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Goin’ up, stay’ng up

ShapeUp’s Empress Mitos Seva Cooper opened her fab, fav ShapeUp gym at last, after so many months of renovations! This physical workout Mecca is located at the circumferential road right next to her Shell gasoline station and across the Preschools that abound in Homesite Subdivision.

I was impressed with the well laid out floor plan and the almost Zen ambience it exuded despite all the physical activities that were going on. The whole area is also fitted out with ultra high tech gadgets for maximum health sanitation protocols. Still, everyone is obliged to wear a mask at all times. 

With Mitos in tow, Lopue’s San Sebastian heiress and now Mrs. Honey L. Corro invited a small bubble of “Manangs” to the family’s Don Salvador Benedicto weekend home. I think, theirs has the widest panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and a lovely peephole to neighbouring Guimaras Island. Making sure I didn’t get lost was our Gourmet Diva Mia Lizares Gonzaga whom I fetched from her catering outlet Casa Mia.

Danika Dulay’s giant crabs fill me up with just one*
Ladies’ delight becomes Maayo Farm’s homemade Limoncello now available from Meyer Lemon rind steeped in premium vodka then filtered and sweetened with Negros sugar and aged before bottling; middle, Mary Ann Valderrama Concha with ShapeUp’s Mitos Seva Cooper; right, Herederas Two L’s: Honey Corro and Suzette Lacson*
Annie Valencia, Krissy Valencia, Ariana Concha, Mary Ann Valderrama Concha with culinary royale Mia Lizares Gonzaga (l-r)*

Armed with a bottle of wine and Maayo Farms’ homemade Limoncello, we were warmly greeted by the musical laughter of the ladies who already took advantage of an early lunch and the fresh cool mountain air. There was our Lacson Empress Dowager Suzette who still has to open her palatial Morrocan inspired mansion to me in a new hairdo, Chowking’s “Queen” Annie Valencia and charmante daughter Krissy, charming old time friend heiress Mary Ann Valderrama Concha and exotic beautiful royalette daughter Ariana, witty and extraordinary Maribel Angudong who instantly made me at ease. It took awhile to build up an appetite for lunch since my late breakfasts nowadays usually start just before noon.

Well, we attacked the bottle of wine to loosen up and before we knew it, we were laughing and giggling all through lunch (well, mine, since everyone already started earlier). To cap off the meal, we opened the Limoncello of Antoinette Lacson’s Maayo Farm and the ladies gulped it up like water, it was that delicious and easy on the throat. Mitos had three glassfuls! 

Of course, Honey had to give me the obligatory tour of the gardens and after the oohs and the aaahs, I was really impressed with the view and the lengthy walk to the heated pool and sundeck area that was trés, trés exclusive to the Lopue mountain estate.

The long and winding road to the heated pool and sundeck*
Mia Lizres Gonzaga, Maribel Angudong, Honey Corro, Annie Valencia, Krissy Valencia, Mary Ann Valderrama Concha and Ariana Concha (l-r)*
To dip or jump from the cliff?*

I missed an earlier visit when Diotay Lopue entertained our common classmates since grade school but I felt his presence as I saw what a wonderful legacy he has endowed to his family with this beautiful and breathtaking residence. Plus seeing it with his daughter and now Lacson relative, it gave further meaning to the fruits of his labor, his dignity and civic service to our community.

The Lopue name shall forever be etched in the annals of Bacolod’s history as deserving of full honour and respect   …sadly absent from a lot of well-known names in the city.  We made a hasty retreat back home since I didn’t want to travel in the dark with the winding roads and all, although I missed having coffee and buying some fruits from a nearby café.

But perhaps, it was not meant to be, specially since it was a weekend and the mass of people enjoying the mountain breeze was rather frightful and yet promising that our future will bring some new normalcy in our lives. Let us ask for God’s mercy that we may live to enjoy that in the near future. 

Once again, thank you Honey for the mountain break and hello to my new gurl friends. May we meet again!*

My prayer: Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion? Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77:9-12, NIV

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