Every Friday morning, our #GirlsRun ForBreakfast (GRFB) gang comes together for our early run at various distances and paces. As the name implies, we end the run with a hearty breakfast that lasts over an hour, with all the friendly chats and coaching.
These happy ladies have many medals under their race belts, but we are most proud of our coach/Ironman champ Ani de Leon-Brown. She has just turned 40 and is expecting her second child with husband Dan Brown later this year.
Coach Ani has lots to celebrate indeed! As the mentor coach of the Philippine Triathlon Team, she trained triathlete Claire Adorna, who recently won the country’s first gold medal at SEA Games 2015. Claire is our honorary GRFB member, too, and even if she runs at twice my speed, we all have a fun time over breakfast.
Biggest Zumba gathering
My running training has been on a slower pace since I have added a new interest—Zumba. For the past weeks, I have been attending the highly energetic Zumba classes at Manila Polo Club, with fantastic ladies who enjoy this physical workout with music and dance.
It was awesome to meet and dance with the creator of Zumba himself, Beto Perez. The Miami-based Colombian fitness guru was recently in town to lead the biggest Zumba gathering in the first outdoor fitness-concert in Makati. Ayala Land, in partnership with Beyond Passion, organized this massive activity with almost 2,000 enthusiasts at the Globe Circuit Events Ground.
Before the big affair, Sofia Zobel-Elizalde of Steps Dance Studio organized a special Zumbathon at her studio where class fees went to the young dance scholars of The Steps Scholarship Foundation. After the energetic class, the talented students performed a moving modern jazz number that delighted Beto and his team.
Zumba has indeed taken over the country by storm and Beto truly enjoyed his visit, saying that Filipinos are just like the people from his country, Colombia. Everyone loves music and dance.
From fitness clubs to Circuit Makati, Zumba is not a fad but an ultimate workout activity. Just last year, the country set the Guinness World Record for the largest Zumba class in the world, proving that Filipinos love the program.
Circuit Makati is Makati’s dynamic and vibrant place to be when it comes to the entertainment scene. Sheilla Aquilar, Circuit Makati’s project development manager, was quite pleased with the success of the Zumba affair that drew everyone, young and old, to this venue.
Apart from running and Zumba dancing, I continue my Bikram yoga classes at Bikram Yoga Manila (BYM) at 88 Corporate Center, 141 Valero St., Makati City. Studio owner Olay Aninion has been bringing in foreign yoga teachers to keep the classes more challenging and exciting. BYM Makati also holds Zumba classes twice a week.
On Aug. 21-23, BYM Makati brings in yoga guru Esak Garcia the Jedi Master. There will be a three-day Backbending Workshop, so check out the BYM Makati Facebook page for details.
Serviced residence opens
Thanks to all my daily activities, I am still able to fit into the gowns that talented fashion designer Cherry Veric made for me months ago. I recently wore one of them at the launch of Ascott Bonifacio Global City (BGC).
The first international serviced residence in BGC, Ascott opened its doors with a grand event held at its grand ballroom. Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. and Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano were the guests of honor. Also present to show support were Ascott’s corporate clients, foreign dignitaries and media.
Arthur Gindap, Ascott regional GM for the Philippines and Thailand, welcomed the elegant guests at the cocktails. They were earlier taken on a property tour, providing a glimpse of Ascott’s luxurious studio and one-bedroom units featuring exquisite art and accentuated with indigenous materials.
A lavish six-course dinner was capped with a ceremonial toast heralding the company’s fifth property in the country.
The property houses topnotch restaurant Alta, which features the fine culinary delights of chef Margarita Fores. Gaita and her team will be preparing the F&B for all its banquets.
Another stellar affair was the 250th anniversary celebration of Hennessy recently held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay.
The A-list crowd flocked to the venue to toast to the finest cognac in the world.
Guests were treated to performances by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Ballet Philippines and Lani Misalucha, who was flown in from Las Vegas.
They also feasted on gourmet dishes that boasted flavors which complemented the limited-edition Hennessy 250 Collector’s Blend.
The anniversary blend was created exclusively and masterfully by eighth-generation Hennessy master blender Yann Filloux for the celebration and was aged to perfection in 250 specially constructed barrels.
Aside from the launch of the limited-edition blend, an interactive art exhibit displayed the journey of Hennessy through the years. Each installation tastefully captured the house’s long history built by those who have contributed to the brand’s growth and success over the years—a result of the values upheld by Richard Hennessy ever since its creation: unique savoir-faire, a constant quest for innovation, and an unwavering commitment to creation, excellence, legacy and sustainable development.
Hennessy will continue its global celebration by taking the art exhibit on a massive five-city tour, which will have stops in locations associated with the history of the brand. Called the Hennessy 250 Tour, it recently kicked off in Guangzhou, China, and will be followed by stops in Moscow, New York, Johannesburg and Paris.
Contemporary artists, such as Xavier Veilhan, Charles Sandison, Pierrick Sorin, Tony Oursler, photographer Anton Corbijn and Constance Guiseet, have each created something that resonates and contains elements of the heritage of Hennessy.