THE PHILIPPINES’ FORUM FOR INTERNATIONAL READERS SINCE 1981
September 4-17, 2016 Vol. XXXIV No. 24
War veterans cheer on as President Rodrigo Duterte announces the release of the PhP1.2-billion budget for Army retirees during the celebration of the National Heroes’ Day at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. Photo courtesy of King Rodriguez / PPD
New traffic management scheme takes shape Could a unified traffic command system decongest the paralyzing metro? By VIA BAROMA
s the legislative department mulls granting emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to address the traffic crisis, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has taken over traffic management in Metro Manila, while tasking different agencies to work under a united chain of command that will address the worsening traffic crisis in all national roads in the metropolis. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade recently announced that the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), – which previously oversaw traffic management – the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation
Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) have agreed to work together under the new traffic management committee – Inter-Agency Council of Traffic (I-ACT). “If we don’t work together, the people on the ground will have a hard time. But if we will be given authority under one chain of command, we can now easily issue orders,” PNPHPG Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola said in a released statement. Unified command system Under the new scheme, Metro Manila will be split into at least 10 traffic sectors with each having a sectoral head. Gardiola said the additional PNP-HPG personnel would be de-
ployed in key areas in Metro Manila especially in the 10 “problematic zones” from Balintawak to Pasay earlier identified by the PNP-HPG. The scheme will likewise allow the agencies to share assets such as manpower and equipment, and will have joint training for traffic enforcers from all agencies under I-ACT. The PNP-HPG will also hook up with the MMDA command center for better traffic monitoring. The agencies are still working on coming up with uniform penalties for traffic violations. DOTr Secretary Tugade said the I-ACT would ensure a drastic and fast response to the traffic nightmare, even while page 3 Congress has yet to grant Du-
Understanding millennial mindset, key for biz By RICHARD RAMOS
s the world continues to evolve at a rapid pace across all borders, business and industry leaders likewise need to cope and adjust to new practices, skills, and mindsets of present industry trends and workforces in order to maintain the harmony and balance in the workplace. More than just presiding in a traditional work environment where everyone is forced to adjust to the boss, it is the boss who needs to climb down from his ivory tower in order to adapt to the present-day thinking and work philosophy of a youthful workforce or millennials that badly need a listening ear from above. “Leaders are change catalysts, but leaders hinder change as well. They are merchants of hope and hope agents also. It is scary, but scarier not to change for you will be left behind,” declared Francis Kong, a wellpage 2 known management consult-
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SEPTEMBER 4-17, 2016
Social entrepreneurship: creating business, not charity By RICHARD RAMOS
ore than just assisting the underprivileged, social entrepreneurship goes a long way in creating a social, environmental, and financial impact in society by creating value at every step of the supply chain process that eventually results in selffulfillment for all parties concerned. Not to be confused with charity or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), since these involve the rather swift turnover of the necessary material or financial resources needed, social entrepreneurship involves a lengthier process where each and every step is monitored to assure of quality processes and products in its entirety. “The social entrepreneur creates innovative solutions to society’s pressing problems with the objective of wide scale change. These
involve change agents, improving the systems, invention of new applications, and the creation of solutions to problems,” Jeannie Javelosa declared in her presentation on “Social Entrepreneurship: Solution to Women’s Economic Empowerment.” Javelosa is the co-founder of the Echo (Environment, Community, Hope, Organization) Store Sustainable Lifestyle located at Streetscape Arcade situated right before the entrance of the Maria Luisa Village in Banilad, Cebu. Over 80 percent of their customers are young mothers and suppliers-based sectors that are well aware of the significant meaning behind each and every product. The store sells natural and organic products, fair trade coffees and teas, kiddie and adult cosmetics and toiletries, home basics,
Understanding millennial mindset...from page 1 ant, author, and inspirational speaker. Kong explained that due to the advent of the millennials (those born from 1980 to 2000), the corporate world should try to divert from their traditional thinking and styles to suit this new breed of employees who possess a different brand of mindset – one that is more adaptable and conducive to the modernday customer. The mindset “The millennials are ambitious, creative, and idealistic. They seek change, clash with old management styles, and feel unappreciated. Then they leave since the senior managers don’t know how to handle them,” Kong bared in his speech on “Inspiring Change” delivered during the Mandaue Business Summit held at the Oakridge Pavilion in Mandaue City beside Cebu City. He cautioned that the millennials are quite inquisitive and ambitious in a healthy way, as they don’t really seek instant success and/or results. But they wish for the company to be more flexible and open to new ideas and not just stick to tried-and-tested methods. “They should be seen as creators and not just consumers. They have a mindset all their own. The challenge lies in the talent attraction, acquisition, and retention in order to maximize their skills and abilities,” he added. Kong also reminded the audience that the millennials are the “Google” generation, having been raised during the internet age where most of their answers to life are just a few clicks
away, hence their advanced mindset and way of thinking. Among other qualities needed for the new generation of leaders, the Adversity Quotient (AQ) is also critical since the leaders should not be obsessed with profits all the time, but also remain resilient in order to bounce back in times of crisis. It is a sad fact that many corporate giants such as Kodak, Motorola, and Pan-Am, and others have failed to cope with new industrial trends and have fallen due to inability to adjust to the ever-changing global market. However, it is also encouraging to note other companies such as PLDT, Chrysler, Lego, and Tylenol and others which have bounced back amidst adversity and fierce global competition. Regarding training, Kong recommends the hiring of business practitioners since they both possess book and industry knowledge who can regale the staff with stories and anecdotes from their experiences. “While trained people may leave for greener pastures, it is worse not to train them for the company may not move forward. Let the knowledge and skills trickle down so it will not remain within a few people but exist within the company system,” he said. The Mandaue Business Summit constitutes an important component of the Mandaue Business Month which fetes the charter day activities of Mandaue City under City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing.
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and even restaurant meals and foodstuff; all of which represents the ideals of health, fair trade, and environmental care. Key words and phrases she highlighted for young social entrepreneurs during Javelosa’s presentation were digital, green businesses, power of social media, do-gooders, disruptors, volunteerism, pressing social problems, and crowdfunding. She admitted that being a social entrepreneur is no easy task due to misinterpretation from outside parties and the difficulty of sourcing the necessary stocks, but Javelosa has managed to overcome the challenges with the help of her two partners. “We identified and stopped the gaps. We dreamt big and became change agents. We accelerated, pivoted and innovated. Most of
all, we advocated for locavorism, culture and artisanship, slow food, fair trade, community support, green living, and women,” she said. Javelosa was also named as one of the Top 50 women-led businesses in the entire Asian Pacific Economic Community comprising over 10 countries in the continent. EchoStore presently has nine branches nationwide, six of which are located in the National Capital Region, and one each in Davao, Iloilo, and Cebu. Social Entrepreneurship is one of highlights of the month-long Cebu Business Month as organized by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).
Gov’t backing, training needed to boost startups Industry expert weighs in on local startup scene By RICHARD RAMOS
he role of government in the upgrading of startups along with continuous training of these new entrepreneurs can never be overestimated as evidence has become clearer that these business newcomers need all the assistance they can get in order to survive in the dog-eat-dog world of startups. More than ever, startups should be private sector-driven and strongly backed by government in order to provide the ideal ecosystem with minimum interference. This means each sector should fulfill their own respective scope of duties and responsibilities while complementing each other for a more harmonious set-up. “The government should also establish a creative center for entrepreneurs in order to ensure these entrepreneurs figure out the business landscape. In other words, figuring out the highest yield, in the shortest time, in the most efficient way possible,” related Ashran Dato Ghazi, CEO of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center (MaGIC). While speaking on his topic “NationBuilding by Supporting Startups” during the 4th Geeks On A Beach (GOAB) held last month at The Bellevue Resort in Panglao, Bohol, which attracted nearly 500 local and international delegates from the tech and startup field, Ghazi pointed out that the dearth of new ideas is getting flat since many are beginning to share the same ideas. Hence the need for catalysts to inject fresh and novel concepts as sourced from different viewpoints. To be fair, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) along with the private sector has set up FabLabs in at least three separate locations in Cebu and other parts in the country to build and encourage the incubation of new ideas in hopes of creating star apps in the near future. Ghazi remarked that the challenge lies on the youth, who have become quite impressionable on external events, but only a select few can get through it and understand its full impact on the industry and adjust accordingly. Startup tips He added that startups also need to look at several tiers of the government agency concerned and determine which level would be of utmost ben-
efit to the startups instead of pitching the idea to just about anyone in the office and hope for support in the near future. This calls for homework in determining the right contact person and the resources at that person’s disposal in order to avoid wastage of time and effort in the maze of the office bureaucracy. In the Philippine setting, one needs to conduct a careful overview of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to narrow down the contact person ideally suited. Microsystems also have to be developed and maintained in order to establish a solid base so as to serve as a stepping-stone to the next level as the entrepreneurs do their homework thoroughly and completely from the start. “Also needed are private sector guys or consultants that possess earnest convictions and the hunger to create change in the industry. It is also important that the budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas correctly and avoid getting exploited by large companies,” Ghazi disclosed. The speaker related an instance of a large telecom company that promised assistance to a startup only if it would join the company and get absorbed in their entire operations. He also toyed with the idea of rewarding promising apps with US$10,000 to US$15,000 and putting in money for the debt level and becoming part of the supply chain so that funds would not dry up and instead be self-generating and sustainable for the benefit of the startup. Ghazi was one of over 50 speakers at the 4th GOAB – a gathering of communities of startups and innovation-driven enterprises.
