Merry Christmas to all! May your Christmas wishes come true, and more blessings come your way this holiday season and beyond.

At the recently held Christmas tree lighting at Marriott Hotel Manila, a 26-foot tree in the hotel lobby was lit up amidst a spread of feasts and treats, as Christmas carols were sung. The tree’s ornaments were gold fairy dolls spreading pixie dust throughout the festive lobby.

Marriott GM Bruce Winton welcomed guests and told us about Marriott’s holiday offerings. The upcoming unveiling of the West Wing will add 228 additional rooms to the hotel, and new premiere dining facilities are coming up too. Executive Chef Meik Brammer and his kitchen team created savories and sweets for all.

The lighting of the tree was started by ballerina Sage Espiritu, who then handed her magic wand to special guest Marian Rivera-Dantes, who then flicked the proverbial switch. The Himig Roseña choral serenaded guests with delightful Christmas carols, and Santa Claus and his fairy friends came down the elegant staircase and shared presents from his red sack.

Christmas is a time for giving. Also present during the celebration were the students of the Philippine School for the Deaf, Marriott Hotel Manila’s beneficiary. This year, the hotel will help raise funds to jumpstart a construction of additional dormitories to accommodate more indigent students. Every purchase of Rio, the Unicorn, will aid in this advocacy. The limited edition stuffed toy is available at the life-size gingerbread train at the hotel lobby for only P500. For more information on Marriott’s Christmas offers, call 988-9999 or visit www.manilamarriott.com.

I’m not much of a cook, so I just ordered the “gourmet to-go” special Whole Roasted Turkey from Marriott Hotel Manila for our Tropafrica Christmas dinner at home. Marriott Manila’s packages include either Smoked Bone-in Ham or Whole Roasted Turkey complete with appetizers, mains and desserts.

Tropafrica gang Malu Gamboa, Dennis Valdes, Jomi Deveras (front) Javi Martinez, Tim Yap, Kitty Jacinto, Sea Princess, Nix Alanon, Rajo Laurel and Rosan Cruz

 

Jon-jon Rufino and Rony Fortich

The TropAfrica gang enjoyed the Smoked Bone-in Ham, which came with all the sidings from herb-roasted baby potatoes to various veggies, and also included a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. The Whole Roasted Turkey was also amply festooned with side dishes and desserts. With that, I created our dinner feast with just one phone call to the Marriott.

For giveaways, I gifted the gang with special candle packages called Mermaid’s Tale. This was from the carrier collection of Scenthérapie in collaboration with Sea Princess.

Launched last weekend, the Scenthérapie candle comes in 6 oz. and 2 oz. sizes, and includes a 100 ml room scent. Our friends and special guests followed us to the “bottom of the sea” for an afternoon of socials and scents as we unveiled the Mermaid’s Tale official video and campaign. Mermaid’s Tale is a blend of zesty citrus with mandarin undertones and fresh ocean air balanced with clean mint and ozone notes: forever summer!

Mermaid’s Tale is about a mermaid who surfaces from the ocean at sunset. She is awaiting someone so she leaves a lit candle by the seashore. The video shot by Tim & Co. and directed by Mike Lavarez is a prelude to Sea Princess Tessa and Pirate Dennis’ love story. The campaign was photographed by Paola Aseron in Kawayan Cove, Nasugbu. Many thanks to Marivic Limcaoco who made all the arrangements at Kawayan Cove.

To match the mood of the afternoon, we had a special floral setup by Te Amo, cocktails by Bizu, and served sparkling white zinfandel wines from Beringer. Our guests were treated to a shopping experience with limited edition Mermaid’s Tale packaging from Adworks Manila and also got the chance to shop Scenthérapie’s candle bar featuring their new collection.

Ambiance by Pido worked the entire weekend to create giant jellyfishes as the impressive backdrop of the launch. Event style creator Pido Villanueva has made some of the most stunning sets especially for us like our Game of Thrones-themed wedding anniversary and the movies-themed 18th birthday of our daughter Annika.

Scenthérapie founders Opalyn and Ricky Nubla told me how the business started as a backyard project for their church. It is now a full-fledged brand of 100% pure, hand-poured soy wax candles, with all-natural ingredients and addictive scents.

Scenthérapie offers a sensorial experience like no other: Mood, Moments and Memories. This is Scenthérapie’s first venture in the Philippines after having success in Melbourne with their Christmas scents as well as in Los Angeles for its sister brand. Their website, online shop and new collection will formally be launched in January 2017. To order, visit instagram.com/ scentherapiecandles, or www.scentherapie.com or call 0977-236-5607.

From my Sea Princess mermaid look, I was transformed into a futuristic Odyssey queen thanks to artist photographer Rupert Jacinto. At the recent Black & White Faaabvlous Ball and launch of his 7th Faaabvlous coffee table book, my photo was included among many notable personalities.

Rupert, who has been called “Photographer to the Faaabvlous” by the Washington Post, has photographed international celebrities and socialites such as Ivana Trump, Countess Camille Chandon of Moet & Chandon, Kimberly Rockefeller and royalty such as H.R.H. the Duchess of Calabria.

Jointly mounting his photo exhibit at the grand hall of The Peninsula Manila, Rupert gathers Manila’s chic set to view the photos and invites them to a Gala dinner at Rigodon Ballroom. Sponsored by The Peninsula Manila, with the participation of Titania Wine Cellar, Calata Corporation and Jun Jun Ablaza, the event was presented in partnership with the Advertising Foundation of the Phil, and was in support of the Love a Parish program of Sto Nino de Paz chapel.

The Faaabvlous VII icons include international artist Betsy Westendorp, pianist Cecile Licad, Consul Mellie Ablaza, Consul Gen. Fortune Ledesma, Consul Helen Ong and Ramon Orlina as the Male Icon of 2016. The book’s cover ladies are Virginia Lane, Joy Rustia, Merci Poblador Padolina and  Mhel Pechera.

Follow @seaprincess888 on Instagram.

 

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