Black Tie and Tiara 2014: Of sequins and sparkles

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Finalists of the Belle of the Ball with Norma Santos
Finalists of the Belle of the Ball with Norma Santos
Finalists of the Belle of the Ball with Norma Santos

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Norma Santos and Mariou Collie of Ilocano Filipino Australian Association of Victoria with Suzette, one of the sponsors.
Norma Santos and Mariou Collie of Ilocano Filipino Australian Association of Victoria with Suzette, one of the sponsors.
Winner of the “Western Union”  Belle of the Ball Sarah Symes (second from right) with Terry Kane, Second Prize winner and Choy Symes, Third Prize winner.  At left is  Norma San Diego-Santos.
Winner of the “Western Union” Belle of the Ball Sarah Symes (right) with Terry Kane, Second Prize winner and Choy Symes, Third Prize winner. At left is Norma San Diego-Santos.

To some of the nearly 350 guests who attended the Black Tie and Tiara Gala Ball 2014 last 13 September 2014 at the Langham Hotel, it was their night to deliver individual glamour statement by wearing gowns glittered with sequins and sparkles, curly locks and some poppin’ red lipsticks. For the men, they looked dapper in black suits with bright or lighter contrast details. The night was a showcase of an array of season’s trends from black, chalky pastels, screaming red or orange to glittering gold and silver. The non-profit event was organised by Norma San Diego- Santos of NSGlobal together with the Ilocano Filipino Australian Association of Victoria Inc.

“Once Again, as every year the Black Tie and Tiara Ball is the talk of the town before and after. The search is on for the gown that would win the Belle of the Ball competition. Gowns have been purchased in Australia and in the Philippines. Couriers from the Philippines were busy delivering gowns to attendees. The ladies were so serious with their gowns some had two changes on the night. All the ladies looked super fantastic as princesses with their tiaras,” San Diego-Santos told The Philippine Times.

Dressing up and catching up
San Diego-Santos said her guests looked forward to Belle of the Ball competition, reunion with friends in their fabulous gowns and the world class entertainment. “The Red Carpet and Media wall area was packed to the brim. Sparkling and canapés were served while the ladies were photographed by Hector Calara Photography. The ladies all looked so beautiful in their red carpet designer gowns, mostly with long trails. It truly looked like a Filipino ‘awards’ night like the Oscars and Logies,” she said.

The most applauded part of the entertainment was the dance presentation by the Apo Arts Academy Performing Arts in Dance and Musical theatre owned by a Filipina, Pam Apostolidis. Wearing various costumes, they wowed the audience as they hit the dance floor with their own unique rendition of “New York, New York”, a Parisian Can Can number and the finale that was comparable to a Las Vegas style floor show. Eight-year old, CJ Verseles also performed a song and dance number.

The most awaited “Western Union” Belle of the Ball presented by Liza Di Blasio was won by Sarah Symes who was wearing a gown by the famous Philippine designer, Rene Salud. Magnificent Miss 2014 Maddie Vulic presented a bouquet of flowers to the winner in behalf of Ruth Bernardo of Century properties. Second prize went to Terry Recto Kane who was dressed by Louis Gabriel Gonzales, a designer based in Philippines. Third Prize was won by Choy Symes whose gown was also designed by Louis Gabriel Gonzales.

The judges were Vicki Popovski of Vicoola fashionista, who dressed a lot of the ladies with her custom designs that night; Haley Russell, Australian; Maddie Vulic, winner of Magnificent Miss 2014 and Pam Apostolidis of Apo Arts Academy/Dance World. Norma San Diego Santos dressed in a gold number by Edgar San Diego, President of the Fashion Designers Association of Philippines, and wore a fuchsia French lace gown by Serge Mendez, a Philippine fashion designer (ex Ellie Saab of Paris) disqualified herself from the competition being the host of the event.

The emcee of the night, Roy Esagunde did a brilliant job. He also created a memorable event at the gala night when he proposed to Marife Marto Camilleri.

Letty Quimio Silva of the Handmaids of the Lord group led the opening prayer, while Dom Ortiz led the Australian and Filipino national anthems. Terry Recto Kane won first prize getting three-night’s accommodation at Nandana Boracay. Derek Moore won second prize getting two night’s accommodation at Eastwood Richmonde Hotel donated by Megaworld International. Lyn Castillo won third prize with make-up voucher by Silvia Arvanitakis as her prize.

San Diego-Santo would like to give special thanks to the Black Tie and Tiara Ball committee members: Marilou Collie, partner host of the event; Johanna Killen as events manager of the night; Jelen Verseles, marketing manager; Lilly Menzie, sales manager; Elaine Soriano, secretary: Roy Esagunde, Emcee; Gabby and Gayzha, lead hostessess of the night.

She would also like to thank their sponsors, Century Properties, Western Union, JY Accounting Services, Vicoola Fashionista, Nandana Boracay, Philippine Tours, Liz Honey Entertainment and Productions, ACME Vision for video photography, Diez Production for lights and sound, Share-Me-A-Dream, Sabelberg Morcos Lawyers, Suzette for the flowers, Megaworld International for two nights at Richmonde Hotel.

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