PHILIPPINE Tatler celebrated its 14th fabulous anniversary recently at Makati Shangri-La.
Guests initially gathered for cocktails at the mezzanine where they sipped chilled Moët & Chandon champagne.
Afterwards the ladies in gorgeous flowing ball gowns and men in elegant tuxedos entered the Rizal Ballroom, which was gorgeously decked out in a variety of red flowers while the air was fragrantly scented with fab 200 Jo Malone candles.
Michel Lamunière, executive chair of Edipresse Asia, welcomed the 450 guests and spoke about plans for the next year.
Philippine Tatler managing director Irene Martel Francisco thanked everyone for supporting the magazine and its annual grand ball. She made special mention of Tatler Ball’s major partners this year like Citibank, Globe and Mercedes-Benz, no less.
This year’s beneficiary of the Tatler Ball was Operation Smile, an organization which provides free cleft lip and palate surgeries for children in need.
An appeal was made to the guests to support the cause. The target amount was P6 million, of which the publication would donate P600,000.
Well, it was no surprise that the target was exceeded even before the ball ended. It was announced that P7 million was raised through the charity auction, leading everyone to applaud.
Now you’ll be seeing more happy children, flashing their bright smiles, as a result of their successful surgery through Operation Smile.
Paired with fine wines from Bacchus International, the dinner from the Shangri-La team of chefs was divine.
The dazzling highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Philippine Tatler Awards 2015 to exemplary individuals.
Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez was awarded Most Stylish Lady. She received a Louis Vuitton Lockit Bag.
Couple of the Year went to Lito and Kim Camacho, who received two round-trip ticke ts from AirSWIFT, and a three-day, two-night accommodation at Lagen Island Forest suite for two.
Entrepreneur of the Year was Myla Crespo Villanueva, who got gifts courtesy of Rimowa and Sisley.
Dee Hora Zobel was given the Philanthropy Award. She got gifts from Escada and La Prairie.
The most important honor—the Diamond Award for Lifetime Achievement—went to Joselito Campos Jr., who got an Hermès Clipper watch.
I was also honored with a surprise tribute by Tatler editor Anton San Diego, who ran a video presentation showing newspaper and photo clippings of me.
My great pals Vicky Zubiri and Cristina Castañer Enrile, through her daughter Katrina Ponce Enrile, read out their short congratulations, recalling the fun we had eons ago.
My soul mate Alex Van Hagen told the funny story of what happened to me on one of our trips to Turkey.
Tessa Valdes said she was so blessed to have been friends with me all these years.
Guests enjoyed the photos of my jet-setting life and parties around the world.
But the best shot was taken when I was 20 and taking up my college degree in Evanston, Chicago. Guests oohed and aahed and applauded wildly.
At the end of the photo presentation I asked Anton, “Hey, where did that good-looking guy go?” Everyone laughed and applauded.
I’d like to say thank you from the deepest part of my heart to Anton and Irene, for making me laugh and teary-eyed from their most unexpected tribute. They’re really my palangga.
The Philippine Tatler Ball has raised a total of P10,460,000 as of this writing, surpassing its target by a big margin, making its organizers extremely grateful.
It was, indeed, an elegant evening dedicated to celebrating life, dahlings.