Secours Populaire Francais Thanksgiving Dinner

 

 

french dinner

 

Last December 13th, I hosted a dinner for the dignitaries of Secours Populaire Français. I didn’t host like an emcee, I played “hostess” — like I organised the dinner party. Danny Rayos del Sol (the real host), president of  Mirasol Outreach Foundation Inc. (Mofi) had asked me to put together a thanksgiving dinner celebration fit for a First Lady and a top figure in the French political scene. It was the Holiday season. I was doing the APEC Chair auction. Traffic was insane. Most restaurants were already booked. And then I remembered the most perfect place to have this special dinner would be at the Maria Luisa’s Garden Room at the Makati Garden Club. I called the restaurant’s Ms Susan Fernandez and right away she prepared a wonderful plan for this very special dinner.

You’ve seen in my 2015 retrospective, that Sophia’s trip to France was rather unforgettable. She participated in Secours Populaire Français’ summer camp for French and foreign children in Gerardmer, France. Sophia and three other children were chosen by Mirasol Outreach Foundation to represent the Philippines. You may read about it here.

In December, the leaders of Secours Populaire Français came to the the Philippines to inaugurate the newly rebuilt school they had generously funded in Busuanga, Palawan after Typhoon Haiyan damaged it. Sophia and I could not attend the Palawan events due to her school midterms and my UNICEF obligations. So I focused on putting this fabulous dinner together for our French guests and local foundation partners.

Here’s the story, in pictures.

 

PC130025
From Busuanga, the team flew back to Manila. We met at the Peninsula Manila. From L-R, Mofi’s Danny Rayos del Sol and Amy Loste, SPF president Julien Laupretre, DepEd secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, Valerie Trierweiler, Riza Muyot, SPF national secretary Ismail Hassouneh, me, and Chari Trinidad.

 

PC130011
23445815500_57ed020583_o
I had invited Inquirer Lifestyle to meet and have an interview with France’s former First Lady Valerie Trierweiler.

 

PC130036
My girl at 12, talking about her experience as a delegate to Copain du Monde. She wore a Just G lace top, Uniqlo skirt and she borrowed my Joyce Oreña necklace. She also added a tiny bejewelled headband. (She styled herself.)

 

In Busuanga, Palawan, the SPF dignitaries and Mofi representatives witnessed the inauguration of two newly constructed buildings for the Concepcion National High School (CNHS) and a 200-sqm Busuanga Multi Purpose Hall. Because of the new facilities — eight classrooms, a 120-square-meter fully equipped library, and fully functioning toilets and water supply – enrolment has tripled in the last year.

 

3
In Palawan, SPF president Julien Laupretre, SPF Moselle president Marie Francoise Thull, SPF national secretary Ismail Hassouneh, Valerie Trierweiler, and SPF Fed du Lyon president Sebastian Thollot.

 

5
Julien Laupretre and Mofi’s Danny Rayos del Sol with former Senator Ping Lacson, who was heading the government’s efforts for rehabilitation of Haiyan/Yolanda affected areas.

 

8
Julien Laupretre handing out goods to the members of the Busuanga Weavers Cooperative Association.

 

4
Students of Conception National High School.

 

So, you see, we really had a lot to be thankful for. SPF is a French non-profit organization set up in 1945. Its aim is to fight against poverty and exclusion in France and throughout the world. It brings together people of all views, circumstances and origins who wish to live in solidarity. SPF has been responding to emergencies around the world. When Sophia was at Copain du Monde in Gerardmer, she was in camp with children from Nepal, Haiti, Japan, Israel and France. SPF’s contribution to the Philippines came immediately after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged much of our country.

And it was appropriate to end 2015 with this beautiful celebration at Makati Garden Club to honour our French donors and partners.

 

Secours Populaire Francais Makati Garden Club
PC130066
The garden was beautiful that evening.

 

PC130057
When I entered Maria Luisa’s Garden Room, my heart skipped a beat.

 

PC130041
The set up was just so lovely.

 

PC130048
Three out of the four moms of Mofi — Mafe Jayme, Amy Loste and me. Who knew arranging the seating arrangements would be so complicated.

