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9 Filipinas Who Debuted at the Prestigious Le Bal des Débutantes in Paris

9 Filipinas Who Debuted at the Prestigious Le Bal des Débutantes in Paris
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/LEBAL.PARIS
The high society event is strictly by invitation, featuring debutantes hailing from affluent and well-known families.

For us Filipinos, debuts are usually gatherings held to commemorate a girl's coming-of-age (a.k.a. when she turns 18). In some parts of the world though, these occassions aren't just simple birthday parties.

If you're a fan of Bridgerton or other period shows or movies, then you're probably at least a teeny bit informed about debutante balls, and how they're the most VIP of VIP events. As it turns out, these still occur todayelaborate gowns, formal presentations, waltzes and alland one of the most talked about ones is the Le Bal des Débutantes held annually in Paris, France.

What is the Le Bal des Débutantes?

The social gathering traces its roots to the late 1950s when it was first mounted in the Chateau de Versailles. It was revived in 1992 as an event that was strictly by invitation, calling on debutantes (debs for short) from different countries to present themselves. These ladies usually hail from affluent and well-known families involved in the fields of business, entertainment, or politics. More than just being a high-profile event, the ball also raises funds for charities that support young girls all over the globe.

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Some names to have debuted at the ball include Lily Collins and Princess Diana's niece, Kitty Spencer. Over the years, some Filipinas have also found themselves attending the event. See who they are below:

9 Filipinas Who Debuted at the Le Bal des Débutantes

1. Paloma Urquijo Zobel de Ayala

The first Filipina to make an appearance at the ball was Paloma Urquijo Zobel de Ayala, the daughter of Bea Zobel de Ayala and Juan Urquijo Fernandez de Araoz. The 2008 gathering also had Bruce Willis' daughter Scout Larue Willis and Scream Queens actress Billie Lourd invited.

le bal des debutantes filipinos
PHOTO BY Instagram/lebal.paris
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2. Natalia Zobel

A year later, Natalia Zobel was sent to the event, rubbing elbows with Lady Kitty Spencer and Angelica Hicks. Presently, she's the founder and CEO of interior design brand LANAI.

le bal des debutantes filipinos
PHOTO BY JL Javier for Esquire Philippines

3. Monica Urquijo Zobel

Paloma's sister, Monica Urquijo Zobel, made her debut at the ball in 2013. The gathering that year was a special one, since it also commemorated its 20th anniversary. Monica is now based in the United Kingdom, and is the creative director of design studio Mestiza Estudio.

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4. Emily Madrigal

The daughter of business tycoons Anne and Vincent Madrigal, Emily Madrigal attended the ball in 2014. The respective offspring of Hollywood actors Annette Benning and Warren Beatty were also invited that same year.

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5. Dominique Cojuangco

Come 2015, Dominique Cojuangco, the daughter of Antonio "Tonyboy" Cojuangco and Gretchen Barretto found herself gracing the event. Just last October 2021, Dominique got engaged to her businessman beau, Michael Hearn.

le bal des debutantes filipinos
PHOTO BY Instagram/lebal.paris

6. Monica Concepcion

Businessman Joey Concepcion and Maria Orosa-Concepcion's daughter, Monica Concepcion debuted at the ball in 2016 wearing a dreamy floral Marchesa frock.

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PHOTO BY Instagram/lebal.paris

7. Kayla Uytengsu

2018's ball had Kayla Uytengsu as one of its attendees. She's the daughter of Alaska Milk Corporation chairman Fred Uytengsu and Kerri Dunn-Uytengsu.

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8. Rocio Zobel

The latest Zobel to have represented the Philippines at the occassion was Rocio Zobel in 2018. The daughter of Inigo Zobel and Maricris Cardenas-Zobel, she went to the ball with Marty Romuladez, the son of politicians Martin Romualdez and Yedda Marie Romualdez.

le bal des debutantes filipinos
PHOTO BY Instagram/lebal.paris

9. Atasha Muhlach

Having just been handed the golden invitation, 21-year-old Atasha Muhlach attended the ball this November 2022. Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzales' unica hija shared the thrilling news on Instagram last September 3, sharing how "happy and grateful" she was for the opportunity.

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For her high society debut, Atasha was swathed in a glimmering gown designed by British couturier Sabina BilenkoArm-in-arm with cavalier and twin brother Andres, the debutante walked the halls of Shangri-La Paris. What a gorgeous sight!

PHOTO BY Instagram/lebal.paris

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