|Goodbye to good friends, hello to new ones at the Sofitel Manila...|
I started tonight having drinks with an old friend from Hong Kong in the lobby of the Peninsula Manila, talking about the stock markets around the world and travel.
He's a British finance industry professional who now runs his own money, and he was here for the Euromoney conference.
He said to me tonight: "I'm so impressed with Manila, and I'm especially impressed with Makati. It's so vibrant, and so different from how I remembered it from my last visit many years ago."
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THINKING ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES
Like many foreign hedge fund managers, he hasn't really invested in Philippine stocks. Yet. We probably have the best performing stock market in the world, but many international pros still consider this market too small to think about.
Perhaps they're regretting this now.
Scroll down to read more about the impressive food stations at the Sofitel Manila tonight...
I remember how a couple of years ago, I played host in Manila to some finance friends from all over the world: New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and London. I put them in touch with local friends from the same industry in Manila.
And one evening I had them all over for dinner at my home.
The guys from abroad, used to living large on the world stage, all wanted to know: "What's the daily turnover of the Philippine stock exchange?"
Scroll down to read more about how everyone danced at the Sofitel tonight...
WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?
When they found out what the daily numbers were like, the guys from abroad joked among themselves about how they could probably all pitch in personal money and control the local market. It was that small in size, at least in their eyes.
This was so not funny to me then, but I put up with their talk with some good humor. And now I can really laugh about it, because I'm sure they're all wishing they'd actually done so after all.
From the Peninsula, I made my way across town to the Sofitel Manila, to attend the grand welcome soiree to say goodbye to former Sofitel Manila general manager Goran Aleks, and to say hello to new Sofitel Manila general manager Adam Laker.
Goran Aleks is heading for Sofitel Bali, and isn't he lucky.
PRETTY IMPRESSIVE DECOR
The Sofitel decorated the corridor to the ballrom with leaves to resemble a forest.
Then there were all sorts of interesting table settings and decor along the way.
When I finally entered the ballroom, a little late as I'd overstayed at the Peninsula, the party was in full swing.
Boy, Sofitel really pulled out all the stops for this grand soiree.
EVEN THE AMBASSADOR OF GERMANY'S DANCING
There was a large stage in the center and a dance floor.
Everywhere else I looked were the most interesting food stations, ever so stylishly arranged to look so French and so attractive.
I'd had a big lunch today at the Escolta of the Peninsula Manila, which had a Japanese buffet, and I'd made up my mind to skip dinner.
But everything at the Sofitel party looked too good to pass up.
I SHOULD'VE DANCED ALL NIGHT
The band was great, as well.
They played a lot of oldies, but they also played songs I knew like "Uptown Girl."
I would've danced if I wasn't wearing four-inch heels tonight, living another wonderful day in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.
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