Book a trip or catch a play this Valentine weekend | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

MANILA Polo Club president Dave Balangue with Fila Polo Cup winners and Fila royal couple Butch (in red polo shirt) and Cris Albert


MANILA Polo Club president Dave Balangue with Fila Polo Cup winners and Fila royal couple Butch (in red polo shirt) and Cris Albert
Manila Polo Club president Dave Balangue with Fila Polo Cup winners and Fila royal couple
Butch (in red polo shirt) and Cris Albert




MANILA, Philippines–This Valentne’s weekend is extra exciting with multiple events happening simultaneously.

Last Friday was the opening of the weekend-long Travel Tour Expo 2015 at SMX Convention Center. This ongoing travel fair is the largest expo offering amazing discounts and travel promos. If you are set on a dream destination, head to SMX and book the best fares today.

My yoga buddy Sabina Pe of Bridges Travel (booth no. 106) has incredible packages that shouldn’t be missed.

Rajah Travel also has a booth offering the Insight Vacations packages. With its excellent promos, we might just do another EuropeValdes holiday this year.

A friend sent me this joke. “What’s the scariest of the three: Friday the 13th, single on the 14th, or no pay on the 15th?”

Valentine’s Day is synonymous to the Golden Tee, the annual Manila Golf member-guest tournament. The grand awarding ceremony happens on Valentine’s Day, so that’s almost akin to being single on the 14th for me and my hubby Dennis.

It’s a good thing I started Valentine’s festivities yesterday at Eastwood Mall for the Celebrity Valentine Bazaar, on the invitation of partner-in-crime Tim Yap. To purge before the Chinese New Year, we held a fun garage sale at the mall with several other celebrities to raise funds for our various charities. Tim and I planned our booths while hosting the Fila Polo Cup two weeks ago.

Charity polo match

Fila, the market leader in the local sportswear industry, held its annual polo event at the Manila Polo Club for ISportLife Ministries, the nonprofit subsidiary of ISport Life Inc.

Butch and Cris Albert of Fila are very compassionate about helping victims of calamities and fostering homeless children. Butch was recently recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of 48 notable people in the world.

The polo matches were exciting, as the Red Team, composed of Butch, Santi Juban, Adrian Garcia and Coco Garcia, emerged as champions of the Low Goal Game.

The White Team, composed of Iñigo Zobel, Cole Aguirre, Gregorio Gelosi and Dirk Gould, won the High Goal Game. I have no idea what all that means, but sweating horses are always a welcome sight.

Fila princess Cris Albert made sure all the guests had overflowing champagne, and there were fireworks to cap off the wonderful afternoon.

‘Time stands still’

Fila sponsors such unusual events. Also on its roster was theater outfit Red Turnip’s second season-closer, “Time Stands Still,” at Whitespace on Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City.

The play stars Ana Abad Santos and Nonie Buencamino, together with Nor Domingo and Gianna Ocampo, all stalwarts of local theater. It also marks Rem Zamora’s much-anticipated follow up to his directorial debut, “Cock.”

“Time Stands Still” runs every weekend until March 8. It is also sponsored by Smeg and Mandaue Foam. See for complete show schedules. Tickets available at

But let me get back to Valentine’s. I was searching for a gift for the hubby, and thought of getting him an iconic chair from the Republic of Fritz Hansen. Studio Dimensione recently opened its doors to welcome the Danish furniture icon offering both classics and newer designs.

Republic of Fritz Hansen ( is its flagship store in the country. The company offers cutting-edge, contemporary style and high-quality craftsmanship.

Check it out at G/F, One Parkade, 28th St. cor. 7th Ave.; tel. 7363728.

At the opening, host Daphne Paez introduced the guests to Dario Reicherl, Fritz Hansen’s VP for Asia-Pacific. Dario spoke about the brand, but I focused on the excellent leather stitching on its Egg Chair, which I believe would be a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for any executive.

Studio Dimensione owner Ben Chan welcomed renowned architects, designers and guests as they all marveled at the awesome collection. Lovebirds Zsa Zsa Padilla and Conrad Onglao were spotted shopping too.

I also had the chance to catch up with talented photographer Shaira Luna, who took pictures for my book, “Tessa: Ten Times Ten,” and was part of Bench magazine last year.

Shaira, the gifted child in the Promil TV commercial from the 1990s, entered college at age 13. Today she is a passionate artist photographer.

Celebrating giftedness

Promil Pre-School is launching The Gifted Movement campaign to support and celebrate giftedness in our country. They are bringing back Shaira, along with publisher Kiko Galura, who was a child poet, and James Flores, who was a young astrologer. The famous trio are being reconvened by Dian Yu, Promil product manager, who told me that the brand’s heritage on giftedness is exemplified by these three fine adults through their current achievements.

The Gifted Movement campaign also aims to provide proper nutrition and care to young children, of course. Through the eyes of the three artists, we can all see how they have journeyed and become valuable members of our society over the past two decades.

Balesin wedding

Let me end with a shoutout to a wonderful couple tying the knot, Chiz Escudero and Heart Evangelista. The two are having a private wedding ceremony in Balesin Island today!

The reception will be at the spanking new Balesin Royal Villa, which was inaugurated last year. The Royal Villa includes private pools and a lavish dining area, the 350-guest Salon, and is really the best place to book for a private party of any sort.

I can imagine that Chiz and Heart would enjoy cocktails on the second floor deck overlooking the calm waters of Lamon Bay, with the sun setting over the Sierra Madre mountains. Then they would go downstairs and have their wedding dinner in the opulent and intricately filigreed Salon.

Afterwards, they would repair to one of four Maharlika suites, each with its own bedroom, living area, terrace and private Jacuzzi.

With that thought in mind, let me wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Follow @seaprincess888 on Instagram and @tessavaldes on Twitter.