When the fashion gods and charitable forces align with the hottest male models wearing only Bench underwear, the result is an extravaganza.
At our 8th Red Charity Gala (RCG) last Oct. 8, held at Shangri-La at the Fort, the fashion collection of creative artist Chito Vijandre took center stage.
Entering fashionably late, I greeted with sincere gratitude power couples Felix and Grace Ang of Mercedes-Benz Philippines, and Ernest and Arlene Cu of Globe, at the lobby.
My parents, Alex and Marixi Prieto, along with Swatch queen Virgie Ramos, were also on their way to the main ballroom.
Always racy and cutting-edge, RCG had Bench hot models welcome guests at the foyer of the grand ballroom.
To showcase the latest Bench underwear, direk Ariel Lozada arranged the perfectly sculpted models on satellite platforms—to the delight of all our RCG ladies.
Zalora bags done by our past designers were displayed for the silent auction. Selected ladies were given beautifully arranged Te Amo Floristeria bouquets.
Opening the ballroom doors with hair-raising drama, young opera singer Lara Maigue belted a few numbers, while Ballet Philippines dancers performed excerpts from “Firebird.”
RCG regular host Sarah Meier then introduced co-chairwoman Kaye Tiñga and me so we could welcome our generous guests.
Fashion has historically responded with flamboyance and generosity, especially in times of need and uncertainty. RCG always hosts a lively auction during dinner where guests have a chance to outbid each other in the name of charity.
This is meant not only to celebrate Filipino artistic excellence, but also to uplift the lives and projects of beneficiaries—this year, the Philippine Red Cross and Assumption HS 81 Foundation.
It was truly an amazingly generous evening, beginning with major presenter Bench and Bench king Ben Chan and his entire team.
My partner in crime Tim Yap and I opened the auction with the “Lifestyle Package” of three original Mark Higgins “Firebird” paintings, a pair of Linda Farrow sunglasses, and a special Shangri-La dinner for 10 at any venue of the winner’s choice.
Proceeds of this bid went entirely to Ballet Philippines and its talented dancers.
The Dine and Fly Package composed of Philjets Helicopter and Jets, and Antonio’s Restaurant lunch for six, was won by City of Dreams property president Geoff Andres.
The Executive Package of a limited-edition Omega 007 James Bond watch, donated by Lucerne’s Emerson Yao, went to PR guru Edd Fuentes. We also awarded him a Remy Martin Diamant for his yearly support.
After the Epicurean Package of a Viking Range 36” 4-Burner with Griddle Dual Fuel range was awarded to the winner, the sexy stars of the upcoming movie “The Escort” came up on stage to claim the Travel & Wellness package of a weekend stay at Quest Hotel in Clark, Pampanga, complete with a round of golf at Filinvest Mimosa Estate.
Derek Ramsay won the bid and brought his costar Lovi Poe on stage with him. Chroma Hospitality added a luxury package of a Private Villa at Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay, which is opening next year. This went to Mikaela Martinez, who went on stage carrying the youngest guest in a tux, her baby Max.
Sen. Dick Gordon joined them to receive Chroma Hospitality’s donation to the Philippine Red Cross.
Then the most exciting bid for the Jewelmer Pearls got going and saw all the ladies participating. Our annual winner Dr. Aivee Teo claimed the beautiful South Sea pearls. Globe Platinum also offered an iPhone 7 for auction, which went to beautiful Dawn Zulueta who also won last year.
Another big auction item was the Wellness and Holistic Package that Villa Medica donated. The Full Cell Therapy Program in Germany worth P900,000 included several facials and treatments as well. Villa Medica CEO Bobby Kittichaiwong and lovely wife Betty flew in from Bangkok to present the award to winner Mary de Leon.
Royal Gems donated a pair of diamond earrings that elegant Nikki Tang won. She was also given a dinner package at the new Grind Restaurant at the Fort.
The final auction was the Royal Getaway Package—two Business Class tickets to London courtesy of Philippine Airlines, a weekend stay at Shangri-La London, and dinner for two at Michelin-star chef Jason Atherton’s restaurant. Joseph Calata won the package for his lovely wife, who is about to deliver their first baby.
The Red Charity Gala is eternally grateful to all our sponsors, table buyers and auction donors.
Presented by Bench, RCG was sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, Megaworld, Sunlife Financial, Globe Platinum.
It was supported by Shangri-La Fort, Quest Hotels, Crimson Hotels & Resorts, Zalora, Procter & Gamble, Fuentes Manila, Robert Blancaflor & Groups, Wilcon Depot, Gardenia Bakeries, Goldilocks, Adworks Manila and Moss Manila.
Our media partners included Inquirer Red Magazine, Lifestyle Asia, Preview Magazine, Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Other auction items were from Marie France, Abitare Internazionale, City of Dreams and Royal Gems.
I will feature the fashion genius of Chito Vijandre next week, as his creations need an entire column space. We are grateful and honored to have much love and support for this year’s Red Charity Gala.