Saturday, 27 July 2013

A Night Of Thanksgiving At The Sofitel

A Night Of Thanksgiving At The Sofitel

              Gratitude, as a distinguished French educator once said, is the memory of the heart. It is remembering. It is recalling small and large acts of kindness extended. It could be recent. It could be many years back. It could also be an appreciation of friendship lasting through the years. It could be shared experiences during significant events that continue to linger in the brain.

              With this in mind, Rene G, seemingly defying the effects of ageing, opted to celebrate his 65th birthday with a thanksgiving dinner which he termed as"A Night of Gratitude". And what else would be a more appropriate place than the spacious Luzon-Visayas Ballroom of the Sofitel Hotel at the CCP Complex?

              Instead of other people giving tribute to him, it was the other way around. It was the celebrant who wanted to express his sincere gratitude to comrades, acquaintances, colleagues and relatives.  And he did it in grand fashion, complete with audio and visual aids.

              Actually, it was a one-man show. It was a narration of his journey through life, starting, of course, with his roots, then through a series of interesting anecdotes, he took his guests to a trip down memory lane: his childhood and teenage days, his hits and misses, his entry to the corporate world and the revealing inside stories that went with it, and his enduring relationship with others which he continues to cherish. And he thanked them all for whatever successes or blessings that have come in his way: " Salamat, salamat, salamat !!

             Truly, it was a night of thanksgiving. It was a night of paying back, of giving back. And, for most of the guests, it was a night to remember. And for the celebrant, the journey continues.


The 5-star Sofitel Hotel at the CCP Complex
View of Manila Bay from the hotel
Poolside with a view of the bay
At the Lobby
The Spiral Cafe
Galette Patisserise Chocolaterie at the ground floor of Sofitel
With a good view of the front garden
Hallway leading to the elevators
Luzon-Visayas Ballroom of the Sofitel Hotel
Close up shot of stage
All ready as early as 3:30pm
Invocation with Ivy G leading
Notable guests Menggie Cobarrubias, Brenda Torres, Mrs. Cobarrubias and Ric Torres
The Gener-Torres Family
Celebrant Rene G and cousin Myrna Sy Yap pose with the Gener-Torres Family
Lovely pair for the night
Mr. and Mrs Sy Yap, proprietors of Novelty Garments, Inc.
Kristina Rose is back in harness.  Good !!
Engr Sammy and Evelyn Dumdum.  Sam says:" I don't want to grow old.. Linalagay ko sa bulsa yung age ko."
As usual, Engr. Tony and Didi Lucindo came on time.
Visual presentation begins.
Rene G. regales the guests with his anecdotes as Argie listens intently.
Celebrant claims:  "Ako ang pinaka gwapo".  Ok, ok, u don't argue with the eldest.
The celebrant says:  "Behind every successful man, there is a woman."  Is that your final answer? 
A response from a colleague
Stand up comedian brings the house down.
The 70's Superband providing good music all night long.
All batch mates:  Tony, Nani, Onat & Ric
Allen and Andre with their Tito Johnny
Guests listening to the celebrant while dining
The ballroom is now almost filled to the brim.
Engr Sam and Atty Bing Perez
Abok & Monette listening to the music of The 70's Superband
Pochi & Diana
Gifts for the celebrant
With Tita Naty at the VIP table
The Edmund Perez family at table #11;  Kira gets food for her Mom.
Food stations at left and right wings of the ballroom
Nicely arranged
Special salad
Cold cuts
Cakes and pastries
For dessert
Beef Lasagna
Imported beef
Really yummy
Beef Roulade
Lyonnaise Potato
Chicken Tangine
Grilled Salmon Fillet with Lobster Sauce
Gratinated Cauliflower in Hollandaise Sauce
Tomato Rice
Spring rolls
My plate
Band playing the last piece: Awit ni Rene