The recent 12th Fila Polo Cup, a mainstay of the chi-chi Manila Polo Club featured three matches, dahlings, by the country’s finest players. Isportlife also showcased Fila’s collaborations with high-end youth brands from New York and Korea.The dynamic couple,
Fila owners CEO Cris
and chairman Butch Albert
Photo Alex Van Hagen
At least 400 guests, composed of Manille’s sociedad, celebrities, fashion standouts, equestrians and sports lovers, gathered on the sidelines of the Polo Club’s Enrique Zobel Field to witness three exhibition matches. The second low-goal game was won by the Red Team composed of Jun Juban, Jose Constantino, Nicole Eusebio, and Fila chairman Butch Albert. The high-goal game was won by the Blue team composed of Vince Bitong, Manot Montilla, Alfonso Araneta and the crowd favorite Tommy Bitong.
”Fila has always supported sports at Manila Polo Club,” says Fila Philippines chairman Butch Albert. Butch may well be the epitome of perseverance and grit, having learned the sport at a later age when it piqued his interest and his wife’s, the gorgeous head-turner Cris.The winning Red Team: Jun Juban, Butch Albert, Nicole Eusebio, Jose Constantino.Photo Alex Van Hagen
“Cris and I watch the games quite often. I found it very challenging. Then in 2006 I decided to try it and I was instantly hooked,” Butch said. “Mind you, the age I started playing polo is quite late compared to most players who start as kids,” he adds.
“We are preparing for a new partnership with a multinational company with an enigmatic line,” said Fila Philippines president Cris Albert. “A new corporate model will be the backbone of our distribution and marketing and the most luxurious of collaborations aims to embody the depth of our brand equity,” she adds.
Guests got an exclusive preview of Fila’s summer collection, which included the brand’s exciting and landmark move: its first foray into the Generation Z market, with its “Fila X D-Antidote.” D-Antidote is South Korea’s most-talked about.
Classic Fila colors and lines merge with D-Antidote’s street smart, hip-hop style celebrating the link between the cool cities of Seoul and London. Style and street wear glam were also showcased in Fila’s collaboration with the Manhattan-based clothing brand Staple.
Guests were welcomed with refreshing cocktails sponsored by Ralph’s Wines and Spirits, naturalmente.
The high-goal game started with the ball toss led by Cris, together with Globe’s first lady Arlene Cu and Philippine Tatler mega publisher Irene Martel Francisco.
Fila Summer Polo Cup was hosted by Tim Yap and Tessa Prieto.
Blue Team: Alfonso Araneta, Ana Abad Santos, Tommy Bitong, Manot Montilla, Vince Bitong, with Cris Albert, Charlene Escaler, Sung Kim, August Samala, (front) Anthony Filamor, Santi Juban, Jay de Jesus, Coco Garcia. Photo Alex Van Hagen
The to-die-for Maserati Philippines provided three Maserati experiences as raffle. Ernest Cu, Cristalle and Javier Pitt and Lexi Berenguer-Testa, were given the chance to drive a Maserati for a day.
To showcase the Fila X D-Antidote collaboration, the models rode in four luxurious Maserati cars making their grand entrance.
The afternoon’s youthful yet classic vibe was complemented by music from Filipino rock hitmakers The Chocolate Factory and DJ Owen Cortez, performing aboard a truck embellished with lush foliage designs, one of the motifs of the Fila summer collection provided by Robert Blancaflor. The event ended with a fireworks display.
Charlene Escaler, Jose Constantino, Jun Juban, Nicole Eusebio, Cris and Butch Albert, US Ambassador Sung Kim, Freddie Borromeo, August Samala. Photo Alex Van Hagen
For the 21st Fila Polo Cup, Fila throws its support behind Operation Compassion Philippines-iFoster Movers of which Butch is president. With nearly two million abandoned or neglected children, the Alberts have championed adoption and fostering as a more viable alternative to nurturing disadvantaged children. “Instead of placing the child under institutional care, fostering has been found to provide a better quality of nurturing, as the child enjoys a sense of family,” Butch said.
Global sportswear brand Fila was launched in 1994 in the Philippines, palanggas. Behind the country operations are Butch and Maricris “Cris” Albert. Butch, as chairman of Fila Sport Life Inc. and Cris, the company’s president, pursue the growth of Fila in the Philippines retaining the brand’s contemporary and classic style in active wear, while adapting to evolving trends.
Fila was founded by the Fila brothers in the northern Italian city of Biella in 1911. Since 2007, it is now operated in South Korea and New York, USA.
Photos by Alex Van Hagen
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