It was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in June when British Ambassador Asif Ahmad hosted a Shakespeare-themed bash at British School Manila in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.
It was a triple-observance as the British Embassy also marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the Philippines, and the 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare.
Ambassador Ahmad and partner Kim del Mundo arrived in style in a sleek Bentley Mulsanne, walked down the red carpet, stopping by the signage of British companies Arup, Aston Martin, Bentley, Dyson, Etihad Airways, HSBC, Jaguar Philippines, Marks & Spencer, Pru Life UK, Shell, Standard Chartered, STI, Twinings, Unilever (Magnum Ice Cream), Whyte and Mackay (Dalmore), as well as the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines and British Council.
Repertory Philippines actors in Elizabethan period costumes welcomed VIPs into the venue that was filled with lush foliage reminiscent of scenes from the Bard’s famous “Midsummer” play.
A display of iconic commemorative coins featuring the Queen and Shakespeare adorned the stage.
The Manila Philharmonic Orchestra provided musical numbers.
Onstage for the traditional toast were Ahmad, former Foreign Secretary José Rene Almendras and Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto.
Nigel Boud, deputy head of the British mission, was master of ceremonies.
Among the distinguished guests were former President Fidel V. Ramos, Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Risa Hontiveros and Sonny Angara, Roberto Coyiuto of PGA Cars and Wellington Soong of Jaguar/Land Rover.
“Asia’s best female chef” Margarita Fores served a delightful assortment of British staples, among them Scotch eggs, my all-time favorites shepherd’s pie and fish & chips, Yorkshire pudding and Eton mess.
“Here in the Philippines, when good friends meet, we like to eat, drink and be merry,” Ahmad said. “And to that sentiment, I add a famous Shakespeare line: ‘If music be the food of love, play on.’”
PNB marks 100
Philippine National Bank (PNB) and PNB Credit Cards recently launched the 100 Winners in 100 Days centennial promo at Old Manila in Peninsula Manila.
PNB president Reynaldo Maclang and executives from PNB MasterCard and Philippine Airlines (PAL) led the launch.
In the promo, 100 lucky winners will receive 100,000 Mabuhay Miles from PNB MasterCard Credit Cards and PAL.
During the launch, interactive LED screens showed all tourist destinations here and abroad that one could visit. A special destination display helped visualize where and how far 100,000 miles could take a traveler.
And to feed the passion for traveling even more, raffle tickets fittingly designed as boarding passes were distributed among the invitees.
Three of our friends from the press were lucky enough to win 10,000, 30,000 and 70,000 worth of Mabuhay Miles, natch!
PNB executive vice president Bernie Tocmo warmly thanked the bank’s loyal patrons.
Other execs present were PNB senior vice president Martin Reyes and vice president Daday Joson, and PNB Credit Cards head Annie Umali, who emphasized “how PNB wants to celebrate with its card holders.”
Also present were MasterCard Philippines execs such as Judith Dayrit, Ailee Zialcita and Mike Miranda.
Dayrit said the PNB MasterCard Credit Cards facilitate travel and are “a key to accessing exclusive offers and experiences.”
PAL execs included executive vice president Stewart Lim and vice president-ancillary business Kevin Hartigan-Go, who said the airline is thrilled to be partnering with PNB “to enrich the traveling experience for Filipinos.”
Other PAL execs at the launch were Marietta Casanova, Snooker Jaranilla, Helena Respicio, Romeo “Kit” Javier Jr., Debbie Cuyegkeng and Maria Cresme Maullon.
New pizza promo
Pizza Hut’s newest promotion, “Xtreme Las Vegas Adventure,” was recently launched at the Pizza Hut store in Kia Theater, Araneta Center.
Pizza Hut Philippines chief operating officer TH Lim welcomed the guests.
Marketing officer-in-charge Raymund Nobleza said the pizza chain had a tie-up with 20th Century Fox: Pizza Hut Blowout Pizza boxes in collectible “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
Grand prize in the Xtreme Las Vegas Adventure promo is a four-day, three-night escape to Las Vegas, Nevada, inclusive of accommodations at Luxor Hotel, a private helicopter ride along Las Vegas Strip, a horseback trek into Grand Canyon and a nighttime tour of Neon Graveyard.
Other prizes include limited-edition Magneto helmets and 18-inch Blowout Pizzas.
To participate, order a Blowout Pizza or a Blowout Pizza Hut Feast, fill out the back of the order receipt with one’s complete name, address, contact number, e-mail address and signature; then drop the receipt in assigned boxes in any Pizza Hut branch nationwide.