Kung Hei Fat Choi! I love hosting Chinese New Year (CNY) festivities—the explosion of colors, lion and dragon dancers, feng shui readers and other auspicious ceremonies surrounding the event.
I throw an annual CNY party, filling our home with Chinese décor from Chinatown, every corner with golden touches of prosperity and good fortune. For the Year of the Wooden Goat, the décor included symbols of fire, water, wood, earth and metal.
The occasion is also a wonderful opportunity for charity. At our party this year, HSBC donated P500,000 to the Makati Red Cross, received by its director Marivic Rufino.
Heart-2-Heart-Online.com, the wonderfully made blog of Rica de Jesus, captured many details of the party. Rica shared photos of friends writing on their wishing balloons, buying lucky charms from Liza Bustamante and listening to Marites Allen’s forecast.
Generous friend Trina Alindogan of National Bookstore donated all the balloons in the colors of the five elements.
The Chinese lauriat was a combined effort of Tjioe the Caterer and Patricia Panlilio of nawwTy Kitchen (e-mail [email protected]; tel. 0918-9369854). Patricia makes special menus for any occasion.
Among many prizes to be won at the party games, the most coveted every year is the Swatch special-edition watch. Inspired by traditional stories, Swatch has created a Chinese New Year Special—the Goat’s Keeper.
The colorful watch sports a goat on the dial and on the strap, and comes in special packaging—an oval cardboard box with a pink-and-green zigzag pattern on the sides. Shiny gold dots swirl about the goat’s head, a sign of wealth, prosperity and good fortune in the year ahead.
Apart from Swatch, guests already know what swag to aim for. Top favorites include Bench, Gardenia, Made in Candy, Mags, Watsons and ZenZest, to name a few.
Photo frames from Willy Saw and dragon photos from Anthony Magana (www.eastdigitalstudio.org) were also on the list this year.
New to our prize collection is Cocoline Naturals, a line of skin-care products that is paraben-free. This new brand was launched recently at the Green Sun Hotel with a stunning, 360-degree video display of the sparkling ocean and bouncing coconuts.
Cocoline president Rica King is excited about its products, all natural, healthy alternatives to skincare and beauty. The powerful coconut ingredient gives Cocoline a supplemental twist aimed to delight consumers with its look, smell and feel, while addressing the modern woman’s health and beauty needs.
Celebrity hosts Fabio Ide, Divine Lee and JM Rodriguez presented the fresh innovation in the skin-care industry. The trio introduced brand manager Zyra Tinio, who expounded further on virgin coconut oil (VCO) the super moisturizer.
VCO has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties that keep skin healthy. Guests were delighted to take home the two variants of Cocoline Naturals: Intense Moisturizing and Triple Whitening.
This year was a virtual merger of CNY and Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s couples at our CNY party had personalized cupcakes from Hearts N Bells By Marita (www.heartsnbells.com).
I also had a couples game, with each doing a selfie while kissing. Best photos won a wonderful gift pack from Dentiste, the excellent toothpaste that freshens breath until the morning. Dentiste had its own launch at Bonifacio Global City last weekend for its Dentiste Kiss Mystery Box.
Special menu at Sofitel
This Chinese New Year weekend, the Sofitel Philippine Plaza has a special Chinese Shengxiao Zodiac menu at Spiral. Executive sous chef Mok Chee Wah specially prepared dishes available until today only.
Last week, the special menu was presented with a fashion collaboration showcasing the Dame of Philippine Fashion, Patis Tesoro. Her Chinoiserie collection, “La Collection Rouge,” featuring dragons and mystical creatures on wearable Filipiniana, is available exclusively at Rustan’s.
The 34-piece showcase is highlighted by Patis’ signature treatment of hand-woven piña, embellished with a diverse range of embroidery, beadwork and painting.
The Chinoiserie and Sofitel Manila are a perfect merger of fashion and gastronomy. Hotel GM Adam Laker and his team were privileged to present the collection that promotes traditional and contemporary Filipino arts and crafts .
Feng shui expert Marites Allen gave her annual forecast, saying that the Snake is the superstar of the year. For those afflicted like the Ox and Rooster, do not fret. Marites has “cures,” and she said doing good deeds wards off misfortune and negative energies.
At the end of the party, we all took birds in our hands and set them free. This act of kindness promotes positive energies. Charity counts as another blessing, so all guests brought clothing to give away to a Tim Yap-organized garage sale at Eastwood Mall. Tim donated money to recently relocated families in Mercedes, Samar, who had lost their homes to Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
After the party, my Assumption Cares group flew to Tacloban and drove to Mercedes to complete the donation, including distributing certificates to the 20 Port Kennedy Beneficiaries, homeowners that received homes from funds that hubby Dennis and I raised as part of our 20th wedding anniversary last year. With me were Gina Hechanova, Mellie Diaz, Joy Lagdameo and the rest of the Mercedes Committee, plus our building partner, the International Organization of Migration (IOM).
Rina Lopez-Bautista of Knowledge Channel joined the expedition and arranged for the Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. (KCFI) to teach several teachers in the community. Since 1999, KCFI has been providing learners access to multimedia learning online and other technologies.
Equally touching was the turnover of the St. Marie Eugenie Community Center to the St. Francis of Assisi Parish. The center was already used as a relief center during the last typhoon that hit Samar.
Follow @seaprincess888 on Instagram; @tessavaldes on Twitter.