The luxurious Bellevue Resort in Panglao - host of the 4th GOAB Photo courtesy of Bellevue Hotel Bohol
EX XP PAT AT N NE EW WS SP PA AP PE ER R E SEPTEMBER 4-17, 2016
New traffic management scheme...from page 1 terte emergency powers. “We are focusing on enforcement now while waiting for Congress to grant us emergency powers. We have to do what we can do now,” said Transportation Spokesperson Cherie Mercado-Santos in a released statement. “So, while we are waiting for Congress to grant the emergency powers, let’s focus on immediate solutions, like the synchronization of traffic lights, the implementation of unified ticketing system, eradication of colorum (unregistered transport vehicles) and old vehicles,” Mercado added. “If ever the emergency powers will not be granted, at least we have done something. If granted, then we can further improve (the system),” Mercado was quoted in a Manila Times report. Emergency powers dry run As the DOTr prepares to assume control of traffic management in Metro Manila, Sen. Win Gatchalian urged the department to “use its consolidated powers to impose discipline on motorists by strictly enforcing traffic laws and clearing the streets of illegally parked vehicles.” Gatchalian said in a released statement that quick and effective interventions by the DOTr under the unified traffic command system would be decisive in convincing lawmakers from both houses of Congress to grant the requested emergency powers. “We can look at this new traffic regime as a dry run for emergency powers. If DOTr and the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic can prove their competence by producing fast results in combating the traffic nightmare, I think the legislature will respond by giving them what they are asking for,” said Gatchalian. Meanwhile, Mercado said that the team
would also discuss the possible closure of more U-turn slots, coming up with uniform penalties for traffic violations, and the possibility of increasing the registration fees for private motorists who want to own more than one vehicle. 8,600 less metro buses by 2018 The DOTr said the government is eyeing to finish the construction of two intermodal bus terminals in south and southwest Metro Manila by 2018. Then, a third intermodal bus terminal would be constructed for provincial buses coming from the north by “late 2019 to 2020.” These intermodal bus terminals would be where buses from the provinces will be allowed to drop off passengers. According to transport officials, once the proposed terminals are completed, buses would no longer be allowed to go beyond the terminals. “The passengers from the province can transfer to other city buses. There are also LRT (Light Rail Transit) trains and smaller vehicles where they can transfer,” DOTr Undersecretary for roads and infrastructure Anne Lontoc said in a GMA report. According to the MMDA, once the proposed terminals are completed, some 8,640 provincial buses would no longer be allowed to enter Metro Manila, drastically cutting down the volume of vehicles plying its roads. According to the MMDA and the DOTr, 14,384 buses ply EDSA daily. Meanwhile, Sen. Leila de Lima appealed to the DOTr to ensure that enough public vehicles would be available to accommodate the passengers going to and from the intermodal terminals.
MMDA to focus on urban dev’t With traffic management out of its hands, the MMDA now aims to focus on other areas connected to urban planning and development. “It now makes the agency focused on other areas where we are supposed to put our attention to. We have overlooked these because of our traffic management functions,” MMDA Officer-in-Charge Thomas Orbos was quoted in a Manila Bulletin report. Aside from its part in the I-ACT, the MMDA will also be responsible for the metro’s solid waste management, flood control projects and coordination with the local government.
“Just like the I-ACT, it is also good to have a unified approach on flood control. This time, we will be coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH),” Orbos added. The MMDA also wants to emulate the programs and projects, which were implemented in Davao City by its former mayor, President Duterte. “My mindset and I think the best way is to think Davao. How did they do it in Davao? Our President did it in Davao. These are all things that the MMDA has to enforce including antilittering campaign, anti-jaywalking. We will have to work on those. Also, solid waste management, that is our focus now.”
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade greets Senator JV Ejercito. Ejercito is one of the Senators who proposed a resolution to grant emergency powers to President Duterte. PRIB Photo by Albert Calvelo
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If these waters could talk…
SEPTEMBER 4-17, 2016
Text and photos by CHING DEE
Zooper Cruise lets Pasig River tell the story of old and new Manila
t was a gloomy Thursday afternoon. The rains had just stopped, casting a gloomy overcast sky over Metro Manila. The damp roads still littered with a sea of people and vehicles going about their business. But I wasn’t heading to the roads. I was going to Manila’s very first commercial highway: Pasig River. The Pasig River stretches for roughly 25 miles, connecting Manila Bay to Laguna de Bay. It divides Manila into the northern and southern halves. During the time of Spanish occupation, Pasig River was teeming with life and commerce, being the main thoroughfare for boats and ships carrying people and good from the port of Manila to various parts Manila and its neighboring towns. Decades later, it got crowded, commercialized, and — sadly — terribly polluted. What was once a thriving river turned into an eightfeet-deep dumpsite. It reeked and bore no life. Pasig River died together with the livelihood it once brought. There have been a few attempts to rehabilitate the Pasig River, including dredging (which yielded hundreds of tons of garbage). And a few years ago, the river became safe enough to once again carry passengers around Metro Manila with the Pasig River Commuter Ferry, with stations from Bonifacio Global City all the way to Escolta. However, the heavy flow of sturdy water hyacinths have proven to be too much for these
The inclement weather didn't bother the twin-hulled Zooper Cruise, which could withstand a Signal No.2 typhoon
commuter ferries, so it was discontinued. Fo r t u nately, there is a new way to experience the metro’s historical river.
Ayala Bridge as seen from the Pasig River on board the Zooper Cruise
Change is coming with a PhP3.35-T price tag The figures behind President Duterte’s “Budget for Change” Text by CHING DEE
hange has definitely come and looks like it comes with a hefty price tag. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has recently released the complete National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2017 as proposed by the newly seated administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. And boy, we saw a lot of zeroes. And a few red flags. “Being the first budget of President Duterte, we will immediately get a glimpse of the priority projects and programs that he wants his administration to focus on to actualize the change that the President wants to bring in to this new administration,” said Davao City 1st District Rep. Karlo Nograles in a report by the Philippine News Agency. Let’s take a look at the President’s priorities, shall we?
According to the submitted NEP, “change” costs PhP3,350,000,000,000. That’s a difference of about PHP 350 million or roughly 11 percent from the previous administration’s 2016 budget.
In line with the President’s bloody war on
drugs and criminals, the proposed budget for the military is PhP130.6 billion, roughly 15 percent more than the 2016 budget from the previous administration. “This will be used to intensify the AFP’s (Armed Forces of the Philippines) counterterrorism efforts and to protect our borders… [and] to give our soldiers more weapons and equipment,” Duterte said in his message to the Congress, emphasizing the PhP25 billion budget for the modernization of the AFP.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), which is under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), is getting PhP110.4 billion in 2017 — 24.6 percent more compared to this year’s budget. “My government will double or even triple its efforts to bring drug pushers and crime syndicates behind bars… [and] to hire more policemen, buy more guns and patrol vehicles and finance other activities for more effective crime suppression,” Duterte said.
The Department of Education (DepEd) will still receive the lion’s share of the 2017 proposed budget, getting more than PhP566 billion — a PhP135-billion difference from
A story told by the river Enter the Zoomanity Group with the Zooper Cruise: the very first Pasig River ferry tour service. Officially launched on Au-
this year’s allocation. PhP166 billion of the proposed DepEd budget will go to the construction and rehabilitation of more than 37,500 classrooms, new facilities, and the hiring of at least 53,000 new teachers. “The next six years will be the golden age of Philippine construction, both public and private,” Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno told the Financial Executives of the Philippines in July.
The 2017 budget also looks to increase the government subsidy for health insurance premium payments for indigent families by PhP50 billion, which is 15 percent more than the 2016 budget.
The President’s office also got a 600 percent boost in the budget proposal to the tune of more than PhP20 billion — almost eight times the PhP2.9-billion budget for this year. The budget for the Office of the President includes a special provision: a PhP15 billion appropriation for hosting the upcoming golden anniversary celebration of the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). For comparison’s sake, the reported budget for the APEC Summit in 2015 was PhP10 billion (a figure highly criticized at the time) — and it featured Mercedes Benz and BMW service vehicles and 5-star accommodations for all APEC delegates and their team. Diokno told CNN Philippines via text that “the PhP15 billion under [the Office of the President] will still be distributed to concerned agencies next year.”
