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Eight is enough!

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Eight is enough!

/ 03:48 AM November 18, 2012

TWG TEA Business Development and Communications director
Maranda Barnes, Sofia Zobel-Elizalde, TWG Tea managing director
Rith Aum-Stievenard, Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Kit
Zobel, TWG Tea president Taha Bouqdib, Stores Specialists Inc. EVP Anton Huang

What’s the most number of events that one can attend in a single evening? On Nov. 8, the stars were perfectly aligned as I went for a personal record.

STORES Specialists Inc. EVP Anton Huang, TWG Tea Business Development and Communications director Maranda Barnes, Rustan Commercial Corporation president Zenaida Tantoco, Nina Huang, TWG Tea president Taha Bouqdib

First up was the launch of TWG Tea, the finest tea brand in the world. Long-time friend Tessa Alindogan and I showed up early at the TWG Tea Salon & Boutique in Greenbelt 5, hosted by Specialtea Blends, a subsidiary of Rustan’s, where we met Taha Bouqdib, TWG president, and his key lieutenants, Maranda Barnes and Rith Aum-Stievenard.

Highlight of the shop is the TWG Tea Wall, with rows of 450 artisanal teas arranged in signature yellow tins. Local tea lovers now have their own place away from the coffee-shop hegemony in the malls, where they can sample the finest harvest teas and most exclusive blends from all over the world.


Next up was “Funktion, An Exhibit of Useful Things,” by Lilianna Manahan at AC+632 (tel. 7582564), also in GB5. If one is going for a record, it helps to have multiple events in the same mall. Lilianna unveiled her collection of furniture, lights, home accessories and objets d’art that reflect her whimsical approach to life.  She gets her inspiration from seemingly unrelated influences, ranging from Chinese celadon and El Lissitzky to designs from the Memphis movement circa 1980.

TWG TEA president Taha Bouqdib with Sofia and Patxi Elizalde

From an early age, Lilianna was exposed to a diverse world of art and design. After training in industrial design and in the atelier of furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, she has now ventured on her own. As the daughter of artists Johnny and Tats Manahan, Lilianna herself is clearly striking out and making a statement on her own, with an exhibit that combines the fanciful with the functional.

Green high-rise

It’s difficult to set a record for the number of events in one night, when a combination of rain, traffic and the scintillating conversation of Ricky Toledo and Chito Vijandre conspire to just keep me at AC+632. But the lure of the Zuellig Building was impossible to resist.

The Zuellig is the first high-rise building in the country that is truly green. Its beautiful glass façade, described as a ceramic frit pattern inspired by bamboo, has already changed the Makati skyline. Daniel Zuellig, director of Bridgebury Realty, and Dr. Stephen Zuellig, chair of Zuellig, had a most impressive guest list, beginning with Vice President Jejomar Binay.

PRIVE stylish guests Charmaine Palermo, Louie Ysmael, Divine Lee, Sea Princess, Tessa Alindogan, Tim Yap, Girlie Benitez and Alice Dixson

Corporate openings are fun, but can hardly beat the lure of a consumer product. Event No. 4 was the unveiling of Colgate Optic White, a new beauty must-have—okay, it’s toothpaste—held at the Mango Tree Bistro at Boni High Street.

Indeed, this launch’s comehither was Solenn Heussaff, whose toothy whiteness can only have come from a week’s use of the new toothpaste. When combined with her sexy red gown and white Hummer, plus the back-up theatrics of the Colgate Optic White Style Squad— Rajo Laurel, Jenni Epperson and Phoemela Baranda—well, I can almost see the tubes selling out at all supermarkets.

SPECTACULAR fashion collection of Furne One for Bench

I would have stayed longer, but Direk Ariel Lozada was already calling for us to head to the Manila Peninsula Ballroom for the unfolding of “Unholy by the One,” the newest Bench designer scent. Furne One, the extraordinary fashion designer, teamed up with Bench to produce an eau de toilette that is sure to sizzle.


As with any Bench launch, no expense was spared. A spectacular 60-piece fashion show of Furne’s gowns was topped by a finale featuring Raina Hein of “America’s Next Top Model.” Two other scents, Beautiful Boy and Handsome Girl, were also introduced.

A quick change for MAC

Sixth up was the MAC Cosmetics Event at Whitespace. When going for a record number of events, it is useful to stay in the same gown, but just to up the difficulty level, I decided that five events was enough for my first dress and did a quick costume change.

BENCH Scents designer Furne One, Rashid Ali, “America’s Next Top Model” winner Raina Hein, Bench king Ben Chan

MAC introduced their Glamour Daze Holiday Collection, with Cher Webb, their senior artist from the UK, flying in to demo how to use the collection on Brazilian-Japanese model Vanessa Matsunaga. Special thanks to Francis Libiran for dressing the host!

By this time, I was almost in a daze as to what event I was in. Colors were swirling as Eric delos Santos unveiled his spring-summer 2013 collection at the Prive Style Series in, where else, the Prive Luxury Club.

Eric used a select group of career women, celebrities and beauty queens to show off his latest works. The muses included stars Kylie Padilla and Vanessa del Moral of GMA Artist Center, One Mega Group’s Meryll Yan, stylist Charmaine Palermo, fashion blogger Patricia Prieto, 2011 International Ford Supermodel of the World Danica Magpantay, and beauty queen Venus Raj, all made up by Maquillage Professionnel.

“Eight is enough,” I thought as I arrived at the reopening of Museum Café, with birthday boy Andrej Wisniewski’s creation, M Sessions, in full blast. Different music genres are featured each night, ranging from live percussion to Latin salsa.

ALPHALAND chair Roberto Ongpin and Vice President Jejomar Binay

In fact, M Café hosts all the after parties for the First Manila Salsa Congress, a three-day music and dance extravaganza starting Nov. 22 at the St. Giles Hotel. (For tickets, call tel. 0917-6481502 or visit

Speaking of dance, check out “TransenDANCE” on Nov. 24 at the Mother Rose Hall at Assumption San Lorenzo. The dance concert is presented by PlanaForma and benefits the World Food Programme. Tickets available at all PlanaForma branches.

I got home from Event No. 8 just in time to see hubby Dennis arrive from his one event.

SEN. FRANCIS “Chiz” Escudero, Heart Evangelista, Alphaland chair Roberto Ongpin

“There’s gonna be a new marina in town,” he said, telling me about the Alphaland Marina Club, just launched and opening in 2014 along the bay between Mall of Asia and the new Solaire Casino. Apparently the launch was so successful that 150 prospective members signed up immediately.

“Well, can you top this? I saw the Vice and Solenn in one night,” I said. “Not bad,” he replied. “I also saw Vice, but then, I also saw Heart.” I guess sometimes one event can equal eight.

Follow @tessavaldes on Twitter or e-mail her at

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TAGS: Events, Lifestyle, Tessa, Tessa Prieto-Valdes
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