After months of planning the Red Charity Gala’s (RCG) 10th anniversary with co-chair Kaye Tiñga and our team, I felt like I got to know every single detail, down to where every single guest sat in the humongous and beautiful grand ballroom of Manila Marriott Hotel.
Kaye and I spent a lot of time making sure all guests, sponsors, auction donors and designer friends are satisfied with the location of their tables, since all are contributing much to our charities, the Philippine Red Cross and Assumption HS ’81 Foundation.
Charity has been the keyword of RCG for a decade, so even if we keep finding ways to shorten the live auction every year, co-auctioneer Tim Yap and I struggle with our goal of raising funds versus getting the main event started.
Walking back and forth on the largest runway stage ever built, Tim and I worked our charm trying to raise the bids higher for several of the auction packages. All in all, we were quite successful in convincing new bidders to participate and actively bid and win.
Biggest thanks to our bubbly friend Erica Brenner, who not only won the wellness package from St. Luke’s Medical Center and Ultherapy treatments, but also the Balesin Island Club Gold membership auction. The latter was the biggest auction item and was generously donated by the private island club owner, Roberto Ongpin.
As a gift, Erica also gets to stay at the three-bedroom Presidential Villa at the luxurious Nuwa Hotel for six persons, inclusive of breakfast for six at Breezes with one-hour pampering massage at the Crown Spa for each of the six guests.
We also had many winners and secret bidders who won an iPhone with Globe Platinum package; a Bernhardt Jet Set bed frame and side tables with Uratex Premium king-size mattress; Gorenje Special Edition Volkswagen Retro Refrigerator, Viking Range; and beautiful jewelry items from Diagold, Jewelmer, JMA, Jul B. Dizon and Royal Gem.
Several travel packages from Bellevue Resort Bohol, Bluewater Sumilon Beach Resort, Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay, Discovery Shores Boracay and Shangri-La Resort & Spa Boracay were actively bid for.
Generous Chavit Singson, who originally bid for the handsome Omega Planet Ocean watch for men from Lucerne and Remy Martin Louis XIII, gave back the auction package and donated P1 million for the charities.
New table donor Henry Antonio won the bid from Governor Chavit, making the total donation for this package P1.45 million!
The bidding for the Bernhardt bed set with Uratex Premium mattress was quite exciting, with Dr. Vicki Belo almost winning, but a secret bidder topped her last bid and won the package for P1 million. Handsome model and fashion photographer Arthur Tselishchev went on stage to claim the package from Bernhardt Philippines’ Eric Po and Uratex Premium’s Pinky Cheng Rosagas.
The Jewelmer pearl necklace auction was won by another secret bidder who was not able to attend the gala this year. The entire winning bid of P850,000 will be given to the Palawan pearl farmers through the foundation of Jewelmer.
We are grateful to the Jewelmer family for their yearly support. Siblings Jacques Branellec and Marion Branellec de Guzman were present to award the South Sea pearl necklace to the winner.
Local show-biz royalty, the Gutierrez family, was complete at the gala in support of our featured designer Rajo Laurel. Gorgeous Ruffa Gutierrez looked ravishing in a gold gown by Rajo, as she went onstage to claim the auction package of The Peninsula New York—five days, four nights accommodation in an executive suite with American breakfast for two, and Philippine Airlines Business Class round-tip tickets to New York City.
The auction segment was done during the four-course dinner that the Marriott Grand Ballroom team wonderfully prepared. The menu included a sumptuous scallop appetizer, a hearty binakol chicken soup, a big portion of beef, and an itlog na maalat chocolate dessert.
Manila Marriott PR manager Michelle Garcia made sure to also include a gift voucher for each guest to enjoy 50-percent discount on the hotel’s lunch buffet.
Cocktails and the after-party had so much bubbly and drinks for everyone to enjoy. We are thankful to our drink sponsors—Remy Martin, Stella Rosa Wines, SelvaRey Rum and ARC Gin.
Thank you as well to our giveaway sponsors: Auro Chocolates, Gardenia Bread, Goldilocks, The Granola Girl PH, Oh So Healthy snacks, and Tresemme shampoo and conditioner. Bakers Maison goodies, Bench Rajo Laurel colognes, Uratex pillows and Usana products were also given away to our generous table buyers.
Next week, I will continue my feature on Red Charity Gala and focus more on the fashion and genius of our featured designer Rajo Laurel. His journey of 25 years in the fashion industry has indeed impacted the Filipino fashion design with his signature creations.