Photos by Lorna Llanes
I remember an instance when a good friend (and confidant) once told me that, “There is strength in numbers,” and that the more people we can rally to join a cause, the better it is to achieve our objectives.
Case in point: Balmain, the French haute couture fashion house, is currently known in popular media for its “Balmain Army.” Its present creative director, Olivier Rousteing, will definitely lose the war over high fashion with the battalion of fiercer and obviously civic-minded women (and some gentlemen) during the recently concluded fashion extravaganza held at the Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangri-La.
Just imagine over 60 ladies, in their Philippine fashion best, all united in full support of the Society for Cultural Enrichment, Inc.’s second staging of this glamorous event to promote art and fashion.
Fortunately, I got a personal invitation by one of the ladies who participated in the gala fashion show. I joined the table that “beautypreneur” Nikki Tang hosted for this worthy cause along with other distinguished guests.
The SCEI, headed by its chairman and president Consul Helen Ong, hosted a fundraiser fashion show headlined “When Art Meets Fashion 2.” The proceeds from the gala dinner will go to various projects of the SCEI that focus on helping public schoolteachers and students.
And judging by the SCEI’s “Fashionable Army” of members who modeled for the show and the huge turnout of their guests, the objective was definitely achieved to help those in need.
Congratulations are in order for this year’s event chairperson and VP for Performing Arts Sheree Chua with her co-chairs, VP for Visual Arts Elaine Villar and treasurer Eni Alba. Together, they formed the organizing committee headed by its chairman and president, Consul Helen Ong, vice chair Dr. Jaime Laya, Consul Betty Chua, Consul Agnes Huibonhua, and secretary Mimi Valerio.
Definitely, their selfless act of duty to unite like-minded individuals for the common good of society is something noteworthy and gives us all a reason to celebrate.
That evening, several outstanding artists were given recognition in their own fields including Lisa Macuja-Elizalde for Dance, Ryan Cayabyab for Music, Ramon Orlina for Sculpture, Jose Tence Ruiz for Visual Arts, Anna Vergel R.S. for most promising painter and Danny Dolor for promotion of traditional Filipino Music.
“We envision gathering more members to spread SCEI’s advocacy of encouraging Filipinos to appreciate and promote art and culture,” expressed Consul Helen Ong during her speech.
Their thrust is for people to appreciate the artistic output of the Filipino by way of educating the public to popularize their art.
“Public appreciation for culture and the arts is complementary to being one with the SCEI,” added Dr. Jaime Laya.
Truly, the success of the occasion goes beyond the glitz and the bling. The event has achieved a milestone of bringing together Manila’s Fortune 500 to make lives better for those in need.
May Philippine art as exemplified in fashion, and through the efforts of SCEI, continue to touch our hearts and unite those that have the power to make our society a beautiful world to live in.
To the members and patrons of SCEI, bravo!
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