Pinoy Knight

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Pinoy Knight
March 1994: Queen Elizabeth II with ‘knight’ President Fidel V. Ramos, First Lady Amelita Ramos and Prince Edward in Buckingham Palace.

The late former President Fidel V. Ramos wasn’t only the “knight in shining armor” of his wife and the queen of his home, former First Lady Amelita “Ming’ Ramos.

He was also a knight of the late revered Queen Elizabeth II herself.

In March 1994, FVR went to London to visit the Queen on an official trip and went home a knight. An honorary British knight.

“To date, FVR is the only Filipino to receive that distinct honor,” according to FVR’s biography Behind the Red Pen by Jojo T. Terencio, published in 2021. The former President passed away in August this year.

Terencio recounts:

The highlight of our trip (to London) was the visit to Buckingham Palace, where FVR and the First Lady were given welcome ceremonies followed by an audience with the Queen. The visit was classified as official, hence, the arrival honors and the luncheon hosted by Her Majesty. Unfortunately, Prince Philip and their son Prince Charles were not around (Charles was in Cairo at that time). So, it was Prince Edward, Charles’ younger brother, who accompanied the Queen in receiving the First Couple.

The Philippine media delegation was stationed just a few meters away from the area where FVR and Mrs. Ramos were welcomed by the Queen. We had to be at the venue 45 minutes earlier. I remember though that the security procedure at the Buckingham was not as strict as the White House. There was not much interrogation or checking of data. (Perhaps, the security did their homework days before.)

We were positioned comfortably and we got excited when the Queen finally showed up at the foyer, a signal that the presidential convoy had entered the palace complex. She was very regal in a baby blue dress, accentuated by a pearl choker and pearl earrings and elegantly carried a black hand bag on her left arm. The First Lady wore a red blazer with a black dress underneath. The President and the Prince were in black suits.

The Queen and Mrs. Ramos. Photos courtesy of former First Lady Amelita Ramos.

After shaking hands with the First Couple, the Queen led them inside the palace for the audience and luncheon, together with key members of the Philippine delegation.

During their meeting, Queen Elizabeth said: “We share common beliefs and values. Like Great Britain, your country also advocates freedom and democracy. I wish your country success.”

She then conferred on President Ramos an honorary British Knighthood, the Knight Grand Cross of Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, in recognition of his service in government and in strengthening Philippine-UK relations.

After the luncheon, the Queen and Prince Edward led the First Couple to Buckingham’s grand entrance. FVR, escorted by the Prince, then trooped the Guard of Honor provided by the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

Later, FVR shared with the media that the Queen was appreciative of his trip, noting that there were thousands of Filipinos working in London and other parts of the UK that would benefit from his visit.

Recently Mrs. Ramos shared photos from the family album of that historic day almost 30 years ago.

Wealth is Wealth

Health is wealth. Peace of mind is wealth. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to have wealth that you can rely on to pay the bills and even ensure good health, for you and your loved ones.

HSBC Philippines recently hosted a dazzling event for clients to celebrate the launch of HSBC Wealth, HSBC’s new and enhanced wealth brokerage, which opens up a new world of golden opportunities for wealth management.

The event was opened by a spectacular play of lights video montage that showcased HSBC’s unique international and local presence. HSBC Philippines president and CEO Sandeep Uppal opened the event and said, “The launch of HSBC Wealth is yet another milestone in our 147-year history in the Philippines. This demonstrates our confidence in the country, reaffirms our commitment in bridging our Philippine customers with the rest of the world and supports HSBC’s ambition to be the leading international wealth manager in Asia.”

For his part, HSBC Wealth vice chairman Peter Faulhaber said, “This evolution of our wealth management business builds on our continued commitment to investing in the Philippines with new capital, giving our clients a wider suite of products and better customer experience through our qualified wealth managers.”

Held at the Grand Ballroom at Shangri-La at the Fort, the event treated HSBC guests to a sumptuous feast prepared by chef Carlo Huerta that took them on a culinary journey across HSBC’s international network.

Upon their arrival, guests were served cocktails at the bespoke Gold Bar.

The dinner consisted of three courses. The first course was a seafood medley of seared scallops, dill-marinated tiger prawns, pomelo, sundried heirloom tomatoes, crispy fennel, warm passion fruit sauce, and gold dusted potato paper — fruits of the Philippine sea symbolizing HSBC’s 147 years of presence in the country. A dalandan sorbet was served as a palate cleanser.

The second course was a Josper-grilled beef tenderloin with spiced carrot puree, crispy potato stack, saute?ed broccoli, gold flakes, port wine reduction, saffron tuille which represents the presence of HSBC in North America.

And for dessert, pastry chef Myles Sanchez created Belgian Dark Chocolate mousse in chocolate nest raspberry jelly and seasonal berries, which was a sign of the sweet future being ushered in through the services of HSBC Wealth. Guests were also gifted with chocolate bonbons as a sweet ending to a momentous evening.

Guests were also entertained by the vocal stylings of theater stars Gab Pangilinan, Gian Magdangal, Reb Atadero and Frenchie Dy who did an astounding performance of songs from The Greatest Showman, accompanied by a heart-thumping dance performance that transformed the ballroom into a picture of affluent possibilities for guests.

Capping the event was a toast to new opportunities led by Uppal, Faulhaber and HSBC regional head of private banking, Asia Pacific Siew Meng Tan.


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