As Kevin mentioned in a previous post, while in Hong Kong we met with Jacques-Christophe Branellec of Jewelmer. Following our meeting he invited us to attend Jewelmer’s 35th anniversary gala in Manila and tour one of his pearl farms. We didn’t hesitate to jump at the chance! We rescheduled our flights and with the help of his team were able to make all the necessary arrangements to attend both the gala and stay at Jewelmer’s beautiful Flower Island resort.
Following a very busy week of pearl buying and blogging in Hong Kong we arrived in Manila, just after typhoon Mario had dropped 3 feet of water in less than 24 hours on the resilient city. It was hard to believe that days before thousands of people were evacuated and parts of the city were chest deep in water.
Lucky for us we have a friend in Manila, Cynthia Dayco (Cyndayco, forum member from Pearl-Guide.com). She met us at the Peninsula Hotel for drinks and escorted us to the gala. She looked gorgeous and it was great to have her give us some history of her beautiful city on the way in. I walked into the gala knowing that it would be a fabulous event but all my expectations were blown away! The food and wine was flowing all night. There was a large exhibit of pieces from previous year’s galas and they were all truly remarkable.
We then sat down to an outstanding performance. The orchestra, choir and dancers all came together and put on an amazing production. Model after model came strutting out with beautiful outfits and the most elaborate pearl designs. Every aspect of the show was deliberate and strategic. The dresses had the most beautiful prints of pearls, coral and sea creatures. The pictures give you a taste but I can’t even begin to describe the energy in the room.
After the last models took their bows the Jewelmer “family” came out for the big finale and left the room feeling like we just watched something very special.