Manners & Misdemeanors
How To Be Invited to Manila's Coolest Parties
Aside from power and influence, manners make a great party guest, too.
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With all the events, parties, and gatherings in the city every day, do you ever wonder whose social calendar is most jam-packed? Also, what makes them the best invitees? Is it their influence? Their following? Their sense of leadership? Or maybe even their good looks?

We asked our friends from top PR firms for names of guests whom clients request to be put at the top of their dream guest lists, and these are the personalities that came up, in no particular order:

BUSINESS LEADERS


Gigi Montinola III, chairman of WWF Philippines
Ben Chan, chairman of Suyen Corporation
Vicky Belo, doctor, and founder of Belo Medical Group
Doris Magsaysay-Ho, president and CEO of Magsaysay Corporation
Butch Campos, CEO of Del Monte Pacific Ltd.
Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation chairman and CEO
Fernando Zobel de Ayala,
Ayala Corporation president and COO
Washington SyCip, SGV & Co. founder

LEADERS IN LIFESTYLE

Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Aranaz founder and executive director
Hindy Weber Tantoco, co-founder of Holy Carabao
Bea Zobel Jr, philanthropist
Tim Yap, television host and businessman
Grace Baja, lifestyle blogger
Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, model and founder of Happy Skin
Cedie Lopez-Vargas, executive director of The Lopez Memorial Museum
Rica De Jesus, Philippine Star columnist, blogger at Heart2Heart
Amanda Griffin-Jacob, Manila Bulletin lifestyle columnist and blogger
Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Philippine Daily Inquirer lifestyle columnist

POWER COUPLES


Christian Gonzales, ICTSI head of Asia Pacific, and Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez, marketing manager of Philux
Jesse Maxwell, COO of Magsaysay Transport and Logistics, and Jessica Kienle- MaxwellPhilux designer
Jonathan Crespi, entrepreneur, and Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi, lifestyle blogger and TV show host
Sonny Angara, politician, and Tootsy Angara
Rikki and Beng Dee, restaurateurs
Donnie Tantoco, president of Rustan's Commercial Corp., and Crickette Yu Tantoco
Aivee and Z Teo, 
doctors and founders of Aivee Institute
Rajo Laurel, 
fashion designer, and Nix Alanon, interior designer
Bryan Lim,
Suyen Corp. senior vice president, and Kai Lim, co-owner of Cura V
Kevin,
first vice president of Megaworld, and Michelle Tan

YOUNG GUNS 


Marion Branellec, Jewelmer brand manager
Tiffany Mathay, operations manager of Casa de Memoria
Erwann Heussaff, food blogger and restaurateur
BJ Pascual, 
photographer
Cristalle Henares-Pitt, Belo Medical Group managing director
Amado Fores
Monica Concepcion

How did these names have the esteemed honor of becoming the most invited guests in the city? It actually has a lot to do with their relationship with particular brands or hosts. Guests who show enthusiasm for the brand, company, or host before and during an event will always be graciously remembered. Of course, many would think that a visible social media presence is needed to get the word out, but that's not always the case. These are opinion leaders and authorities in their respective fields and people listen to what they have to say. In that sense, they also must be articulate and have a good reputation.

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Depending on the nature of the event, the ideal guest list would consist of a friendly mix of politicians, businessmen, and society figures. But in creating a guest list such as the roster of names above, you have to ensure that your event is relevant to your guests. The last thing you’d want is your guest wondering what they are doing there.

But it's not just that. Guests such as these tend to follow social protocol that also contribute to their amiability, which we believe to be essential to every social gathering. To practice proper etiquette when attending gatherings, here are a few things we can learn from our favorites:

Practice punctuality.
You might think that arriving early earns you brownie points in your host’s book but every minute of prep time is precious and you have to give that to your host. If the invite specified 6 p.m., you need not come right on the dot but making a very early or very late entrance is just rude. Imagine having to sort out a last-minute table napkin crisis while having to entertain an early guest.

Never ask to take anything home.
Don’t ask for anything more than what is offered to you. During meals, you may ask for that additional glass of wine but be wary of how much you ask for. If you see that your host is low on wine while guests continue to arrive, then it is best to skip that request.

Another thing to consider is the table service. If you’re enjoying the entree so much during a sit-down dinner where each meal is served by a waiter, then chances are that meal was portioned by head and it would be wrong to ask for more. Lastly, never ever ask to take leftovers home in a doggie bag or put the host on the spot by asking for more giveaways.

Be mindful of your conversation pieces.
That anecdote you prepared on a perfect luncheon that you attended a week before, where the flowers were shipped from New Zealand and the desserts were life-changing, might come off as a hurtful comparison to the host and other guests. Likewise, a guest who belittles the knowledge of other guests or speaks thunderously of morbid current events and hateful political views are most likely getting their names scratched off the next party’s invite list. Learn to filter your conversation topics.

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Always RSVP.
Make it a point to RSVP. Every confirmed guest is accounted for before an event and when you show up unannounced, it may cause problems in terms of logistics.

Note: Do not take a plus one unless it is specified or if you are asked. 

Remember to be warm and sociable.
You probably would not see any of the personalities listed above sitting alone at the corner of a room, avoiding conversation with others, and wearing a look that says, “I’d rather be at home.” Both hosts and fellow guests alike would always prefer to be around a sociable guest over a snobby one. If you prove yourself an interesting guest with superb social graces, expect another invite from the host in the future.

Always say your goodbyes.
The unpopular method of ghosting—abruptly leaving without a peep—has no place in the world of polite society. Inform the host you are leaving and thank them for thinking of inviting you. If you’ve made new acquaintances throughout the event, say your goodbyes to them as well, a sure way to be remembered.

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Hannah Lazatin
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