Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 20- July 27: My Birthday Week in High Definition!

My Birthday week is usually hectic, and this year is no exception. 5 days before D-day, friends headed by Armand SantosJojo ZabarteLinda LeyCecile InfantadoSuzette LopezMya Ong, and Len Olbes decided to host me in Salon de Ning at the Peninsula. It was really a swinging evening as in the same booth with us was TV and movie star, singer and artist, Solenn Heussaff partying with her show biz and ramp friends - Lovi PoeGeorgina WilsonBorgy ManotocSid LuceroKC ConcepcionAnne Curtis with steady BF Erwan HeussaffTim Yap, Film Director Pepe Diokno and many others. Solenn was celebrating her birthday that same evening.

Len Obles, Mya Ong, Linda Ley and birthday gal 

Suzy Wong Suzette Lopez 

One of my BFFs, Jojo Zabarte enjoying Salon de Ning.  

Linda Ley, Hera Gerienne, Len Olbes and Cecile Infantado are my "chill out" buddies, as well as members of our feeding group-Angels to Street Kids. 

Tim Yap, KC Concepcion, Film Director Pepe Diokno

Sultry Lovi Poe poses with me 

Jojo Zabarte and Tim Eigenmann

The next day, Hong Kong based Tess Schoeffer and friend Angelo hosted a special dinner for me and friends Leo Valdez, Raul Teehankee, Cecile Infantado, Fanny Guanzon at her spacious well appointed house in Alabang. The dinner was home cooked by chef Angelo and most of the ingredients flown in from Hong Kong. 

Too bad I did not bring my camera, I should never leave home without it. So there was no Kodak moment.  

Monday night was a Thai dinner evening in Simply Thai, Greenbelt 5 with my dear friends Neni Cruz, Jojo Sanggalang and Rose Blancaflor. Friend Artist and painter Ramon Diaz gifted us with a bottle of full bodied red wine which made our dinner even more delicious. 

Tuesday evening was really memorable. My Baclaran going friends Suzette Lopez, Linda Ley and Len Olbes met me at the Pen lobby for a refreshing cup of frozen yogurt and at close to midnight, we headed  for Baclaran for our weekly Novena.   I was close to tears when they greeted me Happy Birthday with matching besos and abrazos in the Presence of the Holy of Holies and lit candles for my intentions.  Great friends make life worth living. 

It is so wonderful to be surprised by one of my staff,  Pretzel, with a birthday cake, while  lazying in bed with my IPAD, agenda book and cell

From Paris with Love! 

My special day was hosted by Communication's Director of Marriott Manila, glamorous Mitch Garcia at the Marriott Cafe. They currently have a Flavors of Asia going on with four chefs from Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, and China. My guests composed of family members and extended family truly enjoyed the exceptional cuisine and excellent service of the staff headed by Roma Italia and our personal waiter Michael. It felt so good to be treated like VIPs.  But that is what Marriott service is all about. They make everyone feel special.
Marriott Hotel's jewel, Mitch Garcia, Director of Communications and Sales.

Early arrivals to the family dinner at the Marriott Cafe- brother Charlie, sisters Loudette Corcellut & Leana Carmona, & French beau frere Jean Pierre Corcellut 

Roma Italia (I just love her name) and Michael took good care of me and my guests

More family and extended family arrived- Ruby Tiong Tan, Bert and Tina Lujuco join me and brother Charlie 

Mom skipped her ballroom dancing to attend my birthday dinner and Dad cut short his golf too. What a blessing to have active, healthy parents.  Loudette came all the way from Paris with hubby JP. 

Roma Italia and the rest of the staff bring me a birthday cake to blow! Such a thoughtful gesture! 

My favorite Franch bro-in-law JP strikes a pose with Rezch! (they have fancy names!) 

The next evening, I was at the residence of Senator Serge Osmena and attractive wife Bettina Osmena for a "welcome to Manila" dinner for beloved friend, Memphis based Tunting Cruz Matters. Tunting was my partner in crime (shops, clubs, restaurants, shows!) in New York City when we were both living there in the mid nineties and during the millenium years. We joyfully reminisced over the fun times we had in the Big Apple. Nothing can bring back the glory of those years. Even if we still have fun today when we meet up in NYC,  somehow, it is not the same. Most of us have left the Big Apple and when we go back there, we are but tourists, which give a different feel to the visit. Tunting regaled us with stories about attending a dinner in Malacanang with no less than President PNoy, singing and dancing with her! 

