OCTOBER 8 seems so far away but with time passing by so quickly, the Red Charity Gala will be here before long. Cochairs Kaye Tinga and I are full steam ahead with the preparations for our annual charity event for the benefit of Red Cross and the Assumption HS 81 Foundation.
We met with Shangri-La at the Fort GM John Rice at their newly opened Canton Road Restaurant and finalized our contract. With John were his director of events management Matthias Emperhoff and the entire marketing team, of whom director of communications Lesley Tan has been a part of the planning of the Red Gala since our first ball in 2008.
Regional Chinese specialties
It was fun to talk about the event details while gingerly using our chopsticks to enjoy Canton Road’s rich assortment of regional specialties and signature roast barbecued meat. The cuisine is from Huaiyang, the most prestigious cuisine in the Jiangsu province.
Canton Road’s main dining seats up to 88 persons at a time, with guests having a choice of dining at the center tables or tucked in plush couches. There are also eight private dining rooms, the biggest of which can seat up to 28 guests at a time.
Joining our lunch was Anna Sobrepeña, Lifestyle Asia’s editor in chief. Lifestyle Asia has been our lifestyle magazine partner for several years now. The magazine covers the charity side of the gala as well as the generous guests and corporations that give back to society.
In celebration of 29 years of Lifestyle Asia, an elegant affair was recently held at the Grand Ballroom of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. Together with the people who have contributed to the success of this leading lifestyle magazine, RSVP Lifestyle Asia welcomed Manila’s influential and respectable social set.
As EIC, Anna began the festive evening with a message of gratitude and thanksgiving. As part of the annual celebration, they applauded the people and organizations who capture the spirit of their tagline, “living at its finest.”
This year, Lifestyle Asia’s beneficiary was the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation. In the spirit of thanksgiving for close to three decades of blessings, a generous donation was given to Vice President Leni Robredo’s daughter Aika, as the VP was away in Japan.
Sofitel’s resident manager Alfredo Denager then presented an incredibly spectacular food spread, featuring the best of Spiral’s legendary buffet to the gastronomic delight of everyone in attendance. Amidst beautiful tablescapes designed by Robert Blancaflor, guests enjoyed mingling and indulging in the sumptuous dinner.
The RSVP Lifestyle Asia Thanksgiving Dinner was sponsored by Volvo, Jo Malone London, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, Arla, Titania Wine Cellar and Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola is also a generous supporter of the Red Charity Gala. Kaye and I are so delighted that this will be their third year as a sponsor.
Abitare Internazionale, a leading modern and contemporary European furniture shop in Makati City, has been part of the auction sponsors of the Red Gala since the start. Their auction pieces always attract the highest bidders.
To celebrate their 19th year in the business, interior designing sisters Filaine Tan and Jeanne Wee recently teamed up with chef Carlos Garcia of The Black Pig to host a thanksgiving lunch with a wonderful mix of architects, interiors designers, clients and representatives from the German and Spanish Embassies. Abitare will be auctioning off a furniture piece at the Red Gala this October.
I’m always excited to visit Abitare’s showrooms. There are eye-catching and colorful, digitally printed Moooi carpets, as well as carpets with designs by Maison Christian Lacroix, Klaus Haapaneimi and Marcel Wanders.
Nils Crusius, the representative from Walter Knoll, showed me some of their contemporary furniture pieces. Knoll is a 150-year-old German company, yet their passion and constant pursuit of excellence keep their designs youthful.
Another Red Gala sponsor is Lucerne. Emerson Yao, group managing director, recently launched a fabulous new timepiece at Whitespace in Makati.
Over 100 guests and media representatives were invited for a spectacular evening to mark the official launch of the new Pilot’s Watches collection from IWC. That night, Whitespace was transformed to hark back to the golden age of the flying pioneers with an inspired, vintage 1930s design.
The authentic ambience included vintage decorative elements and personnel sporting flight-deck uniforms. Guests were greeted upon arrival with an immersive aviation take-off experience, with an interactive photography opportunity section.
Matthieu Dupont, managing director of IWC South East Asia, spoke of the watches’ rich aviation heritage and noted that local aficionados are experts on IWC’s designs, complications and top-quality materials.
Host Bianca Valerio did a fantastic job as always, guiding the program toward the highlight “Meet the Original” video, which showcased the heritage, craftsmanship and sense of adventure inspired by the Pilot’s Watches.
All the prep for Oct. 8 will surely result in a super Red Charity Gala. Kaye and I can hardly wait.
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