 

PC130084
Our sommelier for the evening, Edouard Vauthier provided the perfect pairing of wines from AWC.

 

23628081532_528a12c52a_o
PC130055
Secours Populaire Francais Makati Garden Club
Secours Populaire Francais Makati Garden Club
PC130056
Secours Populaire Francais Makati Garden Club

 

PC130124
Patrick with SPF’s Julien, Ismail, Marie Françoise and Sebastien.

 

Secours Populaire Francais Makati Garden Club
And in our table, with Valerie Trierweiler

 

PC130189
I did the rounds…

 

Secours Populaire Francais Makati Garden Club
And checked on the kids’ table.

 

PC130149
Danny with Copain du Monde kids. There were speeches, songs, and presentation of gifts.

 

Secours Populaire Francais Makati Garden Club
Our girls sang a few pop songs, a cappella.

 

Secours Populaire Francais Makati Garden Club
PC130192
Our dear Marie Francoise. She’s the president of SPF Moselle, the region where our kids went to camp. We spent a day with her in Paris.

 

Secours Populaire Francais Makati Garden Club
Our boys from the Copain du Monde Philippine delegation Nico Yambao and Joaquin Jayme.

 

PC130230PC130231
Valerie is so sweet to Sophia.

 

P8221344
Flashback to August of 2015, Valerie randomly picked Sophia and danced with her to the tune of Rihanna’s Diamonds but in French. After the dance, she took off her necklace and placed it around Sophia’s neck.

 

Secours Populaire Francais Makati Garden Club
Our heartfelt gratitude to Maria Luisa’s Sandra Fernandez and sommelier Edouard. And to SPF, we are very grateful for the immediate assistance and generous contribution given to the communities in Busuanga. Maraming salamat.

 

PC140238
With the real hostess-with-the-mostess Sandra Fernandez.

 

 

 

 

Peninsula SnowPages

 

 

The Peninsula Manila SnowPage sports a vibrantly colorful indigenous tribal pattern in red, blue and yellow and the sun motif adapted from the iconic “Sunburst” sculpture in The Lobby

 

Every year, The Peninsula Hotels does a fundraising campaign at Christmas time. They’ve already raised USD 1.5 million since 2003. This year, the holiday fundraiser is done in partnership with luxury toy-art collective, Papinee. The Peninsula’s iconic holiday mascot SnowPage gets a makeover by Papinee. There are 10 different limited edition SnowPages, each inspired by the culture and and traditions of each of The Peninsula Hotel worldwide.

There are only 300 SnowPages in each Peninsula Hotel. The price of the limited edition SnowPage is P4,000.

 

Papinee SnowPage toy in the making2
Hand-made with luxurious fabrics and detailed embroidery, the limited-edition SnowPage also include the chance to win the experience of a lifetime with surprise seasonal gifts. Hidden inside a large number of the boxes are “Golden Tickets” for bespoke Peninsula adventures specially designed to create lasting memories for all the family.

 

Lucky guests have the chance to win the grand prize of a two-night stay for four in a Premier Suite, a fun dinner for four at Spices, daily breakfast plus exciting Peninsula Academy family experiences including learning how to prepare a halo-halo (traditional Filipino iced dessert). Other prizes feature delectable dinners for four, or the celebrated Peninsula Afternoon Tea sets.

 

Papinee SnowPage toy in the making4
The Creative Director & Founder of PAPINEE, Mr Dev Suj, was in Manila yesterday and introduced us to his brand. PAPINEE installations and art directives have also led to monumental creative projects during Art Basel, with the Financial Times, at amFAR during the Cannes Film Festival, with Louis Vuitton, at Monocle, at the Sultan Gallery Kuwait, at Shanghai Fashion Week, with ICC Elements, Xintiandi and many more.

 

Papinee SnowPage toy in the making
The Peninsula Manila SnowPage sports a vibrantly colorful indigenous tribal pattern in red, blue and yellow and the sun motif adapted from the iconic “Sunburst” sculpture in The Lobby.

 

Papinee has specially designed 10 limited edition SnowPages, each inspired by the culture and traditions of each of the The Peninsula Hotel worldwide
PAPINEE has specially designed 10 limited edition SnowPages, each inspired by the culture and traditions of each of The Peninsula Hotel properties worldwide.  There are just 300 SnowPages created for each city. A percentage of proceeds from each SnowPage will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation®.

