Print is alive! The tough challenge of keeping print from completely transforming into a digital future is an inevitable battle. I believe the synergy between print and digital may be the key element to keep both fluidly alive.

Anton San Diego, editor-in-chief of Philippine Tatler, remarked on the abundance of print at the seventeenth Philippine Tatler Ball, the by-invitation-only ball attended by almost 500 guests at the Shangri-La at the Fort. It was an evening of celebration and purpose by the country’s top luxury lifestyle magazine.

Irene Martel Francisco, Tatler’s managing director, thanked all the readers, advertisers, partners and friends who are the reason for the publication’s success. The Tatler Ball is where a few exemplary individuals are honored every year by receiving awards. The ball is also a fundraiser and the beneficiary this year was the MovEd Foundation, which provides enhanced early education for underserved 3-to 5-year-old children. As of this writing, more than P9 million was raised through donations and the charity auction.

Irene & Dr. Randy Francisco, Isabel Martel Francisco

As Irene warmly acknowledged, the event could not have been possible without the wonderful support from the ball’s main partners, Mercedes-Benz and Santos Knight Frank, as well as its supporting partners, HSBC Premier, Albany Megaworld, Simmons and Sunseeker Yachts.

Guests thoroughly enjoyed thefive-course dinner created by Shangri-La’s executive chef Joris Rycken, which was continental with a sophisticated Filipino touch. Beautifully complementing the menu were stunning Carpineto wines from Bacchus and free-flowing Nicolas Feuillatte champagne from AWC.

Much-deserved recognition went to seven awardees this year for their unstinting contributions in their respective fields. The 2018 awardees were Rajo Laurel for Most Creative Force, Lucy Torres-Gomez for Most Stylish, Couple of the Year Donnie and Crickette Tantoco, Margie Moran Floirendo for Patroness of The Arts, and Jewelmer’s Manuel Cojuangco and Jacques Branellec for The Diamond Award.

Yet another highlight of the evening was the performance of “American Idol” star Jessica Sanchez as well as a surprise auction to bid for a date with heartthrobs Matteo Guidicelli and Derek Ramsay. While the surprise auction lot served to whet the generous crowd’s appetites to bid, the other exciting auction lots included a classic Jaeger-LeCoultre watch from Lucerne, a contemporary oil-on-canvas piece by Ayka Go, a safari for two from A2A Safaris, and a trip to Paris for two via Cathay Pacific Business Class packaged with a romantic two-nights’ stay at Château Bagnolet.

For this year’s ball, I wore one of the stunning creations of fashion designer Rajo Laurel from the Red Charity Gala collection. It was a metallic Terno armor top with a big tulle ball skirt. I did a quick change straight from my Cebu flight. I was there for the USANA Cebu office opening. I actually dressed up in the lobby of the hotel because my outfit couldn’t fit the car!

Like the Tatler Ball, Red Charity Gala is also grateful to many sponsors who support by donating auction items to generate more funds for the different charities. Lucerne, A2A Safaris and Jewelmer have been supporting us for many years now. The safari package from A2A Safaris was won by generous doctor couple Z and Aivee Teo.

MovEd Foundation also received more donations generated from last Wednesday’s Christmas Cabaret concert for charity, Rony’s Company Call. The former musical director of Hong Kong Disneyland, Rony Fortrich put his amazing talent, elegance and charisma into one incredible concert that kicked off the holiday season.

Through the years, Rony has been privileged to work with many talented singers and recording artists. For this concert, he took the stage ones more with his talented friends: Sweet Plantado Tiongson, Ring Antonio, Gian Magdangal, and Joshua Tiu.

Produced and organized by Rony’s partner, businessman Jonjon Rufino, and philanthropist Rocio Olbes-Ressano, the concert was a smashing success leaving the full house of Maybank Theater in a dizzy, with the audience in not only singing a long most of the way, but ending with a standing ovation and demands for more.

Ralph’s Wine provided cocktails and chef Xavier of Quorn delighted guests with vegetarian treats. Make-up artist Martina Bacher did the performers’ makeup and flowers were provided by Eventcetera.

Proceeds from the show benefit the Chito Madrigal Foundation and MovEd. The Chito Madrigal Foundation is funding an agricultural scholarship in Bicol, while MOVED, headed by Alexandra Eduque funds pre-kindergarten classes in Metro Manila and Bicol.

Debuting her musical talent in Rony’s Company Call, young composer and flutist Anya Lagman performed her original composition, Demain dès l’aube for the opening number. Proud parents Mike and Charmaine Lagman were so proud of their daughter who plays four instructions as well.

Surprise singer Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez delighted guests with her performance duet with Rony. Her second number was a Christmas song and she dedicated that to her cute daughter Andrea.

My Thanksgiving week was celebrated with several pocket events with friends in the beauty and art world. Xandra Ramos-Padilla hosted an intimate dinner at Art Bar and Noteworthy Rockwell.

In 2017, Art Bar and Noteworthy were founded with a vision to fuel creativity, self-expression, and the pursuit of passions. That vision led siblings Anton Ramos and Xandra Ramos-Padilla of the National Bookstore empire to expand to new locations—including an Art Bar in Quezon Avenue, a Noteworthy in Podium, these stores in Power Plant Mall and soon in Alabang Town Center and One Bonifacio High Street.

For their new branches, they invited friends and artists of all mediums to an intimate dinner that chef Happy Ongpauco-Tiu deliciously prepared The small gathering was a showcase of the very special, personalized experience offered by Art Bar and Noteworthy.

We have much to be grateful for and we only wish to share those blessings to many.

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