Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tess Schofer's Heartwarming Birthday Celebration!

There is something about maturing in years that changes one's perspective of a birthday celebration.  Time was when a birthday celebration had to be something grandiose with all the guests dressed to the nines, or a trip to some exotic place with your besties to provide the fun element.  But as we mellow through the years, we tend to be more thoughtful of the marginalized and share with them our blessings. 

Hong Kong-based Tess Schoefer decided to fly to Manila the day before our Saturday feeding and join our "Angels to Street Kids" network (Ask for short).  She chose to spend her birthday feeding 200 kids in a poor barangay at Taguig, where Michelle de Leon, our organizer brought us that day.  Our new recruit, Ariel Arce, delighted the kids with his treat of Arce ice cream. 
Having been pre-empted that it was Tess' birthday, Michelle made sure that the kids  welcomed her with the "happy birthday song".  One child brought her a single rose which brought the birthday celebrant to tears.  

ASK members in Sto. Nino Catholic School,
Taguig for Tess Schofer's  birthday feeding.
Tess Schoefer takes delight in carrying a child.
ice cream treat! thanks to Arce Dairy!
Suzette Lopez, Michelle de Leon, Rachel de Guzman,
celebrant Tess Schoefer, Linda Ley and Mayenne Carmona

Ariel Arce at work!

The day just started for Tess.  Later in the evening, the ASK network  planned a Halloween party as a way of thanking her for her generosity and to celebrate jointly with her, the birthdays of our host and ASK member, dress designer Ito Curata, and man for all seasons, businessman Cris Badiola.  It was a creative and fun Halloween party as the ladies planned a beauty pageant kind of costume party where they came representing different countries.  It was the brainchild of Linda Ley who even ordered sashes of the countries the ladies represented.  One thing about the Angel ladies, they certainly know how to have fun!  Talking about authenticity,  Geisha  lady Rachel de Guzman came with the total look- Japanese kimono, the hairdo and the white Kabuki makeup! 

the beauty pageant contestants:
Miss New York, Tina Jacinto, Miss Saudi Arabia,
Hera Geriene, Miss Thailand, Cecil Infantado,
Miss Spain, Mayenne Carmona, Miss Venezuela,
Tess Schoefer, Miss China, Linda Ley, Miss Russia,
Suzette Lopez and Miss Japan, Rachel de Guzman.
Taj Curata was our mascot.
Tina Jacinto, our host and birthday celebrant Ito Curata,
and Linda Ley 
birthday celebrant Tess Schoefer
was our songbird for the evening 

Cris Badiola, Tess Schoefer, Marcio Silva Camargos, 
Bob Miller, Francis de Leon
seated- Anthony Wahl, Tina Jacinto, Rupert Jacinto
Hugh Napier, Richard Tiu and fashion jeweler creator, Ann Ong
Miss Thailand Cecil Infantado with Anthony Wahl
Russian Czar and Czarina,
Manny and Suzette Lopez
geisha Rachel de Guzman and Jason Ong
Handsome dinner host Architect Conrad Onglao
& birthday celebrant Tess Schoefer

Leo Valdez and Me
Ryan Jago strikes a pose in the dinning room w/ its fabulous view.

On the evening of Tess arrival, I whisked her to a small intimate dinner party in her honor that our good friend Architect Conrad Onglao graciously hosted in his new, fabulous house.   It was an evening of nostalgic reminiscing of their schooldays in UST, College of Architecture where the two of them were schoolmates.  The King and I star Leo Valdez kept us in stitches with his jokes and anecdotes and entertained us with a few songs, while my bestie Ryan Jago took souvenir photos in my new Sony camera! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

#MovenpickMactan # CasaAmparito #IbizaBeachClub #Samba #FurnitureShowrooms

I can only think of superlatives to describe our recent trip to Cebu.

Eva Gullas, Publisher of Zee Lifestyle Magazine organized two fun-filled days, complete with visits to furniture showrooms, a restaurant opening, a luncheon in a plush residence, a dinner at Ibiza Beach Club and more!  

