Red Carpet

Black-and-white magic at all-stars ball

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Young stars stunned fans and fashionistas during Saturday night’s Star Magic Ball as they paraded in ball gowns and suits made by the country’s top designers. Video by JP Dalangin

ZANJOE Marudo with Bea Alonzo in Ezra Santos

Gushed ABS-CBN president and CEO Charo Santos-Concio, describing the stars at the 7th Star Magic Ball held on Saturday night: “The ladies are all beautiful and the men, dashing!”

The annual Kapamilya party—arguably the most anticipated red carpet event in local show business—was attended by other ABS-CBN big bosses, namely Gabby Lopez, network chair; Cory Vidanes, broadcast head; Laurenti Dyogi, head of TV productions; Mariole Alberto, Star Magic head; and Johnny Manahan, Star Magic founder.

“I see child actors who are all grown up now,” Concio noted in her welcome speech.

Celebrities garbed in black, white, or black and white, the evening’s motif, began arriving at the Fairmont Hotel as early as 6 p.m. Curiously, this year, many stars walked the red carpet solo. One of them was actress Jessy Mendiola, who was a head turner in a deep V-neck outfit by Francis Libiran.

Asked why she turned up  with neither Sam Milby nor Jake Cuenca—her rumored suitors—Jessy said: “Why not? I just want to enjoy and not feel self-conscious.”

KATHRYN Bernardo in Francis Libiran and Daniel Padilla in Edwin Tan

Sam, in a black tux also by Francis Libiran, told reporters: “I am courting her. I’m saying this so that if people see us together, there will be no more questions.”

Also dateless was Jodi Sta. Maria, who looked lovely in a silver tube gown by Jun Escario. She said her boyfriend, Bacoor Gov. Jolo Revilla, was “busy… but I sent him a photo of my gown via Viber. He liked it.”

Nikki Gil wore a pastel blue number, also by Jun Escario. It was her “moving-on look,” she jested.

Other solo celebs: Erich Gonzales, Alex Gonzaga, Pokwang, K Brosas and Julia Barretto. Gretchen Barretto, in a black piece by Joji Lloren, was escort-less on the red carpet, too. But she arrived with daughter Dominique Cojuangco, who was actor Enchong Dee’s date.

“Isn’t she pretty?” Gretchen said of 18-year-old Dominique. “I know Enchong’s a good guy. I just told him not to kiss my daughter!”

Dawn Zulueta was with husband Anton Lagdameo Jr.; Dina Bonnevie, with Ilocos Sur Vice Gov. Deogracias Victor Savellano.

JESSY Mendiola in Francis Libiran

Among the couples were Bea Alonzo and Zanjoe Marudo, Kristine Hermosa and Oyo Sotto, Maricar Reyes and Richard Poon, Kaye Abad and Guji Lorenzana, Robi Domingo and volleyball star Gretchen Ho, Sam Concepcion and Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Angelica Panganiban and John Lloyd Cruz, and Shaina Magdayao and Piolo Pascual.

Gerald Anderson and Maja Salvador attended their first ball as a couple. “We’re here to enjoy,” said Maja. “My date looks so sexy,” added Gerald. “I am so lucky.”

The program began at 9:45 p.m., with an opening number from event host Martin Nievera. Yeng Constantino performed two songs. Two ballrooms were converted into one huge runway for the fashion show titled “Fashion a la Cinco,” which showcased the clothes of Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco.

All personal conflicts seemed to have been set aside as the Kapamilya artists danced and drank wine. Gretchen’s comment best described the mood: “There’s a right time for everything. Tonight, I’m just really grateful for the love I see around and for the people who make me feel it.”

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