Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dancing was Hot during Marisa's Latin Night Birthday Gig!

When sister Marisa announced that her birthday theme this year was Latin, her Saturday night group started to think of surprise numbers for her.  Practices with dance teachers started in a frenzied pace which admittedly was quite stressful as it felt to me like we were all cramming for an exam.  Marisa sensed something was afoot because we all looked fatigued during a dinner at her house a few days prior to her party!  “you all look tired! What’s up?” she voiced out!

We had Fun dancing our surprise numbers.  Sister Annie and hubby Thomas (who never danced in his life B. M. (before marriage ) but is now good enough to give exhibition numbers)  gave a cha cha/belly dance number, Rey and Chrissie Santayana danced a mambo and I did a sassy Rumba/Samba fusion number with my international dance teacher Ryan Jago.  To the tune of Saturday night fever, a flash Mob group dance a la Travolta led by Rey Santayana ended the program. Everyone was having so much fun dancing it that it looked a bit messy and out of sync! LOL!!!  They insisted on redeeming themselves by dancing it again and again until it looked perfect!!  Marisa enjoyed the surprise numbers and was appreciative of everyone's effort. 

The Arriba  Band  made everyone trip the Latin light fantastic the whole evening.  First on the dance floor was our ballroom dancer Mommy.  She set the mood for everyone  with her dance partner, Rey de Los Angeles.  As usual, Brother Charlie was on the mike with the Arriba band . We were too high to notice if he was in tune or not.  The energy was high and everyone did their thing on the dance floor.  Steven Chan, Dr. Nonie Fernandez, Taddy Gonzalez  showed off their dance skills!
Marisa regaled us with two skillful Argentine Tango dance numbers with her Tango teacher Jun Borja.  Brother James Borja and partner Gina Sala also gave an impressive Argentine Tango dance exhibition with breathtaking lifts!
Dance is so good for the body, mind and spirit that it is actually a part of our lives.  Our mother started it all when she started to do ballroom dance more than thirty years ago.  Her love for dance rubbed off on her daughters and today we are all studying dance and having fun in the process.  Marisa and Loudette are into Argentine Tango, Annie and I are into Latin dances. 

Just like the past years, Marisa Carmona Chan's birthday party was a rousing success.  But this year's Latin night really rocked!! let's have more parties like this one!

Steven Chan cuts a cheeky regae number with Birthday Celebrant Marisa.
The Arriba Band added animo to the party!
Inday and Manolo Carmona are still sweet after decades of togetherness! 
The party place was decorated by Anton Baretto
Joe Marie and MaryAnn Chan, Luly de Leon and birthday celebrant Marisa
Getting ready for our Rumba/ Samba-Ryan Jago and I flank the birthday celebrant 
The Tangueros-James Borja, Jacky Doctor, Gina Salas, Marisa, Jun Borja and myself
 Ivana Toscic of Chameleon,  Mr. & Mrs. Torres, The celebrant and brother Charlie
The Mob flash dancrs-Taddy Gonzalez, Crissie Santayana, Pria Gonzalez, Vicky Lopez, Marisa Chan, Len fernandez and Inday Carmona
engaged couple Mara Leviste & Franco Chan
The 3 Musketeers-Charlie, Manolo and Jose Fabian Carmona
Thomas Kuhnke and wife Annie Carmona enjoyed their cha cha/belly dance!
James Borja and Gina Salas gave a breathtaking Argentine Tango!
Rey Santayana led the pack of Travolta Saturday Night dancers.
Ditas Laurel and Crissie Santayana
Milky Way heiress Malou Gamboa is always delighted to have Marisa’s party on the 2nd floor of the Milky Way building.
 Rey de los Angeles keeps Mommy Inday Carmona in her dancing best!
Dance partner Ryan asked to pose with singing Icon Joe Mari Chan!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Eat, Breathe, Relax, Love at Crimson Alabang

OMG!  My weekend at Crimson, Alabang, the newly opened boutique hotel in Alabang, was fun filled, enriched by the presence of beautiful friends.   Director of Communications and Marketing, the dynamic and charismatic Francis de Leon surprised me with an intimate dinner with ladies of style and substance- Suzette Lopez, Linda Ley and Hera Gerienne.   The dinner was a riot, but in a refined kind of way.  We complimented the dinner with a lot of laughter, with entertainment provided by the lovely China doll, Linda Ley, who very few people know is a natural born comedienne.  We almost fell off our chairs listening to her funny stories, all at her expense.  A woman who can make fun of herself without fear of being judged is a woman who is very confident of her being and I am sure all of you will agree with me.    

