Saturday, April 28, 2012

Crimson Resort is a World Class Tropical Oasis

Crimson Resort's Press conference at M Cafe was a huge success.  It was also an eye opener as it made me realize that I don't have to look for 5 star resorts in other countries as we have them right here in the Philippines.

Crimson Resort and Spa in Mactan is definitely one World Class resort. It has 40 luxurious villas with private plunge pools and 250 guest rooms that combine both comfort and style with its contemporary Asian flair.  With 4 concept-themed restaurants and bars, a grand ballroom, various sports and water sports facilities, it is also home to a 2000 sq.meter spa called Aum Spa.

Master planned by the world renowned resort Architectural and Interior Design from Wimberly Allison Tong and Goo from California teamed with landscape architecture of Belt Collins from Hong Kong, beautifully-landscape gardens and contemporary muted tropical aesthetics punctuated by elements of wood, stone and woven natural Philippine fibers resonate throughout the resort. With Crimson's well appointed rooms and amenities and infinity pool that appears to plunge into the ocean, Crimson gives one a sense of calm and peace amidst this modern tropical hideaway. 

James Montenegro, GM of the resort is steering the resort to world class standards. Francis Gotianum, Assistant VP of the Filinvest Group of Hotels, Francis de Leon, (Corporate Brand and Communications Director), Pearl Peralta Maclang,(VP Sales and Marketing of FilArchipelago Hospitality, Inc.) are part and parcel of the resort team who are involved in ensuring its success.  

Azure bar is so inviting for sunset cocktails

The pristine sand for the beach lover

Crimson Resorts has 40 luxurious villas with private plunge pools

Crimzone is an activity center for kids with slides, toys and other fun activities

Deluxe room with a garden view

The well designed resort  by Wimberly Allison Tong and Goo from California

The GM of Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan is Allan James Montenegro

Infinity Pool is enjoyed by all.

Lobby and reception area

Tatler's GM Lynne Palma, Francis de Leon, Corporate Brand Marketing and Communications Director, and Sheryl Molina, Online Editor of Tatler

Francis Gotianum, Assistant VP of FDC Hotels. and Heidi Ng of Lifestyle Asia

Pearl Peralta Maclang VP Sales and Marketing of Fil Archipelago Hospitality, Inc.,Francis de Leon, myself and Heidi Ng

AUM Spa offers a selection of invigorating therapies that promise to relax, restore and reenergize

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Standing Ovation in a San Diego Gala, Honors in Bataan and an Exhibit in Greenbelt 3

Hollywood based Filipino designer Oliver Tolentino had a 65 piece collection in San Diego for San Diego Women's Week sponsored by the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce.  He used Filipino fabrics in many pieces and he received a standing ovation at the end of his show.

"I feel humbled when my clothes are positively received by an audience like San Diego's. It makes a boy from the province proud," he said.

The province he is referring to is Bataan which honored him during its 70th Araw ng Kagitingan on April 10.  Tolentino grew up in Orani, and regularly visits his home there. 

Wednesday, April 11, my friends and I attended a reception that ETC and Greenbelt hosted for Oliver Tolentino to launch an 11 day exhibit of the outfits Tolentino created for the premiere episode of America's Next Top Model: British Invasion, Cycle 18 which is currently airing on ETC.  For the episode, Tolentino created couture military outfits for the runway "pose off" between the new participants.  The outfits created patriotic colors and flags of the USA and the United Kingdom.  

"I had fun creating something that wasn't my usual couture dresses," commented Tolentino during his appreciation speech in Greenbelt.  

The exhibit runs till April 22 in Greenbelt 3 and is open to the public. 

After his stay in the Philippines, Tolentino will fly to Barbados where he has been invited to open the Barbados Fashion Week

I first learned about Oliver Tolentino through Philippine StarBall Organizer Pinky Puno who wore his gown during the Gala dinner of StarBall at the Makati Shangri-la.  Her gown made such an impact that even the foreign guests asked who the designer was. That same year, I wore his red gown to the Tatler Ball.   

Tolentino has a boutique in Melrose Place which is patronized by well known Filipinos abroad and Hollywood celebs as well. During the Pre Oscar Party, Emmy Rossum (TV star of the series Shameless) and Maggie Grace, (co-star of Twilight movies) wore his eco friendly cocktail dresses. Rossum's yellow pina cocktail dress was picked by the New York Post as "Look of the Week."

It is heartening to know that some Filipinos make it to great heights and are admired and respected in foreign shores for their artistry and ingenuity. Bravo Oliver! You do your country proud! 

Oliver during his appreciation speech "I feel humbled when my clothes are positively received...Thank you for all of you who have supported me all these years.."

A two piece eco friendly summer outfit..

During 2010 Tatler's Ball I was in a red Tolentino gown, Lilibeth Campos in a Michelle Sison, Dr. Cecile Infantado in a Patrice Diaz ramos and Tina Jacinto in Ito Curata.

