The cool, first few months of the year is polo season. And cool it is indeed to sit on the East Terrace of the Manila Polo Club, experiencing the thundering hooves of the horses and the shouts of the men as they chase a ball around the field. Polo must be one of the best spectator sports, even for those like me who cannot tell a chukker from a mallet.
Among the many polo matches at the Manila Polo Club, my fave is the annual FILA Polo Cup. Held early last month, this year’s event was for the benefit of Operation Compassion and iFoster, a campaign that aids in the foster care of children who are waiting for their permanent homes.
Heritage x Vintage was the chosen theme of FILA Polo Cup this year, harking back to the brand’s Italian roots. The guests wore Italian, summer outfits, floral dresses for the ladies and pastel polo shirts for the men. FILA’s new collection was on display at the lobby next to large photographs of international model Drew Gendron, FILA’s newest star.
Butch Albert, FILA Chairman and a very good polo player, kicked off the event with the Low Goal game together with the Red Team. Butch showed his prowess by leading the Reds to a win.
Cris Albert, FILA’s fiery CEO and Butch’s better half, was with her friends from Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Guests David Reynolds and Adrian Garcia explained the rules and materials used for the game, and there was ample champagne and wine to make sure the presentations were lively, all supplied by Ralph’s Wines and Spirits, the biggest wine importer and distributer in the country.
The East Terrace was filled with white tents and festooned with fresh flowers, with accents of wine bottles hanging from the sides of the tents, all designed by Robert Blancaflor. FILA brand ambassadors Fabio Ide, Tim Yap and The Philippine Volcanoes, consisting of, Jake Letts, Steve Near, and Chris Everingham, all lent muscle appeal to the on-goings on the field.
Tim and I hosted the affair, beginning with young talent Alba Berenguer-Testa singing the National Anthem. Then Cris, wearing a Rajo Laurel, printed dress, gracefully walked on field for the traditional ball toss to start the High Goal Game.
The Blue team was led by the Aguirre brothers, Gus and Cole, supported by Argentinian professionals, known as hired assassins, Benjamin Urquiza and Ignacio Ithurburu. The Whites included Manot Montilla, Tommy Bitong and their own Argentinian hitmen, Dirk Gould and Juan Jauretche. The Blues ultimately won by just one point.
Ana Abad Santos, well known actor and sister of Cris, has been very busy lately as she is directing “The Nether,” the closing play for Red Turnip Theater’s fourth season. It will be feature Alba Berrenguer- Testa and Junyka Santarin with TJ Trinidad, Bernardo Bernardo, Jenny Jamora and Bodgie Pascua.
“The Nether” is a sci-fi crime drama about the dilemmas of living in a virtual world. Written by Jennifer Haley and winner of the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, this thrilling play explores the ethical questions and moral consequences of living out one’s hidden desires and fantasies. Check it out at the Spotlight Theater Power Mac Center, Circuit Makati. Running through March to mid April, get your tickets at redturnip.com.ph.
Red Turnip Theater is the vision of five friends, five established actors in the local theater scene, with more than 90 years of experience between them. Topper Fabregas, Jenny Jamora, Ana Abad Santos, Cris Villonco, and Rem Zamora came together to stage the kinds of productions that are in short supply in the country: straight plays (non-musicals), engaging material with the potential for adaptation, all in a unique theater experience.
Still on the subject of women and theater, brilliantly versatile actress Pinky Amador celebrates her birthday in the finale performance of “Agnes of God” today, March 12, at 3:30pm at the Onstage in Greenbelt 1.
Rep turns 50 this year with the retrospective production of “Agnes of God.” Originally staged in 1983, it starred Rep’s founders Zeneida Amador as Mother Miriam Ruth, Baby Barredo as Dr. Livingstone and Pinky as Agnes. It won the Aliw Awards for Best Play, Best Director (Behn Cervantes) and Best Actress (Pinky Amador). This time around, Pinky “comes full circle” as she plays Mother Miriam. Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo plays Dr. Livingstone and Becca Coates is Agnes.
“Agnes of God” opened last February 17 to rave reviews and standing ovations. This is such a dream-come-true of a production for Pinky and she simply cannot wait to share it with you! For tickets call 0998 965-5317 or check www.ticketworld.com.ph.
In closing, check out the New Beginnings Art Exhibit at the Kartini Gallery at the Gervacia Center on Amorsolo St. in Makati. New Beginnings showcases the work of a group of artists.
Nune Alvarado, a social realist, is well known for his iconic style and stark imagery, one of the few instantly recognizable artists in Philippine contemporary art. Ronald Castrillo, sculptor par excellance, contributes sculptural renditions that combine his immense artistry and technical knowledge in copper and brass. My hubby Dennis Valdes is also in the show, lending his photos from our past safaris in a series called “Afrikana.”
New Beginnings is also a venue for the latest works of Mission Artists Philippines’ artists Rodney Martinez, Lawton Ladao, Waldz Villanueva, Jojo Garcia and Ida Robles. Mission Artists was founded by Nina Malvar to promote under-recognized and emerging artists to a wider audience through Kartini Asia Gallery. Mission Artists financially assists talented artists to buy art materials, including canvases and paints, for their initial collections. Founder Nina also helps budding artists with concept development and “artrepreneurship.”
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