Last Saturday’s (November 14) wasn’t part of the much-awaited Apec week, but it might as well have been. It was not only beautifully staged, but also drew out a strong patriotic fervor among the guests.
In a fitting cap to the celebration of the retrospective year of National Artist BenCab, Swatch launched its limited-edition Ode to the Flag watch designed by BenCab at the Swatch & Swatch Center on Pasay Road, Makati.
The modern-industrial venue was decked out in images of BenCab paintings splashed on overhanging lamps and even on the huge top of the baby grand piano. Gino Gonzales designed the venue decor.
Guests came in Filipiniana wear. Wear Pinoy, the invitation specified for attire.
Swatch’s big boss Virgie Ramos welcomed the guests that were a mix of culturati, fashion and government. Philippine ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez and his wife Maritess—who are devoted collectors of BenCab—joined the National Artist.
What strengthened the nationalistic fervor was the show prepared by Swatch creative director Rowell Santiago. Leading composer Ryan Cayabyab and performers led by Mark Bautista performed OPM classics like “Ngayon at Kailanman” and the iconic hymn “Bayan Ko,” capped by our national anthem.
The evening prepped everyone for the Apec week ahead, a feeling of “we’re all proud to be Filipino.”