Tessa!

The miss with the four Bs–that’s me these days

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WITH Azealia Banks (fourth from left) are Magnum Pleasure ambassadors Rajo Laurel, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Raymond Gutierrez, Georgina Wilson, Solenn Heussaff, Liz Uy and Erwan Heussaff.

MAGNUM VIP GUESTS. (Seated) Paolo Reyes,Marissa Concepcion, Lizette Cojuangco, Sea Princess, Sandy Moran. (Standing) Vina Monasterio, Cecilia Suarez, Meca Prieto, Anthony Pangalinan, Joey Concepcion

It’s been a week-long blast! But first, let me talk about Breeze. The return of the classic laundry detergent has been brewing since last year, and when recently relaunched by Unilever, Breeze is bigger than ever.

The new Breeze encourages children to play and get dirty, as Breeze with ActivBleach is here to remove even the toughest stains. With Breeze around, moms don’t need to worry about where their kids go, as no stain is too tough for the brand.

I got to experience the ultra-secret world of product launches, as defined by the consumer giant Unilever, when I teamed up with other Breeze moms to shoot the TV ad. The four moms were award-winning actress Dawn Zulueta, women-and-youth-issues advocate Sen. Pia Cayetano, sought-after celebrity mom Carmina Villaroel and me.

Location shooting

We shot the ad on location in Pampanga with our kids. My daughter Annika and I hammed it up for our scene messing up with chocolate stains, while the other moms and kids had different stains to deal with. It was all very Bollywood, with our director coming from India.

HAPPY shoppers Girlie Sison, Mich Araullo, Sea Princess, Popsie Gamboa and Vina Francisco

In the final scene with the four moms saying our battle cry “Sige sa Mantsa,” we had to walk through the fields and deliver our lines. The crew built a special platform along my path, so that I wouldn’t look too short beside Dawn. Of course, statuesque Sen. Pia had to be way over in the other end so as not to dwarf me.

CLOSE friends Aissa Cojuangco, Papat Escaler,Marivic Limcaoco, Karin Igual,Marissa Concepcion, Marivic Concepcion andMrs. Magnum, Peachy Concepcion

The Unilever brand managers told us that Breeze with ActivBleach uses a four-enzyme technology to remove stains and has a patented whitening agent as well, all of which translates to better laundry results so moms don’t have to worry about stains and dirt.

We all reconnected at the Breeze launch at the Manila Polo Club last week, as the Breeze moms were introduced to the press, and other moms got to enjoy kiddie games and party activities. Sen. Pia’s two-year-old son enjoyed the Jell-O pool best. Carmina and her twins did some finger-painting, while Dawn’s handsome son joined the paint wall blast.

My Assumption classmates and friends were amazed at Breeze’s low price. It was still top-of-mind for us as we all jetted from Breeze to Bangkok for a girly weekend of shopping.

Our group included Milky Way restaurateur Popsie Gamboa and her cousin, young fashion designer Mich Araullo, and buddies Girlie Sison and Vina Francisco. Five women versus Bangkok shopping—guess who won?

LOVELY sisters Crickette Tantoco and Frances Yu

Among the highlights was a new discovery, China World, a mall selling mostly fabrics. In the end, we filled up several balikbayan boxes and shipped them all home.

Magnum party

The flights of Philippine Airlines were all on time and the service was great. It was all such a breeze, pun intended, that we arrived and headed straight to the biggest ever Magnum Party, featuring rap superstar Azealia Banks.

UNILEVER country media manager Macce Samarista, digital media and activations manager Nel Capila, PR and events manager Nikki Abella

All the Magnum ambassadors were present, and we were all asked to have a Twitter photo contest to choose the best photo with the new Magnum flavors. I chose Mich’s photo eating Magnum in Bangkok.

New Magnum ambassador Georgina Wilson introduced the two new flavors—Strawberry and Chocolate Brownies. Co-ambassador Rajo Laurel and I were chauffeured in aboard a slick Jaguar XF from the Makati Shangri-La, where, earlier, skilled makeup artist Jake Galvez had applied paper eyelashes with seascape designs on me.

PRETTY momsTina Lagdameo and Micheal Lagdameo-Martinez

When Magnum parties, it is always an awesome and brilliant blowout. I made sure to come appropriately dressed in an avant-garde, unique attire that would represent the new Strawberry flavor.

Creative fashion designer Rocky Gathercole, who recently moved back home from Los Angeles, made me a standout lattice-work creation matched with sky-high Das shoes. It was the sort of outfit that did not escape the attention of Azealia and her dancers. Rocky’s new atelier is at 2 Kamuning Road corner Tomas Morato Ave. in Quezon City (tel. 0949-6584108).

DUTCH Ambassador Ton Boon von Ochssee and his wife Martine

One of the highlights of the evening was sexy rapper Azealia’s “Harlem Shake” hyper-beat, which brought the chic crowd to its feet. Gangnam is so last year—while Magnum continues to be the product of the moment!

Freedom Ride

And now a short end note with a final “B” word: biking. The Freedom Ride, which seeks support against human trafficking, is on March 9. The ride kicks off from the fountain area at the Venice Piazza on McKinley Hill at 7 a.m.

The organizers are a mouthful: Dakila-Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, in partnership with the Manila Fixed Gear, and with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Department of Justice Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking.

AWESOME fashion designer Rocky Gathercole

Registration for the Freedom Ride is free, but there is a “no helmet, no ride” policy to ensure safety. Check it all out on Facebook.

RAPPER sensation Azealia Banks at Magnum Party

The Freedom Ride will tour Taguig, Makati, Pasay and Manila, led by a Dutch contingent headed by Ambassador Ton and Martine Boon von Ochssee. At the end of the ride, there is a short program launching the Freedom Project, a campaign to raise awareness on human trafficking. Details at http://www.dakila.org.ph/projectfreedom.

Follow @tessavaldes on Twitter or e-mail her at seaprincess@inquirer.com.ph.

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