Keep calm and smell the roses! That’s my current mantra as I navigate my crazy travel and social schedule, which has brought me from watching the sunrise in Maui to watching “Wicked” with Kiwis in just the past week. And to think that next weekend is the Red Charity Gala already, which co-chair Kaye Tinga and I have been planning for months!
All proceeds of the Red Charity Gala support the Philippine National Red Cross and the Assumption High School Batch ’81 Foundation. It’s great to have done this ball for six years running, and to have raised so much for so many.
Among the various groups supporting the Red Charity Gala is the Primer Group, which owns a super long list of travel, fashion, sports and outdoor brands. In the Philippines, one of its key brands is Flight 001, the world’s premier travel store.
Indeed, traveling is so much easier thanks to my pre-flight shopping at Flight 001. Its third and biggest store just opened at the East Wing of Shangri-La Plaza mall in Mandaluyong City, bringing its worldwide stores to 19, with 11 in Asia.
Flight 001, founded by John Sencion and Brad John, offers practical and innovative products that allow shoppers to experience travel in style and comfort. As with all its locations, the Shang branch is designed around a 747 theme, complete with curved walls and a retro-modern ticket counter harking back to the romance of jet travel in the ’50s.
Flight 001 has its own brand of highly functional travel products: the Flight 001 Spacepak packing system maximizes cabin-size luggage space by compressing the air out of two weeks’ worth of clothes. For a not-so-light traveler like me, that’s the best solution for more luggage space!
The Flight 001 Go Clean pack bag collection, meanwhile, has versatile mix-and-match bags that range from laundry to shoes, beachwear to gym gear.
For the Red Charity Gala, Flight 001 and the Primer Group are donating auction prizes, including Tumi luggage from the Ducati retro edition.
Another auction item is a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Single-Serve Beverage Machine, an all-in-one espresso, coffee and tea maker.
CBTL’s owners recently opened 26th St. Bistro at the Net Lima Building in Bonifacio Global City, adding a classy yet casual resto vibe into its signature coffee-shop ambiance. The place has a bigger dining area and full-service wait staff, with a menu for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
I had the chance to check out the 26th St. Bistro last month, when Jay Ong, CBTL VP for strategic partnerships, hosted an afternoon merienda as part of my month-long Fifty Shades of Tessa birthday celebration. Jay said there’s another 26th St. Bistro at the Shangri-La Plaza.
Paolo del Rosario, CBTL VP for marketing, pointed out the bistro’s décor highlights, in particular how it fuses wood and metal to create a modern yet rustic feel.
“The concept is ‘every day, extraordinary,’ much how CBTL transformed our expectations of the café,” he said.
The Fifty Shades of Tessa afternoon merienda was a veritable feast, with starters including Portobello mushroom ciabatta and wild mushroom soup; salad of mixed greens; and Norwegian salmon fishcakes drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and smoked paprika aioli.
The mains were pasta of tiger prawn and shiitake mushroom linguine, paired with hanging tender steak with potato gratin and marsala sauce. Dessert was chocolate lava cake and apple crumble cake, both à la mode.
Best of all, my merienda guests enjoyed games and contests, with winners going home with CBTL’s Single-Serve Beverage Machine and a supply of different coffees and teas. (www.coffeebean.com.ph.)
The Red Charity Gala is always a chance for sponsors to showcase their newest wares to the select guests. One sponsor taking advantage of the opportunity is NeoStrata with its new Enlighten Trio, a daily skincare regimen kit for radiant beauty.
Nikki Tang, managing director of D’ Mark Multisales, the distributor of NeoStrata, also invited me when the brand was recently launched at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Manila Peninsula. The elegant dinner event was graced by Mark Steele, CEO of NeoStrata worldwide, and was hosted by Johnny Litton.
The guests included the country’s premier dermatologists.
Leigh Ann Catlin, NeoStrata VP of international business development, and Catherine Mueller, executive director of international markets, explained the importance of skincare and how NeoStrata Enlighten Trio effectively works, especially for mature skin.
The products are physician-dispensed, so ask your dermatologist about it. (www.dmark.ph.)
I’m sure many guests at the Red Charity Gala will get excited about their NeoStrata gifts, while enjoying everything else that will be offered at the event, including Penfolds wines from Australia, Piper-Heidsieck brut champagne and Remy Martin cognac.
There are many more sponsors, but I’ll reserve listing them all for another column.
One of the staunchest supporters of our Assumption High School Batch ’81 Foundation is Albert Arcilla of Volvo. I’d like to return the favor by publicizing Albert’s own batchmates from Ateneo Law School, who are having a Homecoming on Oct. 18 at the New World Hotel.
This year’s theme is “Generations,” and will honor families who have several Ateneo lawyers.
The highlight will be a raffle for a Volvo XC60, with proceeds going to the Ateneo Law School.
Albert’s mantra should be, “Keep Calm and Buy A Ticket!”
(For tickets, call lawyer Vicky Ortega-Pollisco at 0918-9096829.)
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