Doc Manny turns sweet 67

Once again, I am turning over my Social Set column, Proust Redux, to raconteur and prime mover of Manila’s socio-civic scene, well-loved Profiles Asia editor and president Jorge Hizon. It’s always a pleasure reading Jorge’s social media posts as he features his friends and co-civic volunteers and highlights their milestones and celebrations.

Here goes Jorge’s dramatic update on the birthday dinner of Dr. Manny Almelor, one of Manila’s most generous do-gooders:

Dr. Almelor’s 67th birthday was a joyful celebration held at the Bellevue Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa. The gathering was graced by approximately 100 of his dearest friends.

The guests enjoyed a delightful buffet dinner expertly prepared by the hotel’s chef, highlighted by two succulent lechons and complemented by laing and pancit bihon, all personally cooked by Dr. Manny himself. This effort showcased his dedication to making this ultimate birthday celebration a truly special occasion. Although his actual birthday was on 11 October, he had been hosting intimate dinners leading up to this grand event.

As for the entertainment, a seven-piece band, led by the talented Gloria Gatmaitan, took center stage. Initially, Oscar A. del Rosario, Mary Ann Cachila Estanislao and myself sang a couple of songs to a lively beat, getting everyone in the boogie spirit. Several dance instructors were also present to guide and engage the guests in spirited line dances. The evening culminated with Dr. Manny blowing out the candles on the five birthday cakes, generously gifted by his friends.

To the delight of the guests, he showcased his musical talents by performing a medley of songs alongside his close friend, Dr. Jerry Aguilar. This dynamic duo, known as the “singing doctors,” frequently collaborates in philanthropic concerts.

Their performance was followed by a series of heartwarming serenades from friends, including Club Bulakeño president, Emmy Florentino Gonzalez, who delivered a moving duet of Filipino classics with Dr. Manny. This was succeeded by a captivating performance from Rotary governor Rudy Bediones, who sang “What a Wonderful World” and left the audience enchanted.

Renowned singers Sherwin Sozon and Rommel Padillo Serrano then graced the stage, delivering outstanding performances that earned them resounding applause from the captivated crowd. Actor Ernie Garcia further enlivened the festivities, infusing energy into everyone with an enthusiastic performance that had the audience dancing the night away.

The post-birthday celebration of Dr. Almelor was a night brimming with enchanting music, lively dance and touching moments shared among friends and loved ones. As we come together to honor his special day, we send our warmest wishes to Manny, hoping that his life remains a journey adorned with endless happiness and love. We eagerly look forward to many more years of shared joy and cherished memories.

Happy Birthday, Manny!