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Red Carpet walk to 2017


By Tina Hidalgo Jacinto

What better way to celebrate the year that has passed and to begin anew with eyes on even more achievements than at The Peninsula Manila’s New Year’s Eve bash? This has been a yearly tradition, a showstopper at this bastion of elegance, held at the towering lobby of the Pen. We will never forget the time our daughter Liezl, her husband Yuki, who came to visit from Japan with their children, only two at the time, Keiji and Arisa, whose faces lit up in sheer delight when thousands of balloons were released. The memory of merriment remain fresh and vivid in our minds.

The theme for 2017 was an Oscar Night Gala, a sold-out event. Revelers came in high style, as one walked the red carpet and gazed at the panoramic Lobby, which was stunningly adorned with dazzling decorative glitter hung from the ceiling. Moving spotlights created the feel of Oscar night. The Peninsula Manila’s amiable general manager Mark Choon, who was with his comely wife Jennifer, greeted us with: “This is the first time for me. Is this how it is here?”

  • The Peninsula Manila’s towering lobby was all decked in all its glory at the New Year’s Eve celebration

  • The table setting

  • A rainfall of balloons at the stroke of 12

  • Teresa Chan Sola, Vicky Zubiri, and Stephanie Zubiri Crespi

  • Manny Padilla

  • Ric Tiongson, Pitang Tiongson with son Ricky Lopez

  • Tess Schoefer, Paul Johnston, and Cecile Infantado

  • Noel Tuason and Duday Tuason

  • Tina Cuevas and Ching Cruz

  • Lorena Gaisberger and Helmut Gaisberger

  • Roi Phillips and Yrna Ileto

  • The author and Rupert Jacinto

  • Mary Ann Chan and Jose Mari Chan

  • Roulette Esmilla

  • Olga Tan and Kim Shi Tan

  • Consul Helen Ong and Judith Tan

    The Pen certainly pulled out all the stops. There was an eye-popping giant Oscar-statue, which was the photo-op of the evening, the splendid Christmas tree stood radiant and the ceiling was filled with thousands of balloons in yellow, gold, and black. The tablecapes boasted of tall silver candelabras and assortment of flowers, gold top hats, and noisemakers. The live band continuously provided snappy musical numbers. The buffet of culinary specialties was gastronomic heaven with offers of caviar, sea bass, lamb, roast beef, sushi, and more.

    Rupert and I sat beside Angola Consul Helen Ong, who is once again busy preparing for her yearly Philippines’ Best Dressed, comparing notes with hubby Rupert, who likewise has his yearly Faaabvlous Ball and exhibit. Handsome couple Archie and Judith Tan brought their three cute daughters all dressed in red gowns. Vicky Zubiri lost no time in dancing, with her daughter, Stephanie Zubiri Crespo. At our table, too, was couturier Roulette Esmilla, one of the much-acclaimed Filipino designers who took Dubai by storm and who is now dressing Manila society. Seen on the dance floor were glamorous Ching Cruz and Sulo Riviera honcho Tina Cuevas, Jose Mari Chan and Mary Ann, Duday and Noel Tuason.

    As the music got louder and with the countdown to 2017, everyone took to the dance floor and at the stroke of midnight, it was total pandemonium of gaiety and happy revelry as the rain of balloons dropped and popped, with champagne in hand, horns tooting, and the band playing “Auld Lang Syne” to welcome 2017.

    This Peninsula Manila’s New Years’ experience is their passion to give much more. That’s the reason why their guests keep coming back for more.


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