All roads led to the Fiesta Pavilion of the historic Manila Hotel last July 25 for the Philippine Heritage Society Ball and 2022 Filipino Heritage Awards and what a night it was to celebrate all things Filipino! Guests arrived at the reception area dressed to the nines in formal Filipiniana and to partake of the unlimited coffee by Curve Coffee Collaborators and cocktails by Destileria Limtuaco. Special exhibitors lined up the reception area of the hall including media partners Globaltronics/PARC Foundation and Light TV; presentor Greenfield Development Corporation, MX3, Apo View Hotel, Organique. The whole space, including the ballroom, was tastefully styled by Carmen Afzelius of Floral Fairy, who used bamboo, anahaw, succulents, sampaguita, capiz shells and other accents to give the entire event an elegant and festive atmosphere.
The red carpet pre-event was hosted by the fabulous Raymond Villanueva, who interviewed the attendees and guests about their advocacies, views on heritage, and whose creations they were wearing. Photographers and media personnel snapped away as each guest was being interviewed.
By 7:00 pm, guests were ushered into the grand ballroom for the main program. The show was divided into three main portions: the Heritage Waltz, the Awards ceremony and the fashion walk titled Harana sa Rampa.
As the lights dimmed and the announcer called the name of each participant, Philippine Heritage Society members and their partners made their way to the dance floor to dance to “Tanda de Valse”, composed by Jose “Pitong” Ledesma and choreographed by Dalah Pia. The men wore barong tagalog made from local materials like pina while the women wore beautiful designed baro’t saya which swayed gently as the dancers went through their routine. They finished their dance to resounding applause by the appreciative audience.
The awards ceremony was both grand and solemn. As each awardee walked slowly up the stage to receive their award, the audience were silent in reverence while the announcer listed each awardees’ accomplishments. The awardees present included the owners of Sarao Motors (Awardee for Design), the owners of Aristocrat (Awardee for Service), Lisa Macuja-Elizalde (Awardee for Dance), Attorney Dominador Buhain (Awardee for Publishing) and National Artist Fides Cuyugan Asensio (Awardee for Music).
Dinner was a delight for the senses as Manila Hotel chefs outdid themselves with a tasteful menu of Filipino classics. Performances by LyrOPERA artists: Randy Gilongo, Calie Ng, Nina Campos (who also emceed), Bernadette Mamauag, Sherine Ann Koa, Eden Dumlao, and the Philipine Tenors, serenaded the guests throughout the evening.
The fashion walk “Harana sa Rampa” was definitely one of the most anticipated portions of the entire evening. Exquisite Filipiniana fashions designed by some of the country’s top designers (Oskar Peralta, Edgar Madamba, Edgar San Diego, Ditta Sandico, Peri Diaz, Frankie de Leon, Petra Lim, Ronaldo Arnaldo, Ole Morabe and Lito Perez) were worn by luminaries and fashion icons including Ambassador Vic and Connie Garcia, David and Mache Ackerman, Jennifer Angeles, Malou Brewer, Danda Buhain, Aileen Campos, Tess Castro, Maggie Chavez, Ruby Chua, Joel Cruz and kids, Adrea Endicio, Aileen Garalde, Loubelle Gardiola, Rina Garcia, Genieve Jamisola, Rose Ranola Jordan, Rose Santiago Licup, Cora Lozada, Jessie Maloles, Ann Marie Morales, Mhel Pechera, Genevieve Qui, Minerva Racuya, Charito San Pedro, Michelle Media Sison, Lina Castillo Sullivan, Coco and Chanel Sun, Nikki Tang, Elaine Timbol, Dr. Mary Jane Torres, Flora Urquico, Sophia Yara and Mayor Krisel Lagman. The models succeeded in showing their clothes elegantly and in the best light while they were being serenaded to kundiman classics like Mutya ng Pasig, Ang Maya, Maalaala mo kaya, etc. performed by LyrOPERA singers.
The evening ended with a grand toast wishing everyone a bright future led by PHS founder Sherwin Sozon with fellow founders Tess Castro, Nathan de Leon and PHS Committee Chairperson Mache Torres Ackerman.
Overall the Philippine Heritage Society Ball and 2022 Filipino Heritage Awards was a testament to the beauty and richness of our Filipino Heritage. Mabuhay!