“The most glaring among these is the presence of up to PhP1.4 trillion in lump sums in programmed and unprogrammed “special purpose funds” (SPFs) and automatic appropriations,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported, referring to the lump sum inclusions in the
gust 25, 2016, the Zooper Cruise is a fantastic way of seeing the other side of Metro Manila. It's presents a combination of old and new Manila with the Pasig River playing the part of an effective storyteller. The Zooper Cruise is the brainchild of business tycoon Robert Yupangco, while the twin-hull ferry boats are own by former Navy and Presidential Security Guard (PSG) Eduardo Bondad. “The Philippines is well-endowed with many beautiful tourist attractions, yet many Filipinos as well as foreign tourists have not yet discovered the beauty of Metro Manila,” Yupangco told Expat. Through the Zooper Cruise, Zoomanity Group — in coorperation with their charity arm, the Zoomanity Foundation — aims to promote education and environmental conservation of Pasig River. “It caters the four pillars of our mission and vision which are Education, Entertainment, Environmental Conservation and Exhibit,” said Yupangco, adding that they even have a special discounted rate for students who want to experience the Zooper Cruise. The tour The Zooper Cruise starts from Circuit Makati, where a van will take the passengers to the Valenzuela Ferry Terminal. From the terminal, the Pasig River tour goes all the way to Escolta in Manila, culminatnext page ing with a sumptuous Lauriat
2017 budget. Congressmen were also allowed to submit project proposals amounting to PhP80 million, despite the dismantling of the bottom-up budgeting scheme, which was used during the previous administration. “Diokno’s refusal during the budget hearing to provide a list of ‘pork projects’ or projects proposed by legislators during the budgetpreparation stage was unfortunate,” Marjohara Tacay wrote for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Diokno refused to provide details by telling the budget committee, “I think I can say this with authority. I’m the oldest here, I’ve seen this budget before martial law. It’s been a practice — legislators will go to the department secretaries and ask for the budget.” Despite these setbacks, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Loren Legarda assured the public, "We will work closely with the country's economic managers and all our government agencies, and consider our constituents' concerns to ensure that the national budget for 2017 will indeed be a budget for real change.”
The number of exceptions listed in the Duterte administration’s freedom of information (FOI) draft. The items listed supposedly involve matters on national security, executive privilege and invasion of personal privacy. As noted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the exceptions were based on recommendations of the Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General, which prepared the inventory of materials that could be released to the public following Duterte’s issuance of the executive order on FOI to “promote transparency in government.” Curiously, the draft states that “government officials cannot be compelled to prepare lusts and detailed reports on how congressional funds were disbursed.” Check out the complete DBM PhP3.35-trillion National Expenditure Program for 2017 at www.dbm.gov.ph/?page_id=16379.
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SEPTEMBER 4-17, 2016 dinner in the first restaurant built in the oldest Chinatown in the world: Uno Seafood Restaurant in Binondo. Watch out for notable landmarks such as the Post Office Building, Hospicio de San Jose, the old Pandacan Oil Depot, and yes, even the Malacañang Palace. For national security purposes, just remember that you can’t take any photos while cruising by the President’s official designated residence. According to Yupangco, the Zooper Cruise is a great way to “rediscover the splendor of Manila historical landmarks.” “I encourage today’s generation to look back and find out how Manila came to be,”
Bondad, a seasoned seafarer, told Expat. “It’s quite an experience, knowing where we came from… And this Zooper Cruise is a unique history class on a boat.” The Zooper Cruise plies Pasig River every first Saturday of the month, with packages ranging from PhP699 (student rate), PhP999 (cruise only), to PhP1,999 (cruise, Intramuros tour, and dinner). Snacks and refreshments are also available inside the ferry during the tour. To know more about this Zooper Cruise experience, contact (02) 899-9819, (02) 8999824, or (0917) 952-1371. For more about the Zoomanity Group, visit www.zoomanity.com.ph.
Escolta at night
The Post Office Building still looking stately and photogenic after all these years
These ships and boats are remnants of Pasig River's once commercialized past
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G RU B H U B
SEPTEMBER 4-17, 2016
Come one, Come Forth Newspaper The Philippines’ forum for international readers since 1981
Murray Hertz Founding Publisher (1928-2014) Butch C. Bonsol President & Managing Director Timothy Jay Araneta Ibay Editor-in-Chief Suzette Defensor Consultant Angie Duarte Richard A. Ramos (Cebu) Senior Writers Via Baroma Ching Dee Staff Writers Leah Egamino-Palaña Advertising Coordinator Jennifer Codera Billing, Credit and Collection Supervisor Nikki Joy Habana Macjanry Imperio Design & Layout Our Headquarters: Unit 207, Cattleya Condominium Bldg. 235 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City Our telephone numbers: (+632) 840-2996 or (+632) 812-0987; Fax (+632) 840-2988 You can also reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and for sales and advertising: email@example.com Cebu Mailing Address: MJ. Cuenco Avenue cor. C. Mina St., Mabolo, Cebu City Telefax: (032) 412-8000 Statements, views and opinions expressed by the writers, contributors, and advertisers are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or the management. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material.
Text and photos by CHING DEE
Comfort food just a got an upgrade at Come Forth Kitchen
t's like sharing a part of our home to them. That’s exactly what prompted foodie friends, Rondelle and Tricia de Leon, Claudine de Leon, and Theresa Leung, to open Come Forth Kitchen in Jupiter Street, Makati last March. “Come Forth Kitchen” is a play on the word “comfort,” which is the basis of all menu items at this quaint joint in an otherwise busy metropolitan street. At the same time, it’s an invitation for people to come forth and enjoy their food. Pulpog, the long-lost cousin of sisig Northern Luzon, is Come Forth The group got a lot of help from from Kitchen's signature best-seller chefs Gigi Almeda and Kat Pascual during the research and development phase for the restaurant, which took roughly six months. The warm and inviting restaurant — with its minimalistic furniture accentuated by knick-knacks from the owners’ homes and travels — features the group’s unique take on comfort food: shamelessly good, unapologetically delicious, and guilt-free (well, most of the time). Homemade goodness in one dish: Bacon “We always make sure our vegetarian cusBurger with all the works tomers will have delicious options here,” Chef Gigi told Expat. “We want them to enjoy great many years ago when they had a family trip to Ilocos and tried a local delicacy called Pulpog, food that’s also good for you.” Whether you’re an adventurous foodie, a the prodigal son of sisig (but with a sour kick). So when the group opened Come Forth conservative gourmand, or simply in need of good ‘ol comfort food, there’s something at Kitchen, they made sure they have Pulpog in Come Forth Kitchen for you. Starting with their menu with the help of chefs Kat and Gigi. The tender pork is rendered with smoky the most unique — and best-selling — item flavors with just the right hint of pepper and on their menu: Pulpog. acidity. The sliced red onions on top add a crisp texture and a kick to the savory dish. It is defiInviting comfort twists There's nothing like family to make you try nitely something new to try. Comfort food staple French toast also got new things! That's exactly what restaurateurs Claudine, Tricia and their family discovered an upgrade with their French Toast with Mus-
covado Cream Cheese and Guava Syrup. Chefs Kat and Gigi also took the humble burger to the next level by smoking their own bacon, baking their own brioche buns, and making their own patties. So, Come Forth Kitchen’s Bacon Burger was born. Imagine a thick and juicy all-beef patty topped with crisp lettuce, tangy tomatoes, and home-smoked bacon — all in between a soft and fluffy brioche bun. It is the epitome of comfort food. “We simply thought of our favorite comfort food dishes,” Chef Kat, the cousin of the de Leons, said. “This is the kind of food we grew up with: honest, straightforward, and tasty. Nothing more, nothing less. We just want to pay tribute to the great food that we enjoyed when we were growing up and we want to share it with more people.” Chef Kat is a gifted pastry chef, as proven by her very own Dulce de Leche Chocolate Cake: homemade dulce de leche (caramel) sandwiched between three layers of decadently moist chocolate cake, an heirloom recipe from their family. Their Alfajores — shortbread cookies with dulce de leche filling — is also the perfect merienda (afternoon snacks) companion to a good cup of joe. It’s no wonder why the public gave Come Forth Kitchen such a warm welcome into the already cramped Makati foodie scene. After all, it’s not everyday you get to step into a restaurant that makes you feel like home. Come Forth Kitchen is located at 120 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air Village, Makati. They are open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. For inquiries and reservations, call (02) 802-4064.
Braska: A delectable mix of past and present By VIA BAROMA
Discover this hub of Filipino comfort fare in bohemian Malate
ong before the thriving dining scenes in Makati, Bonifacio Global City and Maginhawa Street came about, the streets of the charming district of Malate and its turn-of-the-century homes cradled the goto destinations for pleasurable leisure in the metro. But while the area may have lost a bit of its endearing allure, there remain places where the old magic can be found. Derived from Nebraska – the old street name of its location – Braska Restaurant is a paean of sorts to the lost charm and elegance of Manila’s famed district. Located along Jorge Bocobo St., this contemporary Filipino restaurant aims to bring back the warmth of the old Malate through the comforting flavors of familiar favorites. “We felt that there was something missing in the market, not necessarily in terms of Filipino food, but more options that expressed the spirit of Malate as it was,” shared Braska Brand Director Mark Abellon. “Comfort food is food that is familiar. It satisfies not just a longing for flavors people who grew up with, but also the desire for the comfort and warmth of family, of home, and of friendships. And that’s what we hope to encourage in our customers—a feeling of ease, well being and happiness. That was the appeal of Malate before,” Abellon added. Old and new flavors collide And the comfort found in the commingling of the past and the present is consciously extended to Braska’s menu – one that’s peppered with local favorites that promise to take diners on a nostalgic trip. While you can enjoy classics like Roast
Chicken, Baby Back Ribs and Paella, Braska’s true savvy is in their ability to satisfy any hankering for traditional Filipino fare with items like Pinakbet, Laing, Caldereta, Crispy Pata and Adobo. And, similar to their yearning to revive Malate’s beloved feel of the past, they came up with familiar Filipino dishes with fresh twists that’s distinctly their own with offerings like Longganisa Meatballs, Chicken Skin Chicharon and Bangus Sardine Pasta (house-made milkfish sardines prepared aglio olio and scooped over pasta). Also on the list of twists is the Shrimp Avocado Salad drizzled with the piquant Cilantro Lime Dressing – a welcome diversion from the typical Filipino method of just freezing the fruit after mashing it with milk and sugar. Adds Executive Sous Chef Poch Hogar, “One of the specialties of the restaurant is the Guava Jelly French Toast (French Toast filled with sweet-tangy guava jelly and served with cream cheese and bacon). It’s something you won’t find in other restaurants. There are certain foods that you want to eat if you’re sad and feeling down. For me, guava jelly has the ability to brighten up the day.” Another Braska favorite is the Calamansi Tart – calamansi custard smoothed over golden crust, then dusted with confectioner’s sugar and topped with ripe mango slivers. Its tangy taste soothes the taste buds and refreshes the appetite. Other dessert must-trys from Braska’s kitchen include Chocnut Cake (an homage to all-time Pinoy sweet treat fave – Chocnut) and Café Misu (made with Braska’s house bread, chocolate, chocolate cream and whipped
cream). Said Abellon, “We wanted to introduce something that’s still Pinoy but with little tweaks here and there so that it’s also appealing to foreign guests. We though of the two different market—the Filipino foodie who finds comfort in familiar Filipino flavors and foreigners raring to sample the local cuisine— and find a comfortable compromise in between.” BRASKA Restaurant is located at 1669 Bocobo St., Malate, Manila. For more information, call (02) 995-3981 or email hello@braskaph. com.
