All systems go for the Red Charity Gala!


Taking a breather from all the preparations of the upcoming Red Charity Gala, I attended the recent launch of the new furniture collection of world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue. Not so long ago, in a galaxy not far, far away, The Walt Disney Company Philippines and furniture brand KENNETHCOBONPUE joined forces to create a fun and inspiring furniture and home accessory collection inspired by the galactic stories of the beloved Star Wars universe.

The Disney-Cobonpue collaboration is the first-of-its-kind for Star Wars in Southeast Asia. As such, I figured that wearing Disney’s Snow White costume would be perfect to attend the launch. Either that or I was dressed too early for Halloween.

The eponymously named KENNETHCOBONPUE design team showed off three easy armchairs, a rocking stool and a hanging lamp, all inspired by iconic characters and elements from the legendary franchise.

Veronica Cabalinan, country head of The Walt Disney Company Philippines, told me that the collaboration is a celebration of the Filipino’s love for “Star Wars” and our globally loved designer, Kenneth. “This is a fun way for us to bring our stories closer to Filipino fans, allowing them to connect with Star Wars in a unique way, and to take their favorite stories and characters home,” she added.

Kenneth spoke of his creative process during the launch. “We wanted to incorporate the essence of each Star Wars character into the designs, while staying true to our aesthetic and process of creating them by hand. We reimagined the Star Wars universe through the lens of the Filipino craftsman and creative. Finding the balance was a bit of a challenge, but it was also a lot of fun.”

Check out the Disney-Cobonpue furniture pieces at the Kenneth Cobonpue Showroom, The Residences, San Lorenzo Tower Greenbelt along Arnaiz Avenue in Makati City. Each design piece retains the Cobonpue aesthetic of being handmade, nature-inspired and whimsical, and yet clearly contains the Star Wars vibe.

The next day, I wore a more serious outfit on CNN Philippines to speak about Red Charity Gala, together with fashion designer Rajo Laurel and RCG co-chair Kaye Tinga. We all were guests on “The Source,” anchored by Pinky Webb, who marvelously led us through all the bits and pieces of putting together this gala happening on October 27 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom.

CNN Philippine The Source host Pink Webb with Kaye Tinga , Sea Princess and Rajo Laurel

The Press Con for the Red Charity Gala held at the Champagne Room of the Manila Hotel, graciously hosted by Emil Yap of Manila Bulletin. Rajo is celebrating his 25th year in the fashion industry, and he shared his yearlong preparations designing all the pieces for the RCG. The collection is called “Archipelago, and pays homage to Philippine history and culture, through Rajo’s modern muse, the intelligent and quietly powerful Filipino woman.

This is now the tenth staging of the Red Charity Gala, and Kaye and I marvel at the decade we have spent raising funds for the Philippine National Red Cross and Assumption High School Batch 1981 Foundation. Kaye and I also thanked our sponsors who have supported us from the start as high fashion will again raise money for charity. The Assumption High School Batch 1981 Foundation will use its share in the proceeds to help its new beneficiary, MINT College.

Present at the affair were Edd Fuentes of Fuentes Manila, Abby Borbon and Vianca Tan of World Travellers, Anna Sobrepeña of Lifestyle Asia, Marion Branellec of Jewelmer, Mike Claudio of, and Eric Po of Bernhardt, to name a few. Special gifts from Lifestyle Asia, USANA, Uratex and were given away.

A week later, Kaye and I hosted an intimate affair for some of our table donors to introduce Ultherapy, a beauty procedure that helps restore a firmer jawline. According to Ultherapy ambassador Charo Santos-Concio, it helps her embrace her age, define for herself what it means to be beautiful, and stay confident and fresh throughout this new season of her life.

As one of the brands under leading global aesthetics company Merz Inc., Ultherapy carries the same signature quality of the rest of Merz’s products and services. Now in its 110th year, Merz continues to be at the forefront of developing cutting-edge technologies that make it easier and safer for people all over the world to embrace their own brand of beauty.

Dr. Issa Cellona explained the treatment and even had the machine to demonstrate the procedure. Some of the ladies wanted to check if the pain was tolerable so they could have a more radiant look.

Marivic Rufino of Makati Red Cross was also present to receive a generous donation from the owners of Pinks Hotdog. Richard and Gloria Pink gave their donation in support of Philippine Red Cross. Ana de Ocampo, owner of Pinks Hotdog Philippines and Wildflour Restaurant is also supporting our Red Charity Gala.

I’ve recently discovered gin bars, and one of my fave gins to try has been The Botanist. It’s hard not to be enraptured with the crisp and fresh taste of this luxurious gin of layered complexity. Inspired by, and hand-crafted using wild botanicals, the bartenders tell me that The Botanist is the first and only dry gin from the rich Isle of Islay in Scotland. The gin is made of 22 hand-foraged local botanicals, each adding an element of flavor that together creates a unique blend that is unlike any other.

The Botanist has launched a #BeTheBotanist campaign, an empowering call to action to drive a deeper, more intimate connection with nature. It’s part of a movement that encourages people to embrace once more a field-to-table relationship with the food and drinks they consume, rekindling people’s relationship with their surroundings. The campaign allows the brand to stay connected with its clients in the digital world, making sure a line of communication is always open.

More than a gin with character, The Botanist carries an authenticity derived from Islay, the remote Hebridean island it calls home, and the philosophies of those who distill them. With The Botanist, there is no compromise.


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