The outdoor party marking Julie Lluch's sexy eight birthday on March 5 was meant to be a surprise, according to the "conspirators" Aba, Issa and Kiri, the honoree's palangga. Trust their Mama or any Mama with an intuitive sense to notice suspicious moves weeks before The Day itself, including overhearing Kiri say, while making place cards, how hard it was to organize a "debut" for a mother.
Even before son-in-law Keith Sicat escorted Julie to Daisy Langenegger's garden, she already wore a knowing smile.
There's a sculptor on the cake.
With grandson Paris on her lap, Julie Lluch jokingly says about the white cake: "Be careful with that. It's a prickly heart."
It happened to be Ash Wednesday, too. Julie said the day reminded us all about our mortality, the ashes we were destined to become and how good it was to celebrate life "lovingly, lavishly under one sky."
One of the guests was Princess Nemenzo who even in her 70s remains a women's rights, women's health activist. No retirement in the horizon. That evening she regally carried her all-white hairdo folded into a soft perm. Another guest cited her resemblance to Bette Midler, recently seen at the Oscars singing "Wind Beneath My Wings." Still another dropped a hint of what was in store for her: "May araw ka rin!"
Meanwhile, another set of conspirators reminded guests at Julie's party about the surprise Women's Day (March 8) tribute for Princess. I like to tease her about the irony in her royal name and in her being a Marxist at the same time. The elaborate ruses and schemes were uncovered by the honoree herself--how could you make the Parangal kay Princess a top secret operation if you send the invite to an e-group of which she is part? Ayayay! But she was game and played along.
I walked on campus and reached the UP Executive House as the first of the summer sunsets was happening last Saturday. Stayed long enough to watch Princess make an entrance without a fuss and to slip a tribute package into her purse. Again, there was that knowing smile I had become familiar with since Wednesday.
Mabuhay, ladies! Continue being the feminist beacons that you are.
Princess also supports the arts, especially music and dance, particularly Pangalay. The classics and jazz appeal to her. Here she is with pianist Oliver Salonga after he performed Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21 at Abelardo Hall last year. Photos by Babeth Lolarga