Friday, December 23, 2011

Glam and Glitter in Zee's Crystal Ball!

The Crystal Ball, a Ball that brought in Cebu's (and a sprinkling of Manila's) gliteratti and literatti was a fitting way to celebrate Zee LifeStyle Magazine's 15th Year Anniversary. Dynamic Lady publisher Eva Gullas, the moving spirit behind ZEE,  did not spare any detail to make the event shine like a  Crystal Ball should.  The Santa Maria ballroom at the Radisson Blu glittered with the BLING BLING of the fashionista ladies and the crystal candelabras on top of all the tables illuminated the dimly lit ballroom.

The five course gourmet nouvelle cuisine dinner by Radisson Blu's top chefs satisfied even the most discriminating palate. The proceeds from the Ball's auction went to Zee's favorite charity.

Gowns from Cebu's top designers, (Cary Santiago, Phillip Rodriguez, Jun Escario, OJ Hoffer, Arcy Gayatin, Hans Coquilla, Ronald Enrico, Philipp Tampus, Dexter Alazas, among others) were worn by most of the ladies present there.

There was a fashion show in the adjoining part of the ballroom after the dinner. Seven designers participated-- Philip Rodriguez, Jun Escario, Yvonne Quisumbing, Arcy Gayatin, Cary Santiago, OJ Hoffer, Anthony Romoff.  

The bold and the brave stayed on and partied till the wee hours of the morning.

My one full day in Cebu seemed like a week what with all the activities that Eva planned for me and my guest, Maricel Echiverri.  The Crystal Ball held on Dec 15, 2011 was the perfect prelude to the round of Christmas parties during this Holiday season.

I am so proud and honored to be a contributor to ZEE Life Style Magazine!  Wishing one and all a Blessed Christmas and a Most prosperous New Year!

The moving spirit of Zee Lifestyle Magazine, Eva Gullas in OJ Hoffer,  with her "amigas para siempre" beauteous ladies Mariquita Yeung and Gov. Gwen Garcia

Mikey Sanchez in Edwin Ao, Min Arcenas in OJ Hoffer, Katsy Borromeo, Managing Editor of Zee Lifestyle Magazine, stunning  in a gorgeous black Philipp Tampus tulle and lace gown

Fashionista ladies Tessa Prieto Valdez in a dreamy white Ronald Enrico, Agnes Huettel in a bronze Hans Coquilla, always chic- Governor Gwen Garcia in a Cary Santiago and my 'palangga' Mariquit Yeung, dripping in emeralds and diamonds in Chanel

Sheer and mysterious Lady in Red

Mary Love Deen and and attractive lady in pleated white

Covered in the right places- Rica King Deen in Hans Coquilla and Tess Lampert in OJ HOffer

Fiona King outshines her neon green gown by OJ Hoffer

Young Jeweler Jennifer Viloria and Phillip Rodriguez, who is president of the Cebu Designers Association

Ladies in black: Stalwarts of Cebu high society, Rosebud Sala, Mrs.Annabelle Luym, and Carmen Campbell

Teresing Mendesona conceptualized the elegant tables and filled them with cascading red roses, crystal candelabras and votive candles

Friend of decades past, Mel Meer of Bergamo was one of the evening's sponsors

The tables were impressive. Decorated by Teresing Mendesona and Pinky Chang of Pink Flora

Fashion photographer extraordinaire Wig Tysman, Tessa P. Valdez, Philippine Star writer Mayenne Carmona in an ice pink beaded gown, by Jan Garcia and Maricel Echiverri in Paris based designer George Mak burgundy number

Columnist of Allure, and Marketing Manager of Metro Society Magazine Philipp Cu-unjieng, SM charmer John Kenner Chua and Yvette Vaas

Claudine Darza Ugarte and Cristina Diaz Winton in Arcy Gayatin

Gabby and Merce Abellana in Arcy Gayatin

Marco Polo's GM with substance Hans Hauri and his lady, Bo Hauri

My guest from San Francisco, Maricel Echiverri, who did a business presentation to charismatic Mayor Mike Rama was so overwhelmed by her Cebu experience

Zuri Almendras looking statuesque in Dexter Alazas black and ivory gown

Silver grey Dexter Alazas chiffon on pretty  Denice Galang

They look good together- Model Chelsea, svelte in a Jun Escario and SM executive John Kenner Chua

Doing justice to her Cary Santiago aqua flowing gown, shapely Marguerite Lhuillier and lovely daughter in law Amanda Darza in a black Escario

Amparito Lhuillier in daughter Monique's gold and tulle creation

Cary Santiago outdid himself in his current Black Collection!

