by: Myrna Aquitania
“The Heartbeat of Our Lives,” was the invitation sent only to relatives and some very close friends of Carmen Sapinoso-Rivera, for a “surprise” luncheon and afternoon tea dance celebration recently. The tea party even had vintage1940 to1960 motif where each green and gold draped-table had a designated year on it.
The rainy Saturday afternoon gave Tia Mameng, as she is dearly called, the surprise of her life when daughter Conchita “Ebit” Rivera opened the door at Carla’s Cafe inside the CBS Studios, and all of us including daughter Stella and son Ed Rivera prompted us all to sing “Happy Birthday!” Tearfully, Tia Mameng thanked everyone of us who came to honor her on her special day.
True to its name, Events D’ Elegance presented such an elegant tea party setting, along with the fine buffet catering of Food Fetish who served Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Marinara, Baked Salmon along with stir fried veggies royale, rice pilaf and a fruit platter. The open bar had an array of beer, wine and other savory spirits. While having our meal, the Scotch and Soda Band played Tia Mameng’s favorite tune “Rose Tatoo,” and son Ed asked her to dance, which she graciously did, followed by other guests who joined in the merriment.
Tia Mameng’s treasured videos, compiled and edited by son Ed was shown on three TV monitors around the room throughout the event and a vintage photo corner was also there for those who wish to have memorable photos taken with her.
Daughter Stella emceed the fun, costume contest program which included prices for each vintage year category and toward the end, flower arrangements done by daughter-in- law Annie were given to those who had the surprise flower labels underneath their chairs on each table.
In spite of the rain, around 150 of us will forever remember the special day of honoring Tia Mameng’s glorious celebration in turning 90 years. Most of us who were not as lucky to have our mothers around as long as Tia Mameng has, wishes that she will have many more years to come…Happy Birthday, Tia Mameng!