When the fashion gods and charitable forces align with the hottest male models wearing only Bench underwear, a spectacular extravaganza will surely unravel. Celebrating our 8th Red Charity Gala, the fashion collection of creative artist Chito Vijandre took center stage last Saturday at our new home at Shangri-La Fort.
Entering fashionably late, I greeted with sincere gratitude power couples, Felix and Grace Ang of Mercedes-Benz Philippines and Ernest and Arlene Cu of Globe at the lobby. My parents, Alex and Marixi Prieto and Swatch queen Virgie Ramos were also on their way to the main ballroom.
Always racy and cutting edge, RCG had Bench hot models welcome guests at the foyer of the grand ballroom. To showcase the latest Bench underwear, Direk Ariel Lozada arranged the perfectly sculpted models in satellite platforms to the delight of all our RCG ladies.
Zalora bags designed by our past designers were displayed for the silent auction. Selected ladies were given beautifully arranged Te Amo Floristeria bouquet.
Opening the ballroom doors in hair-raising drama, young opera singer Lara Maigue powerfully belted opera songs that impressed every single guest. The artists of Ballet Philippines performed “Firebird” before our annual host Sarah Meier introduced co-chairwoman Kaye Tinga and I on stage to welcome our generous guests.
Fashion has historically responded with both flair and flamboyance especially for charity and times of uncertainty. Not only celebrating Filipino artistic excellence but also uplifting lives and projects of our beneficiaries, Philippine Red Cross and Assumption HS 81 Foundation, RCG incorporates a lively auction doing dinner where guests have a chance to overbid each other in the name of charity.
It was truly an amazingly generous evening with our major presenter Bench and Bench king Ben Chan and his entire team. My partner in crime Tim Yap and I opened the auction with the “Lifestyle Package” of 3 original Mark Higgins “Firebird” paintings, a pair of Linda Farrow sunglasses and a special Shangri-La dinner of 10 at any venue of the winner’s choice. Proceeds of this bid went entirely to Ballet Philippines for the talents of the ballet group who performed “Firebird” that evening.
The Dine and Fly Package composed of Philjets Helicopter and Jets and Antonio’s Restaurant lunch for 6 was generously won by City of Dreams’ Property President Geoff Andres. The Executive Package of a limited edition Omega 007 James Bond watch donated by Lucerne’s Emerson Yao went to our PR guru Edd Fuentes. We also awarded him a Remy Martin Diamant for his yearly support.
After the Epicurean Package of a Viking Range, 36” 4 –Burner with Griddle Dual Fuel range was awarded to the winner, the sexy stars of the upcoming movie, The Escort came on stage to claim the Travel & Wellness package of a weekend stay at Quest Hotel in Clark, Pampanga with a round of golf at Filinvest Mimosa Estate. Generous Derek Ramsay won the bid and brought his co-star Lovi Poe on stage with him. Chroma Hospitality added a luxury package in a Private Villa at the highly anticipated Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay opening next year. This went to Mikaela Martinez who went on stage carrying the youngest guest in a tux, her baby Max.
Senator Dick Gordon joined them to receive Chroma Hospitality’s donation to the Philippine Red Cross. Shortly the most exciting bid for the Jewelmer Pearls got the ladies all participating with our annual winner Dr. Aivee Teo claiming the beautiful South Sea Pearls. Globe Platinum gave the latest iPhone 7 for auction that went to beautiful Dawn Zulueta who also won last year.
Other biggest auction item was the Wellness and Holistic Package that Villa Medica donated. The Full Cell Therapy Program in Germany worth PhP 900,000 included several facials and treatments as well. Villa Medica CEO Bobby Kittichaiwong and lovely wife Betty flew in from Bangkok to present the award to Mary de Leon, the generous winner on stage.
Royal Gems donated a pair of diamond earrings that elegant Nikki Tang won. She was also given a dinner package at the new Grind Restaurant in the Fort.
The final auction was the Royal Getaway Package – 2 Business Class tickets to London courtesy of Philippine Airlines, a weekend stay at Shangri-La London and Micheline-starred Chef Jason Atherton dinner for 2 in his London restaurant. After the highly participated bidding, generous Joseph Calata won the package for his lovely wife who is about to deliver their first baby.
The Red Charity Gala is eternally grateful to all our sponsors, table buyers and auction donors. Presented by Bench, RCG is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, Megaworld, Sunlife Financial, Globe Platinum. It is supported by Shangri-La Fort, Quest Hotels, Crimson Hotels & Resorts, Zalora, Procter & Gamble, Fuentes Manila, Robert Blancaflor & Groups, Wilcon Depot, Gardenia Bakeries, Goldilocks, Adworks Manila and Moss Manila. Our media partners include Inquirer Red Magazine, Lifestyle Asia, Preview Magazine, Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer. Other auction items include Marie France, Abitare Internazionale, City of Dreams and Royal Gems.
I will have to feature the fashion genius of Chito Vijandre next week as his creations need the entire column space. We are just so grateful and honored to have so much love and support for this year’s Red Charity Gala.