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Partying back in time

Agile Zamora



When you open your social media apps, you will most probably be greeted with a happy memory from your amazing trip years ago, a delicious meal you enjoyed worry-free, or simply a moment when your smile wasn’t covered by a mask. As for me, my Facebook and Instagram memories include nights that went all out on the fun, music and spirits. Those were definitely the days!

As I look back and tag friends, or get reminded through the photos they tag me in, I can’t help but smile and relive all those happy memories. In fact, I remember what I would call the Party of the Decade, and I know no one can argue about this one: Miss Universe 2017 afterparty at Okada Manila. I remember it like it was yesterday — it was the stuff of Hollywood parties!

It was back when the Philippines hosted Miss Universe and just crowned Ms. France. Okada Manila had just opened and it made its mark by throwing the most extravagant and luxurious party at its premier space, The Cove, to host the exquisite beauties of the Miss Universe pageant, along with esteemed international guests and VIPs in the country.

FROM left: Wopsy Zamora and Louie Ysmael; ambassador Thierry Mathou and Sebastian ‘Baste’ Duterte. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF AGILE ZAMORA

With the amazing guest list, Okada also made sure everyone was served with a world-class experience: P7 million-champagne bottles for the VIP area, fabulous drinks and hors d’oeuvres, a lights and sounds show, performances and music by one of the best DJs in the world (or Universe rather), Nikki Romero. We relished that experience until 5 a.m. under The Cove’s spectacular glass dome.

I can’t forget how lucky it was to be in a VIP table because each table cost P250,000 to P500,000 for a party of 10! To be honest, the champagne tasted the same because I don’t drink a lot. Haha!

But I can’t forget the feeling of having a P7M-worth champagne as if we had no care in the world. Okada did a spectacular job with this party fit for the Universe! To this day, I still think no party can compete with that glamorous event.

I wonder when we’ll host Miss Universe again, because I really miss that party. Kidding! Let’s get well first, get our vaccines, and say goodbye to Covid-19.

Now that life is far from those wild and fun nights, I’m glad Facebook and Instagram can still remind us of life before this pandemic. I’m grateful for the photos that help immortalize those grand times because they give me hope and fond memories with great friends that have gone before me due to Covid-19 or other illnesses. Sadly, this is life. We never know what will happen next: one day you can party like never before, then next day be in a pandemic. So let’s live and laugh, and take lots of photos!

Miss Universe candidates.

Hollywood rapper star, Flo Rida, OKADA Manila VP hotel operation Ivaylo Ivanov, COO Takahiro Usui, CTO Kengo Takeda.