By Cesar Cruz Jr.
Gear up for an electrifying journey into the much-anticipated Year of the Wooden Dragon in 2024! The Lunar New Year, a timeless celebration steeped in worldwide aspirations for prosperity and good luck, is set to explode with the dynamic essence of success, power, and wealth.
HSBC Philippines is kicking off the revelry with an opulent bash called 'Sense and Sensibilities,' an unmissable extravaganza seamlessly merging tradition, entertainment, and collaboration. Get ready to be captivated – this is not just a celebration; it's an invitation to immerse yourself in a world where tradition meets cutting-edge excitement!
At the Shangri-La the Fort on February 1, 2024, HSBC Philippines welcomed guests with a Chinese feast tailored for the occasion, complemented by a mesmerizing dragon dance embodying power, dignity, and wisdom. The Grand Ballroom unfolded a multi-sensorial experience, captivating guests' sight, taste, smell, touch, and sound.
HSBC Philippines President and CEO, Sandeep Uppal, set a positive tone, anticipating exciting opportunities. “We continue to be optimistic about what the coming years have in store for our business, customers, employees, and community as we count down to our 150th anniversary in November 2025. We look forward to the strengthened partnership in our stakeholders’ growth and expansion journey, bringing them exciting opportunities not only in the Philippines but across the globe,” he stated.
The evening was hosted by Jon Santos, a celebrity impersonator who skillfully embodied various personalities like "Michelle Yes Yes Yo!, Si-Mulan, and Empress Hong Shang from the Kong Hai dynasty." Each character introduced one of the five movements of the Wooden Dragon. Beginning with the initial movement focusing on the sense of sight, guests were treated to a captivating video that encouraged them to envision a future filled with opportunities, igniting their enthusiasm for the remainder of the program.
The evening commenced with a video stimulating the sense of sight, envisioning a future rich with opportunities. A 4-course dinner curated by Chefs Joris Rycken and Wang Wei Qing delighted the palate, marking the sense of taste. An exhilarating sword exhibition and fan dance, representing the sense of smell, featured fragrant candles symbolizing luck, prosperity, abundance, happiness, and good fortune.
Guest violinist Royce Aviguetero serenaded attendees with the classic Chinese song 'Tien Mi Mi,' leading into a video presentation highlighting HSBC Philippines' commitment to community support, embodying the sense of touch.
Uppal, joined by business heads, led a toast, inviting everyone to raise their glasses to welcome the Year of the Wooden Dragon with the words, "Here's to growing and nurturing our future together. Gong Xi Fa Chai!"
The evening reached its crescendo with a private concert by Gary Valenciano, infusing the sense of hearing with positivity and good vibes. Performing hits like 'Reaching Out,' 'Lean On Me,' 'Love In Any Language,' 'I Will Be Here,' 'Warrior is a Child,' and the crowd favorite 'Di Bale na Lang,' Valenciano concluded the celebration on a high note, leaving a lasting impression of joy and prosperity for the coming year.
The 'Sense and Sensibilities' celebration organized by HSBC Philippines is proof of its capacity to stage a well-rounded and engaging event that successfully brings together heritage, amusement, and hope for the future.