“Life is like a book: one has to know when to turn the page.”—Hubert de Givenchy
Life begins at whatever age you want it to start. As I turn another year wiser, I look back at my most turbulent year of transformation with a solid sense of courage and fulfillment. It was truly my most challenging year, full of trials that led to a broad awakening of self and spirit; without the love and support of family and all my collective therapy programs, I wouldn’t have succeeded in becoming a more authentic and spiritual being.
Part of the blessing and continuous challenge of life is the longing to discover our own God-given nature. Being in our own sacred space, whatever and wherever that may be, is what is necessary in order to live and thrive without anxiety. In finding that vital element that keeps us alive, we are able to feel that life-sustaining energy, excitement and lasting joy.
My own joy is energized by travel, friends and events with a dress code. All these points were present at the invitation to the opening of the acclaimed and award-winning Cantonese restaurant Mott 32, the first ever site in the Philippines. Located in Cebu City’s Nustar Resort and Casino, the much-anticipated restaurant had an opening that introduced Mott 32’s signature modern approach to Chinese cuisine to the Philippines. It is a complete feast for the senses—using unique culinary flavors, innovative cocktails and stunning interiors that complete the experience.
“We’re very excited to bring the Mott 32 experience to the Philippines at this flagship location; the elevated Chinese cuisine, exceptional service, strong beverage program and amazing ocation make it a truly unique offering in the country’s diverse culinary scene,” explains cofounder Malcolm Wood.
“It has always been our goal to elevate the lifestyle experiences in the Philippines by introducing innovative and spectacular offerings. Mott 32 has been operating in over six countries to date, and we are so happy and proud to bring their newest restaurant to Nustar in Cebu,” says Frederick Go, president and chief executive officer of Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc.
The menu at Mott 32 Cebu (email [email protected]) includes classic offerings from the flagship restaurant in Hong Kong, and the kitchen is to be led by head chef Tam Wai Sang, who has 35 years of culinary experience. Chef Tam was trained by Mott 32’s very own group Chinese executive chef, Lee Man Sing, in preparation for Mott 32 Cebu’s opening. With Chef Tam’s expertise in Cantonese cuisine, as well as a generation of chefs trained under his belt, his lead in the Philippine outlet aims to bring the best out of time-honored recipes passed down from generation to generation.
The restaurant’s culinary philosophy is formed with a deep respect and appreciation for tradition, as well as a yearning to introduce cultural roots and create an exciting contemporary epicurean universe for its guests.
Maximal Concepts cofounder Xuan Mu says, “At Mott 32, we are dedicated to serving authentic, timeless recipes that pay homage to Chinese cuisine. We are thrilled to be bringing a unique dining experience to Cebu this year.”
It is now open and is set to be the first of its kind in the region. And with the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway further easing access between Mactan Cebu International Airport and Nustar Resort and Casino, the outlet is ready to offer a distinctive dining experience among local and international markets—bearing an identity that reflects the east and the west.
Cebu jewelry and gowns
I was delighted to fly into Cebu with my media friends on board Cebu Pacific for the opening. Our group flew in the day before, so I was also able to attend the 55th anniversary event of Oro China Jewelry. Straight from the airport, I reached the fashion show that paraded Oro China Jewelry’s exquisite pieces, worn by models in Cebuano designer gowns.
Congratulations to Jennifer Que Viloria and her team for a truly successful and beautiful event. Their elegant fashion show gave a lot of inspiration for future Red Charity Galas, which will hopefully resume next year, and I am so delighted that Jennifer has offered her support to our charity.
After the show, I went backstage to shop for some of the gowns, hoping to wear them for the Mott 32 opening. Retail shopping is always a welcome experience.
I was able to wear creations of Cebu top designers Philipp Tampus and Mike Yapching for the grand event.
Cebu is like a second home for me. I am always eager to return and reconnect with my Cebuano friends. I am glad that I have many events and travels that help me move completely forward. While in past months I have been operating on old habits, I am now shifting into hope for change and positivity.
Whenever I feel in a limbo of sorts, I pray for assistance and seek God with my whole heart. You really get what you focus on, so I focus on what I want.As we move through life, let us involve ourselves in activities and environments that help to put us in touch with our true natures, and avoid those that suck out the vitality of our souls. We must pursue our passions and purposes with every ounce of energy, while trusting that everything we seek is already within.
There is a transformative energy in the air. Change can be uncomfortable, challenging, dramatic, intense and strangely inspiring, but it also has the power to improve our lives, if we rise to the occasion. It will take some discipline to find our true path and stay on it, and it also takes courage to start anew. We should always have the intention of moving forward, to keep swimming through the current, to embrace necessary change by adjusting, resetting and staying seriously engaged in the process of transformation.
While every day is a chance for a new beginning, birthdays are markers for the individual journeys that we lead, a way to track the growth that we experience in a whole year’s time. There are lots of family and friends’ birthdays this Virgo season: my own birthday, my good friend Digzy Umali’s 40th, and today, my wonderful mother Marixi Prieto turns 82.
It is through Mamarixi’s loving influence in my life and those around her that I am able to confidently believe in my power as a woman. Her generosity and kindness, and her signature updo, are all things I cherish and try to model myself after. I thank Mamarixi today and every day for infusing my world with so much love, happiness, security and peace, and for teaching me to share these blessings to the world.