Tea for 30 | mb.com.ph | Philippine News
Home  » Others » Panorama » Tea for 30

Tea for 30

Photos by JYD

Tea for more than 30–30-plus influential Filipinas–who were there to meet, chat, and engage with the envoy from Australia. She greeted them wearing a white shirt with long sleeves embroidered in white, and a skirt woven by a Mindanao tribe. Another Filipiniana touch that she wore with pride was a long gold tambourine necklace, which went nicely with her blond hair.

Ambassador Amanda Gorely, not quite one year in the Philippines since she left Canberra and New Zealand, introduced herself and her embassy staff (immigration, trade, politics), and the topic of the day, which was simply to know one another from a personal as well as diplomatic perspective–friends, in other words. In her welcome speech, graciously no more than five minutes long, she paid tribute to woman power without harping on gender differences and inequalities while taking note of the Filipina’s role in society, politics, the economy, and even regional relationships such as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). Short and sweet it was, like the pastries, tiny pizzas, and other fingerfoods waiting to be picked up by dainty fingers.

  • Tea for 30 mb10
  • Tea for 30 mb1
  • Tea for 30 mb2
  • Tea for 30 mb3
  • Tea for 30 mb4
  • Tea for 30 mb5
  • Tea for 30 mb6
  • Tea for 30 mb7
  • Tea for 30 mb8
  • Tea for 30 mb9
  • Tea for 30 mb11
  • Sweets to the sweet!
  • The embassy ladies: Natasha Monks, trade; Elizabeth Carter, immigration; Caroline Fogarty, political section; Elodie Journet, trade.
  • Dr. Isabel Cojuangco Suntay, her daughter Dr. Isa C. Suntay, and Olivia Limpe
  • Staircase to power. Front row, Lilia de Lima, Ombudsman Morales, Ambassador Gorely, Delia Albert, and Imee Vilches
  • Myrna Yao
  • Vivian Yuchengco
  • Cielo Narvaez and Vivian Que Azcona
  • Trish Rojas and Jo Regis Cruz
  • Ambassador Gorely, Imee Vilches listen to Dr. Isabel Cojuangco Suntay.
  • Amb. Amanda Gorely addresses 30 powerful, influential ladies. 
  • Former PEZA director general Lilia de Lima and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales

The invitation said high tea from 3 to 5 p.m., and (almost) everyone arrived punctually on the dot, quite a feat, considering the mid-week traffic going to the ambassador’s residence in North Forbes Park, Makati. Like her country, Ms. Gorely’s residence exudes an open vibe with high ceilings, lots of natural light, and spaciousness. On the walls hang large pieces of Australian art.

The tea party felt very much like a cocktail party. Hostess and guests were on their feet most of the time moving from conversation cluster to cluster, exchanging business cards. Among the most prominent power ladies were 2016 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, the recently retired director general Lilia de Lima of Philippine Export Zone Authority, former ambassador to Australia Delia Albert, and Vivian Azcona, president and GM of the largest drugstore chain in the country.

In a roomful of 30 women, where were the guys? One was busy shooting pictures as a quartet in black and white uniforms served drinks. Several minutes after five and remembering the diplomatic protocol of being on time, not a minute too soon and not a minute too late, the ladies took their leave one by one or two by two. The last “official” act of the day was Ambassador Gorely asking the ladies to pose on the steps of the staircase for an unofficial portrait of woman power in “smart casual” dress code.