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EVERY TIME someone judges me for reaching for a bottle of Ginebra San Miguel (because I’m not handling a more expensive bottle), I point out the gold seal on the label (itself a work by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo). The gold seal is a Monde Selection medal awarded by Brussels-based institution International Institute for Quality Selections. Ronald Molina, Assistant Vice-President and Marketing Manager for Ginebra San Miguel summarizes the sensation: “The only thing cheap about Ginebra San Miguel is the price.”
ITALIAN chic is captured in every glass of Negroni. The drink was first mixed in Florence with gin, vermouth, and Campari liqueur, requested by a count from his bartender (the drink was eventually named after the count, whose last name was Negroni).
IT’S easy to write a love letter to a city like Barcelona in Spain. The capital of Catalonia, it was settled by the Romans and its age shows in its architecture built upon centuries and centuries of care and a reverence for beauty. Barcelona has also served to nurture several artists, including the famed Surrealist Salvador Dali.
TO RESIST change is to resist the world. Boracay’s 2018 six-month closure changed the face again of the once-pristine island, fighting back against over development and trying to regain the relationship with nature that drew people there in the first place.
SOME PINS are worth more than others. After gaining a Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 Award in Wines, one would be given a blue pin. That doesn’t sound like much, but, as Bel S. Castro, Assistant Dean for College of Hospitality Management for Enderun Colleges, said “...in the UK, you cannot work without this,” pertaining to the thriving food and beverage sector in the United Kingdom.
ELIZABETH II, Queen of the United Kingdom, was born on April 21, 1926, as the eldest daughter of the then-Duke and Duchess of York, the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Born during her grandfather George V’s reign, she was born third in line to the throne, then her father ascended the throne in 1936, after her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to prevent a constitutional crisis in his desire to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson.
WHEN you have a child, 10 years sounds like a milestone, but then there’s a lot more to cover. Ten years isn’t quite 13, when they traditionally enter puberty. Ten years isn’t 18, when they reach legal age. In the watch industry where hundred-year-old giants continue to rule the game, what does 10 years mean?
THE MID-2000s were a great time to be a certain kind of designer. The full effects of the looming financial crunch that would define the latter part of the 2000s would not be felt yet, and it was okay to be rich. The shock and vulgarity of the early 2000s, playing with reality TV and the early days of mainstream internet have slightly worn off. Styles in this present decade have sobered up, but the years before it showed a special kind of wealthy wearer: she wasn’t the teen in metallics and glitter of the early 2000s, best exemplified by Paris Hilton. This was a buttoned-up rich girl with a sense of fun, say like the present Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
OF ALL the facets of culture and history — think language, clothing, art — food is usually relegated to the sidelines. “It’s always going to be there,” we say to ourselves while it disappears from our tables, replaced by global selections that are easy to prepare, easy to eat, and are easily forgotten. Food does not deserve this position, for it is the fuel that forged revolutions, gave sustenance to communities, and, today, continues to build the nation.
HAS IT really been that long since Grace Kelly was said to have uttered, “I favor pearls on screen and in my private life”? The famous American actress wed Prince Rainier III of the small principality of Monaco, becoming Princess Consort, lending her image to the small nation. During her husband’s reign, reforms to the constitution changed the country’s economic gambling base to its current role as a tax haven for the rich. This then gave the country a reputation of expensive living. In any case, the princess died in 1982, leaving behind a legacy of quiet elegance.
JEWELRY can melt even the hearts of the coldest cynics. The shine and sheen of precious stones, according to a study by Belgian researchers, turn on the brain and tap into the primeval search for water, explaining our attraction to shimmering surfaces.*
THE International Food Exchange (IFEX), is going to run from May 24 to 26 in the World Trade Center Manila, and if you are going remember the following seven words: banana, cacao, coffee, coconut, mango, pineapple, and tuna. These, according to the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), are the country’s Premium 7. The Premium 7 were selected as the country’s top food exports, based on supply, according to CITEM’s Executive Director Pauline Juan.
A JEWEL is a story made solid, passed from one hand to another: whether it’s from your lover, friend, or parent. While some do buy jewelry on a whim, for many, jewelry is a purchase made to mark a special occasion: whether a wedding, a career goal, or just a really, really good day.
WRITING about food is an experience both universal and personal: while everyone around you may eat the same thing, everyone has a different response to it and recall of it. That’s why, most of the time, no two articles about food are ever exactly the same.
WHEN one writes about wine, one has to be very careful. Words from one’s pen will come to represent a bottle that took years of work, decades of legacy, and the earth’s own providence to produce. With these factors in place, each wine: from grands-crus from Bordeaux to wine that isn’t exactly up to par from who-knows-where, deserves more than a modicum of respect.
IN 1992, Filipino singer Lea Salonga, having just made a splash on Miss Saigon, got what many believed was a gig of a lifetime — a chance to sing what was sure to be a worldwide hit for a Disney animated movie. “A Whole New World” from Aladdin introduced her — or at least her voice — to a new generation of fans worldwide.
THE 1970s were a dark time for the Philippines, mostly due to the atrocities of the Marcos regime. For better or for worse, there were some bright spots in the arts during that period, mostly due to the spendthrift former First Lady, Imelda Marcos. Fashion-obsessed Mrs. Marcos nurtured fashion designers and wore their clothes on the world stage, lending her very visible visage to Filipino designers. Galas for this and that ran every evening, and in 1979, Filipino designer Ben Farrales, known as The Dean of Philippine Fashion, organized a Flores de Mayo parade at the Manila Hotel, under the Congregacíon del Santissimo Nombre del Niño Jesus. Beauty queens and celebrities participated in the parade that honored the Virgin Mary, part of the Catholic devotions to Mary during May.
