Before we say goodbye to October, allow me to recap this exciting, thrilling and very fashionable month with all the incredible events that have filled our social calendars. October hosted an incredible number of fashion and benefit shows that showcased the talent of outstanding Filipino designers.

FASHIONCANSERVE kicked it all off on October 8 at Raffles Makati. The annual fundraising event focused on the strength of women fighting breast cancer and was produced by ICANSERVE Foundation.

Now on its third year, the benefit showcases the creations of Filipino fashion designers, and raises awareness on the foundation’s advocacy. This year’s show put focus on women’s source of strength and inspiration – on their personal causes and their loved ones who compel them to keep on fighting.

Libet Virata, breast cancer advocate and survivor, and chairwoman of the ICANSERVE foundation, was delighted with the outpouring support of everyone that evening. Partnering with Jewelmer for the first time, the fashion show highlighted women adorned with the South Sea pearl as they paraded the creations of designers Ito Curata, Mia Arcenas, Rosenthal Tee, Vania Romoff, JC Buendia, and Cary Santiago.

Among the muses who graced the runway were former Miss Universe Margie Moran-Floirendo who walked with her grandchild, former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz, who lost her sister Rio to colon cancer, and the face of this year’s FASHIONCANSERVE, Maureen Wroblewitz who also walked in honor of her mother who battled cancer.

Jewelmer EVP and deputy CEO Jacques Christophe Branellec was present to simultaneously launch the “Why We Fight” bracelet, with the Philippine national gem, the South Sea pearl, at the heart of the creation. A golden South Sea pearl strand was auctioned off at the fashion show, with the proceeds earmarked to support ICANSERVE Foundation’s nationwide programs and initiatives.

The “Why We Fight” video showed influential women from different industries supporting the cause. Fashion designer Mia Arcenas-Branellec, principal ballerina Candice Adea, environmental advocate Anna Oposa, and jewelry designer Wynn Wynn Ong voiced out their individual advocacies.

Newlyweds Jacques and Mia Branellec have been equally busy as they both support several benefit shows, including the Red Charity Gala. Mia has been working on multiple fashion shows and even asked little ol’ me to be a Supermodel for a night! For her Manila Fashion Festival S/S 2018 Collection, Mia showcased her flowing, romantic and sexy silhouettes.

The weekend of the Red Charity Gala was action-packed, with the celebrations of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines’ 30th anniversary at the Peninsula Manila and the annual Assumption College homecoming known as Velada.

The PMAP Ball, “PMAP and friends,” was a grand reunion of colleagues and family over three decades. Held at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Manila, the ball was a rare opportunity for models of the past to mingle with the millennials on today’s runways. Belvedere provided an open bar to moisten all the lips all night.

In true PMAP tradition, the ball also raised funds for WWF-Philippines. This will be used to reforest 2.5 hectares of barren land at the IPO watershed in Bulacan, where 98% of Manila’s potable water is sourced.

The Assumption Velada was spearheaded by Silver AC Batch 1992 and Gold AC Batch 1967. Other gems included were Pearl AC Batch 1987, Jade AC Batch 1982, Ruby AC Batch 1977, Diamond AC Batch 1957 and Blue Diamond AC Batch 1952. The homecoming raises funds for the Assumption Mission Schools and other Assumption projects throughout the country.

October gets the run-up to Christmas going. So many charitable affairs kicked off pre-Christmas gift-giving festivities.

Newlyweds Dr. Hayden Kho and Dr. Vicki Belo-Kho kicked off October with a charity fundraiser for Right Start, a non-stock, non-profit organization with children’s interests at the heart of its existence. Held just weeks after the couple’s much celebrated, #aKHOandmyBELOved Paris wedding, the event raised almost P3 million that will be used to continue the creative caring spaces for the poorest children in the community.

The Right Start team was truly grateful to all the donors, partners, and volunteers for their unwavering commitment. These kind-hearted supporters enable the Center to realize their vision of creating a community of care, where children with their God-given potentials are empowered to be creative and productive.

Scarlet Snow Belo, Hayden and Vicki’s adorable little girl was at the event, enjoying playtime with the Right Start kids. She was also the most photographed guest at the recent Red Charity Gala, where her mom and dad generously bid for and won the beautiful diamond and sapphire necklace donated by Emperor Watch and Jewelry.

Melba Solidum, Small Laude, Alice Eduardo, Myrna Yao, Michelle Tiongco and Ana de Ocampo

October has also been filled with love and weddings. Among the unions to mention are those of stylists Rex Atienza and Jay Sarmiento in Paris, and that of young couple Bindoy Crisostomo and Patricia Ongsiako-Crisostomo. Patricia is the eldest daughter of my Assumption classmate and best friend Jojo Ongsiako and her husband, Neneto.

Tomorrow is the eagerly awaited wedding of my Tropafrica mate Malu Gamboa to her fiancée Mon Lindo. My cousin Leica Carpo Argosino flew in just for the wedding of her best friend and went straight to fashion designer Rajo Laurel for her gown fitting.

For my own gown, I will just grab one of the pieces of designer Rajo Laurel from his recent show, the season opener of MEGA Fashion Week. This year, MEGA goes back to that zeitgeist by mounting the magazine’s very first venture into fashion week, as they showcase the evolution of established designers. Apart from Rajo, the other participating designers were John Herrera, Puey Quiñones, Francis Libiran and Mark Bumgarner.

Let me end with a happy birthday wish to October celebrator Kaye Tinga, my ever dearest co-chair for the Red Charity Gala. Enjoy the beginning of your Golden Year.

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