Disco, drag queens in a dinner-dance birthday party

After the longest time of imposed restrictions in Iloilo City due to the pandemic, I finally flew to cosmopolitan Manila for the shortest visit ever — an overnight stay to attend the 50th birthday celebration of a good friend whom I simply can’t say no to!

Low-profile Noel Sy’s dinner-dance party was one for the books with a hundred close friends and family gracing the occasion. It was staged at Vermillion by The Mansion, a premium event place located on the eighth floor of the Sy family-owned Brighthall Realty & Development Corporation’s M1 Tower in Salcedo Village, Makati. The venue was converted into a disco 80s night club complete with glittering mirror balls, neon lighting, and sparkling tinsel curtains. To complete the scene, iconic drag queens swirled and swayed on the entrance ledge to welcome guests. Hors d’oeuvres consisting of Baked Hokkaido Oysters, Spring Rolls, Scallop Siomai, and Ku Chay Ah Pie were passed among guests while a pretty lass in a champagne glass holder hula hoop skirt kept everyone in “high spirits” before entering the main dining room.

Photographs courtesy of Noel Sy’s closest and dearest friends.


The columnist with Noel Sy.


Dance, dance, dance.


Vivian Fuentes, Edward Zshornack, and Tito Villanueva.


Leon Victor Uy, Ellen Lacson, Dr. Gio Dimayuga, and Noel Sy.


Nena Genoveva Sy-Lim, CEO, Brighthall Realty and Development Corporation, with birthday celebrator Noel Sy.


Showgirls galore.


The girl in champagne glass holder hula hoop skirt.

The dinner selection by TJIOE was spectacular which included Rice Pilaf and Vegetable Casserole, Grilled Prawns in Lemon Butter Sauce, Sea Bass in Shiitake Soy Reduction, and Wagyu Steak. The 3rd Avenue Band provided the live entertainment and DJ Mars curated a lineup of the most fantastic dance grooves from the era while an open bar serving 80s cocktails favorites, champagne, wines, and beers kept the party going even after the last song has been played.

I had so much fun despite my short stay in the big city that I may end up seeing you guys more often than expected. After all, traveling is coming back in style.
Next Manila party, please.

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