IT was a very special evening of classical music and yuletide carols performed with excellent precision and perfect harmony by the Classic Youth Orchestra (CYO) under Prof. Reynaldo Abellana, its conductor and musical director.

Several high-profile guests in the music industry lent their presence and expertise to the event A Classic Gift held at the acoustic-perfect ballroom of the Cebu City Marriott Hotel (CCMH).

Garnering thunderous applause was special guest pianist, internationally acclaimed Dr. Ingrid Sala-Santamaria, who needs no introduction. Sharing honors was guest conductor Prof. Felicito Sacdalan.

Super-talented CYO soloists also took our breath away: Violinists Paul Gilbert Ramos, Bruce Albert Lim and Al Gabrielle Valendez; flutist James Vincent Natera and soprano Johannie Marie Beltran.

Easily a favorite was the Leroy Anderson medley and the lively Waltzing Cat. Also much-applauded were the Yuletide selections that sent  the excited audience into sing-along mode!

What was endearingly apparent was the beaming pride etched on the face of Dr. Ingrid as she reminisced some 25 years ago. Back in 1991, Reynaldo was part of the pioneering Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra which she founded.

Fast forward to 2016, when Prof. Reynaldo now has his own CYO, with full family support; wife Geraldine and daughter, Cecile Angela!

On a sentimental note, Dr. Ingrid summarized: “These are all my musical grandchildren!”

More power to two generations, CYO!


Cebu’s luxurious lifestyle destination for dining and entertainment, Ayala Center Cebu, launched its annual eagerly awaited Symphony of Lights at The Terraces. Award-winning lights and sounds designer Voltaire de Jesus did a magnificent job!

His concept was to transform The Terraces into the brightest, most dazzling spot in town with a fabulous play of lights and Christmas music!

Gracing the ceremonial “Switching On” were Ayala VIPs and members of the Cebu Provincial Board.


Last but not the least, here’s wishing all my readers a peaceful, prosperous New Year!