The Netherlands partied last month with dancing in the streets, clubs, parks and private estates celebrating the Queen’s Day or “Koninginnedag,” which marks the anniversary of Queen Beatrix’s inauguration in 1980.
This year, she abdicated the crown in favor of her eldest son, handsome 48-year-old Prince Willem-Alexander, who rose to the throne with his popular Argentine wife Princess Maxima Zorreguieta, and their three daughters Princess Alexia, Princess Ariane, and 9-year-young heir apparent Princess Catharina-Amalia, dahlings.
In the Philippines, the Dutch community held an awesome bash to welcome the investiture of the new King Willem-Alexander.
At The Peninsula Manila’s Rigodon Ballroom, guests including cosmo Manille’s local and foreign dignitaries, business magnates and well-heeled personalities were warmly welcomed by the très charmant Dutch Ambassador Ton Boon von Ochssée and his vivacious and chic wife Martine.
There was an endless stream of red and white wine, the Royal Dutch beer Heineken, natch, as well as Oranje Weisse Premium White Beer, as the invitees chatted how the new ambassador and his wife were such a dashing addition to the chic diplo crowd, dahlings, such as US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr., European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux, British Ambassador Stephen Lillie, German Ambassador Dr. Joachim Heidorn, Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing, French Ambassador Gilles Garachon, Swiss Ambassador Ivo Sieber and Austrian Ambassador Wilhelm Donko.
The Philippine government was represented by Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario, Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Etta Rosales, National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Joel Rocamora, and Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs Ronald Llamas.
From the business sector, executives from Dutch companies in the Philippines such as Alaska, Unilever, Philips, Shell, KLM and Spliethoff Group were present.
Standouts in the crowd were definitely the Dutch ambassador’s wife Martine B.V.O. in a très chic Karen Miller outfit, Consul of Guatemala Mellie Ablaza wearing a Steve de Leon baro’t saya creation, and Naty Pappas with a gorgeous emerald cabochon bling-bling around her neck done by an international jeweler.
The guests went on to watch the investiture ceremonies for the king, happening 7,000 miles away on a giant screen, while being treated to Dutch specialties—from Leiden, Edam and Gouda cheeses, to sausages, plus most everything that is part of the Dutch life like Peen en Uien (carrot and onion hash) and Bitterballen (cocktail croquettes).
But the most pleasant surprise of the evening was a flashmob led by the Dutch ambassador with some 50 other notables, including the US Ambassador and diplomats from Europe and the Philippines.
It is crystal-clear that the international royal set will surely be even more dazzling with the beautiful couple, King Willem-Alexander and his stunning wife Queen Maxima, dahlings!
‘Return of the swallows’
I received a most unique invitation from one of my well-traveled pals, Josephine “Jo” del Gallego, who was celebrating not only her birthday but also the “return of the swallows” since she had just flown back from Europe.
The return of the swallows, palanggas, refers to the American Cliff Swallow, a migratory bird that spends its winters in Goya, Argentina, but makes the 6,000-mile (10,000 km) trek north to the warmer climes of the American Southwest, particularly the San Juan Capistrano Mission (SJCM) in California, in springtime.
Since Jo had plans to celebrate her birthday again at SJCM this year did not materialize, she decided to hold her party at el muy restaurante, the popular Catalan dining place Las Flores in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Jo commissioned Hong Kong-based Italian mixologist Giancarlo Mancino to create a welcome cocktail that she named “La Golondrina” for everyone to get into a fun party mood—which we all did, palanggas.
Her invitation requested: “En lugar de regalos haga el favor de hacer sus donativos a Synergeia Foundation, Inc.” That’s because SFI is a charity that Jo’s guest of honor and close friend, SGV Founder Wash SyCip, strongly supports. SFI president, professor Nene Guevara, thanked Mr. SyCip and everyone for their generosity.
Naturellement, our bubbly hostess made sure that the drinks were accompanied by a variety of 10 excellently prepared tapas, including el quezo manchego and jamón ibérico. Topping it all off, dahlings, was the to-die-for chocolatisimo dessert.
With booze flowing and rocking a portion of Las Flores while guests hit the dance floor, the “swallows” didn’t fly home till way past their regular bedtime.
Clothes for everyone
It was Mega Publishing Group’s executive creative director, the talented Suki Salvador’s turn to present Apple & Eve’s Spring-Summer 2013 Collection at SM Megamall, where he styled his fantastic top 10 looks of the season, palanggas.
Fashion editors and stylists were treated to an incredible shopping spree while sipping chilled champagne, dahlings.
One couldn’t help but fall in love with the floral prints and shades of green in the collection, while the polka-dotted summer dress and the tweed blazer were crowd favorites.
At the end, Suki S. added to his speech: “Apple & Eve offers clothes for everyone, whatever their style may be.”
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