Amid all the excitement and adventure of living, time has passed so quickly that it’s hard to believe my hubby Dennis and I have been married for 18 years today! Life has been a wonderful journey, and a thrilling expedition with all our four children in tow.
This year seems to be full of wondrous milestones to celebrate. The Mega Group has been in a festive mood as it toasts double celebrations—Lifestyle Asia’s 25th anniversary and Mega Magazine’s 20th anniversary.
The first glossy magazine in the country, Lifestyle Asia marked its milestone with a “Black Swan” gala at the Makati Shangri-La’s Rizal Ballroom. I was quite excited to celebrate the occasion with Cheryl Tiu, associate publisher and deputy editor, with me all glamorous in my Philipp Tampus black laced gown.
Cheryl and I have also had so much fun on various media travels, including Tokyo for Kanebo and San Francisco for Jamba Juice. Her father, Mega chair Jerry Tiu, led in handing out specially-created Impy Pilapil glass artworks to 25 of their leading supporters.
Sari Yap, Mega president, also announced the new company name—One Mega Group—to reflect that expansion into new media platforms. Joining her onstage was Anna Sobrepeña, editor in chief, swathed in Jewelmer pearls, who talked about how the “black swan” theme was a metaphor for the beautiful event.
It was truly an elegant evening, from sipping Moët Champagne and specially-prepared Belvedere and Grand Marnier cocktails, to watching Ballet Philippine dancers perform an excerpt from “Swan Lake” and enjoying the rest of the world-class entertainment. The Rizal Ballroom had Icarus lights suspended on one side and a tree installation on the other, created by London-based Filipino artist Latorre Cruz.
Lifestyle Asia began planting trees for every page of the magazine years ago, and that evening, also committed to plant a tree for every guest at the party. No wonder Tagaytay Highlands has so many trees! The CVC Law Center and SGV joined Lifestyle Asia in supporting Gifts and Graces, The Joy of Urban Farming and Operation Smile.
Reto Klauser, GM of the Shangri-La, and his team did not disappoint with the incredibly sumptuous five-course Asian menu served in beautiful settings. Over canapés, Reto and I started planning this October’s Red Charity Gala and how we can deliver yet another successful event.
Among the highlights of the evening was a surprise number from basketball heartthrob Chris Tiu, who is also Cheryl’s younger brother. A true Renaissance man, Chris played the piano while former Sen. Miguel Zubiri sang a couple of songs. Both are promoting Pilipinas Ecowarriors, who share Lifestyle Asia’s advocacy for the protection and care of the environment.
Business leader George Yang and Carnegie hall performer Stephanie Reese both impressed, while chanteuse Bea Tantoco topped off the evening’s entertainment. Special gifts from Villa de Conte, Jewelmer, Moët Hennessy and La Mer were given to each guest.
‘20 Global Pinoys’
Just a few days later, sister publication MEGA magazine celebrated its 20th anniversary, launching its first-ever “20 Global Pinoys” in a glitzy gathering once again at the Rizal Ballroom. These 20 individuals all possess global ambition, world-class talent, business acumen and social enterprise. They were honored at the 3rd Annual MEGA Pinoy Pride Ball, symbolically held during Independence Day.
Artist Carlo Calma designed the award, inspired by the Philippine flag. Honorees Bryanboy, the international fashion blogger, and Kenneth Cobonpue, world-renowned furniture designer, sent videos to extend their appreciation for the recognition.
The main highlight of the event was the exceptional collection of Dubai-based international Filipino designer Furne One. After winning the first MEGAYoung Designers Competition in 1994, Furne has conquered the global fashion industry. He was also our featured designer at the Red Charity Gala in 2010.
With embellished Swarovski crystals in metallic colors, the “Mata Hari” collection of Furne was well-received. MEGA’s June cover girl Sarah Geronimo wore one of his pieces for the cover story.
Other fashion designers honored aside from Furne were Lesley Mobo and Cary Santiago. We will be working with Cary for this year’s Red Charity Gala, along with co-producer Kaye Tinga.
Kaye and I have been busy scouting for new sponsors, and we were hard at work at the pre-pageant of Miss World Philippines. I wonder if her choice will win the crown tonight. Watch the live telecast on TV5 this evening.
Makati Shangri-La Hotel is really the perfect venue to celebrate different occasions. For the launch of Nederburg Wines, RED was the chosen restaurant for the safari-inspired, wine dinner event.
Nederburg is South Africa’s most awarded winery. It was recently chosen as the Winery of the Year in the Platter South African Wine Guide, with an unprecedented five of its wines earning five-star ratings.
Kat San Diego of Future Trade International compared the wines to a safari, truly the quintessential African adventure, and much like the wines themselves, which are a balance of spice and exotic fruit notes. My fave was the Nederburg Manor House Sauvignon Blanc, which paired beautifully with RED’s cured ocean trout, goat cheese and asparagus.
Wim Truter, Nederburg’s winemaker par excellence, gave all the diners tasting notes, assisted by Daniel Blais, the head sommelier of the Shangri-La. Among the guests were South African Ambassador Agnes Nyamande-Pitso; James Du Vivier, CEO of Future Trade International; and Willie Soong, chair of Land Rover Philippines.
Oddly enough, hubby Dennis and I have visited the Nederburg winery, when we went there on safari for our 10th wedding anniversary. We are already excited about returning to South Africa for our next anniversary!