The Chocnut Cake is the sweet tooth's wet dream
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G RU B H U B
Time for a #DiningRevolution at Kartilya Text and photos by CHING DEE
ust like the Katipunan started with a group of passionate individuals seeking to make a difference, newly opened "Millennial Filipino" restaurant Kartilya in Bonifacio Global City was started by a group of friends looking to start a dining revolution. Historically, Kartilya was the guidebook of the Katipunan. It contains the rules and mandates of the revolutionary organization – the basis for everything the Katipunan did and what they believed in. In a similar vein, the restaurant Kartilya hopes to form a new standard of Filipino cuisine. Friends and marketing colleagues Jan Paz, Paolo Misa, Lord Polintan, John Guttierrez, Masterchef Asia contestant Lica Ibarra, with Trina Ong, Michi Mendoza, and Pat Giron opened Kartilya on July 20, 2016 – just three months after they started talking about opening a business. "We were just talking, enjoying a few beers, and we started brainstorming for business ideas and we know we wanted to do something related to food," Jan Paz told Expat. "We wanted a place where people can enjoy Filipino food with its familiar flavors but with a modern twist," Paz added. The warm lighting, dark hardwood furniture, and local decor like the capiz panel windows lend warmth to Kartilya that's reminiscent of many Filipino homes in the countryside. Meanwhile, their menu features classic Filipino dishes with heirloom recipes from their families with a "Millennial Filipino" twist, thanks to Chef Lica's playful imagination.
Two of the best things in life come together in Kartilya's crowd favorite Queso Fundido: smoky, tender liempo and three-cheese mornay sauce
"Our Kare-Kare is my Lola's (grandmother) very own recipe," Chef Lica said. "I make sure we do it almost exactly the same way she does." Just like any chef, Chef Lica is naturally curious and drawn to experimenting in the kitchen. Ong and Paz relayed stories of Chef Lica bursting out of the kitchen with something new and delicious on a plate, asking them to taste it. Her natural love for food helped her create Kartilya's menu in just two months, including research and development and multiple food tasting sessions with her co-owners. Kartilya may just be a month old, but it is paving the way for a dining revolution of its own. Expat recommends For starters, their Tostadas is the perfect way to whet your appetite for the culinary uprising that's about to come. The Tostada is made of homemade crispy corn tortilla and topped with Kaldereta, Pulled Pork Adobo, or Sisig. You cannot go wrong with any of the three toppings. Trust me on this. The Tostadas also pairs well with locally made bugnay wine from Proudly Promdi or any of Kartilya's signature cocktails. For main course, their bestselling Liempo Queso Fundido is a sure way to satisfy your meaty and cheesy cravings. The grilled liempo (sliced pork belly) is tender and well seasoned, while their creamy three-cheese mornay sauce perfectly complements the savory pork without overpowering its flavors. It's easy to see why foodies head to Kartilya for this dish. What is Filipino food without the Kapampangan favorite sisig? At Kartilya, their Sisig offers traditional Kapampangan flavors – as it should – but with their own modern twist: a 63-degree sous vide egg. Talk about perfectly cooked, creamy yolk gushing down and covering the sizzling chunks of pork and liver. Another fan favorite is their Corned Beef Kansi. Kansi is a cross between Filipino staples sinigang (sour broth) and bulalo (bone marrow broth), a little sour and mostly savory. The addition of tender and flaky corned beef
adds a bit of sweetness to the warm broth, while the lemongrass perfumes the dish and takes you back to Iloilo's countryside where the dish was first made. With the rainy weather upon us, Kansi is the perfect dish to get cozy and warm. Kartilya's Pinoy Kebabs are huge chunks of pork shoulder skewered with onions and bell peppers and basted with their adobo sauce. The meat is tender, the fat melts the moment it touches your tongue, and the sides – homemade pan de sal with mango jam and kesong puti (white cheese) – are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. For vegetarians, they also have the Nipa Hut Medley, which has almost all the vegetables from the Pinoy nursery rhyme Bahay Kubo tossed in tasty peanut sauce and topped with Chef Lica's homemade bagoong (shrimp paste) Butter. In true Filipino spirit, the main dishes mentioned above go perfectly with their Dirty Rice, which is their secret recipe fried rice. This is not your typical sinangag (fried rice) from your home. It is moist and flavorful and unlike any fried rice you've had before. But if you don't feel like eating rice, their signature Aligue Palabok is the perfect cheat day treat. The classic Filipino palabok (rice noodles with atsuete sauce) is amped up with sinfully indulgent aligue (crab fat), shrimp, smoked fish, tofu, hardboiled egg, and crushed chicharon. About 90 percent of the dishes and its components are homemade, which is how Chef Lica exactly prefers it. "It's better if we make it from scratch, so we know exactly what goes in the dishes, we keep the flavors consistent, and we can put a lot more love into the dish," Chef Lica shared with a smile.
You'll never go wrong with Kartilya's Capampangan Sisig with the perfect 63-degree sous vide egg
Filipinos are known for some of the most exotic, delectable desserts and Kartilya definitely won't be left behind. Pinoys’ favorite childhood street side dessert gets a modern gourmet twist, thanks to Kartilya, who took Carioca (sweet rice flour balls, like mochi but firmer and more chewy) to a whole new level by stuffing it with goodies. You can choose between white chocolate, dark chocolate, or even the beloved Filipino chocolate, Chocnut. They also have Kartilya Pop Tarts: Homemade pastry stuffed with either bananas or local mulberry jam, baked until golden brown, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with crushed colorful cereals. This is a sure hit with the young ones. Of course, Chef Lica's signature dish made its way from the Masterchef kitchen to Kartilya. Diners can get a taste of her winning Queso de Bola Bibingka Souffle – her delicious homage to the Filipino classic cake bibingka that is warm, creamy, and just the right amount of sweet. Their desserts go well with freshly brewed locally grown coffee from Kalsada. Don’t get left behind. Join the sumptuous Kartilya revolution. Kartilya is located at Two Parkade Building, 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. They are open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. For reservations, call (02) 893 2806.
Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival at Crystal Dragon Text and photos by CHING DEE
No need to rely on luck to score delicious, authentic Chinese fare at City of Dreams Manila
ity of Dreams Manila brings a beloved Chinese tradition to life through Crystal Dragon’s Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates three fundamental concepts: The gathering of family and friends, as well as the gathering of a bountiful harvest; giving thanks for the said gathering; and praying certain requests such as a child, a spouse, long life, or bright future. The festival is also famous for its commemoration of the full moon, as symbolized by the making and sharing of the iconic Moon Cakes as a cherished gift. But at City of Dreams (COD), the festivities take a gastronomic turn as authentic and deliciously irresistible Cantonese dishes take center stage at Crystal Dragon — regional fare believed to usher in good luck, good harvest, harmony, and unity within the family partaking in the feast. And we have Crystal Dragon’s chef de cuisine, Chan Choo Kean, to thank for this unforgettable menu. “Our dishes are inspired by beliefs that will bring prosperity and good luck based on Chinese traditions,” Eric Lim, City of Dreams’ manager of Chinese restaurants, told Expat. Crystal Dragon will be offering the follow-
ing authentic Chinese dishes to celebrate the festival until Sept. 15: Perfectly seasoned Wok Fried Boston Lobster Tails with Spices, Salt and Pepper. Considered as the “dragon of the sea,” this lobster dish symbolizes unity among family and friends. The indulgent Steamed Marinated Pork Ribs with Pork Sausage and Mushrooms and Wok Fried Vermicelli with Shredded Pork, Vegetables and Foie Gras are not just tasty, but also believed to bring strength, wealth, and abundant blessing. The tender and delicate Braised Sea Cucumber and Baby Abalone with Bean Curd in Clay Pot represents good fortune, as represented by the Abalone’s shape, which resembles a traditional gold bowl. The Sauteed Sea Grouper with Mushrooms, Honey Beans and Celery brings prosperity, while the deliciously succulent and flavorful Taiwanese-Style Stewed Chicken with Chinese Wine Sauce signifies prosperity and togetherness. The star of the festival takes a gentler and sweeter form with Crystal Dragon’s Homemade Snow Skin Moon Cake, which comes in several variants such as lotus root mousse, red
bean paste, and custard. Their Chilled Sweetened Mango Sphere Coconut Mousse is another luscious dessert, which should not be missed. As tradition suggests, special double egg yolk mooncakes filled with red bean paste — imported all the way from Macau — are also available for purchase in a beautifully elegant brocade box of blue and silver. Crystal Dragon is located at The Crown Towers, City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Avenue, Entertainment City, Parañaque. They are open from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (lunch) and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (dinner). For reservations, click “Make a Reservation” at www.cityofdreams.com.ph or call (02) 800-8080 or email guestservices@ cod-manila.com.
