Lifestyle Asia black swan gala ball
IT WAS a truly an unforgettable night as Lifestyle Asia magazine, the purveyor of everything luxurious and the guide to an elegant standard of living, held its gala ball with a black swan theme at the ritzy Makati Shangri-La hotel. Editor in Chief Anna Sobrepeña, swathed in Jewelmer pearls, explained during the brief program that the black swan is a metaphor for a philosophical concept. It describes a rare event with far reaching effects long after it has transpired. This occasion was rare because the oldest and first glossy magazine in the Philippines was celebrating its 25th anniversary. I have been part of almost seven years out of that 25 and feels really proud to be part of such a dynamic glossy that it has become truly a part of my journalistic career.
While guests were sipping my fave champagne Moet and specially prepared Belvedere and Grand Marnier cocktails, Ballet Philippine dancers suddenly appeared and began to perform an excerpt from Swan Lake. They did a few movements before leading everyone into the ballroom through a dramatic opening of the doors. The Rizal ballroom was a sight to behold with Icarus lights suspended on one side of the fully draped hall while a tree installation stood on the opposite end. Both were creations of London- based Filipino artist Latorre Cruz.
Lifestyle Asia began planting trees for every page it prints and that night pledges were made in planting trees in Tagaytay Highlands. Also, The CVC Law Center and The SGV joined Lifestyle Asia in supporting Gifts and Graces, The Joy of Urban Farming and Operation Smile.
A five course Asian menu was deliberately created to highlight the “Asia” in Lifestyle Asia. Guests feasted on Oriental Chilled Foie Gras (served on Jewelmer mother of pearl plates, which guests could take home later that night); Cornish Crab Harumaki, Marinated Hamachi Carpaccio, Garlic Chips and Ponzu Sauce; Chili and Sake Marinated Scallop with Chinese Pulled Noodle and Dashi; Ginger and Lychee Sorbet; Braised Veal Cheek in Mirin with Japanese Mushroom, Edamame Beans and Veal Jus; and Passion Fruit, Marshmallow and Roasted Pineapple Passion Fruit Curd served with Star Anise Ice Cream. Each course was paired with Terrazas, Casa Lapostolle, Cloudy Bay and Cape Mentelle wines from Moet Hennessy. Makati Shangri-La outdid themselves with this exquisite 5 course meal that was prepared for discerning readers, advertisers, and partners of Lifestyle Asia.
The program consisted of Associate Publisher and Deputy Editor Cheryl Tiu, in a Black Swan-inspired gown by Maureen Disini, thanking Lifestyle Asia’s partners and took occasion to mention that Lifestyle Asia continued to be the market leader in the luxury magazine category for the fifth straight year, based on a study by Ipsos Media Atlas (formerly Synovate). Chairman Jerry Tiu looked happy and proud as he led in handing out the specially created Impy Pilapil glass artworks to 25 of the leading partners and supporters. President Sari Yap announced the new company name to One Mega Group, as part of the expansion to different platforms.
Entertainment was provided by Carnegie hall performer Stephanie Reese, whom shocked my tablemates Alex Tiu, John Tiu and Katrine Gotua Tiu with her powereful performance, that prompted them to ask where Stephanie is doing any live shows soon. Talented business leader George Yang gave a rousing performance that had us swooning on his operatic songs.
The surprise number by Senator Miguel Zubiri and Chris Tiu on the piano both Pilipinas Ecowarriors, who share Lifestyle Asia’s advocacy for the protection and care of the environment was a pleasant surprise! Tita Vicky Zubiri and sister Stephanie Zubiri were all smiles as they applauded Miguel and his piano partner, baller and celebrity endorser Chris Tiu. My favorite, Bea Tantoco, wrapped up night and got people up on their feet as she sang Journey’s and Rock of Ages’ theme song Don’t stop believing to the enthusiastic crowd.
It was a night of elegance, passion and luxury- an apt celebration of the Philippines’ oldest publication of the finest things in life.
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