I was lucky enough to get invited to the Johnnie Walker Philippines Step Inside The Circuit event last night at Prive Luxury Club. I feel even luckier that I got the chance to see two-time Formula One World Champion and current Johnnie Walker Responsible Drinking Ambassador Mika Hakkinen. He is also referred to as The Flying Finn. Seven-time world champion and rival Michael Schumacher said Hakkinen is the man he respected the most during his F1 career.
Interesting Fact: Mika Hakkinen has a pet named Clarence and ironically it's a turtle. Why ironic? Considering that he likes fast cars and he races like he flies...
Anyway, I and Jonah arrived at the venue later than we planned because of the rain. We were surprised however that the place is not crowded yet and people just started to trickle in just after we got ourselves our own table. As usual, my wondering eye spotted people clad in black so I guess we dressed to the occasion and we didn't feel left out. We were handed an exclusive Johnnie Walker Gold Pass (PH90701298). Around 1045PM, Mika and his entourage and a slew of bouncers and bodyguards arrived at the event. Jonah was at the bar that time so she wasn't able to see Mika up close. He passed by our table. I could have touched him if only I wasn't scared to be kicked out by his guards. LOL! It was surreal though.
The media people then flocked the F1 champion and that's my cue to make a beeline at the bar. I ordered 2 Whiskey Sour. I pity the bartender because he had to make so many cocktails as fast as he can. I probably spent a good 10 minutes at the bar and the program started as soon as I returned to my spot. Perfect timing!
The event hosts Marc Nelson, Andi Manzano and Pia Boren welcomed everyone and then interviewed the ambassador himself who then signed the Join The Pact board with his signature. I and Jonah signed the wall too. Just so when we finally drive, we would remember not to drink and drive. (I wasn't able to take a picture of the signed wall as there were so many people already.)
|This is the Join The Pact signature board before all the signatures...|
Before the party ended, names of 21 lucky holders of the Gold Pass were announced. They will be attending an exclusive cocktail party with Johnnie Walker and Mika Hakkinen at the Makati Shangri La. I don't know where I got my luck but my name was called. I'm going to step inside the circuit once more...