Cultural Potpourri | Emilia S. Sitjar’s Royal Celebration

IT WAS, finally, Emilia Sorongon vda. de Sitjar’s official 80th birthday.

As expected, her royal celebration was such a well-attended event by guests coming from various sectors of our Davao community. “Last year was probably mama’s biggest birthday bash where the family took on the Chinese tradition of celebrating a birthday ending in 9 and adding a year (thus 79+1=80) after a freak accident, which left her with a broken collarbone. Thankfully she didn’t need any surgery and in two weeks was back on her feet,” confided the celebrator’s eldest son, Emil S. Sitjar.

As last year was a celebration of thanksgiving, this year it was a celebration of life. Last year, the lucky guests wore the color pink as requested by the Sitjar children. This year, the lady guests were strongly urged to wear their wonderful fascinators and imagine like they were attending the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Fascinators are those stylish headpieces often used at British formal events such as in the celebrated royal wedding.

It was tita Emilia’s unica hija, Eileen, who was assigned to organize the celebration. Eileen hired the services of Gigi Batuampo of Pink Touche to transform the Ballroom of Apo View Hotel into an English-themed party. So last fine Sunday of the eighth of July, 2018, Gigi had fresh flowers of all shapes, colors, and sizes along with Alor’s Home Kitchen’s yummy desserts of strawberry shortcakes and chocolates beautifully decorating the tables.
The lunch buffet consisted of Manhattan Clam Chowder, West Leek Soup, an open Salad Bar, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Roast Pork Hamonada, Seafood Mandaragat, Creamy Carbonara and Fresh Fruits, all prepared by the able staff of the Apo View Hotel.

Naturally, mother Emilia S. Sitjar came to her party dressed in an outfit inspired by the Queen Mother as she is to her family. The regal queen of alajeras of Davao City was every inch a royalty in a coat dress by Edgar Buyan, and accessorized with fascinating blings from Emilia’s Finest Collection (Abreeza Mall).

Completing the Sitjar family were Emilia’s children Emil, Eduard alias Jet (who flew in from Bangkok) and Eileen. Unfortunately, Jovito Sitjar Santiago was the only grandchild present as cousins Sophie and Sonia, together with mom Boong, had school activities to attend to in Thailand.

Without any formal program, the party was relaxed and free from any sort of rigidness. Macho Jet, known for his public speaking prowess, wit, and humor, became the deserving program host in an instant. Fr. Erwin Torres, who teaches at the Ateneo de Davao University was requested to bless the abundant food before chow time. Just right after everyone said “Amen,” 17 lechons were brought to the ballroom eliciting cheers from the guests. Each table got a whole lechon de leche to enjoy.

After lunch, Santiago, together with classmate Bela Baron and cousin Eva Jalad, went up on stage and performed a dance number for the royal Lola. Emilia’s sister, Candi S. Jalad, who travelled the distance from Butuan, described Emilia as the eldest sibling who is tough yet loving.

Emil talked about tita Emilia as a devoted mother; as well as her devotion to the Divine Mercy. In humor, Emil revealed how his mother dearest insisted on a party despite having only a few weeks of preparation. Not to be outdone as usual, Jet delivered his message with his signature antics that left everybody laughing hard.

A surprise dance number was presented by the officers of the Divine Mercy Apostolate Archdiocese of Davao. Edna Ramirez, Treasurer of the Divine Mercy, described her relationship with Emilia and pictured her as “a sexy registrar of the Immaculate Concepcion College (now UIC) who wore mini-skirts and carried bags with matching colored stiletto shoes” in the past.

Before tita Emilia delivered her royal speech, she called on stage the lucky ladies donning the best fascinators. Florian Roldan-Sanchez was declared the winner; and went home with a diamond watch to the envy of the guests.
Emilia Sitjar then thanked her children, whom she describes as “the loves of my” life as well as confidently stating that her kids love her very much. She thanked her officers of the Divine Mercy Apostolate whom she works closely with, as well as the priests and nuns who came to celebrate with her. Lastly, she thanked her relatives and her friends who came to the celebration. Oh yes, tita Emilia did not forget to ask her guests to donate to the Divine Mercy Apostolate Archdiocese of Davao.

Posted in Lifestyle