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Swatch PH Welcomes the Year of the Metal Rat



Outstanding guys with Swatch collections: Dr. Hayden Kho, Nico Bolzico, Chris Tiu, Derek Ramsay, Martin Nievera, Matteo Guidicelli, Christian Bautista, Carlo Orosa, and Rowell Santiago

Chinese New Year is a time of celebration, to bring together friends and family. On Jan. 25, Swatch Philippines president Virgie Ramos hosted a grand event at Rockwell Power Plant Mall to welcome the Year of the Metal Rat. Not only is it a new year, it is a whole new 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, the perfect time to reset our minds, to be hopeful and optimistic about our collective future.

Guests and passerbys were treated to a wushu spectacle by Janice Hung, international wushu champion. This was followed by a beautiful performance by Halili-Cruz ballerinas. Along with their tutus, they wore mice masks and pranced around the set design, which featured a giant slice of cheese. Afterward, they directed the guests’ attention to the top floor.


Brotherly love: Matteo Guidicelli and Nico Bolzico

Swatch ambassadors Nico Bolzico and Matteo Guidicelli were at the top, waiting to reveal the much anticipated highlight of the event. A new Swatch Shop is now open on R2 Level Bridgeway of Rockwell, and the Cheese! Squeek Squeek! watch in commemoration for Chinese New Year is now available. Guests were ushered to the second level, including Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Alain Gaschen.

The limited edition watch features a playful face of an animated rat, with the rat ears as the loop in a metallic silver strap. It comes in a box shaped like a slice of Swiss cheese, with a lucky Chinese red tassel for a nice touch.


Dr. Emilio C. Yap III

In Chinese mythology, supposedly, in the beginning there was nothing. There was no universe with any form, or division between our world and heaven, just absolute darkness. It was the rat who bit into the fabric of space and time itself, creating a crack that brought in light that started the creation of life as we know it. There is even a saying in Chinese, shu yao tian kai in pinyin, which roughly translates to the rat bite that opened the sky, or heaven.

While it may seem that there is some darkness in the world right now, we can look optimistically to the future with this Year of the Rat, to bring in some levity and some light.


Scarlet Snow Belo with the Halili-Cruz ballerinas playing mice

The event was filled with laughter and celebration, with families including Dr. Vicki Belo and Dr. Hayden Kho who brought their daughter Scarlett Snow, and Chris Tiu and wife Clarisse who were accompanied by their daughter Amanda.

There were games for all ages. In one called Cheeses and Traps, actor Derek Ramsey lost to the clever Scarlett Snow, but there were no hard feelings.


Anton San Diego, Pepper Teehankee, Susan Joven, Ernest Escaler, Alice Eduardo, Jojie Dingcong, Thelma San Juan, and Carlo Orosa

Martin Nievera and Christian Bautista led guests in singing Happy Birthday for Dr. Vicki Belo, who blew out a special surprise cake made by Margarita Fores. The chef also prepared a fusion meal that blended European and Chinese flavors, along with a cheese buffet perfect for the occasion.

While the celebration had to end at some point, the positive energy does not need to cease. Treat yourself, and treat others, with little gifts to bring in some kindness into the world. Find time to enjoy friends and family in celebration to bring in some happiness even in difficult times. Whenever it feels like there is darkness around us, bring in a sliver of light, even if just through a small crack in the wall, and life will flow through.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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