Let the balls begin

by Philstar Global

Right smack center of the rainy season, the ball season is also upon us. But if you’re thinking of the stiff, upper-lipped, full-on powdered faces doing a rigid on, then think again. Things have changed quite a lot in this scene that after a whole night of event hopping, you realize that, indeed, “you had a ball!”

The folks at Lifestyle Asia, now in their 26th year, jumpstarted the season when they welcomed the Queen Mother of Bhutan, Her Majesty Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck  (try saying that five times) who was such a regal royal that everybody wanted to come over and meet her. And so they did. The whole town was abuzz and went all out just to show the Queen how we welcome our guests.

Perfect match, if you ask me. Bhutan is known for measuring the country’s output by its Gross National Happiness, something that sounds very… us. And so, the Lifestyle Asia Ball proceeded with the usual fanfare  glitzy lounges for Globe Platinum and Tattoo, flashy cars, champagne, the works. But knowing the people behind the glossy, namely editor in chief Anna Sobrepeña, publisher Cheryl Tiu, even senior editor Cristina Gomez and the rest of the LA team, it was definitely more than that. Yes, the luxe part they got down pat, but remember, in any ball (and this goes for all people who throw parties) one must never forget the fun part  that’s what makes it unforgettable.

And so I arrived straight from taping for my show right on time when everyone was dancing. A flash mob, it turned out! I was having late dinner with this month’s cover girl Tessa Prieto-Valdes and then I saw people jumping off their seats and hopping onto the dance floor! That was a YouTube worthy moment. I stayed polite and didn’t need up Instagramming every moment. I reserved the highlights of the event to come out in this space.

For the fourth straight year, Mega did it again! Each year, when the calendar hits the 12th of June, Mega magazine, that glossy fashion mag that truly makes Pinoys proud, turns things a few (actually, many) notches higher. The Mega Pinoy Pride Ball this year was one for the books, as it has been making history by paying tribute to global Pinoys who make the wheels of change turn faster for all of us so we may become version 2.0 versions of ourselves.

I’ve also had the honor of hosting all four years straight of this groundbreaking event. I was extra emotional this year, seeing how far this momentous milestone has gone, thanks to the visionary efforts of Mega founder, president, and CEO Sari Yap and her amazing team of creative thinkers and gung-ho doers. They went beyond the magazine, took to television, invaded cyberspace just to reach out to you, modest Filipino reader, televiewer, blog reader, fashion lover. New media, new ways of looking at things, a new Mega, catered for you.

The Mega Pride Ball started on a high note, literally. Regine Velasquez ascended onto the stage, singing Narito Ako. And then came a fashion parade of the best of the Mega YDC All Star finalists, each flaunting the best of Filipino design talent. Each suite displayed the best of Filipino talent, from Elmo Magalona and Kean Cipriano to Jed Madela  each one dishing out vocal calisthenics like no other, accompanied by a full orchestra.

In between all this, the global Filipinos were  awarded. A rousing chorale rendition of Paraiso ushered in the awardees, and one could see from the diversity of their achievements that, indeed, the Filipino has arrived. I was holding back my tears, it was deeply moving. But I didn’t want to host with Issa Litton and G. Tongi with super tears in my eyes. It was a happy, no, joyous occasion. Everybody in free-form Filipino attire, on Philippine Independence Day.

All balls are not created equal, this one was one for the books. Kudos to the OneMega Group!


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