Sunday, May 30, 2010

Art exhibit marks Casino Español de Cebu’s 90th anniversary

CASINO ESPAÑOL DE CEBU IS CELEBRATING its 90th year. Various events have been scheduled for the whole year. One of them was an art exhibit of 90 oil paintings by Cebu’s leading artists.

Theme of the exhibit was Spanish Heritage vestiges in the city and province of Cebu: monuments, forts, old houses and churches. Painter Celso Duazo Pepito organized the artists: Gabriel Abellana, Raul Agas, Antonio Alcoseba, Darby Alcoseba, Cesar Castillo, Felix Catarata, Pronnie de la Cerna, John Dinglasa, Jaime Francisco, Luther Galicano II, Guido Lubanga, Maxcel Migallos, Celso Pepito himself, his wife Fe Madrid Pepito, José Maria Picornell, Billy Pomida, Ritchie Quijano, Chikoy Romuladez, Antonio Vidal, Mar Vidal, José Kimsoy Yap Jr. and Sonia Yrastorza, whose scenes of Carcar were immediately snapped up.

The ribbon was cut by Casino Español de Cebu president Manuel Sainz Jr. and Arts Council founder Fe Sala Villarica. Important collectors present were Dr. Jorgen Lim, Devin Go and Mariter Dumon Klepp.

Casino Español treasurer Renato Kintanar came with his lovely wife Jocelyn and their pretty daughter Mai-Mai. They bought several paintings.

The painting exhibit was held for six weeks, visited by a good number of collectors, students and the curious.

The closing rites of the exhibit were graced by Spain’s Consul General in Manila, Mercedes Alonso Frayle. She was duly impressed with the exhibit.

She congratulated the Casino Español de Cebu’s board of directors and active group headed by its new president Jose Luis “Nonoy” Alba. On the board now are two former presidents—current vice president Manuel Sainz Jr., who often is acting president, and Gabriel Leyson, who serves as secretary.

Dinner at Salom Madrid

A reception and dinner followed at Salom Madrid. This was an occasion for Mercedes Alonso to meet not just the Casino VIPs, but a cross-section of the Spanish community in Cebu and its friends. In her speech, Doña Mercedes lauded the Casino’s efforts to uphold the celebration of Spanish traditions, and the teaching of the Spanish language with regular classes.

At the head table, she was seated with Amparito Llamas Lhuillier, president of Amigos de España en Cebu, and Honorary Consul of France in the Visayas Michel Lhuillier, who is also president of Alliance Francaise de Cebu. “Los amigos and les amis have strong ties of friendship and cooperation,” said Michel.

Also at their table were Manuel Sainz, Myra Gonzalez y Osmeña, who is secretary of “Amigos,” former Casino Español president José Sala, who is Honorary Consul of Sweden in Cebu, and Cecilia Rodriguez, who helps administer the Spanish language lessons cited above.

Susan Sala, vice president of “Amigos,” sat with Annie Osmeña Aboitiz, Annabelle Luym, Paqui de Aboitiz and her sister Quina Melendez, Teresin Mendezona, Mayen Tan, Amelia la O, Angie Mathieu, Carmen Campbell and Rosebud Sala, elegant as ever.

It was nice to see Jun and Cherry Muntuerto, Anna Marie Conejero, Elsa del Villar, Tina Ebrada, Pilar Cusi, Marilou Ordoñez, Alberto and Mari Tere de Rotaeche, Chinggay Utzurrum, Terry Escaño Manguerra and Kingsley Medalla, who is an exemplary person. He learned Spanish by himself, and on that strength landed an important position in a call center.

Former Casino Español presidents Gabby Leyson and Glenn Loop, with his wife Honey, were also present. They were joined by treasurer Rene Kintanar, and the Casino’s new director for cultural and social events, Dr. Ishmael Limkakeng Jr., one of our dearest friends.

Angeles M. Antigua was collecting greetings, as it was her birthday. She sat with husband Benito Antigua, mom Carmen Bilbao de Muertegui, plus aunts Marichu Garcia and Julina de Muertegui, treasurer of “Amigos.”

Completing the guest list were Casino Español Finance officer May Ocaba, who sat with artists Sonia Yrastorza and Sofronio de la Cerna; and José Mari Miranda, who sat with Manuel and Margot Larrañaga.

A committee has been formed to ensure the success of the 90th anniversary of Casino Español de Cebu. Meetings are quite lively for the exchange of ideas, and the wealth of information that is gathered. Next activity is the celebration of Spanish Month in July, highlighted by the Dia de Santiago gala that honors Spain’s patron saint, Santiago Apostol (the apostle St. James), whose feast is July 25. Casino Español moves the date to suit convenience. Like this year, July 25 is a Sunday, and the regular buffet of that day for lunch or dinner, is a veritable feast.

So, July 15 has been chosen for the observance, with the presence of HE Don Luis Arias Romero, Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines and his wife Doña Soledad.

Cheling Sala is contacting a group of flamenco dancers to liven up the evening. Honey Loop intends to have a special edition of the Casino’s “Boletin Informativo” for distribution on that day. It carries many vibrant articles, some laden with nostalgia.

We say “ole to the flamenco dancers,” and “vamos a leer” to Honey’s endeavor.

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