Born Charito Villanueva Barter in Talevera, Nueva Ecija to parents Teofilo and Genoveva Villanueva, Charito celebrated her platinum jubilee last October 13 at the Grand Ballroom of the Venus Parkview Hotel.
It was a milestone event, unforgettable and enchanting. The whole scenario was like walking in a dream, but wide awake.
At 75, madam Charito, exemplified the true meaning of her name and she was stunning in red.Her name according to research symbolizes an “optimistic soul with a genuine enthusiasm for life. They are generally charming, easy going and are good conversationalist. Their ability to communicate often inspires others.”Need I say more?
Charito belongs to the Villanueva clan. Her parents built a three-star hotel in 1976 at the heart of Baguio City just across Burnham Park.
She took her Bachelor of Science in Commerce at the St. Joseph’s College in Quezon City and later took her post graduate course at St. John’s University in New York: an MBA and Juris Doctor Degree. She is third in a family of seven which include: Elizabeth, Romeo, Evelyn, Erlinda, Reynaldo and the youngest is Rolando or “Oyan” (former CEO of Venus before Charito took over).
The hotel now has 150 rooms. It has a commanding view of Burnham Park and is 10 minutes away from Session Road and the market. Her children, in-laws and grandchildren are all U.S.-based.
They are: Mary Genevieve, married to Patrick Benedicto; Sean Patrick Barter, married to Noemi with two children, Benjamin and Mia; and Isabelle Ann Barter whose fiancé is Ned Ramsey. Charito’s late husband, John Patrick Barter, was an Irishman.
She is at present the President and CEO of Venus Parkview Hotel. She has been with the company for 32 years.
Isabelle describes her mother Charito as, “Fair and loyal. A person who commands respect, but she is also quite a rebel with a strong will. She can still do 50 weighted squats.”
As for this writer, I know she plays a good round of golf. Just ask my 6’4” cousin George Brooks who went golfing with her.
Oyan, the youngest sibling claims that his sister, Charito, molded him to what he is today. He reminisces on the time he spent in the U.S. when he was sent there by force and spent time with Charito’s children. He was taught to do things on his own, but those were the best times of his life as she taught him independence.
And as usual, Michael del Rosario, a colleague and president of the Baguio Association of Restaurants (BAR), shortens his description of her as compassionate, distinguished, respectable, competent, eloquent, and jokingly mentioned talkative.
“She is nothing but inspiration,” lovingly comments Genevieve. “She made sure her children grew up with integrity and are good citizens.”
The enthralling night started with canapés and cocktails. Free antigen testing was offered to all guests of the event before entry.After cocktails, all guests were asked to be seated, and the grand entrance of mother and son Sean followed. It was a walk through the glass-covered floor. The hall was filled with white flowers strewn from the ceiling, chandeliers for that elegant look. Charito’s brother, Romeo, gave the thanksgiving prayer of the concelebrated birthdays of three.There were tributes from children, relatives, and friends.
An imported band played the whole night enticing one and all to the dance floor to celebrate her platinum Jubilee. The gourmet food was fit for a queen and was delish. Even the giveaway bottles of banana chips and Venus Parkview Hotel marmalade and pastries were delectable. It was definitely like a dream – A birthday to remember.
To madam Charito, here is to wishing you a happy 75th year filled with joy, laughter, happiness, prosperity and good health. Cheers and more stunning birthdays to come.