For starters, the ever gracious and hospitable Manny Osmena, owner of Movenpick Resort and Spa in Mactan and Manny O wines, gave our group very reasonable rates at his hotel.   We enjoyed Movenpick's ocean -view -two -bedroom suites and de luxe rooms which are very well appointed and tastefully furnished. 

the view from our two bedroom suites;
the building on the right is the
Movenpick Residences which are for sale. 
Our motley group consisted of Jojo Zabarte, Cris Badiola, Linda Ley, David Lim, Jemellie Gonzalez , Richard Tiu and myself.  Eva's van was already waiting for us when we arrived at Movenpick.  

the pristine airy lobby of Movenpick
is such a welcome feast to the eyes.
Our itinerary for the afternoon included a stop at Carlo Cordaro's furniture showroom, Fil-Veneer,  then off to the opening launch of Casa Amparito, which is a restaurant owned by one of Cebu's popular & well loved doyennes, Amparito Lhuillier.  Carlo's furniture pieces are well designed and  made of quality materials and it is for  that reason that he has had a lot of success in the business.  We enjoyed touring his factory and being shown his new pieces.  

this chair caught our attention at Carlo's showroom
Myself, Jemellie, Carlo Cordaro, Linda and Jojo Zabarte
Casa Amparito's launch was a gathering of Cebu's A-Listers.  Amparito welcomed us with open arms and we feasted on her sumptuous buffet.  She is the epitome of the perfect hostess and her launch had all the ingredients of a successful event.  It was also her birthday that day. 

Zee Lifestyle publisher Eva Gullas, Mayenne, the hostess with the mostest,
Amparito Lhuillier, Jojo Zabarte, Jemellie Gonzalez,
Doro Barandino, Linda Ley and Philip Rodriguez
Cris Badiola, Jemellie Gonzalez,
Agnes Huettel, myself and Linda Ley
Eva took us for a drink after Casa Amparito at La Maison Rose, a charming French restaurant owned also by the Lhuilliers.  

La Maison Rose has Vietnamese lanterns,
antique pieces of  furniture, and warm hues.
David Lim, Jojo Zabarte and Cris Badiola
enjoyed the charming ambiance
Her friend Jackie Lotzof joined us and at close to midnight, instead of retreating to our hotel, we accepted Jackie's invite to view Cebu's skyline on her hill top residence.

the view of Cebu's skyline from Jackie Lotzof's residence
the group at Jackie's hilltop residence
On our second day,  we excused ourselves from a city tour of three churches that Eva has planned for us. We relaxed and enjoyed our hotel's delicious brunch, lounged by the pool side, took photos around the hotel until it was time to go to the city to visit Kenneth Cobonpue's showroom.  

white sand and blue waters, so inviting!
Some of us took a plunge!
I must say, Cobonpue is a design genius!  His pieces are just so unique and utilize our homegrown native materials, which is good for the industry.  

dapper Cris Badiola strikes a pose by his favorite bar 
Linda Ley's favorite feather chair
flowers in bloom
We had to rush to the lunch Eva's friend Pamela Manuel and her partner Gerry Montanus hosted in their posh Architectural Digest feature-worthy home.  

Jemellie and David enjoying the palatial
home of Pam and Gerry Montanus
the infinity pool was breathtaking
How is the weather up there?
Jojo asks our host Gerry Montanus
who is 6'7 tall
It was a gourmet lunch prepared by Anzani restaurant chef and owner Marco Anzani .  The highlight of the lunch, aside from being toured around the palatial home, was the saxophonist named Ed.  

Ed, the saxophonist was goofing around
with us- Jemellie, Pam, myself and Linda.
He played the sax, he sang dance tunes- he was a one man band!!! Our twinkle toes couldn't resist dancing to his music. Linda Ley, the hip hop diva, taught us some cool dance moves to the delight of Pam. 

We rushed back to the hotel for our early dinner with Manny O at his party place, the famed Ibiza Beach Club at Movenpick.  We wanted to catch the show of Brazilian Mardi Gras clad dancers strutting their wares and their delightful samba moves!!! Manny O treated us to his award-winning wines and bubbly and a gourmet Churrasco dinner.   He left us to savor the rest of the dinner as he had to rush to the airport to catch his flight to Manila where he was the guest speaker at a MicroSoft event.

Mayenne, Linda and Richard Tiu were
early birds for our dinner with Manny O.
with our host Manny O, who treated us
with a Churrasco dinner  at his party place,
the Ibiza Beach Club complete with wine pairings 
the handsome F&B Director Daniel Trumpfkeller
Manny O showed us hi collection of wines
and chose some for our dinner.
We stayed on longer to chill to the music of the imported Spanish DJ and dance off the calories we consumed at dinner.

Inside the enclosed dining room of the
Ibiza beach Club, we stayed on for  more
music and drinks.
Thank you Eva for organizing our stay in Cebu.  It was action-packed and we loved every moment of it.