A celebration of love

RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza - The Philippine Star
A celebration of love
Newlyweds Jared Rhys Chua and Stephanie Marquez.

Last Saturday, Jan. 27, I attended the wedding reception dinner of Jared Rhys Chua and Stephanie Marquez. Jared is the son of my very good friend Wilson Chua, whom I met over 30 years ago through his cousin Albert Chua, an equally dear friend. Wilson is an astute businessman in the distribution of construction materials and  wellness products. Albert helps Wilson run his office operations and also manages GMA contract artist Rayver Cruz. 

Wilson and I meet up for dinner quite regularly since we enjoy eating out and catching up. At one such dinner, he talked about how sentimental he was at the thought of Jared — his oldest child and only son — tying the knot. He was proud that Jared and Stephanie have been together for 11 years and are one another’s first loves. Jared is 35 years old and works in Indra, an IT consulting company, while Stephanie is 33 and works in BDO.

Uncle of the groom and a very dear friend Albert Chua.

The wedding ceremony was at Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills while the reception was at Crowne Plaza Manila. This was hardly surprising since Wilson’s younger sister — who is also Jared’s godmother — is Winnie Chua-Go, wife of newly appointed Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick Go, who is the first cousin of Robina Gokongwei Pe and Lance Gokongwei.

Father of the groom Wilson Chua.

For the wedding reception, the Crowne Plaza ballroom was transformed into a white oasis of orchids, roses and chrysanthemums, with white fringes cascading from the white canopy ceiling. I was happy to be seated at the same table as Albert and longtime friends Chito and Gnet Cabalu because it gave us time to catch up. Also at our table were lawyer Louie Lokin and wife Kim Lokin, Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Newly appointed Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Sec. Frederick Go with wife Winnie.

Food was filling and delicious and I was so glad that dinner was served and not done buffet style. The food was from Crowne Plaza’s excellent restaurant Xin Tian Di, and Wilson shared that his sister Winnie made sure that the food was extra special that evening. For starters, assorted cold cuts and barbecued meats were served. These were followed by sautéed shell meat with seasonal vegetables and mixed seafood soup with mashed winter melon. And those were only the appetizers!

Lawyer Louie Lokin with wife, DTI Undersecretary Kim Lokin.

For the main courses, we had braised beef tenderloin with goose liver in black pepper sauce, steamed tiger prawns in garlic, Peking duck rolled in a thin pancake served with hoisin sauce, green leeks and cucumber, steamed black garoupa in light soya, and steamed whole stuffed chicken with glutinous fried rice. For dessert, I had the chocolate butchi, which was absolutely divine. I was afraid Albert would have to roll me out of the ballroom because of all I ate! Aside from the food, drinks were also overflowing. Each table had a bottle of red wine and scotch and there was an open bar for mixed drinks.

‘It’s Showtime’ host Ryan Bang.

Before dinner was served, a video presentation chronicling Jared and Stephanie’s love story was shown. Soon after, the host announced the  newlyweds, who then made their grand entrance and went straight to the dance floor and had their first dance as husband and wife. Later, guests were treated to a dance number by Jared and mom Lily, and Stephanie with dad Willie Marquez.

It was a beautiful night of celebration, the love that Jared and Stephanie feel for one another palpable to all who are near and dear to them. I’m told the newlyweds are now in Japan enjoying their honeymoon. Congratulations and best wishes, Jared and Stephanie!

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