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A mountain housewarming

Last weekend was a busy, busy day for The Ruins’ fav couple, Raymund and Yves Javellana, who celebrated Raymund’s birthday and their first party in their new home up in the mountain.

It was a most memorable affair since their children were back with them – eldest son Andrew from San Jose, California of the US of A, daughter Genie just in from work in South Africa, and benjamin son Matthew. Knowing that their family was back safe in their Negros Island roost, they decided to invite friends and Lacson relatives for an intimate celebration.

Genteel hosts Raymund and Yves Javellana; middle photo, Silay royales Ramond and Lynel Gaston; right, fresh from South Africa: Genie and Dino Cuaycong*
Andrew Javellana, Genie Javellana, Mason and Marcus Cuaycong, and Yves Javellana (l-r)*

The New Normal was definitely included in the house’s plans since a pair of washbasins were by the front door (for clean and sanitized hands when handling surfaces and door knobs), enough floor space for everyone to leave their shoes at the entrance and personal slippers handed as an option for those who weren’t wearing socks. I was amazed at the view of tall, century-old trees already visible from the garage panoramic window. It was more impressive as it dominated the living room where the entire family politely greeted the guests (a most admirable trait with the Javellana famille). After a short tour of the spacious and well-designed rooms, we went down the stairs to where the huge lanai held the very exclusive guest list.

Girlie Pabustan, Marlon Navarro, Raymund Javellana, Leo Valderrama, and Toots Jimenez (l-r)*
Resort Association of Negros Island bigwigs (l-r) Bob Jereza, president Bomber Zayco, and Raymund Javellana*

It was strange, but for a party of twenty people, I found myself behaving more cautiously than ever and making sure that I was a safe distance from each guest. I normally would have been giving away hugs and kisses but, this time, it was automatic on my part to wave and do a Buddhist gesture of greeting. In other words, keep away from me! How I missed embracing my ELG Jr – Elsie Lopez Gonzaga. Several Lacson relatives were also there but the ones I really enjoyed seeing again were olde Silaynons like Raymond Gaston, among others. Although I grew up playing more with Raymund’s oldest brother Bobbi, his Dad and Mom were regular fixtures in my parents’ guest list. Also, their Silay residence was a napkin’s throw away from Tita Letty and Tito Freddy Montelibano’s million peso house (yes, it was the first residence in Silay built with a million pesos which would be the equivalent to a cool one hundred fifty million by today’s standards).

Gemini Lacson, Yves Javellana, Yvette Benedicto, Tata Lacson, and Elsie Gonzaga (l-r)*
A toast for the new mountain lair (l-r) ELG, Raymund Javellana, Miren Lopez Zayco, Chita Reyes, and Jing Ramos*

A sumptuous lunch was prepared, but I had to rush back to Bacolod to drive up my brother Philip’s Palace in the Sky since he was also celebrating his milestone 75th birthday. I definitely was quite flustered having to go to a couple of luncheons that day, when that would have been quite the Old Normal way back when…It definitely will never be the same again.

My prayer: You make known to me the path of life: you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11, NIV*

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