Roses & rubies at 80

She was a teacher, a strict one at that, a jeweler, one of the pioneers in the city, and most of all, a mother, who singlehandedly raised her three children to the successful persons they are now.


Emilia Sitjar's roses & rubies at 80

With her most precious ones. The celebrant with her children Jet, Emil & Eileen, & grandson, Santi. (Photo: Kenneth Ong)


Turning 80 is a milestone and Emilia Sitjar deserves the big celebration fitting for a loving mother, a caring sister, a good friend and fellow devotee to the Divine Mercy.

Yes, they were all there filling every inch of the venue turned into a rose-filled garden in pink, the celebrant’s favored color, to pay tribute to the lady of the hour.


Emilia Sitjar's roses & rubies at 80

In the pink garden is this lovely cake for Emilia.


But what do you give to the woman who seems to have everything?

The gift of presence. To be surrounded by people who loves and appreciates your is precious.


Emilia Sitjar's roses & rubies at 80

The celebrant is honored on her 80th birthday.


The gift of song. To be serenaded by your granddaughters before a large audience is priceless.


Emilia Sitjar's roses & rubies at 80

Sophie and Sonia serenade their grandmother in front of a large audience (Photo: Emil Sitjar)


The words of love. To be acknowledged by your children before the public is poetry.

The gift of dance. For your dear friends and only grandson to perform in your honor is just adorable.

But in her true charitable form, Emilia presented her own gifts to her guests via the “How do you know Emilia Sitjar” question and answer game.


Emilia Sitjar's roses & rubies at 80

Earlier at the party, a photo with the celebrant (she’s shining brightly at the background). Alex Maramba, Mia Pineda, Boo Maramba, Marissa Tionko, Kenneth Ong, Malouchi Gahol & Mia Floirendo.


Emilia Sitjar's roses & rubies at 80

In this corner with Lea Imperial & Tetel Tionk-Sauls


The top prize- a pair of ruby earrings (ruby is the celebrant’s birth stone) to whoever who can state the year Emilia’s Jewelry opened its first shop and which parts of the city the jewelry stores set shop.

I gave it a shot but was one branch short. Kenneth, on the other hand, managed to answer all the questions correctly.

Just as I thought it was going to be an early night, I was mistaken. We stayed and danced (well, I watched my friends dance) until the last tune was played.


Emilia Sitjar's roses & rubies at 80

Our moment with the celebrant & her family. Taken at the last hour of the party. (Photo: Kenneth Ong)


Happy 80th birthday, Tita Emilia. May you continue to add sparkle to the lives of the people you touch.

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Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.