I believe we all share the same sentiments about the traffic in EDSA. It’s hopeless! Likewise, I think it’s safe to presume that my dear readers will all agree with this columnist on an appeal for help especially when we find ourselves caught in heavy (perhaps, an understatement?) traffic on a Friday night and we are already late for an important occasion. Literally, a river of red lights meanders down the long stretch of road. It’s a pathetic reality we all face (and often accept and tolerate) as motorists and commuters.
However, this Sunday’s column is not about the slow movement of traffic in EDSA that hinders our progress. I was simply giving reference to my recent experience as I battled the horrendous stream of traffic just to make it to an important commitment – this year’s Red Charity Gala held at the Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangri-La.
It’s ironic but I learned that the color red stimulates movement. Apparently, it’s the color that awakens our physical life force. It excites the emotions and motivates people to take action.
Aptly, the positive impact of the color red (and how it inspires) are attributes that are (in my opinion) admirable traits of the organizers, philanthropist Kaye Tinga and society icon Tessa Prieto-Valdes. They are the Red Charity Gala’s movers and shakers!
According to the ladies, the gathering has raised more that 12 million pesos in funds for the past several years for the Philippine Red Cross and Assumption High School Batch 1981 Foundation. And that evening, if my mental calculations are accurate, I believe they have achieved even greater heights with the huge turnout of supporters and donors. During the auction alone, Tessa together with Tim Yap, raised around five million pesos!
“It is amazing how this vision that came to fruition several years ago is still burning with flames. We are very happy to partner with creative and world-class talents, feature their works, and give back to the community all at the same time,” expressed Tessa.
The red spotlight this year focused on the works of highly acclaimed London-based designer Lesley Mobo. He showcased a 40-piece collection for Red Charity Gala 2015 and his latest undergarment designs headlined by Bench.
Lesley, who spent his early years in Aklan before moving to Great Britain, is recognized for his mastery of designing and tailoring soft, feminine dresses with edgy, structural touch. If his intent was to dazzle, then dazzled the audience he did with his collection of clothes that shouts (and sparkles) with all that glitter!
His haute couture creations stood out in stark contrast with the predominantly dark setting. It was a (surreal) sight to behold. It was vividly lucid and it captivated the audience composed of Manila’s Top 500.
The Red Charity Gala has brought together business leaders, philanthropists, the fashionable set in café society, creative and passionate minds in Philippine fashion and corporate sponsors who all gave their time, effort and support through donations or by sponsoring tables (mind you, it takes somebody with a truly generous heart to host a table for 10 or more with the rich five-course menu that comes with the whole extravaganza). Amidst all the pomp and pageantry (not to mention the high glamour!) expected from Gala events, what makes the Red Gala truly momentous was that the people behind it managed to pull off an event that is (by far) the grandest gesture of solidarity between various sectors. It has brought a whole community (in total unity) together in the name of charity.
Moments to benefit a good cause should constantly motivate us to move. Now, that is a positive impact that will never dampen my spirit no matter the odds (of EDSA on a Friday night)!
Such events, like the Red Charity Gala, give me profound optimism on our country’s progress. Cheers!
(Special thanks to Lorna Llanes for capturing some of the images for this column.)
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