Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seventh Heaven at Seventh High. What a party.

Travelife Publisher Christine Cunanan
with Lisa Bayot, Miko Liwanag and friends
leaving the party at 1230 AM!

What a party. What a night. Many thanks to Seventh High, Fly Ace (for their wonderful wines), Travel Club, Gluta Advance, Sanuk and Epson for their most generous support -- without which tonight would not have been possible.

It's 1245 PM and I've literally just returned from the Travelife Magazine party at Seventh High in Fort Bonifacio. The party was supposed to be only for cocktails and to go from 630 PM to 9 PM, but somehow even past midnight it was still going strong. I finally left about 15 minutes ago, but there were still people listening to music at the bar, and I ended up exiting Seventh High with another bunch of friends who'd stayed way past midnight -- including my friend Lisa who I'd traveled with to India last year.


We had a confirmed guest list of about 300 people, but throughout the night, we had a total of 470 people coming into Seventh High to join the Travelife party. There were so many people that Seventh High had to open the adjoining lounge and to usher the latter batches into this room instead as the main party venue was just packed with hundreds of partygoers already.

It was so nice to see so many friends and associates, and especially our friends in the hospitality and tourism industries. These industries came out in full force to support Travelife Magazine, the Philippines' leading travel & lifestyle publication.


My day began quite early at the office at 9 AM sharp, to finish up last-minute work on Travelife Magazine's June-July issue and to go over the preparations for the party tonight. Shiseido kindly volunteered to provide makeup for the event so after lunch, off I went to my favorite Shiseido makeup artist who does all my event makeup. I usually don't have makeup done; but for events where I'm on stage a lot or I have to be greeting people all night -- and when I actually have time to have my makeup done, as it takes over an hour -- I usually arrange a session with Shiseido.


Then at 6 PM, I first went to the Ayala Museum to greet Ambassador and Madame Luca Fornari for the Italian National Day celebrations. They were having cocktails and a show, but of course I could not stay very long. In fact, I stayed exactly 20 minutes before heading back out into Ayala Avenue traffic to try and get back to the Fort for the Travelife Magazine party.

"I had an inspiration this afternoon," began Madame Silvana Fornari. " Let's talk about it when we meet next week." Travelife Magazine, Gaita Fores and the Italian Embassy are producing a fabulous event in September that we will be offering to the public. Please keep tuned to this blog and to our magazine for more details.


There were lots of friends at the Italian embassy party and I would so love to have stayed, especially as the food looked so good. However, I had my own party to go to so I was keeping strict watch on the time. But before leaving -- and actually without even tasting any of the scrumptious-looking appetizers -- I went to the back near the kitchen to see Gaita Fores (who was doing the catering) and discuss some basics about our upcoming project together.

On my way out, I bumped into some friends who were headed for the Travelife party as well, but who had come to the Italian party first. I guess they were relieved to see that the host of their next party destination was still with them at the first party. "You must be rushing to the Travelife party," major-major art collector and gallery owner Jack Teotico told me, and I smiled. "See you later," I said. And true enough, Jack joined the party a bit later together with John Tanjangco of Bellarocca.


My car took a while to return to the Ayala Museum because of the traffic, however, so I stood by the driveway for quite a while in my rather conspicuous flowing long dress and perfectly-done professional Shiseido makeup. As luck would have it, almost all the cars that arrived while I was standing in the driveway unloaded people I knew. I kissed everyone and reminded them all to head for the Travelife Magazine party. And after I'd done this with about eight sets of friends in the driveway, including the Ambassador of France, I finally said to myself: "Great. I'm now officially the welcoming committee for the Italian embassy party."


When I finally got to Seventh High, the Travelife Magazine party was pretty much in full swing with lots of tables already full of people. The early birds included the diplomats from the Australian, Russian, Czech and Iraqi embassies, as well as the Ambassadors of Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Frannie Jacinto, Lulu Tan Gan and Vicky Schmidt were also at another table.

Then from about 7 pm, the crowds just starting coming in droves. Almost every major five-star hotel, airline, bank and cosmetic brand was represented at the party and it was truly heartwarming to see them out in full force. I really felt the warmth, affection and sincerity of so many friends of Travelife Magazine last night.