MICHAEL Harris Conlin, the 2019 Philippine National Barista Champion, has done his country proud. Mr. Conlin was able to place in the semifinals of the World Barista Championship (WBC) in Boston, USA, and finished 15th out of 50 candidates from all over the world. More than his show of technical ability, he was also able to showcase Filipino coffee, showing in a cup the hard work of farmers in Itogon, Benguet.
EVERY outfit tells a story, but are you sure you’re telling the right one? In the years to come, will your choices today place you on the right side of history? The choice you made will still be evident years from now, when that shirt you bought on impulse will still sit in a landfill, intact when you won’t be. A movement called FashionRevolution, starting in the UK and finding roots in the Philippines, rises from the simple question, “Who made my clothes?”
IN EVERY bit of product that comes out of a country, a bit of the country’s soul is in there, and where there is soul, there is art. Spain’s jamón (ham) contains the nation’s animal, fungi, and weather conditions, and for these to be expressed, it needs an artist — the maestro cortador.
NEW YORK icon Shake Shack is building a home in the Philippines with the opening of its first branch in BGC’s Central Square.
AS a former part of the British Empire, it’s not surprising to find influences of Britannia in Singapore. One such example is gin, Britain’s favored libation from the 17th century onwards, finding a home in Singapore’s favorite cocktail, the Singapore Sling (made with a base of gin, coupled with cherry liqueur and pineapple juice, among others).
THERE ARE many answers to the question of what makes a man. As times change, so do those answers, and a culture of diversity, plurality, and the age of postmodernism has ushered in a new man. Three scorchingly attractive male celebrities -- namely: Enchong Dee, Tanner Mata, and Daniel Matsunaga -- fill in the blanks of what it takes to be a man for Avon’s new campaign, called “Gentleman Up,” calling for men to embrace different definitions of manhood.
BLUE seems to be the color of the pursuit of excellence as one of the oldest and most respected culinary institutions in the world, Le Cordon Bleu, partners with one of the premier universities in the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila University. The partnership, called the Le Cordon Bleu Ateneo de Manila Institute (LCBAI) was launched in the university’s Arete building last week. Le Cordon Bleu was founded in 1895, providing the culinary education that shaped icons such as Julia Child. In turn, the Ateneo de Manila University has produced heroes, entrepreneurs, and politicians.
LIKE LOVERS who have made themselves too available, it’s easy to take the province of Rizal for granted. It’s too near the city, and it doesn’t boast of Tagaytay’s views and chilly mountain breezes. It does, however, have a character and beauty of its own: so much of it, in fact, to make artists want to work, live, and as in the case of National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, to want to die there.
AN ANONYMOUS vigilante food critic on Instagram, Masarap Ba (@masarapba), has pulled off a stunt worthy of a wholesome comic strip. She once gave BusinessWorld a pseudonym, Kat Abaan (read: fatness), and this Ms. Abaan recently collaborated with Novotel Manila Araneta Center for a food festival. Take a tip, influencers: apparently there’s a lot that can be done, even if no one knows what you look like.
WE’RE almost done with the second decade of this millennium, and while women have made strides in the world, are we making sure that the field is level for them when it comes to the dating game?
PIA ALONZO WURTZBACH was crowned Miss Universe in 2015, and was the country’s third Miss Universe. Ms. Wurtzbach achieved a degree of notoriety after the pageant’s host Steve Harvey called the name of Miss Colombia as the winner, instead of hers. After he realized the mix up, Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega had to take the pageant’s crown off Miss Colombia’s head and pass it on to Ms. Wurtzbach.
WHAT IS a dish without the drink, and vice versa? Without a dish, one approaches sin, and without drink, one courts a sort of insufficiency, and, well, choking. Homegrown Don Papa Rum encourages one to live life to the fullest with both food and drink in its Chef & Shaker competition.
IT’S HARD to imagine that Manila Fashion Fest picked itself up from the ground up only in 2014, establishing itself as the premier fashion show series of the country. In October, it will celebrate its fifth anniversary, but before the landmark occasion it will fist hold its tenth season from April 2 to 5 at the EDSA Shangri-La hotel in Mandaluyong City.
THERE ARE two ways the human mind perceives nature. One makes us seek balance and tranquility, while the other allows us to unleash ourselves and become truly wild. A restaurant in Quezon City allows you to do both: to be tranquil on the weekdays and, for the young ones, go wild on the weekends.
THE EPISTOLARY novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, published in the 18th century, bore this warning from one of its main characters, the Marquise de Merteuil: “Older ladies must never be crossed: in their hands lie the reputations of the young ones.” In context, the Marquise was in the middle of plotting the downfall of a younger, naive rival.
WHILE the Lopez family can be construed as just another of the 40 families or so that form the nation's elite, the story of the country flows well in their veins, and at the same time, their story imprints on ours. The various Lopez holdings in land, energy, and media, summarized in the Lopez Group of Companies (that includes media conglomerate ABS-CBN, the Rockwell Land developments, and energy companies under First Philippine Holdings Corp., among many, many others) shape the way we live lives in the city and its surrounding environs.
COFFEE is as much a staple in some Filipino homes as rice. However, the minute a Pinoy steps out of the house, there’s hardly any way to get the taste of home — instead we’re inundated with every other cosmopolitan caffeine fix out there. KapeTayo Coffee then, gets the way a Filipino mom likes her coffee, and offers it to the rest of the country.
FOODEE Global Concepts is the company is responsible for bringing in foreign restaurant brands that have earned Michelin stars in their home countries: think FOO’D, Hawker Chan, Tsuta, Kam’s Roast, and Tim Ho Wan (among others). But Foodee’s success with foreign brands began with the Todd English Food Hall in SM Aura, which by now has expanded into other concepts under the name of the celebrity chef: there’s Hook, then Pound; both by Todd English.