It was a birthday party that really set a new standard in celebrating milestone events. Ma. Lourdes De Vera Navarro’s 60th-year celebration last May 19 was jampacked with some 250 plus friends from Australia, USA, Zamboanga and Metro Manila who came fresh and in their best attire for the 1920s’ Gatsby-inspired and –decorated The Conservatory of the Manila Peninsula Hotel which was transformed further with a ton of all-white flowers and additional chandeliers by no less than celebrity stylist Gideon Hermosa.
Wearing a Cary Santiago creation, the fabulous Cory Navarro received numerous surprises from her children and grandchildren in what was a very well-organized program prepared by her only daughter, Camille Navarro-Makasiar in coordination with L’Amour Events Management. Guests had so much fun in a night of fabulousness, glamour and solid entertainment featuring Pocholo Mallilin’s Club Mwah, Mr. Hans Schuck (popularly known as Ted Coleman in the 80s), song and dance presentations from her children and grandchildren, and a surprise birthday cake from Cake Mapping Philippines showing her photos highlighted by the background music – a song recording of her late husband, Rolando Navarro. Family and friends were teary-eyed as the birthday celebrator was moved to tears, albeit of memorable joy. Birthday messages were delivered by select close friends from Australia, the USA and Zamboanga City. A scholarship recipient also delivered a beautiful and touching testimony for the birthday celebrator which captivated the hearts of the crowd. Everyone danced the night away with several dance instructors lighting up the dancefloor with ballroom and line dancing – all electrified and energized by the Marcy David Band. Recipients of the Best Dressed Male and Female were Mr. and Mrs. Carlos and Derlyn Maceda.
Prominent guests included Empress Schuck, Dona Pinang Saldaña, Nona Ricafort, Marieliese Evaristo, Sonny and Terry Tambunting, Anita Kaw, Former DOLE USec. Dominador Say, Verna Wee, Cory Quirino, Emily Alvarez (wife of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez), Brenda Aquino (wife of SEC Chairman Atty. Emil Aquino), Michael Tolomia, Christian Morones, Manny Negado, Grace Tiongco, Cricket Santiago-Mesias, Ofelia Wadle, Rupert Jacinto and Johnny Litton, among others.
The event was hosted by VP Elago, a close friend of the family, a Zamboangueño broadcaster and former City Councilor who also flew in just to be with the celebrator and her family.
Cory’s innermost core
Meet Maria Lourdes De Vera Navarro – a.k.a Cory Navarro. At her innermost core, Cory is a businesswoman and a philanthropist. Helping the people she meets in life has always been her passion.
Born in 1958 in Zamboanga, she grew up in a traditional family and received her education from Ateneo De Zamboanga University where she finished her Bachelor of Science in Nursing as a member of its Pioneer Batch.
Cory is very entrepreneurial where she set-up several businesses to fund her philanthropic responsibilities which eventually became her passion in life. She established the Kings Group of Companies where she is currently the Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Kings Group includes ZC Kings Lending Corporation, a Microfinancing Company; Kings LN Marketing, a Trading Company; ZC Ultra PI, a Water Refilling Station; Navishi Shell Corporation, an Export Company; ZC Kings Manpower & Janitorial Services Cooperative, a Manpower and Outsourcing Cooperative; Kings Asia Pacific Consultancy, an Exchange Student and Visa Consultancy Company and ZC Kings International Boxing Promotions and Entertainment Corporation.
Some of Cory’s notable philanthropic activities include: donation of bed facilities for Red Cross; donation of an Amphitheater named after her inside the Ateneo de Zamboanga University main campus; donation of construction facilities for San Isidro Labrador Parish. She is also a donor for financial aid for Carmel of Mary, Queen of Universe and St Therese in Carmelite Monastery in Zamboanga City and the Fr. Agustin Bello Clinic at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University main campus. This is just the tip of the iceberg as she also established the Roland M. Navarro Sr. Foundation named after her late husband to provide scholarships to those who excel in sports and academics but are less fortunate in life.
It is not surprising to note that she is part of several civic organizations such as Rotary and Makati Chamber of Commerce and Industry to mention a few. She has also served as President of the Inner Wheel Club of Pasay-EDSA.
Cory received and continuously receives recognition for her philanthropic activities such as being in the 14 Top of the Year Award from Zetan Foundation, Excellence Spirit Service from Ateneo De Zamboanga during their 25th Jubilee, Certificate of Recognition during the 30th Anniversary of College of Nursing in Ateneo De Zamboanga University and Certificate of Appreciation during the Urban Poor Solidarity Week.
In 2015, Cory received the prestigious Inner Wheel Club of the Philippines National President’s Awardee and for also being the 1st Runner-Up for Best Club IWY in 2014 to 2015, Promotion & Publicity of the Organization, for heading the Best Club in ECOSOC Projects and Best in Organizing, Chartering & Nurturing Inner Wheel Club of Metro Manila. She has received the Outstanding Leadership Award, Club Service Award from IWC of Pasay and Rookie Club and Club President Award from Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines.
Cory never fails to receive an award annually. This year, Cory is the recipient of the 2017 Global Achiever Award for Outstanding Businesswoman and Civic Leader. She was awarded with the Dangal Ng Bayan (Philippine Country’s Honor) Award for Outstanding Civic Leader and Family Advocate and last but not least, she received the Huwarang Ina (Ideal/Model Mother) Award for 2017 and 2018. Cory is one of the most prominent and flamboyant entrepreneurs in Zamboanga but she remains down-to-earth. Her simplicity can only be discovered by knowing the kind of heart she bears. Her wisdom and endless patience in attending to her daily and mundane responsibilities to family, business and various philanthropies mark her as a true gracious and glamorous woman for all time.