CONGRATULATIONS to Dr. Ingrid Sala Santamaria who has come up with a world-class recording of romantic piano concertos with the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) conducted by Prof. Antonio Molina. The three-CD set of major romantic piano concertos includes the following: Tchaikovsky’s Concert No. 1 Op. 23 in Bb Minor; Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 Op.11 in E Minor; Grieg’s Concerto No. 1 Op. 16 in A Minor; Rachnamaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 Op. 18 in C Minor; Liszt’s Concerto No. 1 in Eb Major; and Schumann’s Concerto Op.54 in A Minor. The concerts were recordedearly this year in three sessions—on Feb. 9, March 16 and March 23—and the CDs were privately launched on June 12 in a private home in Tondo. The house owner named the venue of the launching as the "Ingrid Sala Santamaria Concert Salon. "

These recordings of classical music featuring world-class Filipino talents is a first in the country. The ever-beautiful Ingrid said, jokingly, in a private meeting with some of the Cebu press, that she did it before “arthritis and dementia would set in.” The CDs will be publicly launched on July 25 at the Ayala Museum in Makati. For those interested in getting the CD, do contact MSO executive director Jeffrey Solares at


Happy, happy was the golden wedding anniversary of Jose Villacastin and the former Delia Aliño. The couple reaffirmed their marriage vows at the San Pedro Calungsod Chapel with Msgr. Ildebrando Leyson presiding with Msgr. Dennis Villarojo. It was a celebration attended by all their children and grandchildren: Mary Frances with husband Arthur Despi and daughter Samantha; Marijo with husband Dr. Don Enrico Garcia with children Alyssa, Isobel and Matthew; Mary Rose with husband Rey Maghuyop and daughters Mayumi and Soleil; and only son, the still unmarried Gerard Joseph.

Reception, attended by close family and friends, followed at the Casino Español where a slide show of the couple’s wedding 50 years ago and their life together was put up by the children; background music for the wedding pictures was provided by the groom singing Unforgettable. Lovely way of saying this love has lasted for 50 years and will last till forever.

A short program featured Mary Rose doing two beautiful dance numbers, and the rest of the brood in a musical and (dance) performance to the music and lyrics made for the occasion by Dr. Nick Escario.


Congratulations to French honorary Consul Michel Lhuillier who was awarded the “Chevalier dans l “Ordre de la Legion d’Honneur” by the French government. Here to confer the award on Lhuillier was the Ambassador of France and Madame Isabelle Garachon.


A recent hotel opening was that of Azia along Rahmann St. The hotel is a must-see if only for the many ways wood is used in the furniture industry of the owners, the Yu family. It’s amazing what they have done to the likes of termite-eaten wood, to coconut palms, to seaweed. Congratulations, Noreen Yu, parents Felipe and Piere Yu, and the rest of the Yu family. May Azia prosper!