By BECKY GARCIA
July 22, 2019
We went on a trip down memory lane during the grand 81st birthday celebration of Louie Ablaza, the honorary consul of Zambia. Coincidentally, the family unveiled their private museum at Hacienda Amelia in Alfonso, Cavite.
Dubbed as their “happy place,” the imposing two-storey edifice holds many of their prized possessions and mementos.
The ground floor of the museum is occupied by Louie’s collection of 40 classic cars, each with its own story to tell.
Half of those on display are original variants of the Volkswagen, which includes the Beetle, a cool classic launched in 1938, which is also Louie’s birth.
Meanwhile, the second level houses two separate showrooms. One area is dedicated for Mellie, the beautiful wife of Louie and the honorary consul of Guatemala, from whom the Hacienda Amelia was named after. Her showroom displays elegant gowns by Ben Farrales, Steve de Leon, and Cary Santiago matched by decors reminiscent of her themed parties. The other showroom is for their second son Jun Jun and his awe-inspiring fashion masterpieces.
That day’s celebration started with a solemn mass at the hacienda chapel followed by cocktails at the garage-museum. Inspired by and reminiscent of the classic motor racing festivals as well as the pre-war era outdoor parties, the members of Manila’s well-heeled society came in their classic best.
Before we had another gastronomic indulgence, Louie reminisced his good old bachelor days — he talked about his love for cars and revealed how he was able to win 18 trophies from national drag races.
However, the 19th and the most important trophy of his life was the toughest to earn. He had to race his own love bug, a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, for 200 kilometers from Manila to Dagupan on weekends and back to get his grand prize — the heart of his beloved Mellie. With a smile, he said, “my Amelia ended my last race and married me.”
During the sumptuous lunch, we were entertained by world class performances of World Championship of Performing Arts, Jake Juleous Gacang and the Marcy David Band. For the rest of the afternoon, we danced to non-stop music.
Louie has always been the reliable gentleman in all his business, social and personal dealings. He had his fair share of victories, and all the good reasons to slow down a bit and shift away from the fast lane to celebrate a good and abundant life.
Happy birthday, Louie!
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