The main purpose for the Travelife Magazine party was to launch our fabulous June-July issue and to soft-launch our upcoming Travelife TV show, Travelife's Frequent Flier. But, as I told our audience last night, "Between you and me, I was just wanted an excuse to have a party..."

We had lots of fun handing out raffle prizes, indulging onstage in some banter, and just enjoying the great 80s music played by Boyet Almazan -- which was my special request. If I was going to throw a party, I wanted it to have music I liked and people I liked. In fact, I sort of helped act as co-emcee to my friend Mark who very kindly helped out as emcee; and during one set, I said: "We're going to take a short break now simply because I love this song." Of course, the crowd laughed.


Travel Club, which is the umbrella company for an entire range of travel goods and paraphernalia, also put on a great fashion show with models holding Travelife Magazines. It was very upbeat, colorful and eye-catching. I wish I'd taken photos but I was too busy to do so. But I'm sure we'll be able to post some later from our photographers later on. It was a really fun and well-received performance.

Finally, it was time for our party and our open bar to end. We actually extended it to 930 PM instead of 9 PM. That was when some of the crowds started to thin out and I was able finally to talk to some of my own friends -- many of whom had stayed a long time, but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to really talk with them much.


However my dear friends Terrence and Adrian stayed way past the end of the party, and finally, over glasses of wine, we sat talking and laughing about -- what else but -- travel. It was really enjoyable after the long evening to just have a chat with good friends, and I'm so glad they stayed to keep me company.

When they finally said goodbye, Nyoy Volante was onstage singing some nice music. I stayed on simply listening and chilling out after being wound up all day. And the last song that was playing as I finally left Seventh High was rather touching but appropriate: "Waiting In Vain," originally sung by Bob Marley but sung very beautifully by Nyoy Volante and his group.

Thank you, thank you to everyone. To all 470 guests. We hope you enjoyed as much as we at Travelife Magazine did having you all with us last night.


PS: If you've been reading this blog, you might be wondering if my double-booked friend Z from a previous entry showed up. I'd seen him last at Sofitel's Fever the other night and we'd had a most interesting conversation. Yes, he came and stayed -- and as usual caused lots of girls' hearts to flutter. After I'd been onstage, Z came up to me as I was going down. "I canceled my second booking for you," he teased, "so I'm here and I stayed." I smiled at him.

"So where are the pretty but dumb girls?" He asked. Obviously he hadn't forgotten our conversation at Sofitel either. Or perhaps he'd been reading this blog. But it was very late already when we'd had a chance to talk so most of the party girls had already gone on from our cocktail party to their second party for the night. I looked around the room. There were still lots of beautiful girls around, but they were all smart and, as far as I knew, most of them were taken.

"Only pretty and smart girls around, " I said. "You should've come earlier. Better luck next time."

And tonight I've got a wonderful gourmet dinner with a famous Singaporean chef. And Juju juice all day unless I find some excuse to break my fast....


(in order of appearance last night)
The New World Team
The Sofitel Team
The Dusit Thani Manila Team
The Mandarin Oriental Team
The Hyatt Team
The Pan Pacific Team
The Resortsworld & Marriott Team
The Thunderbird Resorts Team
Bellarocca Team

Cathay Pacific Team
Turkish Airlines Team
Singapore Airlines Team
Continental Airlines Team
Philippine Airlines Team
Sri Lankan Airlines Team
Delta/ Northwest Team
Eva Air Team
Air China Team

Ambassador & Embassy of Sri Lanka
Ambassador & Embassy of Cambodia
Ambassador & Embassy of Turkey
Embassy of Japan
Embassy of the United States
Embassy of Russia
Embassy of the Czech Republic
Embassy of Australia
Embassy of Iraq
Embassy of Russia
Embassy of Korea
Embassy of Vietnam
Embassy of Singapore
Malaysian Tourist Bureau
Tourism Authority of Thailand

Standard Chartered Bank
Citibank NA

Travelife's Special Summer Issue
with Angel Aquino in Boracay
Angel Aquino in Bora
for Travelife Magazine's April-May 2011 issue


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