Tunting Cruz Matters enjoys a welcome party with me, Lulu Tan Gan, Anne Marie Corominas, Paul Campos, Bettina Osmena, Frannie J, Bing G and Tina L. 

It was Coffee time next day with the most charming Lexus President Daniel Isla at their fabulous showroom is always a pleasure. 

Together with his Marketing Services Officer Carlo Chungungco, he took Suzette Lopez and me around and showed us their latest models. The Lexus Limited Edition Sportscar which cost a whopping 35 Million bucks made us drool.  It is not even for sale as there are only 167 models of the car.  Lexus Manila decided to keep it for posterity. 

Suzette and I enjoy a coffee rendezvous with Lexus Big Boss, Daniel Isla in their fab showroom at the Fort.

Drooling over the 35 Million bucks Lexus Limited Edition sports car! Whew! Give me a Torrens Title instead! 

Carlo Chungungco, Marketing Services Officer, with Lexus President Daniel Isla, showed me around their showroom. My next car will be a Lexus SUV! 

From Lexus, we flew to Crown Plaza at the Ortigas area to attend a much waited meeting with the publisher of Traversing the Orient magazine, Muslim Princess Dr. Rebecca Wata. She hosted for me and my friends Trixie Torralba, Mya Ong and Suzette Lopez a Chinese lauriat birthday dinner at the Xin Tiandi Restaurant.  Too much food this week. Next week will surely be a fasting and detox week for me.  Too bad, we were so engrossed in our meeting and the delicious food that we forgot to take photos. 

Saturday, July 28, is another birthday celebration in Alabang this time with my BFFs Rene and Ann Puno as hosts.  But that will be in another Blog. Watch out for it. 

What a week!  But I am not complaining, I tell ya, I feel sooo much love feted left and right by my family and friends whom I love dearly. They really add so much meaning and spice to my life! 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Joyce Penas Pilarsky-Artist, Sculptor, Opera Singer, Photographer, Jewelry and Fashion Designer

Joyce Penas Pilarsky is a multi dimensional Filipino designer based in Germany. She is known for her paintings, sculptures, photography, singing, jewelry and dress designs.  She was awarded "Most Outstanding Filipino Artist" in Baden Wuerttenberg, Germany.  

Joyce Penas Pilarsky in her gowns. Her body jewelry adorn her gowns.

The designer takes a bow after her last collection

This year, global fashion show organizer and model Jessica Minh Anh picked Filipino designer Joyce Penas Pilarsky to join other creative fashion houses from USA, UAE, France, Austria, Spain, Poland, Malaysia, and Vietnam at the international J Summer Fashion Show on the 30th of July, 2012, on the Seine, Paris. The high profile event is part of a series of history making showcases organized by J Model Management, with two previous international success in Kuala Lumpur and London. The grand 60 metre long catwalk will be held in the glass boat, Le Jean Bruel, cruising through Paris hot spots including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre, and Grand Palais des Champs Elysees.  Showcasing extraordinary collections from four continents and welcoming influential faces from various industries, ambassadors of fifteen countries, and the most celebrated international press, the show is expected to set yet another milestone in the fashion world. 

On her decision to showcase Joyce P. Pilarsky's work, Jessica said: "when I saw Joyce's exquisite embroidered lace dresses in beautiful colors, I knew she would be an amazing addition to J Summer Fashion Show. Her collection shows a lot of strength, sophistication, and elegance of modern women who dare to stand out and make a difference. The smooth combination of silk and crystals in her many unique designs makes each piece a must- have creation".

We laud talented Filipinos like Joyce Penas Pilarsky, who bring honor and pride to her country and her people. 

