Beauty Queens at the Birthday Party of Mama Renee Salud!


Dear readers:

OMG, I think this has been the longest silence from ABQ ever! I haven’t posted anything in weeks! I do hope you will forgive me for I was abroad with family and devoted all my time to loved ones. But I’m back with a few stories up my sleeve. The first one (for 2014) being the birthday party of our dearest Mama Renee Salud – the wo/man responsible for the careers of many a beauty queen.

Here are photos and stories of what transpired at the lovely affair…

Mama Renee Salud! Happy Birthday, we love you!!!

Mama Renee Salud! Happy Birthday, we love you!!!

As expected, the birthday celebrant, Mama Renee Salud showed up fashionably late! He was in high spirits (as usual) and was all smiles. The past year has been an extremely good one for the beauty-queen maker and haute-couture designer. His two winners in Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013 – Koreen Medina and Angeli Dione Gomez both performed well in their respective pageants with Koreen placing 4th in the Miss Intercontinental 2013 and Angeli Dione winning the crown in the Miss Tourism International 2013 spelling a back-to-back win for the Philippines which won the crown first in 2012 via Rizzini Gomez.

But his major coup in 2013 was the victory of Bea Santiago in the Miss International 2013 giving the Philippines it’s 5th crown in that franchise!

Love these two - Izza Gonzales (left) and Dang Cecilio

Love these two – Izza Gonzales (left) and Dang Cecilio

I arrived promptly at 7:30 and found two early birds who were ahead of me. My dear friend Izza Gonzales who won the Maja title during my year in Bb. Pilipinas (1985) and the effervescent Dang Cecilio who glowed like a debutante!

Izza, for your information, is a serious Yoga enthusiast. She has been attending Bikram Yoga classes for 8 years now and only takes Sundays off from class! This must be the reason why she still can wear classy shorts and show off her slim and shapely legs!

Dang meantime is hoping to organize all the “Queens of Renee Salud” for charity projects. She believes that once you’ve achieved success, then it’s time to share your bounty and serve others!

ABQ with the beautiful Marina Benipayo

ABQ with the beautiful Marina Benipayo

Another early bird at the party was Marina Benipayo. I have known her for years and even worked with her in fashion shows during her early years as a beauty queen and model. But it was only at this party that I found out she and I had something in common – we were both pet lovers! She showed us photos of her gorgeous cat KittyKat (I think that’s her name if I remember correctly, haha!) and her Siberian Hamsters. I too adore hamsters and had a beautiful cream colored hammie named Mariel some five or six years ago.

Bday celebrant Mama Renee Salud with Gladys Duenas who looks prettier than ever!

Bday celebrant Mama Renee Salud with Gladys Duenas who looks prettier than ever!

Gladys Duenas arrived and brought along with her her gorgeous smile. There’s just something about this lady that is SO appealing! She is now based in Cebu, where her hubby is from, but keeps a place in Metro Manila for times when she is in town, like now!

A light moment at the party. There's Sharon Hughes in pink!

A light moment at the party. There’s Sharon Hughes in pink!

There’s Sharon Hughes in pink! She was also an early bird at the party. But she did not look like she gained an ounce over the holidays; she was slim as ever! Just like the fitness-conscious Izza Gonzales, Sharon takes her health seriously and works out regularly at Gold’s gym.

ABQ with Peachie Sacasas Alimurong (middle) and Izza Gonzales Agana (right)!

ABQ with Peachie Sacasas Alimurong (middle) and Izza Gonzales Agana (right)!

Golly, Peachie Sacasas looks so fresh! Like a summer peach! We both go to the same church -Union Church of Manila (which is in Makati) but rarely get to talk after service since we’re always rushing off to do family things. But at Mama Renee’s party we had more time to chat about our kids and joys that come with parenting. However, unlike the empty-nester that I am, she’s still raising a couple teenagers! How I envy her and wish I could turn the hands of time back to when my children were still wee ones…

Love you Mama!

Love you Mama!

