Monday, October 1, 2012

Pretty in pink at the Peninsula Manila's Salon de Ning



Good afternoon from Japan, on the way into Tokyo to join a pretty fancy kaiseki dinner tonight and then to host my own dinner in Tokyo tomorrow. After that, I'm off to Kyoto to stay in one of Japan's most revered traditional inns. You'll read more about this soon in Travelife Magazine.

Yes, you might say I'm in Japan to basically cook and eat.

It's a very short stay, but I'm hosting two dinners, including a dinner for our ambassador to Japan; I've also  booked three Michelin-starred restaurants, and I'm staying for two nights in Japan's most famous ryokan in Kyoto.

And this is supposed to be an R&R trip, by the way, so you can imagine what my work schedule is like.

A VERY ENJOYABLE PARTY


But last night, in Manila living a Travelife, I attended a very nice and intimate cocktail party hosted by Peninsula Manila general manager Sonja Vodusek at the Salon de Ning.

This was a tree filled with lovely pink chocolates.

There was a pretty lively auction, lots of delicious cocktails and good music, and the formal opening of the pink-colored fountains of the Peninsula Manila (you can see this at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue) in honor of Breast Cancer month, which we watched on a large video monitor set up on the stage of the Salon de Ning.



All the guests were asked to wear something with a tinge of pink, so I came in a dress that brought back happy memories, as I'd bought it last June in the sleepy but prosperous town of Linz, in Austria, on the very first day of my most recent trip to Europe with two of my oldest friends.



SURPRISES AT AN AUCTION

The auction was hosted by Tim Yap and there were all sorts of items up for grabs for charity including a magnum bottle of champagne, a gift certificate for Itsy Bitsy boutique of Ines Prieto and a lovely pendant courtesy of jeweler Candy Dizon.

I'd arrived just a few minutes after the program had started, and I was standing slightly at the back, enjoying some champagne, when the auction started. Just as the bidding was gearing up, I happened to see one of the guys I'd just traveled to Israel with, standing across the room.

Tim Yap doing the auction...
Of course, I did a little wave to say hi across the room. Tim Yap caught this and called out my name as the first bidder of the auction -- catching me completely by surprise. But it was all in good fun and I would've gotten the item in the name of charity, unplanned or not; but fortunately, someone outbid me for it.

This actually happened a couple of times as I typed a BBM message and took photos on my phone as well; and my name kept getting called out that finally I resolved to keep my hands to my side until the auctions were over.

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UNDERSTATING FAME

Then my friend A tapped me on the shoulder and before I knew it, he was introducing me to a nice guy who said he was an actor. We talked for a while and he told me that he'd just finished doing a soap, and that he was into producing as well.



But as I don't watch TV save for Living Asia, the Asian Food Channel and Bloomberg -- and even so, once in a blue moon only -- I had no idea who he was except that he was interesting and nice.

But then all these photographers started taking photos of us. They do take photos of me, but certainly not in this way. That's when I got an inkling of how well-known he was. I said to him: "Hey, I didn't realize you were this famous."



All in all, a very nice evening. I was very glad I'd pushed my flight back to attend this party, just because I felt like doing so. I should've been in Kyoto since before the weekend, but I'd decided to delay my trip to host two consecutive dinners in Manila over the weekend and to attend the Peninsula party.

But last night I left pretty early to catch the first flight out to Japan today, to start another chapter in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.





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