Zonta Club of Cebu 2 president Marietta “Mayet” Malinao had two grand reasons to celebrate recently: Her red-letter day was spent with sister Zontians at the Ginza Restaurant with a sumptuous spread of Nippongo specialties as only Ginza can prepare them!

Balloons, gifts and a mmm-to-die-for birthday cake were the features of the lunch affair. Of course, that was also the week that some of the members were in Bangkok, Thailand to attend the Zonta International Convention.

Which brings us to reason two: The ladies couldn’t stop talking about the shopping-est time they had in Asia’s bargain hub but more importantly, the convention itself, with the club dominating the lion’s share of awards: from hall of fame trophies, to plaques of appreciation to outstanding club honors etc.

And oh, we almost forgot… there’s still reason number three: In Mayet’s own words: “Congratulate me, I’m now officially a grandmother!” Many more years, Mayet, and more “apos” too.

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Yes, she’s 60 but sure doesn’t look it! That was the overall comment during former Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia’s 60th birthday bash at Circa 1900 Restaurant in Lahug, Cebu recently.

The magnificent white “old house” with its sprawling, well manicured lawn, and bathed in pristine lights, was quite a sight to behold that evening!

When program emcee, our good friend Sam Costanilla announced the arrival of the celebrant, it was “all systems go.” Family first as only son Paulo warmly greeted his mom with sisters Carissa and Christina C. Frasco and daughter-in-law Michelle doing a ballad.

Local entertainers put up a professional performance, directed by popular choreographer Victor Cuenco. Ah, but who were these “showgirls” in glam attire with multi-colored wigs? You couldn’t guess! They were Gwen’s close buddies led by Margie Lhuillier and company who sang with aplomb!

After that fabulous dinner, the Renaissance Band took over with nonstop disco and ballroom tunes till dawn!

Here’s to more years to life, and more life to your years, Gwen!

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“No, I’m not yet 60,” corrected birthday celebrant, Balletcenter’s artistic director Nicolas Pacaña, with a naughty smile!

Occasion was the presscon and incidentally, birthday lunch, hosted by Marco Polo Plaza Hotel. And did your birthday wish come true, Nic? As he blew his birthday candles, amid flashing cameras and well-wishers.

Coming to the subject at hand, ballet, here’s a reminder Balletcenter’s super production Giselle will be back onstage on the first week of December, with a children’s ballet Little Red Riding Hood during the matinee. Will give more details next week. These two performances will be for two days, reminds Gregory Aaron, also a director of Balletcenter. Please call the office at telephone number 232-2958.

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Who should breeze into our Queen City, but the top guns of Allied Metals Inc. of Manila, chairman Florentino “Ren” Silayan, wife Felici and Allied’s president, Kenneth Go?

They jetted in from the capital, after proudly marking the company’s golden year in business, 50 years! Quite an achievement and a milestone with the occasion being written about in the national broadsheets.

But the other happy occasion was Ren’s 82nd birthday that same week, as they reminisced those struggling early days. Do you know that Allied Metals Inc. was born in the couple’s two-car garage in Malabon? It was here where they started to fan the “fires” of success.

Now, their company is a household word in the food industry. From close to a thousand Jollibee outlets here and abroad, and some McDonalds stores, to the fi ve-star kitchens of Shangri-La, Marco Polo and Radisson Blu hotels, to majestic entertainment centers like city of dreams… they all utilize Allied Metal’s stainless steel equipment for their kitchens.

The Allied Metals edge and advantages are product quality, design integrity and overall equipment superiority.

Truly Allied Metals is the Total Kitchen Company; 50 years has proven it so!

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California-based Cebuana-American fiction writer Cecilia Manguerra Brainard has made it her “mission” to drop by her native Cebu twice a year. She pays homage to our Sto. Niño every January, and jets in again in June for the feast of St. John the Baptist, as a co-founder of the Cofradia de San Juan Bautista in Barangay Parian.

Baby, as she’s fondly called, resides on Zulueta St., and considers herself a member of this barangay. During the San Juan fiesta, she hosts an intimate dinner at her turn-of-the-century residential building for participants in the annual fiesta procession.

During this occasion also, family and friends take turns in hosting Baby for lunch or dinner, as shown in our photo today.

Balik-balik, Baby, till January then!