An all-Chopin solo piano per­formance by Leventritt Gold Medal concert pianist Cecile Licad delighted the guests at the Manila Polo Club’s main lounge. Filled to a full house, the sublimely relaxed evening was set in a graceful and captivating Chopin mood, with Cecile’s music transporting me back to distant places, like walking down the cobblestone path on Saint-Germain-des-Pres or the grandeur of the Bel­vedere Palace. The master pianist played Chopin with passion, to a discriminating mix of diplomats, business, government, and society.

Polish composer and virtuoso pia­nist of the romantic era, Chopin was called the “Poet of the Piano.” He was a child prodigy who discovered color­ful, new passage work and technical figures. Cecile shares: “I have chosen a program which represents Chopin in many ways emotionally, and in various genres.” For the first time, our artist has written the program notes of her repertoire. Part one included “Noc­turne in F major,” “Nocturne in B flat minor,” “Mazurka in C minor,” “Fan­tasy in F minor,” “Berceuse,” “Scher­zo No. 2.” After the intermission, she played 12 etudes, including Op. 10, which is dedicated to Chopin’s friend Franz Liszt—“Op.10 No.1” to “Op.10 No.12,” universally known as “Revolutionary Etude.” In her message, Nedy Tantoco, president of the Philippine Philharmonic Society, Inc. (PPOSI), said that the project “supports two worthwhile causes, namely PPOSI for the wel­fare of its members, and for Childhope Philippines, Inc., which has championed the rights of over 10,000 street children since 1989.” The event was presented by Philippine Airlines.


“Surround yourself with the ulti­mate life force: family and friends,” as the saying goes. Yet I would add new acquaintances whose company I enjoy. Having a great relationship with fantasy, I love glorious parties of elegance and style. There is a part of me that desires to be a princess for the rest of my life. Little did I know that my fantasy would soon be a reality in my recent birthday when our best friend, David Lim, surprised me with a grand gesture: An invitation to host an inti­mate champagne dinner at his posh residence. A man with impeccable taste, David threw a celebration fit for a queen.

As I entered David’s majestic din­ing room, which was set for an inti­mate sit-down dinner of 18, I was wel­comed by a picture of glam, haute, and elegance with its dinnerware of Bac­carrat and Christofle. Having more reasons to celebrate was the pres­ence of our visiting New-York-based son Jeremy, his lovely wife Nina, and son Julian, who were with us for din­ner. They were in town to attend my husband Rupert’s recent “Faaabv­lous Fab Gala and Exhibit,” which was held at the Peninsula Manila recently. The illustrious dinner guests included US ambassador Sung Kim, Japanese ambassador Koji Haneda, his elegant wife Ihoko Haneda, consuls Louie and Mellie Ablaza, Consul Helen Ong, Pacqui and Lilibeth Campos, Mia Borromeo, Virginia Lane, Tita Trillo, Joy Rustia, and Joel Rustia.

The dinner took my taste buds into a delicious realm by way of a top-notch menu, most especially the sublime sea bass which was lusciously paired with Dom Perignon. Indeed, David’s champagne dinner was the pinnacle of fine dining.