It was fun listening to Mayor Mike Rama's interesting insights on life during my afternoon meeting with him 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FOXYnators are the Rage!

The Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton brought the Fashion Watchers in full force to Westminster Abbey, the venue of the wedding.  Who -was -wearing-what was the mantra of the day. Hats of all shapes and sizes completed the total outfit of the fashionable guests.  Another type of head accessory which is called "Fascinators" (Brits always seem to have the first say in word coinage. It was a fashionable Englishman who coined the word "Metrosexual") were worn in stunning colors and styles and mostly replaced traditional and conventional hats.  

Credit goes to award winning Milliner Philip Treacy who fashionistas claim put Fascinators and similarly extravagant hats back into mainstream fashion.  Treacy embellished his head gears with blooms, feathers, plummage (from all species of birds), ribbons, sequins, and anything unusual.  The milliners had their Aha moments on their masterpieces or were forever doomed on their hideouspieces.  Princess Beatrice was highly critiized on her over the top fascinator designed by Philip Treacy. It did not go well with her elegant blush Valentino ensemble. But she had the last laugh when she put the piece on E-bay announcing that the proceeds will go to charity and the piece sold for more or less $65,000.

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie at the Royal Wedding 

Manila is always fast to follow. Soon after the Royal Wedding, our local accessory designers came out with fascinators. Today Fascinator (which we love to pronounce foxynators) Parties are the rage. I attended two in one week and another one coming up in three days. I must say that the ladies look really Foxy In their Foxynators and we are beginning to make them the rage in fashion these days.  

Foxy in red "facsi-nator" Tess Schoefer and  handsome Gabby Rojas

Birthday celebrant Cristine Rojas in a black veiled facsinator with her best buddies Mayenne Carmona and Lulu Tan Gan 

Royal Blue Lady,  Len Olbes

Rainbow colors yellow and fuschia on Dr. Cecile Infantado and Isa del Rosario Valenton

Mayenne C. and Tess S. always look sassy...!! 

Rudolph the red nose reindeer on Pria Gonzalez' head in and Christmas stars landed on Marisa Chan's

Dr. Crissie Santayana and Leana Farrales Carmona look chic in their black fasciantors

Happily Printed Margie Sy and birthday celebrant Tina Limjuco

Kitty Jacinto and Annie Carmona shone in Gold accents

Vicky Lopez and I blended with the Christmas tree.  My hair had Christmas balls and lights.   Specially designed by my hair accessory designers Jessa and Pretzel!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ms. Earth USA, Nicole Kelly's Negative Remarks about the Philippines

The negative comments about the Philippines and the Filipinos by Ms. Earth USA, Nicole Kelly, which she posted on Facebook  brings to mind the Claire Danes controversy in 1998. Ms. Claire Danes came to our country to film "Brokedown Palace" and most of the scenes of her shoot were filmed in poor areas of Manila.  She was quoted in Vogue Magazine as saying that Manila was a "ghastly and weird city"  and in Premiere Magazine that Manila "smelled of cockroaches, with rats all over, there is no sewerage system, and people do not have anything-no arms, no legs, no eyes."

Nicole Kelly (Left) is said to be the new Claire Danes (Right)

Danes apologized and said in a statement that her views reflected only the poor areas. She stressed that Filipino people "were nothing but warm, friendly, and supportive" during her stay in the country.

But too late. Her comments stung and taken very seriously by the Filipino people. President Erap Estrada reacted, condemned her and prohibited her films to be shown in the Philippines.