Moon Cakes were originally used to send secret messages in ancient China. Now it brings good fortune, harmony, and prosperity during the Mid-autumn Festival
The taste of prosperity: Lobster tails from Boston seasoned perfectly with salt, pepper, and spices
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SEPTEMBER 4-17, 2016
PUERTO PRINCESA Gateway to the best island in the world Text by TIMOTHY JAY IBAY Photos by KLARA FERNANDEZ Additional photos by TIMOTHY JAY IBAY
The small entrance to the Underground River offers no clue of the complex cave system that awaits inside
t is nature carving earth’s history; an ongoing process of millions years of geologic evolution that’s resulted in a magnificent karst landscape and an extensive underground river system with cathedral height ceilings, and communions of stalactites and stalagmites that form columns resembling fortresses of ancient civilizations. Listening to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park tour’s audio guide makes you realize how utterly fascinating nature’s machinations are. But more than the distinct full mountain-to-sea ecosystem where the famed Underground River belongs – that is said to be home to over 800 plant species, 195 bird species, 30 mammals, 19 reptiles and eight bat species – it is its high amount of energy stemming from its unique thermal equator location, super marine climate, perfect combination of wind, humidity and strong variable air fluxes allowing the cave system to offset the effects of high-impact tourism that makes the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park a true wonder of the world. But, without being able to see the caverns and its dramatic speleothems in their full
splendor (it is nearly pitch black inside, save for the boatman’s spotlight’s reach), the experience comes off mostly as an opportunity to tick off a bucket list item born from a solid tourism marketing campaign. This isn’t meant to take away from the truly amazing planetary evolution that led to one of Palawan’s (and the world’s) more iconic natural gems. Geographically, it is an undoubtedly remarkable wonder; as a touristic experience, though, it inevitably falls short of the massive hype. But still, it is something you need to experience for yourself. And with the capital city of Palawan being the main entry point for the exploration of the gamut of natural gifts Palawan has to offer, the Underground River remains an inescapable draw should you find yourself in Puerto Princesa. Downtown and beyond The Underground River will always be synonymous with Puerto Princesa, but the city’s offerings are far from limited to the subterranean wonder. Downtown Puerto Princesa is peppered with bar and grills like Kinabuchs (where
Pre-Lit Just a few moments before Kinabuchs bar and grill gets packed by a mix of foreign and local tourists
you can sample the exotic grub crocodile sisig) that’s part of the city’s thriving dining scene. More sophisticated beer palates would be glad to know that Puerto Princesa is also home to Palaweño Brewery—one of the country’s craft beer pioneers. They have a tasting room where you can clink glasses and swap hearty laughs with the brewers themselves—a fun and welcoming bunch that makes a visit to Palaweño Brewery a must when in the city. There’s Baker’s Hill—a colorful dining destination to satisfy bread and pastry cravings. What started as a lone bakeshop has now evolved into a sort of theme park with manicured gardens, a playground, various dining outlets, and even an aviary—all of which have combined to make Baker’s Hill a popular tourist stop. About two hours from the city center, there is plenty of the usual island hopping fare to be had in Honda Bay, where the requisite snorkeling, picnics and beach combing abound. Three hours away is Port Barton and San Vicente’s plethora of exquisite beaches, while some five-plus hours away is the unmistakable allure of pristine El Nido.
More than the fresh brews, it’s the homey, welcoming vibe of Palaweño Brewery that makes it a must-visit
Being the default transit point for most adventures to be had in Palawan, Puerto Princesa ambitiously expects to reach a million tourist arrivals this year – a testament to the continually burgeoning tourism trade of the island.
Vibrant and delicious, Baker’s Hill is a Puerto Princesa pit stop that’s popular for a reason
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Different hues come out and play as the sun sets
Hospitality in bloom And, if you find yourself in Palawan via Puerto Princesa to discover and experience its many gifts, the charming boutique hotel that is Hotel Fleuris stands as a smart choice for a Puerto Princesa home base. Attentive staff with genuine warmth in their smiles amplifies the hotel’s subtle charm that effortlessly blankets you with a homey comfort most welcome for any adventure. “We take pride in providing personalized service to our guests, along with all the amenities and facilities that a traveler would need,” says Hotel Fleuris Director of Operations Millie Po-Artillaga. With 47 rooms (eight of which are suites), a charming little pool area, a lobby café that Another lounge can be found at the hotel's second floor
doubles as a piano bar, a business center, and its own Japanese restaurant, We Be, the recently renovated Hotel Fleuris is all set to carry on catering to Puerto Princesa’s continually flourishing tourism trade. “As the saying goes, Hotel Fleuris is a home away from home. Guests have always commented on how well they are treated during their stay. While the staff is always alert to the guests’ needs, they also ensure that they value their privacy,” shares Po-Artillaga. Hotel Fleuris Palawan is located at Lacao. St., Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. For reservations, contact (02) 846-6488, (02) 812-0384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.fleuris.com The photo may not suggest it, but the hotel’s lobby café / piano bar is a pretty chill spot for drinks and chit-chats
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Rustan’s romances the Mediterranean By ANGIE DUARTE
he Mediterranean, collectively comprised of the counties bordering the sea of the same name, conjures images of a carefree and charmed life, brimming over with passion, zeal, historic lore, and romance. In recognition of the attraction and allure of this region, Rustan’s, the Philippines’ premier retailer, showcased finely crafted products from the heart of the Mediterranean by way of specially curated vignettes and product selections. “Romancing the Mediterranean,” held at Rustan’s Makati throughout August, featured world-class merchandise from renowned Spanish, Italian, and French brands. “The lure of the Mediterranean goes back to ancient times. There is something so fascinating about the Mediterranean that Rustan’s, in keeping with its vision to bring the word to the Philippines, opens this showcase,” Zenaida Rustia Tantoco, Rustan Commercial Corporation Chairman and CEO, said at the wellattended launch of the month-long festival.
Lovers of this Mediterranean lure came out in full force, for a night of festive entertainment, delicious food, and fine merchandise, to kick-off this celebration of culture. This slice of the Mediterranean’s Epicurean lifestyle started off with angelic melodies from child opera singer, eight-year-old British-Filipina Harriette Wharmby. On the heels of a few impassioned speeches and words of welcome from Rustan’s top brass and some special guests, fiery flamenco performances were rendered by the Fundacion Centro Flamenco, after which, guests were feted to sumptuous food and wines at the Mediterranean stations, featuring well-loved dishes from Spain, France and Italy. Dignitaries in attendance at the launch included Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, French Embassy Charge d’Affaires Laurent Le Godec, Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno, Spanish Ambassador H.E. Luis Antonio Calvo Castaño and wife Madame Maria Jose Carrasco.
Rustan’s Zenaida Tantoco, Italian Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Massimo Roscigno, Rustan’s Maritess Tantoco Enriquez, and Chairman Emeritus Amb. Bienvenido Tantoco, Sr.
French Embassy Charge d’Affaires in the Philippines Laurent Le Godec, Italian Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Massimo Roscigno, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, Ambassador of Betsy Westendorp and Elena Colome Spain to the Philippines His Excellency Luis Antonio Calvo Castaño, Rustan’s Chairman Emeritus Amb. Bienvenido Tantoco, Sr., Rustan’s Chairman and CEO Zenaida Tantoco, Madame Maria Jose Carrasco, Rustan Commercial Corporation Member of the Board Maritess Tantoco Enriquez, and Rustan Commercial Corporation President Donnie Tantoco.
