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Vin d’Honneur at the Malacañang

ANGEL THOUGHTS
“When God blesses you financially, don’t raise your standard of living. Rather, raise your standard of giving.”

The Vin d’Honneur is a traditional reception hosted by the Chief Executive for the members of the diplomatic community, top officials of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government, and business leaders to welcome the new year. The Jan. 14 Vin d’Honneur this year was extra special and, at the same time, bittersweet as it was the last to be hosted by President Benigno S. Aquino III. The ladies of the diplomatic community were elegant in their national costumes and the Filipiniana-dressed locals were charming in ternos,  baro’t saya and patadyongs. I came in a Criselda Lontok top, my trustworthy piña skirt from Kultura, and a filigree necklace made by Rep. Gina de Venecia.

  • President Benigno S. Aquino III, accompanied by the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps His Excellency Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, leads the traditional toast during the New Year’s Vin d’ Honneur (Image by Joseph Vidal/Malacañang Photo Bureau)

    President Benigno S. Aquino III, accompanied by the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps His Excellency Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, leads the traditional toast during the New Year’s Vin d’ Honneur (Image by Joseph Vidal/Malacañang Photo Bureau)

  • Arrival and entrance of the ambassadors and diplomatic corps

    Arrival and entrance of the ambassadors and diplomatic corps

  • President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his message during the New Year’s Vin d’ Honneur at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace. The annual reception, which marks the 29th Vin d’Honneur since the 1986 EDSA Revolution, is attended by government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, officials of international organizations and businessmen. Also in the photo is the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps His Excellency Archbvishop Guisseppe Pinto (Photo by Gil Nartea/Malacañang Photo Bureau)

    President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his message during the New Year’s Vin d’ Honneur at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace. The annual reception, which marks the 29th Vin d’Honneur since the 1986 EDSA Revolution, is attended by government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, officials of international organizations and businessmen. Also in the photo is the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps His Excellency Archbvishop Guisseppe Pinto (Photo by Gil Nartea/Malacañang Photo Bureau)

  • The event's entertainment

    The event's entertainment

  • Finance secretary Cesar Purisima, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, and Comelec chairman Andres Bautista

    Finance secretary Cesar Purisima, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, and Comelec chairman Andres Bautista

  • GSIS president Bernie Vergara

    GSIS president Bernie Vergara

  • Senate president Franklin Drilon

    Senate president Franklin Drilon

  • Senator Cynthia  and Manny Villar

    Senator Cynthia
    and Manny Villar

  • Manila Bulletin's chairman of the board Basilio C. Yap  and vice chairman Emilio C. Yap III

    Manila Bulletin's chairman of the board Basilio C. Yap
    and vice chairman Emilio C. Yap III

  • Food prepared by Chef Gaitaa Fores

    Food prepared by Chef Gaitaa Fores

  • Customs Chief Bert LinaaCustoms Chief Bert Linaa

    Customs Chief Bert Lina

  • Executive secretary Jojo Ochoa and Maria V. Montelibano

    Executive secretary Jojo Ochoa and Maria V. Montelibano

  • Washington SyCip with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

    Washington SyCip with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

  • DOLE secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz  and Senator Sonny Angara

    DOLE secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz
    and Senator Sonny Angara

  • Mariasun Azcuna, seated, with the author and Chef Gaita Fores

    Mariasun Azcuna, seated, with the author and Chef Gaita Fores

  • Acting DFA Secretary Laura del Rosario  (center) with Jorge Araneta and Stella Marquez Araneta

    Acting DFA Secretary Laura del Rosario (center) with Jorge Araneta and Stella Marquez Araneta

  • Marivic Limcaoco and Susan Reyes, Palace Socials Secretary

    Marivic Limcaoco and Susan Reyes, Palace Socials Secretary

Some of the men wore formal barongs while others turned up in dark morning suits. The UST Singers regaled guests with their songs. The President even remarked that the National Anthem was sung with such wonderful fervor by the group.

Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2015 by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards Gaita Fores put out a grand spread of her culinary creations including the sumptuous duck with langka in small paninis. She also prepared a buffet of local desserts and Mindanao specialties done in her signature style.

The fresh flowers commissioned by socials head Susan Reyes drew “ooohs” and “ahhs” from everyone and many couldn’t resist touching them to see if they were indeed real. Every social occasion in Malacañang showcases the beautiful flowers of the country and the artistry of the Palace team that does the decorations.

The toast between President Aquino and Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, the Papal Nuncio, capped the Vin d’Honneur. There were profuse and sincere thanks from the host for the help of the international community, especially during natural calamities, as well as investments from other countries. PNoy also expressed his gratitude for the pledge of continued friendship and cooperation from the Papal Nuncio. After the toasts, socializing began in earnest and the buffet tables drew swarms of hungry guests. PNoy, although suffering from a cold, enjoyed the warm greetings of friends and stopped to talk to several lucky ones. Yes, he also sampled the savory dishes of Cibo!