It was literally an earthshaking week for the country. After experiencing several nerve-racking earthquakes, we realize how finite our existence on earth is, and how we are all in the hands of our Creator.
During the Monday quake, I thought I still had my sea legs from a weeklong dive trip in the Maldives. Seeing our chandelier swaying and the mini tsunamis from the pool, I knew it was the real thing.
After calming down from the temblor, I did some research and saw that the West Valley fault in Luzon last moved in 1658, and Phivolcs says it moves every 300 to 400 years. So this quake was right smack on time, if not slightly overdue. Looks like the Philippine plates have been releasing stress.
I was happy to spend a week in the Maldives for the first time last week. The archipelago has over 2,000 islands spread over the Indian Ocean, and we saw a few from our live-aboard dive boat.
We did the Central Route that focuses on dive spots around the central atolls: North Male, North and South Ari, Rashdoo, and then back to South Male. This is the most popular dive route and offers good chances to see sharks, manta rays, and other pelagic fish.
Visiting the atolls showed me the value of ecotourism and how that can be a viable model to preserve the Philippines’ islands and beaches. The Maldives takes great pains to make sure its dive spots remain pristine to be enjoyed by tourists for generations. We should do the same.
Most live-aboard boats have a support dive boat called a dhoni that shadows the main vessel, which is basically for sleeping, eating and entertainment. The scuba activities are all off the dhoni.
There were always a dozen or more live-aboards around the dive spots, and yet, the ocean life and coral remained protected.
Our live-aboard, Fun Azul, is a comfortable, luxurious yacht that can accommodate 19 guests in 10 cabins.
For the dive trip, I made sure to be fashionably dressed. Before leaving for the Maldives, I attended the launch of Melissa’s latest limited-edition collaboration with Fila.
Sporty chic meets style and function as the Brazilian footwear brand teams up with Italian sports-style label Fila to offer fresh, fun and fashionable shoe options.
Since its establishment in 1911, Fila has been pushing individuality and style to the fore. Taking this sartorial power from the tennis courts of Italy to the global streets, Fila has earned a spot in the hearts of the sporty, the stylish and those who fall in between.
Melissa has long been a staple in the footwear scene for its unique products and collaborations.
The Melissa + Fila collaboration delivers four covetable pieces. The Melissa Sneaker + Fila comes with two colored shoelaces. The Melissa Slide + Fila features a distinct striped pattern on the insole. The Melissa Sandal + Fila has a chunky high platform with two ultra-thick double-lock Velcro straps. The Melissa Pochete + Fila harks back to the tricolor palette and athletic influences Fila is known for.
Available at select Melissa and Fila stores, and on www.melissaphilippines.com
Coming back from a foreign trip, it is always superb to have some comfort food in a restaurant that the whole family loves. That’s what we did at Chateau 1771’s branch at 2/F, Terraces, One Bonifacio High Street, 5th Ave. corner 28th St., Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig.
Chateau 1771 has a proud history in the restaurant scene, and yet the place constantly moves forward with the times.
Ricky Gutierrez, founder and CEO of 1771 Group of Restaurants, envisioned a place where people could come together for memorable dining. Chateau 1771 convened gourmands when it first opened at 1771 Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila.
For more than three decades, Chateau 1771 has moved with the times, situating itself in centers of business and lifestyle, from its original location in Malate to Ortigas, Makati, and now BGC in Taguig.
Chateau 1771 coined the term “No Borders Cuisine.” Executive chef Vicky Pacheco showcases this concept with innovations in French, Swiss and Italian favorites. She surprises diners with her twists on European favorites.
A special dinner was recently held to offer select guests a taste of its latest dishes.
The Tomato Cheese Fondue was an instant favorite. The deeply satisfying dish made with Gruyère cheese and flavored with Fendant wine had everyone asking for seconds.
The Smoked Gindara Salad was refreshing with thinly sliced gindara meat, capers, cornichons, fresh orange segments, and nuts, with Japanese vinegar dressing.
A vegetarian’s delight, the Ravioli Primavera was filled with roasted squash and parmesan with Napolitaine sauce, topped with grilled broccoli, eggplant, carrots and zucchini.