Hennessy in Hanoi: The art of global mixing

THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee -

Hennessy Artistry is an annual event that gathers artists from around the world to promote the “Global Art of Mixing.” The event is always anticipated with a concert and a party.

Recently, the “Global Art of Mixing” was held in Vietnam, one of the largest consumers of Hennessy in Asia. The former French colony was one of the very few Asian countries, together with Malaysia and China, that sponsored such a big event. In fact, it was the second year Vietnam hosted the Hennessy Artistry.

From what I know, aside from the all-Vietnamese press gracing this affair, the Philippine contingent was the only one in Asia invited to this event.

Our fun group consisted of Moet Hennesy’s business development manager Randy Uson, Moet Hennessy’s trade marketing’s Mojee Balmoja, Embassy’s Wilbert Valentino, promoter Ivan Zalameda and the lone female (who was spoiled by our all-male group), blogger, writer and stylist Jenni Epperson.

Featured artists this year were headlined by Irishman Brian McFadden, Boston-based rock band Boys Like Girls, Australian singer Lenka and British upcoming singer Paul Freeman.

McFadden is best known as part of the boy band Westlife who has gone solo. His debut album Irish Son produced a number one single Real to Me and made two other top five singles. His second solo album is due this December. Boys Like Girls has had massive airplay in MTV with their hit Love Drunk and unfortunately, had to cancel their gig with Katy Perry here in Manila due to the typhoons that hit our country. Lenka also has had a lot of air time with MTV and Nickelodeon. The former talk show host just released her debut album last June. Freeman, an Englishman, is based in Los Angeles and does steady performances in Molly Malone’s, the Mint, Hotel Café and The Viper Room. I frankly never heard of Paul Freeman before but he turned out to be the best vocal act.

We had a chance to interview all four acts at the press conference at the Sofitel Hotel Metropole. They all said it was really satisfying performing in front of an Asian crowd since they could see their genuine appreciation.

The concert proper was at the massive National Convention Center where we had cocktails at the VIP area prior to the concert that must have lasted three hours. The after-party was held at The Sheraton Hotel.

It wasn’t all work as Randy had arranged some sightseeing tours in Hanoi. We explored the village of Kenh Ga (also called Chicken Canal) which had limestone formations similar to Halong Bay. People gathered shells by the river and uniquely rowed boat with their feet. We also checked out the big ceramic industry and the infamous Hanoi Hilton prison, not to be confused with our hotel, the Hilton Hanoi Opera!

(Check out www.hennessy.com)

Ilocos festivals

The first Ray-Aw: Christmas in Ilocos Festival is scheduled for Dec. 4 at the Rockwell Tent and the 8th Annual Governor’s Gala at the Ilocos Norte Convention Center on Nov. 14. Ray-Aw is the Ilocano word for “celebration” and through this festival, the Museo Ilocos Norte hopes to share various customs and traditions that are uniquely Ilocano.

The Museo Ilocos Norte is a learning center of the province’s traditions. On display are artifacts that illustrate how peoples such as the Ilocanos, Yapayaos, Isnegs and Igorots have wrested a living from the earth and waters of the province. A Hall for Changing Exhibits links the Museo not only with special aspects of living in Ilocos Norte, but also with development in the country and elsewhere. An existing Tabacalera tobacco warehouse that is next door to the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol was recycled into the Museo. The Tabacalera warehouse in Laoag, a plain, rectangular brick structure built in the 19th century, is one of a chain of brick warehouses built in Ilocos Norte.

Ray-Aw will take guests through a virtual tour of a typical Ilocano town as it goes through the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations, transporting guests to the Ilocos region so they may experience the sights and sounds of the dawn Mass, a market day, a lantern festival and Christmas caroling. An Ilocano celebration would not be complete without a feast of Ilocano delicacies as interpreted by Glenda Barretto of Via Mare. To bring the experience home, they will have an Ilocano bazaar featuring the region’s best products and crafts.

The 8th Annual Governor’s Gala Ball will be held on Nov. 14 at the Ilocos Norte Convention Center in Laoag City. Since the first Governor’s Gala Dinner-Dance in 2003, this affair has become one of the most anticipated events in the province. One of the highlights of the event is the awarding of the Gameng Lifetime Achievement Award, which is given to three Ilocanos who have contributed their exceptional talent, creativity and skill in the enrichment of the Ilocano culture and tradition. Gameng, after the Iloko word for treasure, symbolizes the wealth of Ilocos Norte. The awardees will receive a cash grant and a plaque from the Governor of Ilocos Norte.

(For further details or clarifications, please contact Carla Diaz de Rivera at 0917-9621414 or 0922-8891142 or e-mail [email protected])

Katy Perry concert moved to Nov. 14

Due to the unfortunate circumstances brought about by typhoon Ondoy, Katy Perry’s concert scheduled last Oct. 3 was postponed to Nov. 14, still at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. The concert is said to be the biggest fund raiser for the typhoon victims as foreign and local artists will be supporting the cause in Perry’s lead.

Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) hit Philippine soil in the morning of Sept. 26. Downpour was reported to be the heaviest rain in more than 40 years on Metro Manila and neighboring areas. The nine-hour deluge left some areas of Metro Manila under 20 feet of water. Three days after the typhoon, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said it has accounted for 1.87 million affected people. Then came super typhoon Pepeng (international name: Parma). It is for this reason that Music Management International (MMI) and All Youth Channels Inc. (AYC) postponed the Katy Perry, Live in Manila concert happening supposedly last Oct. 3. Set to make the concert much bigger, better and more relevant, the two companies will be transforming Katy Perry’s concert into a fund-raising gig scheduled on Nov. 14. AYC’s marketing and communications director Ronald Esguerra says: “We are currently working on foreign and local artists to join the cause. We feel that through the universal language of music, we will be able to unite and move everyone to help out.” The fund raiser’s net proceeds will be awarded to an agency that has actively and efficiently been deploying donations and aid to the typhoon victims. Name of agency is yet to be announced at a later date. 

The concert would also be an avenue for people to drop off their donations as it houses booths specifically intended for it. Donations in kind like food, water, clothes, blankets and medicines are welcome. They highly encourage everyone to bring at least one item to donate. These items will be deployed to victims of the tropical storm.

This event is presented by Smart Buddy, co-presented by McDonald’s, SM Mall of Asia and U92; official hotel residences are the Makati Shangri-La Hotel and Edsa Shangri-La Hotel.

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