This year, my birthday falls on a Sunday, so believe it or not, I was contemplating a quiet celebration with just my immediate family on Balesin Island.
But my partner-in-crime Tim Yap had another idea: to have a Zumba party at the newest happening club in Manila, The Palace Pool Club.
I’m such a slave to social events that the Zumba idea quickly trumped the “quiet birthday” plan. At The Palace Pool Club, friends from all my different interests can attend: my Girls Run For Breakfast gang; Assumption HS ’81 classmates; Bikram yogis; TropAfrica travel gang; celebrity buddies; and even my hubby Dennis’ underwater hockey group.
Preparations for the Zumba party started at the intimate birthday party of dear friend Ben Chan. He always celebrates with the hottest stars this side of the planet.
It was an extra-special birthday celebration with grateful blessings and heartfelt wishes. Feng Shui queen Marites Allen led a balloon-releasing ceremony to send good fortune, continuous health and wealth and endless happiness to Ben and his guests.
Marites and I are excited about our new venture, Frigga Home. We will be creating a new line of different home decor and accessories that will enhance the lucky energy in any living space.
At Ben’s party, I was able to get more signatures in my copy of the Bench “Love Local” book. Bench put a season’s worth of looks and a country’s worth of talent into this book which celebrates everything local.
The book features over a hundred Filipinos—from big-name personas to people on the street—expressing not just appreciation but awe for what’s immediately around them, as well as top writers talking about what makes us tick right now.
From Bench endorsers Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo to national treasure Pilita Corrales to culinary maverick JP Anglo to artistic force Ronald Ventura, “Love Local” is a celebration of the lives, talents, passions and movements that make the country great.
My best “Love Local” feature is on business tycoon Wash SyCip, who is also featured on a giant Bench billboard on Edsa. And no, he is not in his underwear. I have to hand it to Ben for coming up with the most out of the box campaigns for his global brand.
“Love Local” is a tour de force, with wordsmiths like the indomitable Teddy Boy Locsin, food critic Clinton Palanca and many other writers contributing. Photographers Mark Nicdao, BJ Pascual and a host of other talented lens people contributed as well.
“Love Local” is available at selected Bench stores in Metro Manila.
Bench holiday collection
Ben always finds unique things to support. Bench will be a major sponsor at this year’s Red Charity Gala on Oct. 16 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, featuring uber-talented fashion designer Lesley Mobo.
Last week, Bench also presented its Holiday 2015 Collection at the Bench Tower. Inspired by hectic, energetic city life with a hint of laid-back luxury, the collection epitomizes casual cool.
It veers away from the conventional with unexpected elements like patterns and patchwork, giving the clothes a familiar, basic yet stylishly bold look that the brand is known for.
Ben’s other brands were also showcased. Kashieca, another Ben Chan brand, showcased its signature feminine flair collection. This season, the women’s line retains its versatility with an array of distinctly graceful styles.
HerBench is keeping its fresh and fashion-forward image with its modern trends and tailoring.
Human’s thrust of providing energy-driven clothes and accessories for the price-sensitive Filipino youth has remained strong throughout its 16 years of existence. This time, emojis are the central theme of the ties of the younger Pinoys.
I love it when a launch allows guests to shop, which gave me an opportunity to rack up points on my Citi Card. This card has recently tied up with The Discovery Leisure Company, which gives cardholders amazing discounts when they book and pay with their Citi credit card at any of Discovery’s luxurious resorts and hotels.
The Discovery Leisure Company is a Filipino-owned and run group with an award-winning list of hotels and resorts around the country. Citi Card offers a 50 percent discount at Discovery Shores Boracay for a three-day, two-night stay.
Club Paradise Palawan and Discovery Primea give an even better offer at 55 percent off.
Discovery Suites Tagaytay tops the list with a 60 percent slash off its regular rates.
Check the full details on www.citibank.com.ph.
Assumption golf fundraiser
Let me sneak in a plug for the Assumption Alumnae Association’s (AAA) 17th Annual Golf Tournament, a fundraiser to be on Sept. 14 at the Sta. Elena Golf Club in Cabuyao, Laguna.
This year’s theme is “Making a Difference” and proceeds are earmarked for professorial chairs, scholarships, medical missions, green projects and other activities of the AAA.
As always, the Inquirer is a media partner of the AAA. Other sponsors include Eat Bulaga, Concepcion Midea, Metro Pacific, Pioneer Insurance, Eton Properties, Delta Air Lines and Callaway.
Interested golfers may join by calling Arlene at 8943561 or 8943580.
Balesin coastal cleanup
I will still have my Balesin family getaway, but it will be after my Zumba party. I’m excited to be on the island to participate in the Balesin Coastal Cleanup Weekend on Sept. 19.
This is the Balesin Club’s annual effort to participate in the international coastal cleanup projects that focus on getting rid of the tons of garbage polluting shores all over the world.
It will be doubly exciting to be in Balesin on that date, since the club is holding a weekly raffle of a gold membership to everyone on the island on every Saturday evening in September. If I win that raffle, I promise to donate it as a major auction prize at the Red Charity Gala. That will make it a perfect birthday month!
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