In June 2010, celebrity friend, Cosmetic Queen and TV icon, Yue Sai Kan of China, invited me to the Shanghai Film Festival.  She told me that Claire Danes, Oscar winner Adrien Brody, beauteous Michelle Yeoh, were among the celebrities coming. She asked me to interview Claire Danes but I declined, telling her about Ms. Danes' nasty comments about our country and the controversy she caused.

On June 11, 2010, I met Claire Danes in Ms. Kan's posh apartment in Shanghai and the introduction went this way:

"Claire, this is my friend Mayenne Carmona, a journalist from the Philppines Star.  You were supposed to have said something negative about her country. Can you talk to her about this!"

Ms. Danes was charming and friendly and very apologetic about what happened.  She was with her husband Hugh Dancy who supported her every step of the way.

She said, "I am really sorry about that incident. I will never dream of hurting people that way. I was only 18 then and.." at this point her husband interrupted and said, "She is 31 now and more careful about her words." ( something to this effect ...)

I asked her, "you mean you only saw the poor side of Manila? They did not bring you to the Makati area, to our nice malls, hotels, villages with world class houses, beautiful resorts, etc..?"  She shook her head sadly and said she only saw the poor areas because that was where they were filming.

I saw her again the next day during the Gala premiere and we were seated next to each other during the dinner party after the Gala. I did not notice any snobbishness about her and she seemed really a down -to- earth kind of lady.

I dismissed the incident as the carelessness of youth and if that was the impression she got about our country, it is what she saw during her shoot in the squalid areas of the city. The people around her should have shown her the beautiful parts of Manila to show her a different side of our city.

As with the new controversy:
Ms. Earth USA, denies the allegations. She claims her Facebook Account was hacked and that it was not her who posted those nasty remarks. She apologizes about the hacking of her Facebook but not about the comment. Here is the link of her comments which is now causing a big stir on Twitter, Facebook. Her denials are not believed by many Filipino netizens.   

In a party in Shanghai.  Claire Danes was apologetic about her alleged nasty comments of Manila. Husband Hugh Dancy listened

During Gala Night, Claire Danes was chic in a red Zac Posen gown and I wore a Patrice Diaz Ramos tiered lace gown accentuated by a pina shawl from Ditas Sandico Ong

Yue Sai Kan, celebrity icon of China, invites me yearly to the Shanghai Film Festival. She is lovely in an haute couture red Valentino gown

Adrien Brody won an Oscar when he was only 29 for his role in pianist. He is the youngest Oscar winner to date

Michelle Yeoh is one beautiful lady 

Claire Danes impressed me as a sincere and down- to- earth regular kind of girl

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The 10th Tatler Ball Rocked!

Manila's A-listers always look forward to the yearly Tatler Ball.  It is an evening of glamor, style, elegance, gourmet food, wines, champagne, entertainment, music and dance...not necessarily in that order.

During the Tatler Ball,  ladies and gents are in their haute couture best and a display of the most glittering and biggest rocks on the fashionistas' ears, neck, fingers, and wrists are just dazzling! The main trust of the Tatler Ball is always Charity. It brings out the philanthropic heart of the invited guests, and indeed, the yearly Ball raises megabucks for their chosen beneficiary. This year, it was the Habitat for Humanity, housing for the poor, chaired by Fernando Zobel de Ayala.  At 100,000PHP per home, Tatler sponsored 10 homes. I am sure that many of the invited guests were generous in their contribution. 
There was an auction of 4 items, (signed boxing gloves by Manny Pacquiao) a Parisian Experience (3 nights in a deluxe room for two at the Shangi-La Hotel, Paris), a Tuscan Adventure for two people  (a 2 night stay at the Fonte de Medici inclusive of 2 business class tickets to Rome via Singapore Airlines) and lastly a Jaeger le Coultre Limited Edition Watch. The wines this year were selections from the Estampa Vineyards, Chile and the champagne was as usual, Moet et Chandon Brut Imperial. Shangri-La's team of Chefs outdid themselves and whipped up a 5 course gourmet dinner that for sure impressed the most discriminating palate. 

