Marguerite Lhuillier, swathed in appropriate black and that impossibly tiny waistline, finds me in the crowd and floats over, with a concerned expression on her face. “Why aren’t you in makeup?”
I am tickled when I hear her and the glamazons of Cebu chide me for a bare face, it was from these elegant ladies after all, that I learned I owed it to other people to look put-together. Can you really imagine Margie and her fabulous ilk less than perfect?
And here they all were, out in full force, as it were, an army of perfect coifs, those lips crimsoned, gowns that ran the gamut of austere and perfectly fitted to embellished lavishly, and dripping jewels. I imagine the net worth of all that glittered on Oro China’s 50th anniversary party—whether on the
ramp or on the guests—must have been the gross national product of a small country.
I donned shoulder dusters in diamonds and aquamarines myself, in fact the first pair of real jewelry I purchased after I finally had my ears pierced by a most apropos person: beauty queen and doctor Stephanie Sitoy. There was no turning back after that. I marked significant occasions in my life with a trinket, some lavish, others a modest keepsake, depending on the gravity of the event. There was the four jewel pair of earring set in yellow gold for the time I finally let go of an old love, and the intricate diamond ring set in white gold that resembled a comet’s tail, with six bursts for the sixth anniversary of this column.
As the models came down the runway, I had my heart set on a diamond and emerald necklace that came out in the Philip Rodriguez portion of the fashion show,a classic combination every stylish woman should have in her blingcase. My head was abuzz: the right hemisphere concocting possible
personal hallmarks to celebrate, to justify the purchase; and the left hemisphere, calculating how I could possibly afford it on what I make.
They could not agree that night, and we set the debate aside to better appreciate the pieces that were the punctuation mark of a Cebuano brand that began, humbly, in 1967.
And therein lay my excuse. The bare face celebrated the humble beginnings of this glittery empire, sprung from the mind of its foundress Lucita Veloria and her husband Ty Han Hua, with the former fetedto a surprise to celebrate her 80th birthday that same night.
The aquamarines on my ears, however, was a nod to all this beautiful indulgence.
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