Last update: January 29 2009, 11:56 PM

Welcome the year of Obama–and the Ox!

January 24, 2009

WHAT is it about President Barack Obama that makes one feel so connected to him?

On the November evening he won the US presidential elections, his victory speech in Chicago kept me glued to my in-flight TV as I flew from New York to San Francisco. And then his inaugural last Tuesday was a brilliant spectacle, showing how even democratic Americans can come up with their own celebrations fit for royalty.

I was glued to CNN until the wee hours, when George W. finally flew off in his helicopter.

Earlier that evening, the Honorable Kristie Kenney, Ambassador of the United States of America, hosted a Presidential Inaugural Celebration at the US Embassy in Manila. I felt like Cinderella when I got my invitation to the ball.

What could I wear? My final choice was a multi-layered pink gown by young Cebu designer Ronald Enrico (tel. 0920-928-6238). Ronald does very detailed, show-stopper gowns and his clientele list in Manila is expanding.

Ambassador Kenney herself was the picture of elegance in a Len Nepomuceno-Guiao creation. She gave a wonderful toast to her new president, shortly after the US Marine Guard Detachment’s Presentation of Colors, and then invited all her guests to some al fresco dancing in the Embassy’s manicured gardens.

The Ambassador started the festive dancing, partnered with former Energy Czar Vince Perez, an ex-Bayanihan dancer and, therefore, more fleet of foot than the average cabinet secretary.

Guests were a veritable Who’s Who of Manila, including Paing and Mely Hechanova, who had hosted a wonderful birthday dinner in her beautiful new home over the holidays. The Ball was catered by Mandarin Oriental, which seems to be gaining popularity as a caterer of choice.

Mandarin ball

The Mandarin will spearhead the celebration of Chinese New Year tonight, as it has for the past 14 years. This is the Year of the Yin Earth Ox and leading the Mandarin’s festivities will be renowned geomancer Master Joseph Chau.

Among the sponsors of the event are the City Government of Makati, Smart Infinity, HTC, Henessy XO, BMW, Citibank, Lifestyle Network and Enchanted Kingdom, the latter for the fireworks.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay and Mandarin Oriental GM Helmut Gaisberger are leading the parade on board the Year of the Ox float. Other guests of honor will be chauffeured in luxury BMW cars courtesy of BMW Philippines. The Hotel’s premier feng shui consultant Master Chau will perform the ceremonial practice of the dotting of the Lion’s eyes.

At the annual World of Feng Shui talk of Marites Allen, I was given my own chart reading. Although most born under the Rabbit sign like me are not too lucky this Ox year, a few “cures” will straighten up the energy to the right direction.

The very informative session was highly entertaining, with stunning performances by performers from Club Mwah. For this year, the very lucky signs are Monkey, Dragon and Snake. The Rat, Rooster and Dog will have highs and lows. The rest of the signs need to work doubly hard and do lots of charity to ward off any evil lurking around.

Feng shui show

For February, QTV’s House Life will feature special segments on feng shui, so do catch the show every Mondays at 7:25 p.m.

My fellow Rabbit, former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz will be my House Tour guest and we will feature the general cures to bring auspicious luck to any home.

Charity is the best way to gain auspicious luck, of course. And there’s no better way to give than to play golf at the same time. The Assumption Alumnae Association (AAA) would like to invite male and female golfers to the annual Assumption Golf Tournament. This will be held at Sta. Elena Golf Club on Feb. 2. Proceeds will benefit youth scholars of the different Assumption Mission Schools in the country.

Raffle prizes are at stake, like free massage treatments from Urban Spa. For inquiries, please call the AAA office at 894-3580.

The Assumption nuns are also actively involved in helping displaced families in Cagayan de Oro due to massive flooding, rains and the recent overflow of two rivers. With almost 80,000 left homeless, the nuns are asking all of us to lend a hand to our brothers in Mindanao. Donations in cash or in kind are welcome through the AAA office.

The Year of the Ox will be a great year for those who look to the future and don’t dwell on the current crisis. Leading by example is taipan George Ty, who just inaugurated a super impressive Lexus car showroom at The Fort. The Lexus showroom has a Japanese-designed indoor garden and is a bright and nature-friendly way of showcasing these marvelous automobiles, truly the pinnacle of luxury cars.

At the Lexus opening, I was toured by sales executive Gab Sobrepena as we checked out the different models on display. Lexus president Danny Isla, who once partnered with my hubby Dennis in Alabang’s Mango Tee, is sure to have an easy time selling these sedans and SUVs.

‘Zaturnnah’ is back

Before I close, I’d like to plug “Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal.” This phenomenal hit will be restaged at the CCP Little Theater on the first two weekends of February, to cap off Tanghalang Pilipino’s 22nd Theater Season.

Original castmember Eula Valdes will reprise her role as the stunning, red-haired warrior Zsa Zsa, so this is certain to be a big hit once more. Call Tanghalang Pilipino at 832-3661 or Ticketworld at 891-9999 for tickets.

President Obama, of course, was born in 1961, also a Year of the Ox. As he ushers in a new era of hope and a progression towards greater unity, he will need all the auspicious luck feng shui can give.

Perhaps I should send him a lucky charm. That would make me feel even more connected to him! And while I’m dreaming, perhaps too, he can change his slogan from “Yes we can!” to “Choy Wan Hang Tung!” which in feng shui-speak means “Wealth comes from everywhere!”

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy New Year of the Ox!

E-mail the author at seaprincess@inquirer.com.ph.

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