I can't say the same for everyone but my friends and I had a blast dancing. Congratulations to Irene Francisco Martel, Anton San Diego and the rest of the Tatler team for putting together a world class ball that we all enjoy yearly!

Anne Curtis is sweet with no star complex about her.  She glowed in this Rajo lace gown.

Me in Roberto Cavalli, Tess Schoefer in Dolce Gabbana. Manny Scolomiero flew in from Hong Kong and loved every minute of the ball

Linda Ley in Ito Curata, Cecile Infantado in Cary Santiago

We had fun in our table with david Lim, Tess S. and Manny S.

Rupert Jacinto and Mela Bengson share a light moment

La Grande Dame of the ball- philanthropist and businesswoman Mely Hechanova

Rajo Laurel and pretty anchor for the evening Karen Davila wearing his number of course

Villaraza asset-cutie pie Shaina Ramirez 

Renna Hechanova Angeles and Ed Angeles enjoy the bubbly

Mons Romulo- regal in green

Tatler's Carmela Sioco sizzles in red

David Lim and Mia Borromeo, Tatler's editor at large in a chic Ito Curata

The rock of Tatler-philanthropist with the biggest heart, Irene Martel Francisco in a New Yorker

Alexandra Klauser, Frannie Jacinto and Margaret Klauser

Nini Licaros in emeralds bigger than her eyes with hubby Abe Licaros

Stephanie Zubiri looking happy with steady beau Jonathan Crespi 

Dapper young entrepreneur and philanthropist Joseph Calata with Nel Salvador

Old world chic- I just love Ricky Toledo's velvet shoes and Chito Vijandre's leather! 

Ramon and Beng Arnaiz who is in a Cary Santiago sweet pink gown

Miss Sunshine, stunning Rossana Prieto!

Black is back- Doris Ho, Rupert Jacinto and Tina Jacinto 

Ladies of style and substance-Fely Rodriguez, Tina Cuevas, Therese Santos and Susan Joven

my table mates Linda Ley, Gunther Matchuk and Jo Ann Matchuk

show what you've got ladies! Designer Charina Sarte and Tricia Panlilio

Lady lawyers galore- Khristine Dy, Thea Daep and Reezan Keith Ramos

Fuschia and electric gals -Chinggay de la Merced and Alana Montelibano 

Interesting details in Bea Zobel's Patrice Diaz Ramos ensemble

Bare it Baby! - Charina Sarte in her own creation

Tantoco Belles- Crickette, Hindy, Katrina and songbird Bea

electrically charged Tessa Valdes and hubby Dennis Valdes 

model Abs Abelkare with model Martine Cabile

Bare back contessa- Fashion icon Tina Maristela Ocampo in an emerald green Pepito Albert

My favorite actress Dawn Zulueta Lagdameo with billboard lady Ruffa Guttierez

lens genius Wyg Tysman and Mandy de la Rama Santos in Inno Sotto

Anne Curtis, Raymond Guttierez and TV personality Kim Atienza

art and antique collectors both -Marivic Vasquez and Joe Mari Trenas

Bejewelled ladies Frannie Jacinto, Sandie Poblador and Malu Francisco

Having fun! Ito Curata behind Jojo Zabarte and Lilibeth Campos

Elegant couple- Philip and Ching Cruz

Ah Youth! these ladies epitomize Filipino beauty- Heart Evangelista, Solenn Heussaff, Isabel Daza and Anne Curtis

Kit Kat Silverio Zobel -lovely in an Inno Sotto

Frances Lim in a vintage Slim ballgown with Mr. & Mrs Ramsey, nee Carla Arguelles

Radiant in Inno Sotto lace and faille gown Rhoda Campos Aldanese is escorted by young designer Dennis Lustico and PR man Arnold Vegafria

Consul Helen Ong and Cecile Infantado in Cary Santiago gowns

Elegant in one shoulder Ralph Lauren, Tina Jacinto with daughter Jackie, in a vintage ensemble from New York. 

In the spirit of Christmas, Green stands for hope. Hope for a better future for our marginalized population. Tatler blesses them with housing thru Habitat for Humanity.
Tess Schoefer in panther green,Tina ocampo in emerald green, and myself in forest green.