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From food to music

Among the many strict guidelines of Alain Ducasse’s handlers–to only take photos of the left side of his face
By: - Reporter
/ 03:14 AM December 09, 2018

An interview with internationally acclaimed Gospel singer-songwriter Don Moen in 1996.

I was in awe when I first met Alain Ducasse, one of the world’s most celebrated chefs, on his first visit in Manila in 2010 at Enderun Colleges. He was pleasant and warm, but spoke only in French. And, there was one thing for me that stood out from the many strict guidelines on protocol made by his handlers—to only take photos of the left side of his face.

That was it. No questions asked.


It was in 1996 when I first interviewed internationally acclaimed Gospel singer-songwriter Don Moen. To the Christian world, Moen is like Gary Valenciano or Martin Nievera to the secular crowd. He can bring the audience to its feet, dancing and singing along.

Just like Valenciano and Nievera, Moen can move his listeners to tears—or even cry a river—over his stirring and heartrending songs. He popularized the song “God Will Make a Way” and gave new meaning to words “hope” and “trust” for believers and nonbelievers alike.


Vangie with French celebrity chef Alain Ducasse

He came back to Manila a few times, and I was watched his worship concert again last July. As usual, Moen gave an outstanding performance, and many had been blessed by his music, including me.

My first-ever byline in Inquirer Lifestyle appeared in 1991, about Ogie Alcasid’s concert, “Ogie The Pogi.” Since that first encounter, I never had a chance to interview him again until last year, when he opened his Ryu Ramen restaurant at UP Town Center.

Of course, he didn’t recognize me anymore, but when I told him that he was the first subject for my first byline story, he stood up from his chair, gave me a hug and smiled for the camera.

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