My October

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My October is annually marked by two major affairs – the Red Charity Gala and the Assumption Velada. Both events are meaningful to me because RCG is part of my yearly preparations for fundraising and the Velada is Assumption College’s Old Girls Day where different gems celebrate their high school homecoming.  

The success of the 11th RCG was mainly due to the intense planning of the team over several months. My co-chair Kaye Tinga and I are forever grateful for the overwhelming support of our major sponsors – Bench and IAM Worldwide, and all the table donors who actively participated in the auction. Everyone’s presence that evening has sustained our mission to promote Filipino fashion while supporting the Philippine Red Cross and Assumption High School Batch 81 Foundation. 

The finale of the fashion show was quite emotional and teary for the whole team because the featured designers represent ten years of partnership with Kaye and the rest of the RCG family. Seeing the 10 designers walk down together was just like seeing the “Avengers Endgame” of Philippine fashion! Good friend and all around performer Franco Laurel shared this analogy after the show as we exchanged compliments about each of the elements in the collections.   

This year’s Gala was extra special for Franco and Ayen Laurel also because their pretty daughter Angia was chosen as one of the ten #myFirstRedCharity covergirls by our magazine partner, Lifestyle Asia, for next month’s issue. The other proud parents and daughters are Martin and Alelee Andanar of Alexa,  Rikki and Beng Dee of Erica, Ricky Davao and Jackie Lou Blanco of Arabella Dabao, Alice Eduardo of Jeline Vitangcol, Alfred and Cristina Romualdez of Sofia, Mike and Charmaine Lagman of Mica, Carlo and Digzy Umali of Alayne, Freddie and Kaye Tinga of Kylie, and Francis and Keri Zamora of Amanda. 

Their beautiful, two-edition cover will be out next week in the Lifestyle Asia November issue where there will be over 20 pages devoted to the Gala’s memorable festivities and all the beautiful guests and the incredible collection of the RCG designers – Dennis Lustico, Furne One, Michael Cinco, Cary Santiago, Ezra Santos, Jojie Lloren, Lesley Mobo, Chito Vijandre, Joey Samson and Rajo Laurel. 

At the RCG, the table of our main presenter Bench was elegantly decorated by our event stylist Robert Blancafor, who as been our partner since the beginning. Bench head Ben Chan requested all his guests to come in Filipiniana. It was so fitting that the Shangri-La Hotel at the Fort also prepared a Filipino menu of tinola chicken and kare-kare that was most delicious dish ever, I heard, since I really don’t get to eat until way after the Gala.   

Tourism Sec. Berna Puyat-Romulo was so regal in her colorful terno by Rhett Eala. It was also wonderful to see beauty queens wearing ternos that night – newly crowned Miss World Philippines Michelle Marquez Dee, the stunning daughter of beauty queen Melanie Marquez, and Miss Universe Philippines 2013 Ara Arida. I heard even Miss World 2013 Megan Young was supposed to be in a terno, but she had to be part of the Bench/Active fashion show segment that evening.  

The after party was more fun with the lively bar, thanks to Remy Martin. We will all be talking about the impressive collections of all the designers and the tough call to make about next year’s choices. 

A few days after the Gala, I spent a few days in Tokyo, Japan with my close girlfriends. I flew home early to attend the Assumption Velada, where my sister Sandy Prieto Romualdez was celebrating her Jade year.   

Velada is a Spanish word that means an “evening soiree” or a “musical evening.” For us in Assumption, the velada is a highlight of Old Girls’ Day. It is the program held in the school’s Mother Rose Auditorium with musical and dance presentations by the jubilarians.   

It is also our excuse to wear our Assumption uniforms and eat Assumption tarts. But the bonding and closeness that develop during the velada preparations and performance lasts for our lifetimes.

Adding to my October festivities this year was a chance to be a judge at the Ruby MassKara Queen 2019 title in a pageant at Ayala Malls Capitol Central in Bacolod City. A 21-year-old magna cum laude graduate, Trecia Tuquero, bested nine other candidates to win the crown. Joining her in the top three were Vina Marie Peña and Chaira Victoria Juarez. The beautiful winners were crowned by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and his charming wife, accompanied by former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz.

Aside from the Ruby MassKara Queen crown, Trecia, who also won the best in festival attire, received a P50,000 cash prize. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management degree from La Consolacion College-Bacolod. Juarez, who was first runner-up, won P30,000, and Peña, who was second runner-up, brought home P15,000.

Crowd favorite Queenie Edessa Amarante bagged four major awards – the Miss Photogenic, Best in Mardi Gras, Best in Swimsuit, and Best in Gown. She also got most of the corporate awards. Designer Edwin Benitez, who made her gown, won the Best in Gown Design award.

Miss Congeniality was Janine Cabrillos, while Andrea Sagario won Best in Talent and Yuhom Online Star awards. The other candidates were Christine Mendoza, Roem Alcaen, Moira Maci Abesamis and Chainee May Ang. Aside frome me, the judges included 1969 Miss Universe and Hollywood star Gloria Diaz, talent manager and imaging consultant Jojie Dingcong, Globe Telecom director for external affairs for Visayas and Mindanao Patrick Gloria, and the chief of staff of Information Technology Management Service of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame, Police Col. Roderick Augustus Alba.

More pics on Instagram @seaprincess888.

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