Time can never be reversed, so value every minute. And what better way is there to keep checking the time, than by strapping on a Swatch?

I had an advance sneak peek at the pick of the latest Swatch watches at the recent, private, afternoon launch party of the Swatch Fall 2017 Collection. The event halls of the Swatch Building in Makati were decked out in lush, floor-to-ceiling foliage, and a long picnic table was setup in the middle of the main room.

Guests arrived in their best floral outfits, and were treated to one-day exclusive shopping perks. Every corner of the room burst with luxuriant flora, transporting us back to countryside escapes filled with fresh, feminine touches. Flowers, patterns, and color brought the entire venue to life, just as the latest season’s pieces are graceful but exuberant in design.

It was Flower Power all over! A gelato truck covered in floret stickers matched the large Merry Berry Maxi watch on display.  In another corner, a teal-colored piano and a classic gramophone in rose quartz pink accented the space, while people clamored over the cotton candy that was spun and playfully molded into various shapes.

All the while, the small gathering offered a countryside feast for the guests: turkey, salmon, and an assortment of twelve, artisanal cheeses flown in fresh from France. Australian wines were served to pair with the food. And afterwards, a live sketching station took place, with the illustrator ready to offer portraits to the select guests in their flower-power outfits.

Those who came in the most vivacious ensembles were awarded a prize, and lucky draw winners were able to take home the Swatch Bijoux and Swatch the Eyes timepieces. Not to be outdone, I made sure to be the most floral and festive. Swatch grand dame Virgie Ramos awarded Tina Cuevas and I prizes for being the Best Dressed. My Zumba gang, Girls Run For Breakfast group, and Assumption friends gamely joined the festivities hosted by Mia Borromeo and Matteo Guidicelli.

Zbabes birthday girls Myda Prieto, Bambina Wise, Elena Coyiuto, Yvette Fernandez and Junie Peña were also there to enjoy the delicious spread. These ladies jointly celebrated their birthdays at a luncheon held after Elena Coyiuto’s successful exhibit entitled “Transition” at the Powerplant Mall in Rockwell.

Another Swatch winner was Rissa Trillo of Happy Skin. Her skin-caring make-up company has been growing leaps and bounds with new products. In its first foray outside of makeup, this favorite homegrown brand made a brilliant entrance into the world of nail polish with the release of the Happy Skin Express Gel Polish 2-in-1 Base + Color and the Happy Skin Mirror-Shine Top Coat. The chip-resistant formula doesn’t need a UV lamp to be applied and can be removed like regular polish.

Happy Skin invited guests to get to know the brand’s new revolutionary gel polish firsthand with luxurious manicures and pedicures at Maison by Nail Spa at Rockwell. The six shades were represented by Heart Evangelista-Escudero, Iya Villania-Arellano, Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo, Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez, Angelina Mead King and Joey Mead King.

Last week, Happy Skin added two new colors: milky pink Bridechilla and medium pink Queen of His Heart. These colors were launched jointly with Happy Skin’s eight-piece, bridal-inspired makeup collection. A brand-new blush compact, an innovative highlighter pen, four new lippie shades, and two new gel polish colors round up this collection.

For this Collection, Happy Skin invited women to experience their most beautiful day through this collection. They were treated to makeup and hairstyling sessions, and Nail Spa for manicures. Iconic luxury brand Jewelmer adorned guests with golden South Sea pearls.

The whole experience was all in preparation for a beauty portrait session with the country’s best and most trusted bridal photographer, Pat Dy, who has photographed close to 1,000 brides in the span of his career.

Happy Skin is also letting their customers experience their most beautiful day together with Jewelmer. Until September 30, customers who purchase P3,000 worth of Happy Skin products, including one product from the bridal collection, will get a chance to win a pair of Jewelmer’s precious South Sea Pearl earrings.

Jewelmer has been one of the generous sponsors of the Red Charity Gala for many years now.  I was delighted to hear about the recent award of Jewelmer Group’s chairman Manuel M. Cojuangco, who was conferred the Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’ Honneur or Knight of the Legion of Honor by the President of the Republic of France, officiated by French Ambassador Thierry Mathou.

The Legion of Honor, the highest distinction awarded by the French government, is awarded to individuals who have served France or the ideals it upholds. Moreover, a minimum of 25 years of professional activity with “eminent merits” is required to be considered to become a Chevalier or Knight.

Ambassador Mathou noted that the award was given due to Mr. Cojuangco’s endeavors that have the objective to “give back to your community, to your nation, to your country.” Indeed, for the Jewelmer group, CSR is not an acronym but a part of their business, which have included such diverse projects as a coconut hybridization program in Palawan and various cultural activities in both France and the Philippines.

In response, Mr. Cojuangco thanked his Jewelmer family, church group, siblings, and parents, “whose personal journey, upon reflection, carried the potential of whatever good my siblings and I were meant to pursue.”  He is the nineteenth Filipino to be awarded the Legion of Honor since it was first established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.

In closing, I would like to greet our Red Charity Gala main sponsor Ben Chan a very happy birthday. At the 30th anniversary celebration of Bench, Ben was honored and praised for his generosity and kindness. Several of his student scholars were present to offer their gratitude. Have the best birthday today, Ben!

Richard and Lucy Gomez, Miguel Pastor, Mons Romulo, Rey Lanada and Ben Chan

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