BY EDOUARD L GARCIA
Punta Bulata Empress Royale Miren Zayco downsized her 70th birthday from 150 guests to 5 due to the quarantine lockdown! It took her almost a year planning on celebrating this milestone year with family and friends jetting in from everywhere and bringing them to Punta Bulata Resort in Cauayan, Negros Occidental.
Helas, Covid-19 reared its ugly head and destroyed everything except for the headstrong determination of our celebrator to have a party. Well, thank God Miren had borne fruit to a lovely and loving family together with her devoted and successful businessman husband Bomber Zayco. With their three sons Ronald, Abraham and Tomas, topped by their youngest daughter, Vicky, the birthday girl transformed the party into a feast.
The epicurean marathon started at 4 p.m. with her famous homemade hot chocolate and churros. My favorite pâtissier, Vicky Z Garcia (who, in my opinion, makes the best sourdough bread in the world!) served her fluffiest ensaymadas, and lightest cheese rolls with brewed coffee.
As dusk set in, chilled rosé wine accompanied the crispy and most delicious lechon from Carmel Bacolod. For the health conscious, there was olive tapenade. Pasta carbonara – the dry version without cream, was Miren’s take on a noodle dish for long life, and paella for good fortune. A light-as-air lemon chiffon birthday cake made by Marlene Monfort, daughter Vicky’s vanilla sponge cake, and Miren’s food for the gods were the dinner’s climax.
Of course, I made a hasty retreat home right after to be safe from the nightly curfew. Well, the grand celebration turned into a grand bouffe as they say in France!
My prayer: Be with all those who call upon you, pleading for help in our time. For these times must work for our good, and in spite of sin, death and all evil, we can find joy in what you are doing. We call to you, O Lord our God.*