Isabella, Martin and Justin; Icoy; Libeth, married to Arturo Martinez, with their kids Michael Paolo, Erika and Issa; Mingming; and Roel, with his wife, Mary Ann and their “unica hija,” Miggy were all but excited and happy to celebrate their Mommy’s special day. Eldest “apos,” Paopao and Luigi were handsome escorts to their “Wawa.” Youngest ones, Issa and Justin presented Tita Nene a lovely bouquet of fresh flowers. Mingming, Roel, Mary Ann and Miggy, who are in the US, sent candid video greetings, while the rest of the grandchildren pride their “Wawa” with each of their sincerest tributes. The creative Isabella compiled and turned all her “Lola’s” pics into two splendid video presentations. Bosom friend, and former classmate since her kinder to high school days in Kabankalan, Sonia Perez- Torreda, came all the way from Iloilo to honor Tita Nene.
Members of the close–knit Javellana and Gustilo families also proffered their warm embraces and deep love for the celebrant. And friends of her all children, who also have become Tita Nene’s "bff’s or best friends forever,” came to extend the lady who had just become a lovely octogenarian their best wishes.
To add more fun to the festivity, Tita Nene’s children hired Michael, the Magician who awed the audience with his captivating tricks.
The melodious JAS Trio of Gerry Grey provided the enchanted evening with delightful music which made the night more lovely.
Oh, why the Hello Kitty theme party? Well, Tita Nene simply loves pink. Her penchant for the Hello Kitty items had started nine years ago. Not too late a penchant for a woman who is so fond of showering people with love.
Isabelita Javellana – Gustilo. A dutiful daughter, caring sister, faithful wife, gracious mother, thoughtful friend, and many more. God indeed has blessed her to be a blessing and a gift to others. Even with the demise of Tito Terry, Tita Nene believes that love and prayers will hold her family and the bigger world together.
James C. Dobson and Gary L. Bauer once wrote, “countless times each day a mother does what no one else can do quite well. She wipes away a tear, whispers a word of hope, eases a child’s fears. She teaches, ministers, loves and nurtures the next generation of citizens. And she challenges and cajoles her kids to do their best, and be the best.”
Tita Nene had done those aforementioned gestures with devotion, and with her best. Thus, she has become one of life’s best. God bless you, Tita Nene. You have become prettier in pink at eighty.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 07, 2013.