CELEBRATIONS WITH PASSION
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.