Carpe Diem

Hong Kong Tatler - - To Our Readers - — Sean Fitz­patrick Chief Cre­ative Of­fi­cer

t’s been a strange few weeks. A sur­real botched walk­out by Hong Kong’s pro-es­tab­lish­ment leg­is­la­tors re­sulted in Legco over­whelm­ingly re­ject­ing the gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed elec­toral over­haul. In Shang­hai, the stock mar­ket fell 30 per cent over three weeks. Had some­one said in early June that this could hap­pen in China, they would have been la­belled a rav­ing lu­natic. Mean­while in Europe, Greece teetered on the brink of eco­nomic col­lapse and a “Grexit” from the euro zone. My fam­ily and I are due to fly there for a hol­i­day to­mor­row night, and when we were plan­ning our Greek ad­ven­ture many months ago, we cer­tainly hadn’t en­vis­aged Molo­tov cock­tails be­ing hurled in the streets of Athens, which is what has just started hap­pen­ing.

But for me the big­gest eye-opener of re­cent times was some­thing that hap­pened 11 days ago to my friend and col­league An­ton San Diego, the editor-in-chief of Philip­pine Tatler, who is fa­mil­iar to many of you. On a Sun­day in early July, An­ton was with a group of friends re­turn­ing from a lovely day out on a boat in Puerto Galera. The host of the party, bil­lion­aire hote­lier and phi­lan­thropist Archie King, had ar­ranged for them to re­turn to Manila by he­li­copter.

About half­way through the flight, as they were chat­ting and jok­ing, the he­li­copter was sud­denly brought down by bad weather. The chop­per crashed into trees, tear­ing off its roof and smash­ing its blades and tail. It flipped up­side down and, were it not for a clus­ter of tree roots, it would have slid down into a wet, muddy ravine. Trag­i­cally, Archie and the pi­lot, Feli­cisimo Taborlupa Jr, were killed. Through some mir­a­cle, An­ton and the other pas­sen­gers sur­vived with mi­nor in­juries. What was mirac­u­lous also was that the crash hap­pened in a dis­trict that had re­cently formed a vol­un­teer res­cue team. The band of res­cuers, who all saw what hap­pened, sprang into ac­tion, ex­tri­cat­ing the bod­ies from the cock­pit and help­ing the sur­vivors get to hos­pi­tal. These hum­ble folk, whose world is vastly dif­fer­ent from that of the pas­sen­gers, re­turned to the scene of the ac­ci­dent to gather and safe­guard the per­sonal be­long­ings strewn across the crash site.

When I called An­ton af­ter the ac­ci­dent, he spoke highly of the res­cue team and was touched by their hero­ism. An­ton also said he con­sid­ered the day of the tragedy, July 5, his “sec­ond birth­day, be­cause it’s the start of my sec­ond life.”

A new lease on life gives you a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion of hu­man­ity and, for me, An­ton’s re­mark­able story is a po­tent re­minder to savour ev­ery mo­ment.

Berluti’s em­blem­atic Venezia leather is crafted with a spe­cial tan­ning process the mai­son keeps se­cret. This beau­ti­fully treated duo­tone bag is an in­vest­ment piece that goes equally well with work­wear and week­end at­tire

liv­ing in the mo­ment Sean Fitz­patrick (third from right) and

Philip­pine Tatler ed­i­torin-chief An­ton San Diego (stand­ing, sec­ond from left) were the life and soul of the party at the Edi­presse Media Asia re­gional con­fer­ence at the Shangri-la Rasa Sayang in Pe­nang in June. Weeks later An­ton mirac­u­lously sur­vived a he­li­copter crash that trag­i­cally killed two of his com­pan­ions

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