Rustan Commercial Corporation Chairman and CEO Zenaida Tantoco, Rustan’s Chairman Emeritus Amb. Bienvenido Tantoco, Sr., Ambassador of Panama to the Rustan’s Zenaida Tantoco, Madame Maria Jose Carrasco, Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines His Excellency Luis Antonio Calvo Philippines His Excellency Rolando Guevara Alvarado, Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines His Excellency Luis Antonio Calvo Castaño, Jose Rodriguez, and Madame Castaño, Rustan’s Chairman Emeritus Amb. Bienvenido Tantoco, Sr., and Rustan’s Maritess Tantoco Enriquez Maria Jose Carrasco
Hannah, Karen, and Cito Beltran
Harriette Wharmby, 8 year old opera singer
Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez
Performance by the Fundacion Centro Flamenco
Italian Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Massimo Roscigno and Ambassador of Panama to the Philippines His Excellency Rolando Guevara Alvarado Ian & Janna Simpao of Bride and Breakfast’s Italian lifestyle table setting vignette
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A show of grandeur Turning 80 is a privilege not accorded to many so this milestone calls for a momentous celebration. Many thanks to the excellent team of Marriott Manila led by its general manager Bruce Winton and director of marketing communications Michelle Garcia for making sure everything went smoothly at my birthday party held at the Grand Ballroom D of the Marriott Grand Ballroom where almost 600 A-listers enjoyed an exquisite open buffet spread of delicious dinner fare and luscious desserts against a backdrop of testimonial videos from my long-time friends. Everyone had a field day looking at vintage photos of my younger self at work and as a family man. Among the program’s highlights were a fashion show of ambassadors, their spouses and consuls wearing designer clothes from Rustan’s, the presentation of the awardees of the 2016 Best dressed Women of the Philippines and my four Muses: Guatemala consul Mellie Ablaza, Monaco consul general Fortune Ledesma, Angola consul Helen Ong, and Tanzania consul Betty Chua. As always, pledges made to the foundation very close to my heart, the EJ Litton Foundation, were much appreciated. To my guests, thank you for your lovely company. To my readers, the honor is all mine. To remember the evening by, guests went home with tokens from Rustan’s, Beabi, Laneige, and Aficionado Germany Perfume. Many thanks to Tita Trillo of Titania Wine Cellar for the spirits, Jacques Christophe Branellec of Jewelmer Joaillerie, DMark Beauty Corporation’s Nikki Tang, and Turkish Airlines as well as our ever-reliable show director for many years now, Raymond Villanueva, Muebles Italiano, florist Robert Blancaflor, Bloomwoods flower shop, tenor George Tagle, Oli Laperal, Jr. of RS Video, and 10 Inch for the TV monitors.
Pinggoy and Marge Mañosa with SGV & Co. founder Washington SyCip
Laneige and Beabi co-owner Winnie Go, Johnson and Linda Yu with Laneige and Beabi co-owner Willin Chan
CTBC Bank (Philippines) Corp. vice chairman William ‘Bill’ Go Marriott Hotel Manila general manager Bruce Winton with your columnist Renato Enriquez, ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco, Sr. and Maritess Tantoco- and Philippine Veterans Bank chairman and CEO Roberto de Ocampo Enriquez
European Union’s Wang Qi, Danish ambassador Jan Top Christensen and wife, madame Dr. Kieu Phung, Israeli ambassador Effie Ben Matityau, Remi Ralte, Indian ambassador L.D. Ralte, your columnist, madame Ziki Ralte, and Mawii Ralte madame Sylvia and husband Belgian ambassador Roland van Remoortele
Madame Julia and husband, Argentinian ambassador Robert Bosch
Lexus Manila team (from left): president Danny Isla, executive vice-president Yuichiro Suzuki, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation’ first vice president Raymond Rodriguez, Lexus Manila’ sales and marketing director Spencer Yu, and executive vice-president Toshihiko Hiranuma Guilly and Maloy Luchangco, Marivic Concepcion, Raul ‘Ronnie’ Concepcion and wife Menchu
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ARTS & CULTURE
Compiled by VIA BAROMA
• Guest Experience: Maestro Alexander Vikulov Sept. 17, Power Mac Center Spotlight, Level 2, Circuit Lane, Circuit Makati A.P. Reyes Ave., Brgy. Carmona, Makati; Tickets are available at www.ticketworld.com.ph; for ticket inquiries, call (02) 891-9999 To celebrate the 90th year of Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO), the Manila Symphony Concert Season Orchestra 2016-2017 presents Guest Experience: Maestro Alexander Vikulov. Believing that the dynamic between conductor and orchestra is scintillating, with audiences attracted to seeing a new pair of waving hands at the helm, directing their musical enjoyment, the MSO invites a guest conductor for a chance to revive interest in an orchestra’s season and bring #musiceverywhere. Tickets are priced at PhP1,306 for Patron; PhP888 for Gold; and PhP679 for Silver.
•Fall Leaves After Leaves Fall
•Stirring the Ashes by Leslie de Chavez Ongoing until Sept. 17, Ateneo Art Gallery, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City; for more information, contact Tricia Raya at (02) 426-6488, email email@example.com or visit www. ateneoartgallery.org Through his paintings and installations, Leslie de Chavez reflects on the power structures of the past and present, giving visual form to the complex political issues plaguing the country today. He does not preach or seek straightforward answers. His works operate on several levels, allowing viewers to approach them from different perspectives. He gives the audience something recognizable as an entry point, then leaves the interpretation up to each person. His choice of materials is deliberate and part of the meaning-making. The giant head of Rizal is blackened not by paint but by painstakingly rubbing it with graphite. A pair of legs lying on the floor, recognizable to any Catholic as the limbs of the Messiah on the cross, is made of soap. A stencil of the historic 1734 MurilloVelarde Map lies on a patchwork of GI sheets. The titles such as Craft - Mine - Crap, Anggulo, and Subjugating the Nuclear are cryptic, giving clues into the thinking behind the works but not providing answers. Each piece requires attention, reflection and analysis. De Chavez stirs the ashes of history in the hopes that by exposing the embers of memory, he is able to reignite something in us, perhaps compassion for our countrymen, concern over the nation’s state of affairs, something other than the indifference that has engulfed us.
•There, not there and on the way by Tony Twigg Ongoing until Sept. 17, Silverlens, 2/F YMC Building 2, 2320 Don Chino Roces Avenue Ext., Makati; For more information, call (02) 816-0044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.silverlensgalleries.com This September, Nona Garcia will be the final artist to show in Silverlens’ first Pasong Tamo Extension gallery, before the gallery moves down the street to its new building in Lapanday Centre. In the ten years since Silverlens started the warehouse gallery model, only three other artists have successfully used all the spaces for a single show—Arturo Luz, Leslie de Chavez, and Gabriel Barredo. Garcia ends this list with Fall Leaves After Leaves Fall. The artist moved to Baguio City three years ago, and this show marks that move and the intangible milestones since, for both the artist and Silverlens. Garcia uses the elements— water, air, fire, and earth—as markers for these milestones. Garcia will be showing all paintings. Water and air stand face to face in one of the galleries: two murals face-to-face, one sea (Before The Sea, 2012) and the other, sky (Before the Sky, 2016). Not the first time that either has been shown, but the first time they are shown together, in the way the artist originally intended. For both Garcia and Silverlens, this is a sentimental show that marks the end of something, and points to the beginning of another.
Ongoing until Sept. 30, Galleria Duemilla, 210 Loring St., Pasay City; for more information, contact (02) 831-9990 or email email@example.com In Tony Twigg’s art, a lexicon of geometric forms jostles each other through a drama of their own invention. Whether as timber constrictions or in paintings, Twigg’s puppet-like forms leave a respectful distance between each other. It is a crucial space that simultaneously defines his forms and ushers in the works’ dramatic engagement with the unseen. Here, the subject of Twigg’s art, an absent presence, is found. Twigg has a strong international practice with over 40 solo exhibitions presented in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. Over his long career, Twigg has also been known for his multi-disciplinary and film works.
