Celebrating 35 Years Of Building Homes For The Future 

It was a night of giving at the Habitat for Humanity 35th anniversary dinner, which raised funds to continue its mission of providing affordable housing to Filipino families. 

This is a story from Lifestyle Asia’s November 2023 Issue.

It was indeed a special night as Habitat for Humanity celebrated its 35th anniversary with a fundraising dinner by Michelin Star chef Walter Manzke, Joris Rycken, and James Beard awardee for Outstanding pastry Chef 2023, Margarita Manzke who came from Los Angeles for the one time event at Shangri-La The Fort, Manila. It was a purposeful night of thanksgiving, entertainment, and gastronomic experience to help raise funds to build homes and hope for future generations of Filipino families in need of decent affordable homes. 

Sandy Romualdez, Senator Grace Poe, and Ana Lorenzana-de Ocampo
Sandy Romualdez, Senator Grace Poe, and Ana Lorenzana De Ocampo

READ ALSO: For A Brighter Tomorrow: The Red Charity Gala Makes Its Triumphant Return

Fernando Zobel de Ayala and US Ambassador Mary Kay Carlson
Fernando Zobel de Ayala and US Ambassador Mary Kay Carlson

ENTERTAINMENT WITH A MISSION 

The event started with an invocation by talented couple and theater artists Gian Magdangal and Lara Maigue who sang “The Prayer.” In the opening remark of gala committee chair Ana Lorenzana De Ocampo, she shared that Habitat for Humanity Philippines’ impact goes beyond bricks and mortar because it is restoring dignity, igniting potential, and creating a sense of belonging for the many lives it has changed. De Ocampo said in her speech, “Thirty-five years of accomplishments, let us also look ahead with a renewed sense of compassion and resolve. May we be inspired by the heart-tugging stories shared tonight and channel this into real action and change. We must continue to build not just houses, but futures filled with promise and opportunities for our fellow countrymen.”

L-R: Marixi Prieto, Philip Romualdez, Ana Lorenzana-de Ocampo, Charlie Rufino, and MaryKay Carlson
Marixi Prieto, Philip Romualdez, Ana Lorenzana De Ocampo, Charlie Rufino, and MaryKay Carlson
L-R: Mark and Em Aglipay; Carol and Jun Cabangon; Kevin and Kristine Co; Erika and Francis Reyes; Jigger Cruz; Aira Hernandez
Mark and Em Aglipay; Carol and Jun Cabangon; Kevin and Kristine Co; Erika and Francis Reyes; Jigger Cruz; Aira Hernandez

She added that Habitat has supported over 4.3 million Filipinos to build or improve the place they call home: helped over 150,000 families through house repair and construction, built over 200 community infrastructures from multipurpose and livelihood centers, health centers, schools, classrooms, libraries, and daycare centers and facilitated access to housing finance to 934,120 households for home improvement. It has also mobilized over five million local and international volunteers to build homes and communities. 

L-R: Cinty Yñiguez, Odette Pumaren, Techie Hagedorn, Anne Marie Saguil, Sofia Zobel-Elizalde
Cinty Yñiguez, Odette Pumaren, Techie Hagedorn, Anne Marie Saguil, Sofia Zobel-Elizalde
L-R: Michelle Tan, Teresita Sy-Coson, Alice Eduardo, Michelle Tiangco, Irene Marcos-Araneta, Small Laude
Michelle Tan, Teresita Sy-Coson, Alice Eduardo, Michelle Tiangco, Irene Marcos-Araneta, Small Laude

After Lorenzana-de Ocampo’s welcome remarks, a performance by Nicole Asensio and live guitarist, Gabe entertained the crowd, followed by a song number by Ayen Laurel. Heartfelt testimonials were heard from Engineer Christian Seso who is a homeowner and a video testimonial by Claudette Fernandez was also shown to show the audience two among the many who Habitat has helped with their living conditions. A call for support was made by Fernando Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Land, a platinum sponsor of the gala night. The program ended with a jovial rendition of “Umagang kay Ganda” led by Ayen and Franco Laurel together with the committee members, Board of Trustees, the Zobel de Ayalas, and homeowners. 

Fernando Zobel de Ayala
Fernando Zobel de Ayala
L-R: Rajo Laurel, Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez, Michelle and Kevin Tan
Rajo Laurel, Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez, Michelle and Kevin Tan

A MICHELIN STAR EXPERIENCE 

For starters, Manzke prepared a cauliflower panna cotta with laminated brioche, Rudolphe Le Meunier Normandy creamy butter, paired with Gosset Grand Reserve Brut Champagne. A wild European dover sole with a side of roasted sunchoke, oven dried red flame grapes, black truffle, hazelnut, paired with Louis Michel Montmain 2020 followed. 

Jessica Kienle Maxwell and Jesse Maxwell
Jessica Kienle Maxwell and Jesse Maxwell

A dish of wagyu medallion with king oyster, asparagus, was served with an Emilion Grand Cru. Dacquoise with layers of almond meringue and unique kaffir lime whipped ganache, passionfruit and mango sorbet provided a sweet ending to a successful dinner gala that raised a total of Php15 million from table sponsorships, donations, and pledges from the event itself. The fundraising dinner left hearts and stomachs full and illuminated a brighter future for the Filipino families Habitat promised to support. 

L-R: UK Ambassador Laure Beaufils,, Dawn Zulueta-Lagdameo, Irene Marcos-Araneta, US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson
UK Ambassador Laure Beaufils,, Dawn Zulueta-Lagdameo, Irene Marcos-Araneta, US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia November 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Photos by Chito Cleofas, Daniel Tan, and Ramon Mangila. 

Shop for LIFESTYLE ASIA’S magazines through these platforms.
Download LIFESTYLE ASIA’s digital magazines from:
Subscribe via [email protected]