MANILA, Philippines?Wow! It was like the country was there, palanggas, where tons and tons of the biggest retailers, were gathered for the awesome grand opening of Midtown, the latest big baby of the tres popular and successful Robinsons Place Manila.
The Grand Atrium was a mind-boggling sight with huge floral arrangements that complemented the incredible endless buffets, prepared by no less than six hot chefs from Paseo de Bahamas, Chef's Quarter, C2 Classic Cuisine, Banana Leaf Asian Café and KKK.
There were also calorific, yummy desserts by Sucree and fine French wines. The University of the Philippines Jazz Ensemble played fabulous mood music, dahlings.
Dynamic palangga of many, Manila City Mayor Alfredo Lim was the hotshot guest of honor, joined by good-looking Tourism Secretary Joseph "Ace" Durano, and Metro Manila Development Authority chair Bayani Fernando as the tres special invitees, palanggas.
Successful prime mover and shaker, JG vice chair and COO and Cebu Pacific Lance Y. Gokongwei, Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) president Frederick Go and Robinsons Malls general manager Nilo Mapa were absolutely delighted with the massive turnout of this happening.
Chit-chatting and nibbling on yummy, heavy finger foods were top-rated retailers Virgilio Lim of Bench, Cinderella's heirs Arthur Coronel and Richard "Richie" Santos, Guess top honcho Victor Siasat, and Prima Gold's John and Antonio Ortiga.
There were top restaurateurs Maria Teresa Rodriguez of Gumbo, and Nancy Cua of my personal favorite top Vietnamese resto Pho Hoa; Larry Cortez, John Ivan Inquimboy, and Carlo and Pat Mesina of Chef's Quarter.
Also seen were Store Specialists' hardworking gals Marica Silva of Nine West; Kenneth Cole's Kate Baliao; Jill Lao of Aerosoles; Ayessa Montñer of Beauty Bar; Rina Mariano of Springfield and Marlboro Classics and Karina Vera of Liz Claiborne, plus tons of other Robinsons tenants, palanggas.
Marlboro's M party
It was like a marathon last year with the Marlboro M party.
M resurrected again this time at the newest hotspot Ascend with another explosive mix of international DJ acts, impeccable hosting and heavy partying which is pure, signature M, palanggas.
The night owls on the fast-lane got a super treat as Marlboro, "the world's No. 1 cigarette brand," had international DJ sensations Chus and Ceballos during the latest installment of the series. All three levels of the ultra-hot Ascend glowed with Marlboro's signature red that night.
DJ Steven Lovina got everyone on a roll with house hits mixed with a sense of dramatic pacing. He surely knew how to get everyone on the dance floor, palanggas.
Then, hot, hot Spanish DJs Chus and Ceballos got everyone's adrenaline zooming up with their brand of heart-pumping music, a favorite of clubbers around the world.
Ascend pumped up the volume with fab Iberican sound, that got even the most reluctant wallflowers to their feet. And dance with each other they did-which is so in these days, 'di bala?
Well, we were among the lucky ones to be there, and moi can say that it was the height of partying, Marlboro-style, palanggas.
Musikverein in the heart of Makati
Leave it to the chic Mandarin Oriental, Makati, to come up with their traditional super Vienna concert called "Weiner Musikverein," dahlings.
At the helm of this event was none other than one of Cosmo Manille's well-respected Royal of GMs, Helmut Gaisberger, who transformed his hotel's ballroom into old Vienna.
Well, palanggas, months of meticulous preparation paid off as the chi-chi audience was agog over the ballroom's décor-from the gold-painted figures to the intricate ceiling frescoes enhanced even more by clusters of red and white roses in full bloom.
"We transformed the ballroom like a little bit of Vienna in the heart of Makati. The concert featured a well-chosen program, and the orchestra was in superb form," says one culture enthusiast in the audience who also commended the Austrian guest conductor, Ernest Hoetzl, for injecting entertainment into the delightful repertoire.
He changed into a Bedouin costume under the guise of a guest Arabian conductor for "The Egyptian March"; introduced an "Austrian hunter" for the "Hunting Polka"; and with Gaisberger, planned a parade of UN flags for the "UNO March."
Hoetzl and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra gave an awesome performance.
Concert pianist Rudolf Golez, likewise, gave a sparkling rendition of Frederic Chopin's Andante Spianato and Gramde Polonaise, Op. 22 and Mozart's Concert Rondo in D Major K382. By the time Radetzky March was played during the finale, the ballroom was filled with a resounding applause.
Co-presented by the Johann Strauss Society of the Philippines, the event was supported by Boesendorfer and ROS Music Center, BMW, Qatar Airways, Rustan's Waagner-Biro, Globe and media partner Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Members of the diplomatic corps headed by Austrian Ambassador Herbert Jaeger were among those present. Lovers of classical music truly enjoyed Musikverein, hoping to be overwhelmed again next year by what Gaisbergerger describes as an annual tradition at Mandarin Oriental Manila.