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E X P AT N E W S P A P E R
F E AT U R E S
SEPTEMBER 4-17, 2016
We all scream for (MORE!) Carmen’s Best Ice cream By ANGIE DUARTE
The premium dairy brand gives us delicious reasons to cry out for more
f it looks like ice cream, smells like ice cream, tastes like ice cream, then it MUST BE ice cream. Correct? Wrong! It is the dairy industry’s dirty little secret, in fact, that not all dairy products are, well, DAIRY. So while your “ice cream” may have all the seeming attributes of a milk-filled dairy delight, the truth of the matter may very well be up in the air. Or, more precisely, filled with air. And a whole lot of vegetable fat and powdered milk solids. With Carmen’s Best, what you see is what you get: premium ice cream, made from the finest, freshest purest milk, mixed with high quality, natural flavors and ingredients. Perfect equation Paco Magsaysay, bonafide ice cream lover, dairy geek, and founder and creator of Carmen’s Best Dairy and Ice Cream, is proud to say that their frozen goodies are 100 percent genuine and premium; from the milk to all components used for the different flavors. “For our ice creams, we use only fresh milk from our farms. And good ice cream should be 80 percent dairy,” shared Magsaysay. “So that’s 80 percent of the solution towards a good product.“ The remaining 20 percent of Magsaysay’s perfect equation is comprised of the best food stuff from across the globe to come up with the label’s unique favors. Each mouthwatering creation is developed personally by Magsaysay, and by his 18-year-old daughter Carmen, the ice cream line’s namesake. Think: vanilla beans from Madagascar, malted milk powder from England, purple yam jam from the highlands of Baguio, coffee from Brazil, and now – for its two newest flavor offerings – coffee from Vietnam, and milk tea from Malaysia. Uncompromising goodness You can wait until the cows come home, but the brand that has been delighting discriminating dairy devotees since 2011 with its impeccable ice cream goodness and exciting, inimitable flavors shows no signs of compromising its commitment to quality, no matter the cost. “We would never think of cutting corners or scrimping on quality,” Magsaysay noted, “because then our customers would know. I would know. We only, always, use the best: from our milk to our add-ins, to our production process – it’s all top quality.” Carmen’s Best is, quite literally, milking you for your money’s worth, and that is what makes the ice cream so incredibly special. Each
Carmen's Best's five new and exciting flavors
spoonful is a creamy symphony of taste and texture, pleasing your palate and awakening your senses to ice cream’s pure joys. Or, in this case, to the joys of pure ice cream! Flavors to scream about Recently, the name in honest-to-goodness ice cream took its already impressive roster (over 40 variants, to date) to the next level with the addition of two new flavors, Vietnamese Coffee and Milk Tea. The former is a blend of bold and rich Vietnamese coffee beans and sweet, velvety condensed milk; while the latter is a scrumptious take on the ever-popular milk tea drink, but in ice cream form. Aside from introducing two new flavors, the spotlight is also on three of the label’s edgy and exceptional concoctions: Secret Breakfast, Turkish Baklava, and He’s Not Worth It. First up is a taste that will thrill adventurous palates in search of an almost illicit brekky – bourbon and cornflake bits swirling about in smoothly churned milk make for a delectable Secret Breakfast. Turkish Baklava is an exotic indulgence made from the Middle Eastern sweet pastry of layers of flaky filo, filled with chopped nuts, and infused with rich honey and a blend of spices. Sheer pleasure! And while that exflame may not be worth it, the comforting combination of dark chocolate loaded with nuts and fudge – the tantalizing trifecta that makes up He’s Not Worth It – most certainly is! The perfect pick-me-up for your heavy heartstrings. Go ahead, have a cow It’s time to stop selling yourself short, with frozen desserts that make smooth-talking, empty promises. Carmen’s Best delivers on their devotion to serving up one excellent scoop after another. So much so that the proudly Filipino brand is served on outbound flights of Philippine Airlines business class section, and is now offered in select restaurants in Hong Kong. Further, this premium product has received numerous awards, including Best Choice Artisanal Ice Cream Brand, overall winner in Our Awesome Planet’s Ultimate Taste Test, as well as having been cited as one of the Manila Survival Guide’s Top Five Artisanal Ice Creams. Carmen’s Best: the ice cream that is definitely worth having a cow about. For more product and store information, visit www.carmensbest.com, or call/text (02) 8092042 or (0917) 567-BEST (2378).
The namesake of Carmen's Best, Carmen Magsaysay with dad and company founder, Paco
Modern Classic: Crate and Barrel introduces Fall 2016
all is finally here and it's a fantastic season for change, making it the perfect time to redecorate your home. For Fall 2016, Crate and Barrel is giving the modern classic its moment. The style of the season – Modern Classic is hard to ignore no matter what your personal style may be. Its longevity is due to its broad appeal and its influence on other styles is profound. But Modern Classic is not a static look, it can be updated to look perfectly at home with today’s newer designs and plays well as part of a mix – reflecting lives and tastes that span the generations. “The carefully curated assortment for fall is both inspiring and approachable, featuring beautifully designed pieces meant to be enjoyed every day,” says Ram Bucoy, Crate and Barrel’s head of marketing. Select trends from the Fall 2016 Collection include: Color of the season – Classic Blues Throughout the decades, blue has been a heritage color for Crate and Barrel. From the picket stripes found in Scandinavian design to the plush velvets used on classic upholstery shapes, blue sings to us across all styles. Every instinct told us to grab onto blue for the Fall/ Winter 2016 season, pair it with warm neutrals, rich dark woods and in patterns that speak to both the familiar and the surprising. Think of blue blazers and blue jeans. Or blueberries and ice cream. Either way – yum. “No matter how you use this powerful color, the result is always clean and fresh, calm-
Crate & Barrel’s Lounge Collection
ing and timeless,” says Bucoy. Story of the season – The Great Room Inspired by the trend, the new normal in so many homes, the love of open room living and the North/Clybourn Dream Big Project. The Great Room is the heart of so many homes today. It dictates the need for furniture in scale with the grander nature of this living concept: sectional seating and modular storage units anchor the living space, while family and party-sized tables round it out. Combo of the season – White and Wood Signature Crate and Barrel: Pure, White, Warm, Simple, Clean. Pairing white with wood has been a signature Crate and Barrel look from the beginning. Today it can be pure white or warm white. Oak, pine, maple, walnut, acacia or sheesham: combinations that are beautiful, calming and timeless. Trend of the season – Cocktail Hour Crate and Barrel offer the best in class cocktail collection anywhere with an amazing drinkware in the staring role, bringing in the real cocktail hour back home. Check out the Crate and Barrel Fall 2016 Collection in stores. Each store features an incredible inventory of pieces selected to appeal to any taste, so whether you prefer modern furniture or a more classic look, you'll always find “that” piece you've been dreaming of. For more information, visit "http://www. crateandbarrel.com" www.crateandbarrel.com. Crate and Barrel Philippines are located at SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Aura Premier and SM Makati.
E X P AT N E W S P A P E R
F E AT U R E S
SEPTEMBER 4-17, 2016
Somerset Alabang Manila opens its doors
he Ascott Limited’s Philippine cluster recently marked another milestone with the opening of its sixth property in the Philippines, and its first foray into the Southern part of Metro Manila with Somerset Alabang Manila – the first international serviced residence in the south. Somerset Alabang Manila: A Charmed Lifestyle The third Somerset international serviced residence in the Philippines, Somerset Alabang Manila is a 150-unit development that offers various prime apartment choices - studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The spacious units offer contemporary interiors with all the conveniences of home such as a well-equipped kitchen, separate working and living areas, home entertainment system and broadband internet connection. They also have a balcony where guests can enjoy the spectacular view of the vibrant cityscape with pockets of green and Laguna de Bay. Residents will also get to enjoy the recreational areas - a lap pool, fully-equipped fitness center, premier restaurant, pool bar and Cub-
bies Room, a play area for children. The property has a great central location with malls, cafes, restaurants and fitness and wellness parks within its periphery. Residents will love the charmed quiet and relaxing ambience of the South, creating a perfect work-life balance. Somerset Alabang Manila also has 11 serviced offices for lease that are ready for operation from day one; two function rooms, which are collapsible into two and three smaller function or meeting rooms, respectively, and can be booked for corporate and social events; and two boardrooms. The property likewise has parking spaces available for lease. The Ascott Limited Somerset Alabang Manila is managed by The Ascott Limited, a member of CapitaLand. The Ascott Limited is the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator with more than 290 properties in over 100 cities across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region. For inquiries and bookings, send an email to email@example.com or contact (02) 550-3200.
Choice sips and treats at the Novotel Manila
eward yourself with a satisfying break from the busy urban lifestyle at where class, comfort and convenience collide—the Novotel Manila Araneta Center. This season, those seeking a break from the chaos of the city can find refuge at the hip Gourmet Bar located at the Lobby or the trendy The 6th Pool Bar and Lounge, which offers gorgeous views of the Metro Manila cityscape. Connoisseurs eager to expand their palates are welcome at the Gourmet Bar for its special Tapas! Tapas! promotion. Until the end of September, guests can tailor their own gustatory experience from a selection of nibbles and sips curated by the Novotel Manila Araneta Center’s masterful culinary team. Choose to match the Filipino classic dinakdakan (grilled pork head salad aromatized
with calamansi soy sauce foam) with their selection of classic wines. Each bespoke combination can be enjoyed at PhP688 nett. For those who want to raise a glass (or two, maybe even three), they can head to The 6th Pool Bar and Lounge for a wide range of freeflowing drinks—from house wines and spirits to local beers and cocktails. Available every Saturday and Sunday nights, this promotion is available to those who want to kick off the weekend in style for only PhP1,000 nett per person. Wait not a second longer to enjoy life’s pleasures amidst the daily grind. Reserve your tables at the Gourmet Bar and The 6th Pool Bar and Lounge today by calling (02) 990-7888. For more information on these and other promotions, visit www.novotel.com or www.accorhotels.com.
be revealed. Tilt the glass away from you, and towards the white surface. The wine’s “true” color is seen in its deep center, but have a look at the edges, as well. 2. Swirl. Gently swirl the wine around in the glass – this not only allows the wine to “breathe” (especially for deeper reds), this also enables you to observe the “legs” of the wine, and make you feel like an expert. “Legs” in a wine are the tears or droplets that form and trickle down the inside of the glass after you swirl it. The legs tell you something about a wine’s sugar content: sweeter wines are more viscous and have slower moving legs or tears. 3. Smell. Go ahead and sniff the wine, to learn more about its “nose” or aroma. The “first nose” should be done without swirling the glass to catch a whiff of the primary aromas, while the “second nose” should be done while swirling the glass to release the secondary aromas of the wine. Note that each nostril is connected to a different side of your brain, so it is best to smell the wine one nostril at a time, to pick up on the full range of scent. It’s ok to be noisy, as you take in a deep whiff! 4. Sip. Allow the wine to envelope your palate. Don’t be afraid to swish it around (again, go ahead and be noisy), and try to get some air in your mouth, as well (this may take some practice). The aeration releases even more of the flavor. Feel the body or the weight of the wine on your tongue. Take note of the wine’s acidity, sweetness, crispness, etc. 5. Savor. How long does the taste and the aftertaste of the wine linger on your palate? Savor it; this is the wine’s “finish.” But first, before you can even do the “A” or appreciation part, you need to skip to “B” and B-ust open that bottle! A few tips to remember, when opening a bottle of wine – especially if it is corked: 1. Be sure to carefully slice and remove the entirety of the outer foil, to avoid contaminating the wine with a metallic taste.
