Ladies and gentlemen, clad in their fabulous outfits, mill around the hall. Most of them either hold or wear a mask. Music pervades the air, and the guests dance to their heart's content. It's a masquerade party...with a twist.
Fashion world merges with showbizlandia. Classic meets mod. Black fuses with different hues. In one word, Fabulous!
That's how the guests of Ruffa Gutierrez describe her 33rd birthday bash held at the Alchemy Club (Vapor Room) on June 20.
"Didn't really want to celebrate this year, but Drs. Manny and Pie Calayan wanted to cheer me up and make me happy," says the beauteous birthday lady.
The masquerade party is strictly by invitation. Only by a few of her friends and colleagues celebrate with her. Among the early birds are Anna Roces, YES! magazine and PEP editor-in-chief Jo-Ann Maglipon, Douglas Quijano, Eat Bulaga! lady executive Malou Choa-Fagar, and Gabby Eigenmann.
It's also an occasion for rare gatherings. Rival TV networks GMA-7 and ABS-CBN are there. ABS-CBN Executive Vice President Charo Santos-Concio chats with GMA-7 Senior Vice President for Entertainment Wilma Galvante. When the photographers ask for a brief picture session, they readily pose. Says Douglas Quijano about the two powerful ladies, "Magkaibigan naman talaga ang mga iyan."
At 10:00 p.m. guests begin pouring in. Some arrive in pairs—Gutierrez patriarch Eddie Gutierrez and matriarch Annabelle Rama, Almira Muhlach and Bong Alvarez, Bianca King and Champ Lui-Pio, Phoem Barranda with a non-showbiz date, Bb. Pilipinas-World 2007 Maggie Wilson and Nicole Anderson, SiS hosts Carmina Villaroel and Gelli de Belen; and Rachel Lobangco and Vina Morales—who arrive separately with their non-showbiz boyfriends.
Others come in groups—Joyce Jimenez and Mich Dulce who arrive in ‘60s-inspired outfits, with Alfred Vargas; Richie Paul and Elvis Gutierrez with their lady partners; Jessica Rodriguez and David Buenavacz, with Jackie Forster; Philippines' Next Top Model winners with Jigs Mayuga, L'Oreal make-up artist, and Rorie Carlos, marie claire magazine's fashion editor.
Dr. Manny Calayan and Regal queen Lily Monteverde come in solo. Annabelle and Ruffa are current endorsers of the former, while the latter has lined up a movie for them. Liz Almoro also makes an elusive entrance, but she's still hard to miss. Tessa Prieto-Valdez is also present in her floral, beaded dress.
At 11:06 p.m., Ruffa enters the party venue. She looks gorgeous in her royal blue Jun Escario outfit, and serene despite the recent controversies she's faced. When asked about her birthday wish: "Peace of mind, more blessings."
At 12:00 midnight, the party is in full swing—people are dancing, chatting, and having fun, including the birthday girl. How would she describe the Ruffa who's celebrating her 33rd birthday tonight? She replies through text, "Independent, ready to face the world, humbled, victorious, and grateful."
Check out the fabulous outfits of Ruffa's guests by clicking this Gallery.