After globetrotting through four time zones in four weeks, I have learned to sleep on planes, trains and automobiles. Especially planes.
It’s wonderful that Philippine Airlines (PAL) has had major improvements in its service, food and on-time performance. The airline is now more reflective of our Filipino culture—excellent service, good food, and, perhaps one day, we can all even be known for being on time. I guess two out of three ain’t bad.
The newly renovated PAL Mabuhay Lounge is a bellwether of what to expect from the airline’s new management. This world-class lounge is a statement of the airline’s vision to compete on the international stage.
Ramon S. Ang, PAL president, shows the vibrancy that his San Miguel management group is bringing aboard. The Mabuhay Lounge is, after all, the first contact that premium travelers will have with the airline. The entire experience must be pleasant, marked by warm and hospitable Pinoy service, and filled with high-quality amenities and features.
To deliver on this, RSA engaged Warren Foster-Brown of FBEYE International, an award-winning Singapore-based design firm, to redo the entire lounge. Warren hails from London but his career has taken him around the globe, such as the Sheraton Sanya, Hainan Island, China and the St. Regis Hotel in Singapore.
In the Philippines, Warren has worked on various San Miguel projects including the Diamond Hotel and Diamond Makati Residences.
Red Charity Gala proceeds
Thanks to the generosity of PAL and Diamond Hotel, we had exciting auction items at the Red Charity Gala last night. Best of all, this year’s auction proceeds will go directly to the victims of the earthquake that hit Bohol and Cebu last week.
A Bali Destination Package was among the hot auction items, inclusive of two Business Class tickets on PAL and a two-night stay at the Mulia, a five-star resort in Bali. This was arranged by Rhoda Aldanese, owner of Villa del Conte chocolates, who now lives in Indonesia.
Also auctioned off was a “Wicked” Package, with four orchestra seats on opening night of the coming musical at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The package includes an overnight stay at the Diamond Hotel, tickets to the “Wicked” opening night party, and a backstage pass to meet the cast and crew.
“Wicked” comes to Manila on Jan. 22, 2014, and will be playing for five weeks at the CCP. The top-grossing Broadway show is presented by Visa and Smart Infinity, as well as Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, David Atkins Enterprises, 105.9 Radio High, and Concertus in association with Wicked Worldwide. (Tickets are available at TicketWorld at tel. 8919999, or via www.ticketworld.com.ph.)
As one of the presenters of “Wicked,” Smart Infinity is also allowing its premium subscribers to get VIP tickets. New subscribers to Prestige Plan 5000 or Premium Plan 8000 can get a premium device and two orchestra tickets, all on offer until Nov. 30.
Julie Carceller, department head of Smart’s Infinity Business Group, said this new offer from Smart Infinity continues a tradition of providing only the most delightful experience to its subscribers.
Goodies for donors
PLDT/Smart Foundation has been a generous sponsor ever since co-chair Kaye Tinga and I started the Red Charity Gala. This year, after a lot of support from sponsors, we honored our table donors with Villa del Conte chocolates, Tresemme hair products, NeoStrata beauty essentials, W/17 candles and lots of other goodies.
This year, we also had the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Kenneth Yang, McDonald’s Philippines president, and his wife Cindy, made a generous donation to the Philippine Red Cross, and in a separate event, also provided Happy Meals for the kids of Right Start Community.
The Right Start Community was organized by my running buddies. The nonstock, nonprofit organization provides underprivileged Filipino children with opportunities to tap and attain their full creative potential by giving them access to engaging activities in nurturing environment. (Visit www.rightstart.ph if you want to share some blessings with these lovable kids.)
A few days ago, my running buddies and I visited Right Start and entertained the kids with the McDonald’s mascots. Sonja Ocampo, owner of Cupcakes by Sonja, prepared a giant cupcake cake for the kids to feast on after the games.
The major sponsor of the Red Charity Gala this year was Bench. It was a great partnership as we took the opportunity to launch the Bench Scent of fashion designer Ezra Santos, who was also the featured designer of the evening. His gowns and fashion collection were all breathtaking.
The Bench table last night was aglitter with showbiz endorsers. Also there was PR maven Keren Pascual who brought along his endorsers for Coca-Cola, including young actor Joseph Marco, who is running hot on the cover of Men’s Health Philippines.
Young Joseph recently celebrated his birthday with an intimate dinner at Wildflour Café and Bakery at the Net Lima building in Bonifacio Global City. It’s great to see new talent do well in showbiz. Joseph has a teleserye with Judy Ann Santos and Sam Milby, and has a primetime show in the works.
Noel Bazaar Series
Let me close with a plug for the first event of the Noel Bazaar Series for the year, “Noel Bazaar Swings South” at the Filinvest Alabang Tent starting this weekend until Oct. 27.
Bazaar head Mayose Gozon-Bautista is delighted to bring the bazaar to Alabang, at Commerce Avenue corner Spectrum Midway, Filinvest City. The spacious tent houses numerous stalls featuring unique and hard-to-find food items and delicacies.
As always, the Noel Bazaar Series raises funds to support the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, GMA Kapuso Foundation, AMA and many more.
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