2. Observe the cork, to see if it is still intact, and to ensure that it has not disintegrated into the wine. 3. When opening a bottle of wine, the label should be facing your guests. Sounds a tad obsessive-compulsive, but this is considered proper wine etiquette. 4. Plunge your corkscrew into the center most part of the cork, and twist with a gentle but firm motion. Do not twist the corkscrew in too deeply. 5. Pull gently on the cork, to remove it from the bottle. Sniff the cork, to determine if the wine is good. Lastly, rub the cork edge around the rim of the bottle, to make sure that all cork particles are removed. C-ritique the wine. You may use words like golden, yellowish, or greenish, to describe the color of a white wine or champagne; while pink, ruby, rose, garnet, purple and the like may be used for reds. Aromas are often talked of as floral, fruity, earthy, vegetal, citrusy, etc.; while tastes are described in terms of which specific fruit, spice, or flavor dominates the wine’s notes and finish (berries, vanilla, anise, chocolate, cinnamon, to name a few). Okay, okay; we need to throw in the “D” of this basic wine alphabet, as it is the best part: D-RINK! Enjoy the wine to its fullest. Pair it with your favorite food (this makes for another thousand words and more, but in general, white wines go with lighter food, reds go with heavier dishes, acidic wines are best with fatty food stuff, while sweet wines are good with salty or pungent food). There is no exact science for wine and food pairings, but, as Tanguy puts it, it should always be a “winwin situation” for your palate. While one class on wine appreciation will certainly not earn you the mad skills of an expert, it will most definitely up your wine smarts. Enough to impress yourself, or that hot date; and enough to make you feel a sommelier, for a day.
Somerset Alabang Studio
Sommelier, for a day
Level up in the world of wine, with these tips and tricks from Sofitel’s wine appreciation class By ANGIE DUARTE
ver fancy yourself a wine connoisseur, able to confidently deliver such lofty, impressive statements as “this wine is full bodied, with an intense character, an aroma of berries, and a hint of oak, especially on the finish”? I know I certainly have! Whether you’re out to score points with your dinner date, wow your friends, or simply enhance your own personal enjoyment of the fruit of the vine (consumed alone, but more especially, when paired with food), increasing your wine IQ is always a fun and fruitful activity. Imagine, then, my delight to discover that the metro’s premiere luxury hotel, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila semi-regularly conducts a fun and informative class on wine appreciation. Taught by Tanguy Gras, Sofitel’s F&B Manager and in-house wine expert, the class spans several hours, and is loaded with good stuff. Once you’ve gotten over the very awesome novelty of a wine class being taught in Manila by an actual Frenchman, complete with alluring accent, you will find yourself totally engrossed in the rich world of wine. From matters of terroir (the all-encompassing, all
important conditions of climate and weather, soil, terrain and tradition and how these affect the quality of wine grapes) to the production process (which varies for red and white wines, and champagnes), to the nuances between Old and New World Wines, and even the variations of ageing wine in oak barrels, as against steel barrels, Tanguy gently guides you through a wealth of wine knowledge. This knowledge is clearly too vast to encapsulate in 1000+ words, so I will stick to the ABC’s of wine appreciation, and share with you a few tips and tricks I picked up at the class. A-ppreciating wine requires the use of the 5 S’s, as follows: 1. See. Observe the appearance (called the robe or dress) of the wine. Take note of the intensity and hues of color; a wine's color clues you in to its place of origin and the conditions in which it was grown, and also gives you a hint of how the wine will taste. Color intensity is measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with one being the lightest and 10 being the most intense. A neat trick is to remember that wine color is best observed against a white or light colored neutral surface, for the fullness of the hue to
E X P AT N E W S P A P E R
U R BA N S C E N E
SEPTEMBER 4-17, 2016
Compiled by VIA BAROMA
•Against the Current: In Our Bones World Tour
Sept. 10, SM Skydome, SM North EDSA; tickets are available at all TicketWorld outlets (02) 891-9999 and at all SM Tickets outlets (02) 470-2222 Another global YouTube star will be visiting Manila this September when American pop rock trio, Against the Current returns to the country as part of their In Our Bones World Tour. The band is made up of lead vocalist Chrissy Costanza, guitarist Dan Gow, and drummer Will Ferri. The group gained massive YouTube following after posting their covers of popular songs by a variety of different artists. With the release of their first full-length studio album, In Our Bones, Against the Current begins their World Tour this September. Tickets are priced at PhP4,404 for VIP with Meet & Greet; and PhP2,752 for Gold.
•Road to Ultra Sept. 17, 2016, Mall of Asia Concert Grounds; for VIP tables and other inquiries, call (0908) 896-2718, (0917) 552-9556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org One of the most popular international electronic music festival brands, Road to Ultra, is set to get Manila, as the wise kids of today like to say, lit this September with some of the hottest electronic music acts like Tiesto, Hardwell, Alesso, Fedde Legrand, MOTI, Jessica Milner, Raiden, and Tom Taus, among others. Road to Ultra has been renowned for its cutting-edge stage production, world class visuals, lighting and pyrotechnics. Stage designs are developed by the Ultra Music Festival creative team and adapted to accommodate the needs of both indoor and outdoor venues. Tickets are priced PhP5,000 for Premium General Admission (Early Bird: Phase 2) and PhP3,000 for General Admission (Early Bird: Phase 2). Tickets are available at https://philippines.roadtoultra.com/ and at all SM Ticket outlets.
•WWE Live Manila Sept. 9, Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City; tickets are available at all SM Tickets outlets. Visit www. smtickets.com or call (02) 470-2222 for more information. WWE returns to the Philippines with WWE Live Manila and treating fans to performances by a host of superstars that include WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns, WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day, WWE Women's Champion Charlotte, Kane, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks; Tyler Breeze, Neville, Bo Dallas, Zack Ryder, and many more. “WWE is excited to return to the Philippines, giving WWE's passionate fans the chance to see their favorite Superstars in an energetic, larger-than-life event, for the first time in seven years,” said Gerrit Meier, president of WWE International. “WWE Live Manila will deliver the same non-stop action and family fun that fans know and love from our TV programs on FOX Philippines and WWE Network.” Tickets are priced at PhP15,840 for CAT 1 Ring Side; PhP12,680 for CAT 2 Premium; PhP8,450 for Lower Box B; PhP6,340 for Lower Box C; PhP3,170 for Upper Box; and PhP1,580 for General Admission.
•Blue Man Group Sept. 14 to 25, The Theatre at Solaire, Solaire Resort & Casino, 1 Aseana Avenue, Entertainment City, Paranaque City; for tickets and inquiries, call (02) 891-9999 or visit www. ticketworld.com.ph Experience an awesome and outrageous evening of entertainment you won't soon forget as the wildly popular, award-winning production and international entertainment phenomenon, Blue Man Group comes to Manila for the first time! Globe customers are entitled to 20 percent discount on tickets. Simply access the Exclusive Perks section in the Globe Rewards app and present the Blue Man Group digital badge at any Ticket World outlet. Don’t have the app? The Globe Rewards App is available for download in the App Store and Google Play Store. Globe customers may also enter the promo code online to avail of the special discount. Tickets are now on sale on www.ticketworld.com.ph. Tickets are priced PhP5,600 for Splatter Zone; PhP5,000 for VIP; PhP4,400 for Zone A; PhP3,750 for Zone B; PhP2,300 for Zone C; PhP1,550 for Zone D; and PhP975 for Zone E.
37th Manila International Book Fair
Sept. 14 to 18; SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City; for more information, visit www.manilabookfair.com or call (02) 896-0661 or (02) 896-0682
Sept. 15 to 17, Star Theater, CCP Complex, Pasay City; tickets are available at all TicketWorld outlets; call (02) 891-9999 for ticket inquiries
The biggest book fair in the country is back! It's that time of the year again when Filipinos and foreigners of all ages come together for the love of reading. Now on its 37th year, the Manila International Book Fair continues to be the country's biggest and longest running book fair. It showcases the largest and most varied collection of literature for leisure and academic reading. Everything you need from fiction bestsellers, to textbooks, to graphic novels, and even educational materials are all under one roof. Moreover, the MIBF is also the go-to venue for this year's most awaited book launches and signings, dialogues with readers, contests, and other literary events. Admission fee is priced at PhP20 for Adults and PhP15 for Students, Faculties, Librarians and Senior Citizens with IDs.
The Valiant Warrior of
Hercules: The Valiant Warrior of Thebes is a retelling of one of Greek mythology’s most prominent legends. As told by Teiresias, the musical play chronicles the extraordinary journey of Hercules, a demi-god whose fate is ascribed to a multitude of adventure and heroic exploits. The production stars Polo Ravales as Heracules, together with Natasha Cabrera, Ronah Rostata, CJ Flores Marin, Paw Castillo, Fatima Cadiz, Hutch Perales, Jhay-R Baccol, Francelle Fetalvero, Jovito Bonita, Jasper Jimenez, Jasmin Salvo, Ren Medina, and Tina Dela Cruz. Tickets are priced at PhP1,500 for VIP; PhP1,000 for Gold; and PhP500 for Silver.