Family circles that grow ever larger
We all belong to different families as we go through life. We start off with the family we are born into, our original family. This grows into various extended families as we marry and then start our own. Other family ties are added with school, then work, play and other social groups as we go through life.
This week is all about the diverse families I am part of. I am a proud member of the Rufino clan that built the new De La Salle University (DLSU) Rufino Campus, which is home to the university’s College of Law. Located at the last piece of institutional real estate in Bonifacio Global City, DLSU Rufino Campus is a strategic site for innovation and collaborative efforts, as well as a base for knowledge generation.
Honored at the recent inauguration of the new campus were the families of Ernesto Rufino Sr., Vicente Rufino, Ester Rufino Galvez, Rafael Rufino Sr., plus Macario Rufino, Nestor Tan, Caroline Tanchay, Wellington Tong, Ambrosio Padilla, Liberito Espiritu, George Barcelon, Edward Lee, lawyer Florentino Herrera III, Jacques Dupasquier, Maria Natividad de Leon Rufino, Maria Victoria Rufino, the late Rafael Rufino Jr. and, of course, project head Carlos Rufino. Also present were guests from Development Bank of the Philippines and Globe Telecom.
At the event, the third generation Rufinos reconnected and realized that we actually don’t know each other too well. Soon after, a mini reunion of the Ernesto, Vicente, Ester and Rafael (EVER) family tree was organized and held at Manila House, the newest hip private club in town.
Among my dearest of families is my Inquirer family. I have been a columnist for nearly 15 years and my weekly columns are always fun to write as I share all my adventures and travel expeditions. Every once in a blue moon, my column gives me a chance to fulfill some of my wildest dreams, such as when I got to be a model at Inquirer’s Face-Off fashion show.
Lifestyle editor Thelma San Juan asked me to join “Face-Off: #OOTD” and be one of the muses of Red Charity Gala designer Cary Santiago. Cary’s intricate couture techniques and red-carpet designs were showcased with the rest of the master designers in the country.
Even with my skyscraping Sinulog headpiece and six-inch heels, I was still a head shorter than fellow model-beauty queens Gwendolyn Ruais and Cassy Naidas, who were wearing Converse sneakers!
Held at Shangri-La Plaza Mall’s East Atrium in Mandaluyong, “Face-Off: #OOTD” was presented by Converse, the iconic sneakers brand, with support from Fossil. This eighth edition of Inquirer Lifestyle and LOOKbook’s banner event had industry veterans alongside millennial designers showcasing their most creative designs.
Before my big runway strut, I chatted with Rhett Eala’s muse Maxine Medina, who was wearing a fringed gown inspired by the emerald dress he made her for the Miss Universe pageant. The towering stunner was still taller than me even with my headdress on!
Tropafrica is my traveling family. It all started with our first Africa adventure more than 15 years ago. Initially organized by cousin Leica Carpo, top restaurateur Malu Gamboa has continued planning succeeding trips of the group. We are extremely happy for her as she was recently engaged to her beau, Mon Lindo.
The two were spotted at the recent opening of Sugar Factory American Brasserie (www.SugarFactory.com) at Shangri-La at The Fort, BGC. America’s favorite all-in-one restaurant, bar and candy shop is now in our country, their first ever store in Asia.
Among the special individuals invited were guests of honor Fernando and Kit Zobel de Ayala, Vice President Leni Robredo, beauty expert to the stars Vicki Belo and many more A-listers who walked down a unique pink carpet.
Sugar Factory has gained worldwide fame and success for its celebrity-endorsed Couture Pops, turning sweet treats into a designer accessory. Britney Spears, Carmen Electra, Nicole Scherzinger and Eva Longoria have been spotted around enjoying the sparkly lollipops.
Aside from the decadent sweets, Filipinos can now finally savor the comfort yet indulgent food Sugar Factory has been serving over the years. Its team of world-class chefs at the helm ensures everyone will have a one-of-a-kind dining experience with a signature menu that lists everything from pancakes to salads. Sugar Factory is truly a sugar fantasyland and gastronomic haven perfect for anyone and everyone.
I also have an interior design family. Contrary to what most think, interior design is my first love, and not fashion. My Wilcon Depot family is in charge of my design needs with so many brands that the one-stop building and home décor department store carries.
Wilcon is one of the major sponsors of WORLDBEX 2017, which is happening this weekend at the World Trade Center, Philippine International Convention Center and SMX Mall of Asia. The construction and design expo includes an Interior Designers’ Gallery with eight lucky vignettes from the icons of interior design.
Pido Villanueva of Ambiance by Pido created my indoor garden vignette with beautiful plants and rabbit décor. WORLDBEX 2017 is open until today, March 19, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Call 6569239 or visit www.worldbex.com.
And then there are our golfing families. The US Alumni Golf Open will be held on March 30 at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club. My hubby Dennis will be joining other alumni of US universities like Harvard, Wharton-University of Pennsylvania and Kellogg-Northwestern University at this annual event, which raises funds for the local alumni chapters of the schools.
The US Alumni Golf Open is always a great sporting event, allowing all the alums who are now career professionals or executives in all the big corporations to meet their colleagues from the different schools. US alums interested to join should contact their local alumni chapters for details.
Let me end by circling back to my original family, and give a special greeting to my sister, Sandy Romualdez, who celebrated her birthday yesterday. Welcome to the big 5-0 club, sister dear!
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