Happy Women’s Day! This occasion celebrates women’s empowerment, so it’s a great day for all of us everywhere.
Global bank Citi has been celebrating International Women’s Day since 2001, and this year, three Prieto women were asked to headline their annual affair: my mom Marixi, sister Sandy Romualdez and me.
Aneth Lim, Citi’s director for public affairs and corporate citizenship, approached mom about speaking at their event, and she made sure Sandy and I would join in.
Over 150 guests filled the Gallardo Ballroom of Makati Diamond Residences. We kept them on the edge of their seats—laughing, sighing and, at times, crying along with us.
This was our first time to be in a panel together, and it made us realize just how much we have learned life’s lessons from each other over the years, and how devoted we all are to each other’s success.
In his welcome remarks, Citi CEO Aftab Ahmed included a poem he had penned that morning. He also reminded women in the audience to mentor other women, to network, take time to share and strategize together, consciously address unconscious biases, sign up for leadership learning, and be inspired by other women’s successes.
I wore a beautiful Rosa Clara wedding gown on stage, while mom and Sandy were more conservatively attired, of course.
Businesswoman mom taught us family values, women empowerment, business, charity and shared blessings.
Sandy and I went through our memory lane of vacations and adventures. An overflow of maternal love and sisterly ties were shared that afternoon.
Immediately afterwards, I braved the Edsa traffic to be at the SM Mega Fashion Hall to continue the Women’s Day celebration at another joyous event.
“Wild Flower: A Fashion Retrospective on style icon Tessa Rufino Prieto-Valdes” is part of the events celebrating the 30th anniversary of SM Supermalls. The real stars of the show were the 30 Filipino fashion designers who created outstanding gowns for me over the years. I love playing Barbie for these guys.
The designers included Slim’s Fashion and Arts School alumni Joe Salazar, Chito Vijandre and Pablo Mendez; and Red Charity Gala featured designers like Rajo Laurel, Dennis Lustico, Michael Cinco, Ezra Santos, Cary Santiago, Jojie Lloren and Lesley Mobo.
Cebu’s talented designers Ronald Enrico, Jun Escario, Philipp Tampus were also represented.
Also in the show were designers Albert Andrada, Ivarluski Aseron, Pablo Cabahug, Maureen Disini, Rhett Eala, Rocky Gathercole, Yvette Ilagan, Monique Lhuillier, Francis Libiran, Josie Natori, Frederick Peralta, Eric Pineda, Gian Romano, Amir Sali, Inno Sotto, Oliver Tolentino and Cherry Veric.
Amid all the minimalist fashion trending these days, I guess I dare to stand out. Like wildflowers that come in varied species and kinds, the exhibit portrays women from all walks of life. Through each of my dresses, we share a vibrant story worth telling.
It’s an interesting retrospective, so please visit if you have time between today until March 18.
‘Prints Made Pretty’
Speaking of women, beauty and fashion, Happy Skin founders Rissa Mananquil-Trillo and Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez recently teamed up with Plains & Prints owner Roxanne Farillas to create a new collection of makeup and clothing in coordinating colors.
Happy Skin, a top homegrown brand of skin-caring makeup, and Plains & Prints, one of the country’s leading fashion retail brands, joined forces to create an original line of makeup and clothes inspired by each other’s aesthetic, resulting in the limited-edition Prints Made Pretty Collection.
At the launch, guests got the chance to either be a beauty queen or a ramp model for the day with life-size paper dolls wearing the collection.
Roxanne and her hubby Erickson Farillas told me that the two beauty and fashion trailblazers share a significant connection. Happy Skin started in 2013 in the top five shops of Plains & Prints.
The Prints Made Pretty Collection is an exciting collaboration. Image models include VJ Aryanna Epperson and upcoming model Sabina Gonzalez, the country’s future faces of beauty. The launch was a fun afternoon at Mango Tree.
More on art—I just want to mention the recent “Culturati: Sense & Sensibility” art preview, a partnership between Salcedo Auctions, Grace Home and Moët Hennessy Philippines held at The Peninsula Manila.
Richie Lerma of Salcedo Auctions gave a talk on art history, moderated by Grace Baja, owner of Grace Home.
The previewed artworks will be auctioned off over two days, the final day being today, March 13. The auction starts at 2 p.m., at Unit 104-B, G/L, Three Salcedo Place, 121 Tordesillas St., Salcedo Village, Makati.
Olga Azarcon, managing director of Moët Hennessy Philippines, told me how the LVMH group believes in supporting experiences with spirit, such as the Culturati auction that will truly showcase the country’s art heritage.
Among the pieces that were auctioned off yesterday were BenCab’s “Draped Series II,” Fabian de la Rosa’s “Casas de Pescadores,” Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s “Gethsemane” and Ang Kiukok’s “White Fish in Blue.”
Romulo Cafe in London
I also want to mention that Romulo Café opens in London on March 24, right in the heart of Kensington, one of the city’s key shopping districts.
It’s truly great that Pinoy entrepreneurs are venturing abroad and all kudos are due to Romulo granddaughter Rowena, the brains behind this venture. Not only will London’s Romulo Café highlight Filipino cuisine, it will also offer a taste of Philippine history—with memorabilia from the life and times of General Carlos P. Romulo as part of the décor.