Two Frat Pillars Celebrate Milestones

by Willie "Tatang" Vergara
[Photos by Tatang and Kiko Delmendo]


Two big parties in two consecutive weekends were held during the month of June – in UP Northern California Chapter. One was in June 19 and the other was just last Saturday June 26.

First, on Brod Ike Araneta, Batch 71b (Silver Strife).

Courtesy of Tanya Araneta, the celebration was held at Crown Plaza Cabana in Palo Alto. More than 60 people attended the celebrations that included Ike’s immediate family and the rest of his clan led by Mommy Araneta, and 26 Brods and 17 spouses. There was no potluck this time. Everything was taken care of by Tanya – an excellent Mediterranean buffet, ever-flowing red and white wine, and the professional band of Brod Franklin and Tess Morales. Brod Gerry and Lleva Abenes took care of the nice centerpieces.

 Ike among the 26 Brods who attended


Those who came in a tad late missed one of the highlights of the evening -- Ms Louie Reyes-de la Fuente herself, who graced us with two beautiful medleys which she had arranged herself.


Louie’s husband and Ike's first cousin Cesar de la Fuente, who by the way is an "Ike look-alike", gave a very nice tribute. Having seen Ike from childhood unto the heady days of youth, Cesar revealed how Ike had metamorphosed into a good and successful guy that he is today. Based on the number of cheering and applause, the part we UP Beta Sigmans like best is about Ike's dedication, generosity and multifarious contributions to his second family -- the UP Beta Sigma Fraternity. (Ike has silently helped countless brods in need of assistance, and continues to do so which, Ike declares, will be trimmed down on account of Tanya's recent retirement.)


                       Cesar's fitting tribute for Ike was well-applauded             Still the Louie Reyes we've always known



Louie mesmerizes her audience with her beautiful medleys



                          Kiko & Tatang pose with Louie                                              Ding, Cesar, Ike, Louie, Rowena & Dutch



                                      Tess with Cesar & Louie                                 "V" for Dave's forthcoming 72nd birthday



               Bobby, Ding, Ting & Babes do a Braders 4                            Dr. Ross Panggat (standing leftmost) was the new face


Kiko d’ Saxman and Babes d’ Lead Guitarist were at their best as they spent the whole night making music with the Band. Bobby Pascual sang a most appropriate and nostalgic song entitled “Anak”, a la Freddie Aguilar and dedicated this song to Mommy Araneta. Diva Mercy Villegas entertained the crowd as usual with her superb Filipino and Spanish songs, highlighted by the kissing scene between her and husband Dave.


                                               Ike sings samba                                             ...while Bobby sings "Anak"



                        Lawyers Babes & Mayanne do a DWTS move    another lawyer, Dave, simply listens


 The Kiss a la Al and Tipper Gore during the presidential campaign


In spite of her declared feeling of inferiority in the presence of Louie Reyes, Mayanne Ignacio did very well with her rendition of “Summertime”. Winston Acevedo got himself to the stage and sang three songs in a capella, and at one point got some help from Mercy.


Mayanne gets a lift before belting her signature rendition of "Summertime"


Ike & Tanya lead the festivities with their give-it-all frenzied dancing








To conclude an evening of fun, dancing, fellowship and laughter, Ding Cavestany gave it all with his signature songs a la Louie Armstrong, this time with gyrations and other funny stuff that made everybody go home with a big smile.



 Gyrations of Ding Cavestany and his Louie Armstrong songs was a fitting finale to an evening of fun, dancing and laughter





In what I call as "Showtime at Gerry's Grill", Brod Dave celebrated his 72nd at the now famous Gerry and Lleva’s Grill (not “girl”) in Richmond, California.

Shadow stalks 26 of 31 Brods who came in full force for the celebration


Under Gerry's and Lleva's Grill



UP Foresters all: Vir Fabian, Rick Velasco, Arvie Caancan, Johnny Salud, Ernie Tremor & Johnny Regadio


In an email dated June 22, 2010, Brod Gerry Abenes described Dave as “a man in whose veins run the Betan blood so rich with love and respect for the fraternity's goals and tradition.  Brod Dave is a highly respected Betan not only in our own chapter but everywhere a Beta Sigma chapter exists including, and especially, in our fraternity's birthplace.  His devotion to the fraternity is next only to that for his spouse (hehehe, that's a serious joke!)”.



72 years young Dave Villegas, with nephew Jun-Jun Yeba Villegas, thanks everyone for helping him celebrate


 Typical of UP NorCal gatherings, music was provided by the Chapter's very own "A Band of Brothers."  Surprisingly, inspite of the absence of bassist Frank Morales, the Band offered excellent music with Ike taking on the bass guitar and Rotsen having one of his best nights. "Gumaling na talaga ang ating Band," was the common observation.


                                             The Saxman Kiko                                              Lead Babes and Bassist Ike


Observers have noticed that "A Band of Brothers" have gone a long way with their music



Harmonizing Quartet - Rotsen, Bobby, Ding & Vee



                                   The Band and Mercy                                                        Bobby & Aileen dance to the Beatles


The occasion was graced by 2 visitors, both Foresters -- Vir Fabian from UP Southern California and Arvie Caancan from Manila. That's one of the good news. The sad news is that former GP Darius Munoz will be relocating to his home province of Cebu this coming July.



                                     The Beatles in UP NorCal                                    Arvie Caancan visiting from Manila



                Grill owner Lleva is surrounded by patrons                           Usual poker game in almost every UP NorCal gathering

With the announcement of a change of leadership in a few weeks, attendance was at a record high since this time of the year 2 years ago, with 31 Brods and 21 spouses who came for the merriment. There was a lot of finger-pointing among members' favorites. Bantering on this issue added a lot of fun as could be seen in some of the pictures. "Gusto ko sana pero di naman ninyo ako tinuturo," Rotsen said kiddingly and that generated a lot of laughter. Hands down favorite Dave Villegas might just have to annoint the next head of the Chapter. That is, unless he finally accepts the responsibility.


Since 1996, nominees to the top post, especially the one who is finally selected to head the Chapter, had always expressed reluctance to assume leadership, excepting the last one. Knock on wood, these reluctant ones always did very well and stood up to the challenges of leadership with class, focus, demeanor and dedication to duty.



Ding: to be or not be -- the GP



Wine and Women in the kitchen -- make for a romantic night, Brods? (We wish!!!)


The 31 Brods in attendance sure knew how to party. So who's next?!




(Back ---> UP NorCal Updates)


(Back ---> Features)