 

Limited edition SnowPage plush toy by Papinee, P4,000 nett
Selected gift boxes contain “Golden Tickets” and the chance to win glamorous prizes for the family to enjoy.

 

 

MAC Cosmetics in Boracay

 

 

Leave it to MAC Cosmetics Philippines to present the Spring-Summer 2015 beauty trend report in the island paradise of Boracay. Every season and new collection in the past has so far been launched in very interesting and glamorous events. This one sets a new standard for seasonal launches. MAC Philippines flew the country’s top editors and a few bloggers to attend the presentation by Director of Artistry Romero Jennings. We all stayed at the luxurious Shangri-la Boracay for a couple of nights.

Here are some highlights.

 

Can't think of a better place to see the MAC Cosmetics SS2015 Trend Presentation. We're in paradise! #MACSS15boracay  #MACtrends #DaphneandNBS
Upon arrival we were treated to some island essentials – the Face Protect Lotion SPF 50 and Mineralized Charged Water. I had my DAPHNE & NBS margarita pouch. And my favourite pair of sunnies – Thierry Lasry limited edition.

 

P1010088
The Shangri-la welcome. Yes to tropical fruits anytime.

 

20150127_124728
Flying in, I wore my DAPHNE x Seek the Uniq wrap skirt.

 

20150127_122755
My spacious room.

 

20150127_142924
We were treated to a facial at Chi The Spa at Shangri-la Boracay.

 

P1010109
With my best bud Ingrid Go, and Manila Bulletin’s Arnel Patawaran and Town & Country’s Nicole Limos.

 

20150127_141800
We each had our own spa cottage.

 

P1010121
Orchids everywhere.

 

20150127_103448
I swear, my future cottage will have a lovely courtyard like this.

 

P1010146
MAC hosted a beautiful welcome dinner by the beach garden.

 

P1010186
Our table.

 

P1010176
Lovely personal touches. Our water glasses were engraved with our own monograms.

 

P1010154
So much loveliness.

 

20150127_183539
With my BFF since birth Mel Lerma.

 

P1010170
The cocktails were specifically designed inspired by lipsticks – Heroine, Ruby Woo, Morange, Candy Yum Yum and Sin.

 

P1010166
What the cocktails looked like.

 

P1010183
With MAC Director of Artistry Romero Jennings who flew in from New York and Country Manager of Estee Lauder Group Mel Lerma.

 

P1010187
The smores bar was a big hit.

 

P1010142
I finally got to wear my black silk dress that I bought from Magali Pascal in Bali. I love that shop.

 

P1010143
Shangri-la Boracay at dusk.

 

20150127_155127
MAC sent makeup artist Gee Vee to my room to prep me for dinner. Such luxury!

 

P1010348
Monogrammed linen napkins at our farewell dinner.

 

P1010345
Ingrid and I at the farewell dinner

 

P1010361
Perfect place to wear caftans.

 

P1010303
I wore mine during the day. My favourite caftan, from Mist in Bali.

 

20150129_102949
My DAPHNE & NBS hummingbird tote bag came in handy.

 

20150128_120851
Off to the beach to catch the sunset. Wore Melissa sandals.

 

20150128_174748
We did the sunset thing…

 

P1010331
Until it turned like this.

 

MAC Cosmetics Spring-Summer 2015 trends as interpreted by Romero Jennings, here.

 

 

HIV… It’s not over

 

 

Poster_Cast

 

A couple of days ago, December 1 was World AIDS Day. MAC Cosmetics showed a documentary entitled It’s Not Over by Andrew Jenks at a theatre in Makati. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend because I was hosting a very important event — the national launch of APEC in the Philippines. (Major!)

I couldn’t let the message of this film go by unnoticed though. It is a documentary that shows the reality of HIV-AIDS during this time. Most people associate AIDS as an 80’s issue that has already been resolved. But studies show that despite all the awareness, infections still continue. Young people account for over 30 percent of all new infections and, in certain areas and groups, infections are actually on the rise. This film was funded by the MAC AIDS Fund which has relied on 100% of sales from all Viva Glam lipsticks and has raised more than $340 million to date.

