Fantastic Flurries at Lifestyle Asia’s Black Swan Gala
I am writing this blog post still reeling with delight from last night’s Black Swan Gala, where Lifestyle Asia celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. I have always loved the image of a black swan — elegant, graceful, mysterious. Now take that, along with my undying admiration for all things Natalie Portman, and I can tell you that my expectations for the party were “rather” high.
Fast forward to this morning, where I find myself humming Phantom of the Opera’s Think of Me while reminiscing about my favorite gowns of the evening, I am happy to share these photos from a most wonderful party. Once again, the folks at Lifestyle Asia have gone over and beyond expectations, always with great company, great food, and high-profile performances that left me gasping out loud at several points in the evening – I think I stopped counting at three. Hahaha! Enjoy!
Literally within a minute of stepping into the party, I was already toasting lychee martinis with Suki Salvador and Hazel Santos. This is gonna be a good night…
I shared a good, hearty laugh with Mia Florencio and Jun Escario about childhood nicknames. Que horror! Lol!
Stephanie Zubiri looks smashing in melon and turquoise. Here, she is escorted by the equally dashing Jonathan Crespi.
I was happy (and honored) to join Cristina and my dear friend Cristalle Henares for a little tete-a-tete about bangs. LOL!
Loving the emerald green on my fellow Atenean and Malabonian, Annette Abrogar, here with husband Lito.
Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez was all about classic Hollywood glamour, from her dramatic cape to her four dapper escorts.
Linda Ley surely gets my vote for Best Dressed Photographer. (Sorry, Wyg. Hahaha!)
Heidi Ng, Sheila and Mikee Romero, and Cristina make the perfect picture in black, white, and everything in between.
You can always count on brother and sister to hold impromptu fashion shoots anywhere, anytime.
Dramatic tabletop settings greeted guests as they entered the Rizal Ballroom, led by dancers from Ballet Philippines.
Meryll Yan takes a softer, sensual approach with this exquisite pale pink gown by Chris Diaz which I love because it was hard to tell where the dress ended and bare skin began. Ooh la la!
Along with the evening's scrumptious dinner menu, Lifestyle Asia also included commemorative cards which entitled guests to have a tree sapling planted in their name, as part of the magazine's environmental advocacy.
Oriental chilled foie gras, served on Jewelmer Mother of Pearl Plates.
Cornish crab harumaki, marinated hamachi carpaccio, garlic chips and ponzu sauce.
The very talented Stephanie Reese entertained us with broadway melodies, made more dramatic by a digital display that exploded with a flurry of birds each time she hit a high note.
Hats off to George Yang, who delighted us with songs like "O Sole Mio" and "Volare."
For added drama, I asked our waiter to hold off on revealing the next course until I snapped this picture… Wanna play a little game and take a guess?
If you said "Chili and sake marinated scallop with Chinese pulled noodle and Dashi," then you're right! Hahaha!
We had the pleasure of joining my good friend Elizabeth Lee and her lovely mother Helen, both of whom I had the opportunity to photograph for the magazine in 2009. Here, they enjoy a chat with Chairman Jerry Tiu of One Mega Group.
In front of the entire table, my mom, who was seated to my right, turned to remind me to eat my ginger and lychee sorbet before it melted. (Gee, thanks, Ma. Hahaha!)
Cheryl Tiu gets my vote (and my mom's too) for Best Dressed in this stunning number by my very good friend, Maureen Disini. Bravo!
I was all-smiles as I was reunited with my dear friend Giselle Tongi-Waters, whom I last saw when I photographed her along the streets of downtown Manhattan ten years ago.
Recognition was given by Lifestyle Asia to its top 25 corporate sponsors.
Braised veal cheek in mirin with Japanese mushroom, edammame beans and veal jus.
President Sari Yap announces the rebirth of One Mega Group, and its confident march into the arenas of TV and digital media.
I would have loved to spend more time at this table and catch up with my fun friends Melo Esguerra, Mia Florencio and Lesley Ann Tan.
In my book, Chris Tiu officially earns the title Renaissance Man, as he showcases, this time, his musical talent.
Migz Zubiri serenaded the crowd with pop favorites, as his mom Vicky and sister Stephanie led the crowd in holding up candles while swaying to the music. Adorable!
Passion fruit, marshmallow with roasted pineapple passion fruit curd and star anise ice cream
And for the final performance of the evening, the stage backdrop parted as Bea Tantoco stepped into the spotlight in all her shimmering splendor.
Tessa Prieto-Valdes got up from her seat and started dancing, and soon after, table after table, guests started getting into the groove as well. Good going, Tessa!
As our waiter approached our table, I honestly (and happily) thought that each of us was getting our own plate of little sweet bites (Oh, you mean it's for SHARING?!? Hahaha!).
The night is YOURS, Cheryl Tiu! Congratulations on a spectacular event!
I always insist on having a photo with my favorite collaborator and roommate, Suki Salvador. Cheers to you, Suki!
Ran into one of my favorite mother-daughter teams, Dette Tan and Audrey Zubiri. Looking great, guys!
Amina Aranaz-Alunan is breathtaking in red. We missed you, Rafa!
I was happy to join Michael Carandang, Tedrick Yau and Giselle Tongi-Waters in this "not-quite-Rockettes" photo. Hahaha!
Meticulous down to the last detail, Cristina shares a light moment with Andrew Verde as she adjusts his bow tie.
How about a quick family photo before hitting the road…
But not before my mom shares one last anecdote with Michelle Asence Fontelera and Ferdi Salvador. LOL!
More power to my dear friend and EIC, Anna Sobrepena, and the rest of my Lifestyle Asia family!
May you and the magazine continue to be showered with blessings and good fortune.
I joined the vivacious Vicky Zubiri for a final toast for a most enjoyable evening. Cheers!