Good tidings: Philippine-Italian Association turns 55 | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Marilou Alejandro, Silvana Diaz,Nedy R. Tantoco, Italian Ambassador Massimo Rosigno
Marilou Alejandro, Silvana Diaz,Nedy R. Tantoco, Italian Ambassador Massimo Rosigno


My, how time flies, dahlings! The Philippine-Italian Association (PIA) celebrated the 55th year of cultural exchange between Italy and the Philippines with a party at the ballroom of The Peninsula Manila.

To see a cultural association turn 55 is a milestone, but a well-attended 55th anniversary bears good tidings for its future.

The long history of the PIA began in 1962, the year of its founding by two gentlemen, Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican Proceso E. Sebastian and Italian Ambassador to the Philippines Eugenio Rubino.

The PIA later assumed the role of unofficial cultural arm of the Italian Embassy in Manila, and remained so until the late 1980s when a cultural office was opened at the Embassy.

The emerald green decorated ballroom was filled with 250 invitees composed of PIA members, students, friends, institutions and sponsors.


Nestor Jardin, Tessie Endriga, Baltazar Endriga

The full program recognized the muy simpatico current Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno, who is ending his tour of duty; a superb piano performance by Dr. Raul Sunico; a silent auction of Italian decorative items from Rustan’s and Philippine artworks by Ramon Diaz, Paulina Luz Sotto, Al Perez and Benjamin Dailo.

The most thrilling parts of the evening were the live auction, masterly conducted by Johnny Litton, the dancing, and the raffle that kept all the guests in suspense.

Lunga vita alla Philippine Italian Association! Mabuhay!


Dr. Raul Sunico, Agnes and Ambassador Massimo Roscigno

‘Life in Bloom’

Criselda Lontok, the grand dame of timeless design, recently showcased her elegant touch, romanticism and feminine whimsy in “Life in Bloom,” her 2017 holiday collection, held at Rustan’s Makati.

Lontok’s 60-piece collection had a profusion of blossoms in an endearing palette.

Walking the runway wearing key pieces of the collection were 10 lovely muses, whom the designer herself personally picked: Marivic Vasquez, Bettina Osmeña, Mia Borromeo, Dina Tantoco, Patricia Prieto, Marilou Batchelor, Alana Montelibano, Linda Ley, Erica Concepcion Reyes and Toni Abad.


Alessandra Piazza and Riccardo Dell’Aquilla. Standing: Nellie U. Bengzon, Lyn Liboro, Francesco Zappone

Rustan’s executive Dina Tantoco remarked: “Criselda works with her favorite, trademark fabrics such as jacquard, soft rich laces, organza, Mikado and chiffon, creating romantic silhouettes for her well-heeled clients. Flowers in all their grandeur are boldly incorporated as prints, as well as through beautiful embroidery, appliqués and other stylish interpretations.”

Lontok’s longevity as a designer—she has over three decades of experience in the industry—is founded on her strong instinct for knowing how women want to dress, to look good and simply feel good about themselves.

She designs with a classic feminine sensibility loved by women of all generations. She understands what women want and masterfully interprets it via timeless, elegant designs that bring joy to every woman who wears it.

The Criselda Lontok Holiday 2017 Collection is available at Rustan’s Makati, Shangri-La Plaza, Alabang, Gateway, Cebu.


Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno, Kevin and Michelle Tan, Agnes Roscigno


Zonta Club fair

The creative Carlo Evaristo participated in the “Zonta Exhibits FilipinaZ Fair,” a fundraising activity of Zonta Club of Makati & Environs for its various projects including:
Marillac Hills in Alabang where they provide psychological support to more than 200 sexually abused children aged 6-17;

Kababaihan where they give livelihood training to marginalized women in Makati and Taguig;

Scholarship where they support women in male-dominated courses such as Engineering;

Medical/dental services and supplemental nutrition for malnourished children.

Zonta’s main advocacy is empowering women.

Evaristo, one of the exhibitors at the event, is a fashion stylist and acrylic and mixedmedia painter.


Marilen Tantoco, Criselda Lontok, Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco Sr., Zenaida Tantoco


Marilou Batchelor, Mia Borromeo, Bettina Osmeña, Alana Montelibano 


Dina Tantoco, Linda Ley, Marivic Vasquez


Meca Prieto, Linda Ley


Serla Russell, Connie Haw, Agile Zamora
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