I can’t wait for Mama Renee and company to start the search for this year’s contestants in Mutya ng Pilipinas! He says screening is supposed to begin in June or July which is still months away. I had the chance to participate in last year’s screening and I hope to be part of it again this year. The big question though is this: Will Mutya ng Pilipinas be able to find winners who can match or at least come close to the achievements of last year’s queens Koreen Medina and Angeli Dione Gomez? Abangan!

Mama Renee Salud with Patty Betita

Mama Renee Salud with Patty Betita

Patty Betita was as bubbly as a glass of champagne when she arrived at the party! She’s still busy as a speaker and consultant in corporate image.

The gorgeous Gionna Cabrera (middle) with the elegant Duday Mandanas (left) and Bday girl Renee Salud!

The gorgeous Gionna Cabrera (middle) with the elegant Duday Mandanas (left) and Bday girl Renee Salud!

There’s Gionna Cabrera in the middle! And in typical Gionna fashion, she was generous with her compliments to me and all the other queens. The interesting thing about Gionna and me is that we are always bumping into each other. Last year I think I bumped into her three or four times in the Fort area. Anyway, did you know that Gionna isΒ  serious foodie? She took some time out to ask me for a quick review of the party venue Brazil (I told her that the food was great but the ambiance felt tired) and asked the waiter to show her the bottle of wine that they were serving and after she saw it Gionna said it was a good table wine. Coooool…

The sultry Lou Bunyi flashes her signature smile!

The sultry Lou Bunyi flashes her signature smile!

Although I didn’t get to chat with the stylish Lou Bunyi, I was able to get this lovely smile from her on my phone camera.

Mama Renee's party was held at 'Brazil' the buffet restaurant at Serendra, The Fort

Mama Renee’s party was held at ‘Brazil’ the buffet restaurant at Serendra, The Fort

I have known about Brazil for years now, ever since it opened in Serendra but it was only now that I got a chance to visit the restaurant. What can I say about the food? Loved it! One of my biggest problems when it comes to restaurants is if they have meals that I can eat since I eat carefully and avoid processed carbs and sugar. Well, Brazil had options for me – a chicken dish, tons of fresh lettuce from the salad bar, a seafood dish, chicken bbq and cuttlefish bbq. The queens loved the roasted bananas and pineapple but I had to keep away from the fruit since I only eat fruit until 2pm. The only thing I didn’t like about the place was that it felt tired. Perhaps they need a renovation to spice things up?

Tita Patty, Izza Gonzales, Dang Cecilio, Mama Renee Salud and Gladys Duenas

Tita Patty, Izza Gonzales, Dang Cecilio, Mama Renee Salud and Gladys Duenas

At one point during the party, Dang Cecilio suggested that all the queens of Renee get together and do charity projects every quarter or twice a year. I sincerely hope that we can get organized and mobilized to do this! Can’t wait for our first meeting!

 We spent the whole night chatting, telling stories, eating and laughing our hearts out!

We spent the whole night chatting, telling stories, eating and laughing our hearts out!

One of the topics that came up at the party was a coffee table book featuring the queens of Mama Renee Salud. If you look at the list of beauties that Renee has discovered – Chiqui Brosas, Melanie Marquez, Chat Silayan, Desiree Verdadero, Bong Dimayacyac… to name a few – then you’ll see that such a book might be worth considering. If the project did come to fruition do you think it would sell? I think so! But then again, I am biased, aahahaaha!

Why only one candle LOL!

Why only one candle LOL!

I had to leave after the blowing of the candles on Mama Renee’s cake. This beauty queen needed her beauty sleep and was the first one to leave the party. Since I returned from the US, my sleeping pattern has shifted to waking up at 4 or 5 am. It’s actually a good thing that I hope to make a habit. My brain seems to work better in the mornings after a good night’s sleep.

Anyhoo… it was a lovely evening with all the queens of Renee Salud… good food, warm smiles, lots of stories and tons of laughter! Praying for another winning year for Mama Renee, may you always seek beauty and find it!

Happy Birthday Mama Renee Salud!!!

Happy Birthday Mama Renee Salud!!!

 

 

 

 

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