All I can say is, Café 8 at Crimson Alabang will be on our lips as the best buffet spread in that area.  The selection is so varied that it can satisfy all your cravings. 
 A gathering of close friends- Mark Ley, myself, Hera Gerienne, Linda Ley, Francis de Leon, Suzette Lopez at the Café 8

Enjoying the breeze at the poolside deck.
I opted to stay for the weekend as I wanted to be punctual for the pictorials that I scheduled at Crimson the next day. 
Crimson's rooms are cozy, well appointed  and in colors that are relaxing to the senses.  The bed is firm, just right for back support.  The pillows are fluffy and the bed linens are soft to the skin.   I slept like a baby in this room.   Goodbye stress!

I loved lazy-ing around the pool-but only after sunset!  I did my meditation focusing on my breathing exercises and some mild yoga exercises here.

A pictorial could be long and tedious but the Crimson staff was so helpful, and Mr. Francis de Leon made sure that the pictorial would be made pleasurable.   The stylists, photographer, assistants and model did not get hungry. Neither were they short of “locations” in the hotel.  Kenner had to do a black tie shoot at my insistence.   The lounge with the grand piano was the perfect spot for this.

Say Cheese…. VP of SM Accessories Kenner Chua seems happy with his pictorial and Francis de Leon is happy about that.
Prince Charming, where is the ball?
A colorful area!  The painting, the 3 seater -sofa, the carpet, and Kenner Chua seemed to blend in!
This square oversized ottoman fascinates me.  Hmmm.. good for lounging with a partner... among other things

New pieces of art greet the guests on the ground floor entrance.
on both sides of the wall are these mural:

Fresh fruits and a platter of pastries greeted me when I entered my room on my 2nd evening of my stay.   Yummy!

The bed beckons!  The luxury of sleep!

Work and a lot of relaxation! That was my weekend at Crimson, Alabang.
Was it a love-filled weekend? Absolutely! There was nothing not to love at Crimson Alabang! … I loved their buffet( breakfast, lunch, dinner), the gym is well equipped with good trainers, my room was haven-ly, the service was above par.  What else could one ask for? 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tango Argentine Stars Set Manila on Fire!

Expect a lot of fireworks as 10 tango stars from Buenos Aires are set to regale the country’s burgeoning tango community in this year's  Manila leg of Tangoblitz 2013, the 5th ManilaTango Festival & Championship. 

The brainchild of Asia’s tango impresario, Ogie Mendoza, TangoBlitz is a blazing trail of magic and seduction around the region – Singapore, Manila, Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Brunei, Ho Chi Minh, Penang, Miri, and Koh Samui – for the last 8 years. He is responsible in bringing world-class tango to the doorsteps of these Asian hotspots.

Coming to Manila on May 13-19, 2013, these five couples have dominated the Asian Tango scene in the last 3 years with their excellent style of dancing and quality teaching. 

Top billed by award-winning Milena Plebs, director and choreographer of Milena Tango Company, also referred to as the Eternal Tango Diva. She has taken part in films and documentaries including Assassination Tango starring Robert Duvall. A versatile dancer and artist, she has been working extensively with partner David Alejandro Palo, a rising star in the world of Argentine tango, teaching, performing and travelling across Asia and Europe, in festivals, workshops and master classes. They will be joined by  3 tango couples Laila Rezk and Leandro Oliver whose dedication and pleasant disposition have endeared them to their countless students and followers all these years; masters of the stage  Analia Carreno and Luis Ramirez; and Noelia Colleti and Pablo Giorgini whose partnership dates back to when they were young lovers. Now married with twins, they have since metamorphosed into very fine and dedicated tango artists,. The last pair is considered the youngest partnership in the group, but Tamara Bisceglia & Federico Paleo have displayed immense prowess and ability, both in teaching and performing. They have managed to show what hard-work and dedication can do to survive in this highly competitive world of Argentine Tango.

Find out why Argentine tango is now the rage all over the world. The music alone is mesmerizing; the dance, passionate and enchanting. 

Don’t  miss the opportunity to watch these 5 couples as they showcase their innate talent and captivate the audience with their breathtaking performances during the Masters’ Gala Show on May 18 at the Makati Sports Club. Our local competitors  will have the distinct privilege of being adjudicated by these tango masters at the Competition Championship Night on May 17, at the same venue. Tango aficionados will be given the chance to improve their tango dancing knowledge, skills and discipline with daily workshops, and scheduled private lessons from May 13 -19, as well as have the very rare chance to hobnob and even dance with any of the masters during the nightly tango marathons in the best Milonga places in the metropolis.
Book your tickets to all these events now. For schedule and venue details on the different activities (workshops, competition, milonga-themed nights, and gala night) for the entire week of the Manila Tango Festival, please call Estudio Amapola at 8954576, 5199626 or 09164489868. You may also  email for more information; or visit for a sneak preview of these couples’ performances. Enjoy considerable discounts when you avail of  packages offered.

Leandro and Laila

Milena and David

Milena and David

Pablo and Noelia

Tamara and Federico

Analia and Luis