Here is Pilarsky's collection during fashion week in Manila-- a collection composed of attractive colors and mini skirts that embodied summer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Fairy Tale Ending

Radiant with love, Thomas Kuhnke and bride Annie Carmona Kuhnke

Annie Carmona was a working student in Paris when she met Thomas Kuhnke, who was then Vice President for the Middle East of Credit Commercial de France in the early 80s. Annie was a student in Fashion Design in one of the exclusive Fashion Design Schools and working at Aux Iles Philippines in the evening.  The Gods had other plans for the lovers as for some reason, the relationship did not work out. They both moved on with their lives, Annie continued to stay in Paris and Thomas moved to JP Morgan, New York as Managing Director. 

In 2011, they found each other again and this time, like all fairy tale endings, decided to spend the rest of their lives with each other.  A brief romance that started in Paris ended happily in marriage in San Antonio Church, Forbes Park. Father Fernando Suarez officiated the Catholic rites with Father Gerard Deveza.  

The Symphony Orchestra of the University of Santo Tomas provided the wedding music to the enjoyment of the guests, many of whom are relatives and close friends of the couple who flew in from all parts of the globe to attend this special occasion.  The reception at the Manila Polo Club served a well planned menu, complete with foie gras and confit de canard flown in from Paris. Delicious bubbly and wines kept everyone in high spirits.  

The radiant couple opened the dance with a choreographed cha cha number that showed off the groom's dance skills a la Travolta. With the contagious music of the Arriba Band, dancers never left the floor. There was a brief break where song bird Stephanie Reese sang some solo numbers which she dedicated to the bride and groom and then two Duets with our nephew Stephan Carmona Chan

To Thomas and Annie, our warmest wishes for a long and happy union!

The happy couple pose with Inday Carmona, and Manolo Carmono. parents of the bride. 

Johannes Kuhnke flew in from Paris to be the best man of his father Thomas.

Mommy and Daddy Carmona pose with family friends Henry Zabarte (left) and Armand Santos (right). 

Millie Williams, a cousin, flew in from San Francisco, here poses with Mommy and Daddy Carmona. 

Youth invasion-Steffie Carmona Corcellut, Marco Carmona and Alexa Carmona Corcellut

My favorite dance partners--Sonny Tanchanco and John Gaddi

Natalie and Dr. Gerard Salama flew in from Paris for this special occasion. (left and 2nd to the left), close friends Menchu Katigbak and Lucelle Lopez, (extreme right) also flew in from Paris so as not to miss this joyful occasion.

Henry and lovely wife Jojo Zabarte with long time friend, Parisien Edward Garcia 

Jose Fabian Carmona with pretty teenage daughter Sophia Carmona

My ideal couple-Mary Ann Ansaldo Chan and husband, singing idol and composer Joe Mari Chan

Stephan Carmona Chan sang a duet with songbird Stephanie Reese.  Eduardo"Nene" Lacson, in a chic Dolce& Gabbana dinner jacket and one of the principal sponsors, flew in from Monte Carlo.

Bloominggirls Ning Ning Tordesillas, restaurateur Malou Gamboa, Bambina Jacinto and Kitty Jacinto

Len Fernandez and hubby, cosmetic surgeon extraordinaire, Dr. Nonie Fernandez 

Matron of honor Loudette Carmona Corcellut and favorite French brother Jean Pierre Corcellut

still newlyweds in my books, Charlie Carmona and Leana Farrales Carmona

Best Caterer in Iloilo (I may be biased) our aunt, Cossette Montelibano and her son, Robert

Our family's Amigos para siempre, happy couple Bert and Tina Limjuco 

Soloing it, Leo Alejandrino. Get well soon, Anna! 

The one and only Tessa Prieto Valdez, with Singaporean based investment banker, Alvin Oei 

Menchu Katigbak, Ambassador Lani Bernardo and Monique Villongco

A fashion show of French gowns- Joanna de los Reyes, Steffie Corcellut, Naisa Carmona. Alexa Corcellut and Cecile Carmona

Marisa C. Chan and sistah Lily Chan 

Reggie Torre and his wife, Dr. Marisa Torre, our family's holistic doctor. 

Events Designer Anton Barretto and restaurateur Malou Gamboa

Cynthia Morente and daughter Annette Cheng

Sonny Tanchanco, Lucelle Lopez, Coring Relova and John Gaddi

A fascinating fascinator on Louie Locsin's hair

Statuesque beauties Sen Sanchez and Loli Sy