A rare, early Christmas treat happened on Dec. 11—select guests of Discovery Suites were treated to a dinner with renowned Filipino painter Manuel Baldemor.
A multitalented visual artist, Baldemor also produces sculptures and prints from handmade wooden blocks. He has likewise written and illustrated numerous books.
His paintings are stamped with expressions and representations of Filipino life, culture and traditions. His unique way of using colors from the “tropics,” with warm hues and tones, lends his art a distinctive Filipino look.
His work, inspired by fond memories of his hometown in Paete, Laguna, often depicts the simple life of a typical Filipino probinsiya or hometown, including the day-to-day activities of its people.
Festivities, being an integral part of Filipino life, form part of Baldemor’s creations, including those with Christmas themes.
Christmas dinner sample
To be seated next to such an esteemed artist was already an honor in itself, but the experience was heightened by the exclusive unveiling of 22 Prime’s Christmas Eve menu.
The culinary artists from the kitchen of 22 Prime, the flagship restaurant of Discovery Suites in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, gave us samples of the three-course dinner that they would be offering on Dec. 24 to guests and families celebrating Christmas at the hotel.
The soup, lobster bisque with micro greens and toasted herb croutons were the perfect start to whet our appetites for the main dish—a sumptuous, 300-gram rib-eye steak.
Grilled to perfection
The steak’s sidings were corn on the cob, French beans and sautéed mushrooms. The steak was grilled to perfection, in my case it meant rare and bloody.
The three sauces that came with the steak were tarragon béarnaise, black truffle cream (my favorite), and 22 Prime’s own signature steak sauce. Such a huge serving would usually be difficult to finish, but I did. It was that good!
After the savory tastes of the soup and steak, some sweets were needed. The chocolate table at the side, where you could grab all the desserts you wanted, were on hand to satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth. I loved the chocolate pralines, mousse and tarts.
The rest of the night was spent chatting with Baldemor and listening to his interesting stories—including his travels abroad where he learned about different cultures and artistic traditions.
Since his first exhibit, “The Graphic Art of Manuel D. Baldemor” at the Hidalgo Library in 1972, he has shown his works in more than 40 cities around the world. Madrid, Munich, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Prague, Vienna, Warsaw, Budapest, Moscow, Copenhagen, New York, London and Paris are just some of the cities where his paintings had been featured.
Baldemor has also been granted the status of artist-in-residence in Singapore, Japan, Israel, Chile, Portugal, Estonia and Switzerland.
One of his most renowned works is his astounding mosaic mural on one of the walls of the Basilica of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Lisieux, Normandy.
Such engaging conversation while sipping wine, amid beautiful artworks, was worth remembering.
Choice pieces of Baldemor’s artworks will be on exhibit at 22 Prime until Jan. 5, 2015.
For a memorable Christmas Eve dinner, 22 Prime invites families to indulge in as many servings of mouthwatering USDA Angus rib-eye steak and roasted turkey.
Aside from the sumptuous holiday cravings, the special menu comes with a salad bar, a soup station and dessert. It is available on Dec. 24 from 7 to 10:30 p.m.
22 Prime is at Discovery Suites, 5 ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City; tel. 7198888.