 

image006

 

I really think this is something we should be talking about in the Philippines. We are among the 9 countries that has increasing HIV/AIDS cases. It is quite alarming to see the stats that there has been a 50% growth annually in HIV/AIDS cases in our country.

It’s Not Over is a film that could start this discussion, especially among the younger people. Starting December 1, 2014, Netflix, the world’s largest global streaming platform, will be hosting the film for viewers worldwide, and SnagFilms, a leader in high-quality free film content, is making it available through its applications on Roku®, Xbox™, Sony® and more.

I hope people who watch the film will realize that a lot of work still needs to be done and that they will be inspired to look further into the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS around the world.

 

image005

 

Paige Diner shot 2
Paige is a college freshman who has been living with HIV her entire life. After years of battling stigma, she has come full circle, becoming a young advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and using her experience to challenge assumptions and prejudice. Andrew first meets Paige at a dance marathon at her college in Indiana before taking off with Paige and her two roommates for an impromptu road-trip.

 

South Africa 3 - Lucky
A teacher and mentor, Lucky is working to keep young South Africans out of the type of trouble that he ran into at an early age. Lucky acts as a tour guide around Khayelitsha, the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa with some of the highest rates of HIV in the country. As Andrew follows him to work and around his hometown, Lucky emanates an exuberance and zeal for life that is an inspiring celebration of the efforts of a single, committed individual.

 

8W4A0011
An Indian playwright, Sarang (not in photo) is openly gay in a country where homosexuality is outlawed. Come along for the ride as Sarang’s new play, addressing gay marriage, makes its way from rehearsal to public debut. While in India, Andrew also meets Sarang’s boyfriend, witnesses the personal stories of HIV+ orphans, and experiences the staggering poverty of the infamous Falkland Road.

 

UNAIDS welcomes the film and calls upon young people around the world to mobilize around its vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Globally, an estimated 5 million adolescents and young people (ages 10-24) were living with HIV in 2013. Millions of young people living with HIV do not know they have the virus. Every day approximately 1,800 adolescents and young people become infected with HIV, accounting for nearly 31 percent of all new HIV infections.

“Young people will lead us to an AIDS-free generation. By ensuring adolescents and young people are aware of and have access to HIV services, we are not only saving lives, but also investing in a healthier future for generations to come,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “We are proud of the strong partnership we have with the M?A?C AIDS Fund to advance global efforts toward ending the AIDS epidemic.”

The subjects in the film are active with MAC AIDS Fund grantees including Humsafar, Grassroot Soccer and Camp Kindle. These partners have received grants to help fight HIV/AIDS through the MAC AIDS Fund, which raises funds exclusively through the sale of MAC’s VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass. MAC donates 100 percent of the sale price to fight the AIDS epidemic and has raised more than $340 million to date.

 

For more information on the film, including cast biographies, grantee overviews, exclusive clips and ways to get involved, please visit www.itsnotoverfilm.com.

 

Jewelmer Gala

 

 

JEWELMER1

 

It has become somewhat of a tradition that this time of the year, Jewelmer hosts a wonderful gala befitting the celebration of the Philippines’ National Gem. Back in 2012, I had the honour of being the host of the Jewelmer Gala. It was so glamorous and luxurious — Patrick Rosas did my hair and makeup and Randy Ortiz made my dress.

This year is Jewelmer’s 35th anniversary. It topped previous events with not just a runway fashion show, but an entire production involving theatre actors, dancers and a story of mankind’s despair over the death and destruction of planet earth, his realization that he can act upon it, and finally, his triumph in restoring balance to the environment. Performers include Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and award-winning actress Angel Aquino accompanied by original arrangements performed by the Manila Philarmonic. Top Filipino models, dressed in couture designed by Rhett Eala went on stage with Jewelmer Joaillerie’s Spring-Summer 2015 Collection.

Also launched was Jewelmer Joaillerie’s 35th Anniversary special pendant, symbolising the miracle of the golden pearl. It is composed of a 13mm golden South Sea pearl surrounded by an 18-karat yellow gold wave with 0.105-carat sparkling diamond “bubbles”. This piece depicts how the pearl is born from the sea even as it protects this miraculous treasure in its depths. It takes about five years and at least 323 individual steps to produce a single pearl. Each piece of this special edition pendant is numbered, handcrafted by Jewelmer’s expert artisans.

