There was a happy disconnect somewhere at the Marriott ballroom last Saturday afternoon. We were seeing Metro Manila’s glamour/club guys—
indeed the agenda-setters of the city’s nightlife— but they were moving around in a kiddie wonderland setting of giant candies and balloons.
And they were either cuddling babies in their arms or tagging along toddlers.
That was when it really dawned on us that these iconic party boys, led by the Antonio brothers (Jigger, Carlo, Marco) of Gramercy fame, GP Reyes—they who conceptualize and run the hottest bars and night haunts of the city—are now dads.
They brought their infant brood to the first birthday party of Kathleena Tan, the firstborn of Kevin and Michelle Tan (née See).
As first vice president of Megaworld and heir to the property development conglomerate, Tan is also responsible for many lifestyle malls and club establishments, the latest being Valkyrie and Palace Pool Club.
So it was no surprise that these bar/club entrepreneurs-turned-new dads were all in Kathleena’s kiddie party at the Marriott ballroom, with their wives, and doting on their babies.
Many moms would be happy to learn that Michelle is a good advocate of breastfeeding and continues to breastfeed Kathleena, even through her must-go dinners.
“More than nutrition and the immune system it builds, breastfeeding has been a great way to bond with Kathleena,” she told us.
“The first year with her has been such a joy. We can’t believe that 12 months have gone by. Kathleena has opened a new chapter in our lives. We have been teaching her various things every day but at the same time, she has taught us a lot about ourselves. She made us appreciate and love our parents more,” added Michelle.
The young stylish mom spoke of how she and Kevin are enjoying parenthood: “Simple things have been made more fun when she is around. I have actually not watched a full movie or TV show at home for a long time. I don’t mind though. Every day is a blessing.”
Also around were Kevin and Michelle’s other friends, and friends of their parents (the business tycoon Andrew and Catherine Tan, Wilson and Catherine See)—Felix and Grace Ang, Paolo and Rissa Trillo, Linda Ley and her family, Foreign Secretary Rene Almendras and wife Marides and daughter Marian, Mark and Em Villar, Romy and Margie Mercado, Kim and Fely Atienza, Robina Pe, Lance and Jay Gokongwei, DJ Lopez, George Sison, Robert and Millet Mananquil, Eldon and Ballsy Cruz, and Pinky Abellada.
Making heads turn as he mingled with guests was Dr. Hayden Kho.
The set-up was simply awesome. As one stepped into the arch entrance wrapped in foliage, two clowns on stilts were enough to enthrall the kids.
Inside the venue, kids and grownups alike were overwhelmed by the sight of the ballroom that had been turned into a candy wonderland that seemed good enough to lick.
Giant candy decor and balloons in sweet colors hung overhead, suspended from the ceiling. Roses and mums in pink, white and other pastel colors dominated the tables, with giant lollipops popping out of the arrangements.
Even the grownups couldn’t resist the cotton candies at the kiddie food stations that also served burgers, spaghetti, hotdogs and chips. Later, during the program of magician (Lou Hilario), acrobats and dancers, came the adult fare of angel hair pasta and steak.
Where was Willy Wonka? He’s in the heart of every dad in that room whose only happiness that evening was to see a gleeful smile on the face of his child.