Pinky Puno during last year's Star Ball in a lovely Tolentino gown-dyed pink and orange pineapple silk. Here with Reto Klauser, GM of Makati Shangri-la. 

Oliver with Model Ivey Mansel during his san Diego fashion show

Rene Puno, Ann Puno, Pinky Puno, Oliver T. and Andrew Caruther

Part of his British Invasion Collection

Mayenne C., Oliver T., and Pinky Puno

Tolentino 's muse in a red gown Tutay Maristela

Thursday, April 5, 2012

KLM's Press con and Style Weekend's Celebration of Women who Wow!

It is always a pleasure to see great friends, old and new.  I was so fortunate to see them in two occasions within days of each other.

KLM held a Press Con at MY Cinema, Greenbelt 3, to announce their new summer schedule and to explain the reason for the change.  Their usual straight flight to Amsterdam from Manila had been changed to a new route-Manila/Taiwan/Amsterdam.  This is not the first time that foreign airlines are changing their operations in the Philippines. KLM is the last European airline standing in the Philippines and is still hanging on but until when? Unless our government drops the atrocious taxes they are imposing on the foreign carriers which for economic reasons leave them no choice but to depart from our shores, we will soon find ourselves with only the Middle Eastern Airlines to meet our travel needs. Take note, Lufthansa, British Airways, Alitalia, NorthWest Airlines, Air France, among others have left the Philippines because of these taxes. 

Going back to the Press Con, I had a good time exchanging pleasantries with good family friend, KLM top honcho Cees Ursem whom I had not seen since late last year. It was good to see him in good shape and still in Manila with his lovely wife Angela. I also enjoyed chatting with Tess Zulueta, KLM's Marketing and Communications Executive, and Therese Agnese, former Air France's  personal assistant to Louis Vergeon, the GM when Air France was still flying out of Manila.  The delicious hors d'oevres from Bizu were too tempting to resist. 

The highlight of the press con was the raffle of a business class ticket to Europe which was won by Carlo Velasco, a columnist for Travel Life.

Hessel de Boer, Finance Controller for South China Sea, Carlo Velasco of Travel Life Magazine, lucky winner of a round trip business class ticket to Europe, Cees Ursem, Air France/  KLM's GM for South China Sea, myself, and Julia Godet, commercial Director of AF/KLM

Tess Zulueta, AF/KLM's Marketing  and Communications Executive, Grace Glory Go of Philippine Star, Heidi Ng, columnist for Life Style Asia, and Hessel de Boer

A few days after the KLM event, I made sure to attend the event of Liza Ilarde, editor in chief of Manila Bulletin's Style Weekend at the Opus Club, Resorts World. The event, aptly called Women who WOW was in honor of International Women's Month (Int'l Women Day was celebrated March 8).  According to Lisa, her list included 6 women who she admires for their beauty and brains. These women did not rely on just looks and luck to get where they are today. "Achieving their success also involved honing their skills and talent, pursuing their goals with passion, and continuously evolving with the times." 

These women are Tweetie de Leon, a Renaissance Woman in her own right, Charice Pempengco, a powerhouse performer whose talent is recognized even by Music Guru, David Foster, the Nikki Luna, an artist and citizen of the world, Myla Villanueva, a serial entrepreneur involved in hi tech telecoms technology, Daiana Menezes, supermodel from Brazil who has conquered the modeling industry in Manila, and last but not the least, Myrza Sison, a legend in the world of lifestyle journalism.  

I was so happy to bump into long time friend Grace Coronel who came with her two lovely daughters Maxine and Danica, as well as boyishly charming Kenner Chua, VP of the Accessory Department of Shoe Mart, actress Gwen Zamora and her mother, Therese Agnese, newly arrived from Dubai, smart and sexy Mitch Garcia, Director of Communications of Marriott. 

I brought with me my "balikbayan" guest from San Francisco, Maricel Echeverri, who was so surprised to attend such a classy event in Manila.  She's been gone too long. Manila is full of world class events, truth be told.

Liza Ilarde, fashionista editor- in -chief of Manila Bulletin's Style Week End conceptualized Women who WOW

Grace R. Coronel and her two pretty daughters, Maxine R. McAninch  and Danica

Grace Coronel, Elbert Cuenca, myself, Gwen Zamora, Therese Agnese

Finally, a photo with my "pinsan" Robbie Carmona, he who choreographs a lot of fashion shows

Anne de Vera, Director of Sales and Marketing, Crimson Hotel Alabang and Francis de Leon, Director for Marketing and Communications for Crimson Hotel Alabang and FilArchipelago Hospitality

Too many men, so little time.... Super Model Marina Benipayo strikes a pose with her good looking male friends

Kenner Chua, VP of Accessories Dept of SM with my guest Maricel Echiverri, a balikbayan from SF, USA

Sasssy and sexxxy Mitch Garcia, Director of Communications of Marriott is always a delight to see. 

Three of the Wow ladies, Tweetie de Leon, Myrza Sison, and Myla Villanueva, holding their prize money. Lucky them!