 

Jewelmer Senior Vice President and Creative Director Gaelle Branellec, Jewelmer Deputy CEO Jacques Christophe Branellec and
Jewelmer Senior Vice President and Creative Director Gaelle Branellec and Jewelmer Deputy CEO Jacques Christophe Branellec

 

Liza Ilarde
Liza Ilarde of Manila Bulletin’s Style Weekend

 

Jewelmer Marketing Manager Isabel T. San Agustin and Daphe Osena-Paez
With Jewelmer Marketing Manager Isabel T. San Agustin

 

20140923_202201
One of those rare moments, together at an event.

 

20140923_193543
The gala took place at my favourite Manila building, the Philippine International Convention Centre (PICC). I took advantage of the beautiful space and snapped a lot of photos. Here’s my shameless OOTD. I wore a dress off-the-rack from Religioso, made of cotton jersey (bodice) and cotton (skirt). My shoes are from Melissa, yes they are PVC. Bag from Aranaz. And I wore my own pair of studs and strand of white south sea pearls from Jewelmer, of course.

 

20140923_205206
Jewelmer was founded in 1979 by Filipino entrepreneur Manuel Cojuangco and French pearl farmer Jacques Branellec in their pearl farm in Palawan, Southern Philippines—one of the few places in the world capable of sustaining the Pinctada maxima oyster that brings forth the rarest of all pearl varieties, the golden South Sea pearl.

 

Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Ballet Manila (vince Arcilla by Alfred Mendoza Photography)
Prima Ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Ballet Manila. Photo by Vince Arcilla by Alfred Mendoza Photography.

 

DSC_8667-1
Angel Aquino played the role of Mother Earth.

 

Earth Segment with the Dancers by AM Photography
The Earth segment. Photo by Alfred Mendoza Photography

 

Earth Segment by Rhett Eala ( Vince Arcilla by Alfred Mendoza Photography)
Rhett Eala creations and the Jewelmer Joaillerie’s Earth collection. Photo by Vince Arcilla by Alfred Mendoza Photography.

 

JEWELMER WATER2
Water.  01 Baroque pearls, gems with unusual and dramatic silhouettes, are unexpected free expressions of nature, giving rise to unorthodox jewels that have long fired the imaginations of artists. This free-flowing TOCCATA necklace with 9 golden south sea pearls in 18-karat yellow gold lives up to its name, like a virtuoso piece of swift, lighthearted music. 02. From the  BOLLICINE Collection: A ring composed of one golden South Sea pearls set with diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold. 03 Also from BOLLICINE, a bracelet composed of five golden South Sea pearls set with diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold.

 

JEWELMER EARTH2
Earth.  01 By far one of the most beautiful pieces of jewellery I’ve seen. This TROPICS necklace is composed of one single baroque South Sea pearl set with diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold reflecting the earth’s bounty and many shapes, colours and textures of the natural world. 02 Scintillating petals unfurl in pavé diamonds, blossoming with the pearl at its heart. Each sparkling flower in the DOLCE ROSA collection is an unforgettable treasure, a sumptuous feast of nature and romance. Dangling earrings composed of two golden South Sea pearls set with 0.368 carat diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold.  03 From the TROPICS Collection: Earrings composed of two golden South Sea pearls set with diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold.

 

JEWELMER AIR2
Air.  01 From the LINEA DE ORO Collection, solid, straight lines are drawn in precious gold and set with sparkling stones to make a sophisticated setting against which the sensuous curves of a pearl stand out in stunning detail. A bracelet composed of five golden South Sea pearls set diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold.  02 From the Zen collection, a cuff composed of golden South Sea pearls and diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold.  03 From the Zen collection, amidst symmetrical ripples, a perfect duality of textures, and evenly spaced circles of light, a golden pearl floats in tranquility – a masterwork of breathtaking simplicity. A necklace composed of three golden South Sea pearls set with 20.66 carat diamonds in 18-Karat yellow gold