Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Proposal

My friend Jenny invited me for a weekend at the beach. Since her partner Trent is an American, it was dubbed as a Thanksgiving celebration of sorts. Always on top of everything, Jenny as usual, made sure everything was in order, the room assignments, who'll bring the turkey, the liquor down to the ice cubes. Little did she know, Trent was planning to propose over sunset that weekend.
I've always known Jenny as a strong and independent woman. Trent, though career driven was in a way like a boy, the type you'll always have good laughs with. As the sun was slowly turning orange, our hearts were all thumping, will Jenny say "yes"?
There in front of all their friends, the setting sun in the background, Trent kneeled, ring in hand and said "I know we are not perfect, but I know I love you more than anything in this world. Will you marry me? Jenny said "yes" and they kissed and hugged as we were all cheering and clicking our cameras.
It was a weekend I'll hold dear to my heart as Jenny is dear. Every once in a while we are reminded to stop and smell the flowers and say - yes.

Road trip

Subic Forest Reserve

Our beach house destination.

We called this "Victoria Grayson's Mansion".

Jenny and Trent took a walk..

.. while we feasted on pork and beans.

The proposal.

Jenny said "YES"!!

The ring!

Trent and Jenny

Thanksgiving dinner.

The day after.

The aftermath!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


What could be more delightful than a gathering of friends from the arts. Celebrating her birthday week with a series of pocket celebrations, Ayen Laurel did just that. On the second night of her fest, she gathered her friends from the theatre and design world for an intimate dinner at Sala in Makati Avenue.
Dinner was sublime, banter unmatchable and the birthday song sung with such beautiful harmony.
Many happy returns of the day, dear Ayen.

Franco and Ayen Laurel

Truffled portabella mushroom veloute

Chorizo, sweet shrimp and white bean salad

Cucumber and elderflower granita

Surf and turf
Grilled Mulwarra beef tenderloin with roast parsnips, carrots and tiger prawn provencal

Chocolate, espresso and mascarpone torte with malted milk ice cream

Gigi Daniels and Cecile Martinez

Vanessa Paolelli and Mariella Laurel

Sheila Francisco and Gigi Daniels

Menswear designer M Barretto

Fellow Thomasian and fashion designer Eric Pineda

Photo-op with the birthday girl!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Joel, John, Mak and Martin

Christmas has been an inspiration for many an artist. Music composers, painters, novelists, and even fashion designers have all paid tribute to this glorious season. This year, four of Manila's brightest young designers, Joel Escober, John Herrera, Mak Tumang and Martin Bautista have been gathered to present couture collections inspired by Christmas stories and characters. I can't wait to see their frocks rock the runway.
Happy Holidays!

Nutcracker by Mak Tumang

Twelve Days of Christmas by John Herrera

Christmas Angels by Joel Escober

Snow Queen by Martin Bautista

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tasting Intramuros At The Peninsula Manila

A week to the Gawad Kalinga Hope Ball, I was asked to be part of the epicure team trying out its dinner menu. The Peninsula Manila's Executive Sous Chef Ed Mardela and Chef de Cuisine Samuel Linder prepared a sampling of beautifully plated Filipino Spanish dishes inspired by the walled city of Intramuros, whose informal settlers are this year's beneficiary.
We started of with Lapu-lapu croquette and ube (purple yam) crema poured with sweet corn bisque. Aah, the ube did it for me, I wiped out my bowl in a wink. Next came the salad served on a green tinted glass plate, it had vinaigrette that tempered the savory taste of the garlic shrimps that went with the greens. The guava sorbet was served shortly after, doubly delightful because of its pink hue. The main course was beef kaldereta, actually my favorite local dish, it came with goats cheese gnudi. Quite a good pairing, I didn't feel the need to eat it with steamed rice. And just as I thought I was ready to end a meal without happy carbs, biko (glutinous rice cooked in coconut cream) pandan with chocolate mousse and caramelized pili nuts was laid before me. One scoop and a happy rush exploding in my brain, it was dessert as it should be.

See you all at the Hope Ball!

The Menu

Sweet corn bisque, Lapu-lapu croquette, ube crema

Golden acres greens and fern salad, sauteed garlic shrimps, roasted peanuts, Bukidnon suka emulsion

Pink guava sorbet

Kaldereta braised beef short rib, Kangkong two ways, Davao goat cheese gnudi

Biko pandan with chocolate mousse, caramelized pili nut

The Penisula Manila's Events Manager Pam Abantao, Executive Sous Chef Ed Mardela
and Chef de Cuisine Samuel Linder

With Gawad Kalinga advocates Meluchi Rivera and Pinky Antonio and
The Peninsula Manila's F&B Manager Gerhard Doll

For Hope Ball tickets,  please contact Cat Turingan +63917 891 7109 / +632 215 9152 /