How does Cupid put some sparkle and dazzle into an old love story? When one has been married for over 10 years, how does Valentine’s Day remain as thrilling as it was in the first 10 days of courtship?
These past years, it seems to me that the size of the bouquets I get from corporate sponsors dwarfs the ones that my hubby Dennis sends. True, every now and then, he remembers to buy me a Valentine’s gift with some real sparkle, but somehow, I’m missing a bit of the dazzle.
This year, our gifts to each other were focused on our hearts. The real ones. Call it an age thing or whatever, but after much procrastination, we finally jointly completed our executive check-ups at the St. Luke’s Medical Center (visit www.stlukesmedicalcenter.com.ph for the list of programs) at the Fort.
The experience was totally awesome, despite the fact that the very word “procedure” brings on nerve-wracking jitters. But St. Luke’s makes it all easy, with their advanced medical equipment, caring doctors and personalized service.
The Health and Wellness Center of St. Luke’s takes up their entire seventh floor. Everything we needed to do was within the center, so we were spared the hassle of navigating an entire hospital and were kept separate from those truly in need of care.
When we arrived, Marines Almeda, one of their Customer Care Officers and also my ex-sister-in-law, met us. Marines took excellent care of us, making sure we completed the battery of tests in six hours.
Dr. Joven Cuanang, St. Luke’s Medical Center director, dropped in on us between tests to check on how we were doing. We discussed the amazing, world-class interiors of the Health and Wellness Center. He said it best, noting, “now Pinoys don’t need to go to Singapore to get their medical needs done.”
The wonderful doctor has also a kind heart for local artists, as he is an avid supporter of the Asian Cultural Council Philippines Foundation (ACCPF). The ACCPF just finished its successful art auction at Finale Art Gallery, during which the foundation raised funds for fellowship programs for young talented artists.
And speaking of art, mixed-media artist Mav Rufino has her 17th solo exhibit on Feb. 22 at the The Peninsula Manila. “Romanza II, Dreamscapes 2012,” was highly acclaimed at the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Madrid last year and should not be missed. Mav’s works have been shown at Unesco Paris and the US as well.
February is truly heart month. Still in cardio mode, last Sunday I joined 13,000 others to complete the Condura Run, with running buddies Leana Carmona, Leah Caringal and my cousin Jon-Jon Rufino, who ran with his two German short-haired pointers.
Condura Run founder Ton Concepcion noted that the unique, Skyway-based marathon has been growing year after year. This year his beneficiary will be the mangroves, as Condura plants three trees of every runner. Congratulations to the Condura Team, including race director Neville Manaois and village set-up head Princess Galura.
Of course, the true heart of February is romance. To those in search of Cupid, be inspired by “Women In Love,” a photo exhibit by Canon on view at the South Court, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell. The couples were photographed by ace lensmen Aly Reyes, Willy Saw and Philip Sison, all of whom were at the opening cocktails hosted by mega-event man Tim Yap and my beautiful cousin Leica Carpo.
The two auctioned off a limited-edition, stylish scooter—the Vespa LX 150ie. Willy Tee Ten, head of Motoitalia, generously donated the proceeds of the auction to the different charities of the Canon photo exhibit. That scooter is right out of the iconic Audrey Hepburn movie “Roman Holiday.”
I bet if the movie were to be re-released in color, they would use the same rosa chic color in the model auctioned off.
The “Women In Love” sponsors included Swatch, who gave presents for all the ladies, and Pond’s Gold Radiance, SM Accessories, National Book Store and Fila Skeletoes.
In fact, Fila owners Cris Albert and her hubby Butch are featured as one of the romantic couples in the exhibit. The couple also just hosted the annual Fila Cup at Manila Polo Club. Cris asked me to toss the Ceremonial Ball at the Cups’ well-attended matches.
“Women in Love” runs until Valentine’s Day. On the big V-Day, catch Bea Tantoco and The Sauce in a sit-down dinner concert at the Rockwell Tent featuring their distinctive medley of rhythm, blues and jazz, spiced up with a delectable Italian dinner catered by Pepato.
(Call 0928-4385800 for reservations.)
For those in the Alabang area, a Valentine’s Day possible is a full dinner, flowers and spa package from Café Alfresco, Kartini Flora and Kartini Spa (Call 8074356).
Nina Malvar, the entrepreneur behind all three Alabang Town Center-based businesses, has combined them into a brilliant, one-stop package—a Valentine’s Buffet Dinner with live saxophone and piano music, Columbian roses for all the ladies, and the finale—a spa treat to finish it all off.
And lastly, for the pop-punk generation who don’t mind celebrating two days after Valentine’s—go see “Avril Lavigne, The Black Star Tour” in Manila, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Feb. 16. The Canadian-born superstar has sold over 30 million albums and garnered eight Grammy nominations, and she is only 26.
(Call 3742222 or TicketNet at 9115555.)
As for my hubby, he still has a couple of days left to figure out exactly what sparkler or dazzler might be the right one for our old love story. To give him a hint, I’ll remind him of the welcome dinner for Leica hosted by dear friends Rajo Laurel and Malu Gamboa last Wednesday at the newly opened Apartment 1b at Rockwell.
Rajo has already booked us all for a 10th anniversary reprise of our 2004 safari trip. I’m hoping that hubby and I go off for another adventure much sooner!