Love was certainly in the air as stars descended upon the annual Star Magic Ball at The Shangri-La Makati on Saturday evening.
As of the final head count, over 300 homegrown artists of ABS-CBN’s talent management and development arm from years past and present took time to attend the glitzy affair, which was quickly turned into an event-for-a-cause in aid of Super Typhoon Lawin’s victims. Held just two days after the powerful storm displaced many families in Northern Luzon, a last minute program insert was made where guests were invited to pledge their donations.
With love for countrymen felt by all, the cameras, meanwhile, zoomed in on real–life couples who dazzled on the red carpet, arm in arm.
Leading the lovey-dovey pack were Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil; Bea Alonzo and Gerald Anderson; Jessy Mendiola and Luis Manzano; Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla; Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga; Miho Nishida and Tommy Esguerra; and Pokwang and Lee O’Brien, among others.
Also spotted in the ballroom were ABS-CBN executives including chief content officer Charo Santos, president Carlo Katigbak, chairman Gabby Lopez, and head of Finance for Broadcast and News and Current Affairs Cat Lopez.
Several VIPs were likewise in attendance including Sen. Sonny Angara with wife Tootsie, Sen. Grace Poe, and Davao del Norte Anton Lagdameo with wife Dawn Zulueta.
Following tradition, Concert King Martin Nievera again hosted the annual celebration, which was dedicated to two important figures for Star Magic and ABS-CBN as a whole: network chairman Gabby Lopez and executive Freddie Garcia. As such, a montage of greetings for the head honchos were aired on the giant screen, followed by tribute songs from singers CJ Navato, Kristel Fulgar, Bailey May, Ylona Garcia, Darren Espanto, Alexa Ilacad, Richard Poon, KZ Tandingan, and Jona Viray.
The key toast for Lopez and Garcia was given by Star Magic’s main man Johnny “Mr. M” Manahan who recalled how the EL3 and FMG, as they are called respectively, helped build Star Magic to what it is today.
The traditional Star Magic cotillion de honor followed the tribute with Jason Dy singing “I Won’t Give Up” for dancers Tommy Esguerra and Miho Nishida, Sofia Andres and Diego Loyzaga, McCoy de Leon and Elisse Joson, Sue Ramirez and Ronnie Alonte, Grae Fernandez and Kira Balinger, Nash Aguas and Alexa Ilacad.
Adding a bit of Broadway to the evening’s entertainment were Jersey Boys stars Nyoy Volante, Markki Stroem, Bibo Reyes and Rhenwyn Gabalonzo; while Star Magic’s prime artists, led by Piolo Pascual, also made an appearance at the latter part of the program, again to offer a toast for the evenings honorees.
Joining Pascual on stage were John Lloyd Cruz, Jericho Rosales, Xian Lim, Kim Chiu, Sam Milby, Gerald Anderson, Bea Alonzo, Maja Salvador, Zanjoe Marudo, and Jodi Sta. Maria.
To cap the ball, special awards were handed out to guests, namely: Elisse Joson as Ponds Beautiful Belle of the Night; John Lloyd Cruz for the Metro and H&M Style Award; Charo Santos and Gabby Lopez as Male and Female Stars of the Night; Liza Soberano and Zanjoe Marudo as Star Magic Ball 2016’s Best Dressed Stars; and Sofia Andres and Diego Loyzaga as Couple of the Night.
Finally, Magpahanggang Wakas actor Jericho Rosales received the prestigious Star Magic Icon award for his enduring career in the business and under the talent management agency.