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Colombian High Society

This is the tale of how I attended a private party at a Colombian city’s most exclusive country club during the city’s busiest time of the year.

This was no ordinary party, though. In attendance were dozens of international beauty pageant contestants, comandantes, national TV stars, and executives. Oh, and me hehe.

During the Feria de Manizales I met up with an old roommate from Switzerland who is somewhat connected from his side job as an international male model.

***Side note: Watch this video to understand what the Feria de Manizales is.


On the first night out he invited one of his friends who also works as a model and photographer mostly in Colombia. This guy shoots for National Geographic and generally covers all big events for the big magazines in Colombia. He’s the type of guy who’s famous enough that people recognize sometimes.Here is an example of him in a magazine I swiped from his Facebook page to give an example.


We had a fun night and throughout the week the group of us met up often. One night he invited me to tag along while he shot this event at the exclusive Club Manizales.

In return I invited a few friends of mine; Monica an old friend and Fabian another Swiss roommate of mine who also met me down in Manizales for the week. We got there a little late around 10PM but managed to find some dinner.

The event was celebrating Colombian culture or something so unfortunately they served Colombian food.

Even the gourmet typical food isn’t so special

. I was starving after coming straight from the bullfight

where all they sold were potato chips or a tray of ham and cheese. I don’t really eat ham.

Backing up a bit I should mention that we had no idea what to expect so we prepared accordingly before our arrival. Fabian and I stopped the taxi to buy 1/2 bottle of aguardiente from a corner shop and finished it in record time.

To be fair we knew nothing about this part beforehand so we wanted to be prepared in case drinks cost an exorbitant amount.

One form of entertainment that night was a flamenco show.

I like how this old man all alone looks bored out of his mind avoiding the show.

The coffee queen beauty pageant contestants were everywhere just mingling at various tables.

Miss Guatemala isn’t to bad. I should have gone into the military to earn the position as her escort.

And here is some CEO or comandante of some sort chatting up another.

While we sat at the table with mostly press a few others had previously sat there so I was able to get a sure idea of who was actually at this party.

and this guy

If you remember, I did mention TV stars. I asked my friend Monica if there were any famous people here and she said, “over there is La Negra Candela”, who was walking near to our table at the time. Monica got up and introduced me as a foreigner in Colombia. La Negra Candela was personable. She asked me lots of questions about myself, when really, it should have been the other way around.

Here we are with Graciela Torres “La negra candela“, a famous Colombian TV personality. Below is also a short biography of her in Spanish.

“Ha dirigido programas en RCN Radio, Radio Santafé y actualmente en TODELAR. En televisión ha pasado por la mayoría de las casas productoras: en RCN con “El rincón de la negra candela”, “Venga le cuento”; en Colombiana de Televisión con Gente Triple “A”; en Producciones Horacio Sterling con “En Casa”; en el Canal “A” con “Dicen con la negra Candela” y con Jorge Barón Televisión “La Negra y Sor Rita”.”


Dessert was alright. Again they served typical Colombian desserts, a few of which I liked.

Here we are eating obleas filled with arrequipe. Very Colombian. Behind us in the photo happens to be one of Monica’s friends. She studied communications so as it turns out she studied with most of the other press at the table.

Not much time passed before the party shut down with just us and another table left behind. The coffee queens left each escorted by an officer.

By this point we took full advantage of the resources and ordered some cocktails while we tried leaving as the last of the guests. That meant taking photos all over.

Even of flowers.

Saying their goodbyes.

But even at the end there were even others who mooched more than us. Maybe someday i’ll actually be invited properly to one of these things.

Jason Bartoli
Jason Bartoli

"Jason is the best person you'll ever meet here. He's just a ray of sunshine. An adventurer, businessman, and has a 4.9 Uber rating. Lovely person inside and out. I say, go message him" - My Mom

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