Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Someone to watch over me...

US Ambassador Harry Thomas
takes to the dance floor tonight

Tonight, I was at our editing studio with the guys watching footages we'd done in various locations. It was quite fun and we're always laughing whenever we look at the scenes, as we remember all the behind-the-scenes antics and Ateneo-La Salle jokes. Every mistake is attributed by one side to either being an Atenean or a La Sallite.

Then, as soon as it was over, I rushed home to change into something slightly dressier and headed for one of these grand houses in Forbes Park to attend a dinner organized by one of my favorite political families for US Ambassador Harry Thomas and his entourage from the US embassy.

Ambassador Thomas had attended the Travelife India Night gala dinner at the Dusit Thani last July, but he'd sent his regrets for Travelife Italy Night. "I'm sorry I already had a previous engagement," he told me tonight. "Otherwise I would have gone. I love events like that."

* * *

By the way, Inquirer food columnist Margaux Salcedo
loved Travelife Italy Night.
Click here to read her blog.

* * *


When I walked in, the party was in full swing and at first glance, it looked like a reunion of people in politics, media, fashion and entertainment. I found my assigned table and was very happy to know that I'd been seated with two guys I know very well -- and one of them is always the life of the party wherever he goes. He's perpetually moving and perpetually kinetic so it's hard to keep up with his energy; but everytime I'm seated next to him, I'm in fits of laughter half the night because of all his crazy stories.

I remember I'd asked him early on during the last presidential campaign which candidate he was supporting, as he was actually pretty close to all the major candidates. In fact, I think I'd asked him about this over a dinner at this very same house tonight. With his usual swagger, he had replied, "Pare, I'm a businessman. I support the winning side." And true enough, he did.

Tonight was no different and it's very unfortunate that I can't repeat any of his tales because I was wide-eyed with wonder and giggling in amusement the entire time, listening to his tales of political maneuvers and the behind-the-scenes of Philippine society. I usually don't have time for such talk, but he tells everything so amusingly it's like listening to Saturday Night Live or a comedy stand-up show.

Then, after telling about five or six long and tall stories, he was gone in a flash. "I've got a meeting," he said to the rest of us. But we're used to him by now, so it's okay. He'd done the same thing at Travelife Italy Night last week too. He'd arrived and immediately gone to my table to greet former President Ramos and former Speaker Jose de Venecia, and to say to me: "See. I came just for you." Of course he meant it in a very politico way, and then again he was off in a flash to work the room and talk to all the important guests. And when that was over, he disappeared into the night as always.


Now this house in Forbes is known for its food and I think they have the best kare-kare in town. I'd just come from my super detox program at The Farm at San Benito but tonight I broke this detox to heap my plate -- literally, heap my plate -- with their ruby-red kare-kare, full of oxtail. As I was eating and talking to my companions, I was also on BBM with my cousin-in-law who happened to be eating at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong tonight. L'Atelier is a top foodie destination in Hong Kong.

"And I'm eating kare-kare at a dinner party." I BBM-ed him back after he'd told me where he was.

"After your detox? You're crazy." He replied. Sigh. I knew it. But I just couldn't resist their kare-kare.

A private concert in the garden tonight

Then the dancing started in the garden, and Ambassador Harry Thomas gamely took to the dance floor for a couple of songs. This was followed by a very special treat of professional theater performers singing the best of Broadway hits in the garden -- a wonderful private concert as everyone sat al fresco. Many of the songs were from musicals I hadn't seen in a long time, and I especially liked the songs from Pippin and the song "Someone to Watch Over Me." I don't know which musical this comes from, but it was sung very beautifully amidst the stillness of the night.

I'd planned to go home early because I have a long day tomorrow but the beautiful music kept me on. Before I knew it, I was among the last guests at the party, along with members of the family. But anyway, with this family, I did sort of feel like almost one of the extended family.

Just another day in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful, Travelife.

Absolutely free, open to the public

Travelife Sri Lanka Night on Saturday, Sep 24, will be free and open to the public, but you will need prior reservations as there's limited seating. However, this will be the first and perhaps only event promoting beautiful Sri Lankan culture to the general public in the far-off future, so I hope many of you will take advantage of this free event courtesy of Travelife Magazine and Picar Development Inc. and join us.

To reserve, please call Bernice at Travelife Magazine: 8138400/ 8922620.

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