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With over 500 wines and spirits at The Great Wine Experience, nobody wanted to leave
INSPIRED BY Greek mythology, one of cosmo Manille?s top hostesses, Consul of Guatemala Mellie Romero Ablaza, conceived the fantastic idea of celebrating her birthday and thanksgiving bash with a Grecian gods and goddesses costume theme, dahlings, at the NBC Tent at The Fort.

Elegantly breezing onto the red carpet promptly at 6 o?clock for cocktails while nibbling on cheese, canapés and jabugo ham, our town?s and Cebu?s alta sociedad, garbed in their godly best, were stunning. My eagle eyes noticed that the women were totally inspired by Aphrodite?s beauty.

The main ?banquet? hall blew my mind with the fabulous décor, which only the brilliant and talented JunJun Ablaza could create. Wow!

With my pal Johnny Litton as the host, Mellie?s grandchildren were presented?Alfonso, Agu, Amanu, Azi and Azia?fully dressed in Roman soldier costumes, palanggas, followed by a ballet number by the Philippine Ballet Theater; songs by George Yang?s music scholars Cynthia Sy and Christian Magano; two Italian songs by super tenor, Lorenzo; and concluding with our grand hostess Mellie, blowing out of another incredible chapter in her exciting life, dahlings.

Then as always, it was time to rock the place to the sounds of the ?Behind Closed Doors? Band.

As I made a slow French leave to move on to Establishment, I looked back and saw all the gods and goddesses from Mount Olympus dancing till goodness knows what time.

With my thumb up, I can rightfully say it was totally the awesome bash of the year! Happy birthday to our eye-catching goddess Mellie R. Ablaza!

Vicky Zubiri?s Filfest stages must-see concert

It was the most anticipated and thrilling private concert of the week, dahlings, when, in cooperation with the Israeli Embassy, world-renowned concert pianist Michael Tsalka performed at a private soireé launching the fourth season of the successful Filfest Cultural Foundation (FCF) and Insular Life ?All-chestra,? five concerts with orchestra from February to November.

?Michael Tsalka has won numerous prizes, awards and fellowships worldwide,? explained an emotional Vicky Zubiri, FCF president. It got even more emotional, because it felt like blessings were falling from heaven when brilliant Filipino pianist and tenor Carlos Alberto Ibay, who is, take note, blind from birth, ended the evening performing an aria from Massinet?s ?Opera Werther,? accompanying himself. The chosen invitees jumped off their seats, applauding and shouting ?bravo? to the miracle that God has given this performer, concluded Vicky Z.

Carlos with the Manila Symphony Orchestra, will be the inaugural concert of Filfest on Feb. 5, 8 p.m., at Insular Life Filinvest. Call 0917-8177261 and 5853823 for tickets.

Definitely a must-go-to concert by this awesome artist, dahlings.

The evolution of the Grand Wine Experience

With only the best of the best wines and spirits from the renowned vineyards and distilleries worldwide up for tasting, thanks to the mega in-demand Ralph Wines and Spirits and Philippine Wine Merchants, The 10th Grand Wine Experience got off to an awesome start. Some 20 producing countries made it a night to remember, complemented by lavish cuisine delicately prepared by the popular New World Hotel.

A mob of 1,000 well-known true connoisseurs and namedropables from the diplo-set got together, led by young dedicated Makati Mayor Junjun Binay; Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Franklin Ebdalin and wife Corazon; foreign diplomats; former Tourism Director Dawn Roa; Cebu Naitas president Ricky Tiu; hoteliers, like Sofitel?s good-looking GM Goran Aleks with residence manager Imo Ihsen; and naturellement, New World Hotel?s well-respected GM Farid Schoucair, who circulated with invitees which included airline hotshot executives like Philippine Airline?s Jimmy Bautista; Etihad Airways Bobby Hukom; Patrick Tan of Seair; jetsetter couple Paul and Cleo Gressly; Ricky Davao; Raymond Joseph; eye-catching actress Melissa de Leon-Joseph, wife of Ronnie Joseph, while being entertained endlessly by that gentleman of all seasons, el simpatico Ralph Joseph. Also seen were Rina Reyes; China Cojuangco; singer-actor Ariel Rivera; Phoemela Baranda having a great time with Consul Annette Ablan; and Marvin Agustin enjoying everything.

The brilliant Joseph brothers and mega achievers, Bobby, Ralph, Ronnie and Raymond, were all over the ballroom, busy as bees, entertaining the select pack of wine connoisseurs till many of them refused to leave. Who would leave such an interesting bash like this, dahlings, that had 500 incredible wines and spirits? But all good things do come to an end, but not before there were tons of cheers to the Joseph boys, palanggas.