Respite from the Heat
On long, hot summer nights, listening to music can divert the mind from the heat. At the annual formal charity affair of the Johann Strauss Society of the Philippines (JSSP), a gala dinner concert delighted generous guests at New World Makati Hotel.
“A Night in Vienna,” the theme of this year’s event, began with a warm welcome from JSSP president Olga Severino Martel. She thanked all the glamorous ladies and dapper gentlemen who helped raise funds for the affair’s beneficiary—San Antonio de Padua Parish Church in Basey, Samar, which was devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
Eminent Austrian conductor Ernest Hoetzl, especially flown in for the occasion, conducted the Manila Symphony Orchestra.
My fave soprano Rachelle Gerodias and tenor Ronan Ferrer beautifully interpreted arias from Johann Strauss II’s “Die Fledermaus” and Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow.”
It’s always great to attend successful fund-raisers, so congratulations are in order to Olga and her steering committee, including JSSP chair and consul general of Monaco Fortune Ledesma, JSSP VP and consul of Gambia Agnes Huibonhoa, JSSP secretary and Consul of Tanzania Betty Chua and JSSP treasurer Virginia Lane.
Major sponsor was Lexus Manila; other supporters were Universal Harvesters, New World Makati Hotel, Susie Ortigas, Cats Motors, BA Securities, Titania Wines & Cellar, Rosalind Wee and Zen Institute
Our country is truly blessed with talented, world-class opera singers.
Memories of Vienna
Their performances that evening brought back fond memories of my recent trip to Vienna, thanks to Insight Vacations through Rajah Travel. Our family was so impressed with my stories that we are now planning a family trip to Europe, also with Rajah Travel and Insight.
When I was in Vienna, our wonderful luxury escorted tour included an evening of music and ballet at the famed Opera House. I’m sure both Rachelle and Ronan would sing perfectly at that venue, as they did at the Johann Strauss evening in New World Makati Hotel.
“A Night in Vienna” allowed me to meet Michel Villar of the French Embassy. We hit it off right away, and I was so happy that he attended a dinner I held last week for Coca-Cola Femsa.
Our Coca-Cola dinner was a Mexican-theme party, with guests trying our Casa Noble, the ultra-premium tequila. In attendance was Makati Red Cross director Marivic Rufino, who took the occasion to give me a special award for helping out with Red Cross fundraising efforts.
That award merited a few celebratory shots of Casa Noble. I was impressed that the tequila supplier served the liquor in special crystal flutes. No body shots for this upscale drink, for sure. And indeed, the tequila was smooth and velvety, not quite the raspy drink that we discover in school, which is washed down with a squeeze of lemon.
Instead, Casa Noble is a fine spirit, more in the tradition of a liqueur.
Casa Noble’s brand ambassador is party king Tim Yap, and it is a passion he shares with US President Barack Obama. I’ll have to check though if they drink it together while partying onboard Air Force One.
Tim was the impresario at the formal launch of Casa Noble at Makati Shangri-La’s Sage Restaurant and Bar.
Among the guests at the Casa Noble launch were Mexican Ambassador Julio Camarena, Israeli Ambassador Menashe Bar-on, Makati Shangri-La GM Alain Borgers, Radio Partners’ Bernie Buenaseda, lawyer Mike Toledo, Jenni Epperson, Rajo Laurel, Trish Panlilio, JR Isaac, Philip Cu-Unjieng, Atom Henares, Claudine Trillo, Marco Lobregat, Chris Badiola, Richard Tiu, and Cris Albert.
Shangri-La’s director of communications Lesley Tan told me that Sage is the hotel’s newest dining venture. The interiors exuded a warm and elegant ambience, with finishes including marble, wood, crafted fine leather, suede, velvet and tweed. The pièce de résistance is a black onyx-topped central bar from England. Chef de cuisine Gilles Galli is the head of Sage.
Also at the launch was Casa Noble beverage consultant Lee Watson, who, together with Shangri-La’s director of beverages and resident sommelier Daniel Blais, told guests about the different tequilas on offer.
The evening’s program was amiably hosted by the lovely Carla Dunareanu with bubbly DJ Jessica Milner pumping up the party music.
Edwin Francis Ong, president of Global Noble International, the local distributor, noted how proud he is to have Casa Noble represented by Tim—who knows his tequila and fully appreciates the tradition, the heritage and passion for quality that the brand stands for.
In a unique twist, Casa Noble is available online, with free delivery, via www.gurkka.com. That’s the sort of thought that can be very good to have on long, hot summer nights while listening to music.
Prieto, T. (2014, May 18). Respite from the heat. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved from http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/160250/respite-from-the-heat