Felix Roxas y Fernandez — that patrician raconteur of Spanish Manila — recalled how, in 1912, his nephew Antonio Roxas de Ayala [ son of the first cousins Pedro Pablo Roxas y de Castro and Carmen de Ayala y Roxas ] had urged him to come to their house quickly by telephone. Felix rushed to the Roxas-de Ayala residence [ designed by his father, Felix Roxas y Arroyo ] along Calle General Solano in the posh San Miguel District, was met by the Spanish maid named Marcelina, and proceeded directly to the masters’ bedroom where the grieving Roxas family was gathered. There, he was informed that his dear second cousin, Pedro Pablo Roxas, had already passed away in Paris and that his remains would have to be brought back to Manila. His nephew Antonio Roxas declared that he and his uncle Felix would leave for Paris immediately.
Some twenty years before in the same manse, Margarita Roxas de Ayala — the eldest daughter of Pedro Pablo Roxas y de Castro and Carmen de Ayala y Roxas — was married to the Spanish engineer Eduardo Soriano y Sanz in a lovely ceremony attended by all of the Manila aristocracy…
Felix Roxas reminisced: “”Let us gloss over the splendor and opulence of that wedding, the intricate trousseau with tiny baskets made in the Philippines filled with local and foreign garments, the involuntary parade of suits and dresses [ at your wedding ], the abundance of gifts from everywhere — and let me describe the ceremony as remembered.”
“The preparations for the ceremony were complete. Francisco Roxas* had sponsored the orchestra that would interpret a Mendelssohn composition during the ceremony: an eighty-man orchestra, rehearsed and conducted by that music-lover. The ceremony was to take place at the chapel of your home, which some friendly nuns had prepared and adorned with white flowers that dominated the ceremony. The dining room was set in the spacious hall, decorated by the botanist Regino Garcia who, combining papuan garlands with flowers of Singalong, obtained a highly original effect. Gil Mozas looked to the catering of eight hundred guests. On the day of the ceremony, your house on General Solano street became a temple of lights and flowers, and was invaded by guests from 6 p.m. on. Attendance was so heavy that the Spanish sergeant of police of the sector went twice to headquarters for reinforcements. At 7:30 that night, the orchestra started the prelude to the nuptial march, and with the dignity as befitted the occasion, the whole retinue left through one of the lateral rooms and slowly marched to the chapel.”
“A quiet atmosphere dominated the whole ceremony: It was only when the parents greeted and kissed the newlyweds that tears glistened briefly. The bride was besieged by her friends, her orange-blossom bouquet undone, each friend receiving a part of it. At eight, the bride withdrew, reappearing fifteen minutes later attired in her honeymoon dress. Her dress, made in Paris, was of sky-blue silk, her straw hat had a pinned-back brim, she wore gray-colored shoes, and all other details hugging her graceful figure. There was no fuss raised when the newlyweds left, for they did so without taking leave or being noticed. The awaiting ‘coupe’ started off immediately while upstairs couples danced with youthful ardor, parents spoke about the wedding, and the drinkers and smokers satisfied their craving with the beverages and cigar boxes set on tables adjoining the dining table. For their honeymoon, the newlyweds went to the Hacienda of San Pedro Makati, the legendary family mansion and resthouse.””
*Francisco Roxas — Francisco L. Roxas y Reyes — was Margarita Roxas de Ayala’s cousin [ actually an uncle, a Roxas second cousin of both her parents Pedro Pablo Roxas y de Castro and Carmen de Ayala y Roxas ] who was accused, tried, and executed by the Spanish colonial government for implication in the Philippine Revolution of 1896.