“How can a respected and well-loved piano icon ever retire?” was what we asked pianist extraordinaire Ingrid Sala-Santamaria over a hearty merienda at Golden Prince Hotel and Suites. She was here to give a private concert to honor the late, great past president Ramon Magsaysay on his umpteenth death anniversary.
Also enjoying the delicious merienda were newshens Flor Ynclino, Nelia Neri and this writer. With Ingrid’s party were daughter Cathy, and Paco Magsaysay, grand nephew of the President.
Representing Golden Prince Hotel were vice president Aaron Que and cuisine consultant Louella Alix, whom we tip off our hats to, for the super snack which was more of a meal!
Not to be forgotten was the late Cookie Newman who we shall always admire. This was one of Cookie’s last press events, as she would never miss a chance to break bread with Ingrid!
One of the many things most in my mind about Cookie was her endless energy, which I observed when we attended an event, with her driving, and in her 80s! Pandemic or not, she would still leave the house! May she rest in the comforting bosom of the Lord! Miss you, Cooks!
It was with great anticipation that we accepted the lunch invite of NUSTAR Resort and Casino’s communications manager Pia Seno. We arrived at the impressive, spacious lobby, a few steps from El Primo Italian Restaurant, where we savored, what else? A gastronomic feast like no other! Italian chef Luca Angioletti, whom we met, described each item on the menu, from the generous pasta, super-tender juicy steak to even the freshly baked Italian bread, a newbie on our culinary list! No wonder the place was packed!
It was time to “walk-off” that hefty lunch, so hotel hostesses Pia and Jo Ann Castillo (who has since resigned), took us on a stroll of the premises. The kilometric walk showed a number of dining havens still to open, and guess what? We bumped into Chocolate Queen Raquel Choa, at her cozy Chocolate Chamber corner, so warm and welcoming! She has since booked chambers both in Boracay and Bohol, fast recovering tourist spots!
Another milestone? It was our colleague Flor Ynclino’s birthday. The June-born “fashionista” hosted a small group for a buffet lunch at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. Well, we don’t have to delve into the hotel’s legendary culinary jewels which all food lovers have tasted by now!
Timing too, was the arrival of hotel bigwigs: new general manager Ron Constantino, sales manager Lara Scarrow, and former hotel general manager, Julie Najar, now Federal Land’s investment manager.
Anyway, aside from blowing her cake candles, Flor took this precious moment to reminisce her feelings for dear friend, Cookie Newman, who was family to her. During this sentimental moment, all of us shed a tear!
Happy sentimental birthday, Flor. We will remember this day!
TREAT. Lunch at the NUSTAR Resort’s premier Italian restaurant El Primo, with chef Luca Angioletti, right, and SunStar Cebu newshens Nelia Neri and CVU.
BIRTHDAY. Hostess Flor Ynclino (middle) with friends CVU and Nelia Neri. Standing, from left, are hotel executives: Julie Najar, Federal Land investment manager; Ron Constantino, general manager; and Lara Scarrow, sales manager.
STROLL. At the enclave of The Chocolate Chamber with Jo Ann Castillo (center), and (from left) Nelia Neri, Pia Seno and CVU.
CELEBRATION. Saying hello to Ingrid are (standing, from left) hotel vice president Aaron Que, cuisine consultant Louella Alix, concert pianist Ingrid Sala Santamaria, Paco Magsaysay and Cathy Santamaria. Seated are Flor Ynclino, Nelia Neri and the late Cookie Newman. Seated right, CVU.
July 27, 2022
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